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Interview with Bobby Beck (Pixar- Finding Nemo), Shawn Kelly (ILM - Transformers ) and Carlos Baena (Pixar - Ratatoullie)


animation-mentor.jpgThis is my interview at SIGGRAPH 2007 with the founders of, Bobby Beck, Shawn Kelly and Carlos Baena at their booth. is the online character animation school where all the instructors are working studio animators.

In the Interview we discuss Animation Mentor, the animations they've worked on and of course, Blender. I found the three of them to be very down to earth, easy going guys with a dream to help others. In fact, just so you know how nice they are, this video is actually the second interview. I did the first interview only to discover at the end of the interview, and to my horror, that the camera did not record anything. Having heard what happened, they where kind enough to reschedule me into their very busy schedules to do another session and I think you'll be very pleased with what they have to say.

Now before you click on the link to the videos below, I have a request of you. I would really like to get these videos seen by as many people as possible, not just the Blender community. So if you'd like to help me accomplish this task, you can do so by putting a link on your own web site and posting the link on other web sites and forums. Anyplace where you think it will help, no matter how small. You can also email the link to anyone that you think may be interested in watching it as well as vote for it on DIGG.

What I don't want is for you to do is download the video and then post it on other sites like YouTube or MySpace. Mainly because of video quality control. Every time you take a video which has already been compressed (like in FLASH, WMV or Quicktime etc.) it gets compressed again by the new video web host. So if you take a video that's already been compressed and compress it again, the quality is degraded further. That's why you see so many poor quality videos on the internet. People just keep downloading them and re-posting.

It's also about revenue generation, this site (Blender Nation) and my video web host site generate revenue when the ads are watched and the viewer clicks on the ad. This helps us cover our basics costs. If you post the video elsewhere then the advertising sponsors ads are not seen and thus lost revenue. Hopefully you like the content that we provide for you and will respect this wish. I especially hope you that you've enjoyed my interviews that I've done so far. There is still more to come from SIGGRAPH 2007 over the next few weeks as well. I'm also working on future interviews with other well known artists, animation studios, gaming companies and other media outlets.

On the right side at the video web host site there is an area where you can copy the code to post in various formats, Here's a screen shot of what it looks like. You can also vote for it on DIGG by clicking the DIGG button.


Due to size restrictions of the video web host and quality control I've broken the interview into two parts that are about eleven minutes each.

Thank You in advance for your support.


SIGGRAPH 2007 AnimationMentor Interview Part 1, Part 2


  1. links posted on our studio's internal forum ;)
    Animation mentor is well thought of here and it's great what they do.

  2. Hi, maybe it's impossible, but is it possible for you to add subtitles? I'm profoundly deaf and I would love to be kept updated on the whole thing, but most are videos without subtitles. Maybe it's a huge request, but I'd appreciate it so much! Hat off to all who works so hard on interviews and writing blendernation articles. Thank you! :)

  3. I checked out their website, it's cool, I think it's a great program. But still, $16,000 is a lot of money! And that doesn't include materials, hardware, software, etc. Too bad it's so expensive.

  4. I agree about the subtitles, or at least a transcript, because some of us are at work and can't wait to watch it when we get home!

  5. Thanks for the comments and linking. Keep em coming!

    As to the request for subtitles. If there is anyone who would like to transcribe the audio, I'd be happy to add it.

  6. edit: the GREAT video of course (my post before sounded like being blinded by bad alcohol or something like that ^^)

  7. Hey Tim, i just transcribed the audio to part 1, i didn't do part 2 because i was tired of typing. but do you have a way i can send you the text? or would you rather i just posted it here?

  8. There was a sense of hesitation and look on their faces when blender was mention.
    I call the animation school they recommended Maya as the software to use instead of Blender.Because, is not consider a high end 3d software at this present.But if blender grow to
    be a high end 3d software than they will recommended it all theirs students.
    So let keep supporting Blender !!!


  9. RNS,

    I can assure you that these three are genuinely supportive of Blender. The hesitation was due to their publicist signaling off camera that I needed to wrap up the interview.

    I had also asked them about using Blender for their class programs. (Not on camera) They are open to using any software program, Blender included. Assuming that the student is comfortable enough with the program.

    The benefit to using Maya is that its one of the most used 3rd party programs so the Mentors (teacher) can easily tell you what to do. If the Mentor is not familiar with Blender, it could create a teaching/ learning gap for the student. Personally, if I where learning from AM. I would use Blender because I am very comfortable with the animation system.

  10. Yeah that's cool that they allow the students to choose their own software package. I think personally I would let them teach me Maya though because I already know Blender and then when I went looking for a job I'd have that expertise in Maya that the big studios look for. But for personal projects I will always choose Blender. :)

  11. hi im joselyn i love animting im only 12 year old and im so interested on how these computer soft ware works and stuff like that case i can be prepard for ma futre

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