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Interview - Andrew Simpson

Andrew Simpson has pulled off an amazing feat in singlehandedly animating an entire 41 minute 3D animation (along with some help from lip syncer and walk/run animator Dan Beeston). Here are his answers to questions from Sevilians. If you wish to ask Andrew your own question, post it in the online form on the Interviews Page.

Q: Are there any other projects you're working on at this time?
(Question courtesy of DoggySpew)

A: The Sev Trek Cartoon took a long 2 years and in that time I was working only on the cartoon. So I have a lot to catch up on. The things that have changed since then are:

  • The software has improved. (the cartoon was done in Version 8.5 the current version is 9.0)
  • New videos on model setup.
  • New books on animation.

I do like to be working on some type on animation to use the new techniques I'm learning. My current project it to make improvements I've learnt to the Captain Pinchhard model and create a Microsoft Office Assistant.

Q: How did you get involved in Sev? And are there any other Sev activities you participate in?
(Question courtesy of Joeno)

A: I applied when John advertised for an animator. I showed him animations I'd done previously and got the position.

I'm only involved in the 3D aspect of Sev Trek. And I have my hands full with that! I do like to post punchlines sometimes but have never had one published or even made it to the finalists.

Q: Can you, after all this time of working on the Sev Trek Movie, still laugh at it yourselves when seeing it?
(Question courtesy of Leander)

A: If I am by myself checking shots, I do not laugh as I'm looking for errors. I first laughed at the cartoon when I read the script. I had a big laugh when I watched the cartoon with the music and sound effects for the first time. I do still laugh at the movie when I am showing it to another person in the crew or an animation friend for the first time. When they laugh out loud, I find myself smiling or laughing out loud at the same time. I also find different people laugh at different times but I still laugh when they do.

Q: How long did it take you to create the crew member models?
(Question courtesy of Pizman)

A: The first model took the longest (Captain Pinchhard). I created the Pinchhard model and started the animation process using his model in place of all the characters. I animated about 1/4 of the movie this way until I was sure the model was working correctly. Then I used the generic Pinchhard model as a basis to create the other characters. The software allows me to replace the model in a scene so when each model was ready, I just inserted them directly into finished scenes.

At each stage of the movie, errors were found. Corrections were being made to the models right to the end of production.

Q: How long does it take to animate a scene?
(Question courtesy of Matthew Coffee)

A: T
hat's a hard one to answer. I was creating Act 5 scenes (the last 7 minutes of the cartoon) while still making corrections to Act 3 scenes (the middle of the movie).

Also the size and type of action varied as well. The easiest sections were when the characters were just talking to each other. The most difficult were when a model morphed into another model.

Be sure to visit Andrew's own website. If you'd like to ask Andrew any more questions, post your question in the online form on the Interviews Page.

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