There are many other resources for animation and 3D animators, in general, but the following have been notable, and sometimes very useful. Some links for specific software, like www.renderosity.com for Poser software, have been omitted just for clarity. 3D animation can be a pretty big envelope.
I recently learned about this extraordinary Lightwave info group. Weekly and sometimes daily updates for Lightwave exclusively. A tutorials search engine.
Did you know there is a "patch" for the Quicktime problem? This wonderful man has excellent links, answers to nagging little problems and oodles of "Plug-in's."
The company that authored the INSPIRE 3D tutorial disk also maintains a website with some good links.
I cannot say enough about this $300/year intensive 3d computer graphics instruction facility in
teaching LIGHTWAVE, MAYA and SOFTIMAGE. Praise God. Unreal. Los Angeles
The disappearance of Newtekniques magazine was followed by the appearance of "newtekpro."
Lee Stranahan is currently editor of this largely LIGHTWAVE-oriented magazine.
As nice as you may find my remarks, this place is a megastore of free tutorials, and an excellent source of free objects.
A really nice guy put together these pages of tutorials links. This page has moved once or twice, so check Google for "Lightwave Tutorials" as well.
This site was recommended to me as a place to have one's models seen.
Once you have had a few of your models accepted by the free sites above, you may want to try marketing some geomtery or textures direct to the public. This vendor collects 50%, but allows modest self-promotion.
The annual convention, literature, archives, power-shmoozing of the leading CG organization. In Los Angeles, their meetings are usually the second Tuesday.
Although game programming is up there with cigarette advertizing to my way of thinking -- if what goes around comes around, learn to duck -- this web site also should have some good information on VRML, interactive learning and interesting animation techniques.
Newtek maintains a discussion group for INSPIRE users and LIGHTWAVE users that I have greatly benefitted from. For convenience, makers of Lightwave, Video Toaster, Aura... this is one of their Patch Download pages: ftp://ftp.newtek.com/pub/NewTek/Patches/LightWaveIntel/
The Los Angeles Lightwave Users Group which meets monthly on the third Saturday.
"Now including over 900 working links" is a pretty amazing thing for a Lightwave Resource site to claim.
There are several discussion groups listed as "Lightwave"-oriented, where one may submit a question or comment and receive very savvy useful information. Since a "newsgroup" is assumed to be located on the USENET, a subscriber service, this resource is widely referred to as a "mailing list." Be aware that there are also Yahoo "Clubs" that are much smaller, and other groups at msn.com and others. I believe the yahoo group is something like 1500 strong.
This site offers both tutorials for Lightwave 5.6, which is very similar to INSPIRE, and a "mailing list CD" of solutions to Lightwave tasks -- dwarfing the "Glossary."
The "LW3D" web ring is only a few hundred strong, but it is a good design resource that includes links to tutorials and talent.
Many sites have worthwhile tutorials, according to the Lightwave Tutorials link above, but this working animator's articles use a "paypal"-like annual membership charge of $5 to access something like 50 entries.
Dan Ablan has written over a half-dozen LIGHTWAVE books, and I have seen him do some incredibly gracious things. Dan recommends www.cgchannel.com for all things CG; it is a daily-updated site covering MAX, LW, MAYA, XSI and other high-end matters.
ASIFA is the International Animation Society which sponsors the Annie Awards for friends of animation. At one ASIFA event, the likes of Preston Blair, several prominent voice actors, Chuck Jones, and many other luminaries graced the stage.
This cartoon animation networking group includes a 30% male membership, writing and production groups and regular monthly meetings, and seems to represent commercial and vfx as well as traditional cartoon animators.
Search terms like "Animator," "Lightwave" & "Job listing" should bring up most of these links. If by accident I have included a for-pay one, please e-mail me and I will be sure to correct it. Historically, job listings have had referrals attached by the listing company, so I am hoping up-front fees are the exception and not the rule. Most of these listings will include MAYA and "XSI" work. Game Developer work is still often 3D Studio Max. I got most of this list from another site, then lost the URL of it, so feel free to e-mail that link. Also, see www.la411.com below, a directory which has been known to very affordably list animators and others.
Please notify me of broken links if you get the chance. The following short film sites will exhibit one's shorts and provide exposure, but since they seem to require perpetual rights, even though they are "non-exclusive," this will make "exclusive" sales later impossible, if one reads them correctly: www.reeluniverse.com , www.minutemovies.com , www.eveo.com , http://alt.sho.com (the wording is vague, it might not be THAT bad). EXPOSURE may be more important than rights during a project launch. Recently, some short film websites like www.res.com and www.pop.com have closed their doors, but not like other closed sites offering their libraries of short films valued at millions of dollars to prospective business partners.
If "Exposure" is your work's mission; www.bijoucafe.com and the unrelated www.filmfilm.com have cancellation clauses that allow one to sell "exclusive" rights to an exclusive licensor like www.atomfilms.com if they express an interest. A majority of non-paying sites unfortunately seem to have clauses wherein the work's appearance may be cancelled on one site, but may continue on an affiliate's site. Atomfilms has a reputation for providing an advance of $300, 20% royalty and stock options according to a Wall Street Journal article.
Public TV stations also have a good reputation for paying filmmakers for their shorts. The more positive, the better.
It is also worth mentioning that if one's aim is "exposure," that special interest sites, mailing lists and newsgroups may provide free or fee-based links to your film's exhibitor.
In addition to the established "players" below, there are apparently small studio's, artists' "co-op's"and "sales agents" who specialize in marketing animated shorts. A search engine search for "animated short" + "distribution" may uncover the e-mail for these sales agents, or the artists themselves if they self-distribute. Small programmers like public television stations will apparently check magazines and websites like www.ifilm.com according to animators I've spoken with.
There are dozens of DVD publishing/design studio's though a handful do the lion's share of work apparently. These are listed at this web site. On the off-chance someone makes a feature about robot dolphins, and you just happen to have a short about robots and dolphins living in peace on Mars -- could there be a better way to market your short than to mail it around to these DVD publishers? As I write this, my sister's laptop has the only DVD player in the house, so, for those who may be in the dark ages with me -- DVD's often include games and other little "extra's" like related shorts or commercials.
Bravo's "Independent Film Channel" may invite short film submissions, and has another website for feature acquisition, www.nextwavefilms.com .
Hypnotic -- the Million Dollar Contest -- gives the impression they are a short film buyer, and will only show your film on their one website. An older site that has changed its name and recently provided content to the Sundance Channel, and in 2002 hosted the "Million Dollar Film Festival" through www.chrysler.com .
I was surprised to learn that this site was taken seriously by some, who pay upwards of $300 to have their short films listed on the web site in various formats for a full year. This company also publishes a directory of distributors which lists some forty buyers of short films. The directory is sold for $40.00 as the Hollywood Creative Directory of Distributors in some bookstores.
Another site that represents itself as a "buyer" looking for product to license. One of the older sites.
The closest thing I have come across to "Liquid TV" is this "Sci-Fi Channel" show inviting submissions of science fiction-oriented shorts to their 60 minute showcase. In recent months, also like "Liquid TV," they appear to be withdrawing from this practice. <pout> Worth sending a VHS?
This subsidiary of Trimark Pictures may be buying shorts.
This may not be a correct link, but TCM has programmed a "Festival of Shorts"
Animation Express will accept GIF's of solid model animation
Another fairly friendly distributor of short films.
Filmmaker-friendly site with encouraging pages on distribution.
Odyssey has issued a number of computer graphics compilations, and has been known to compensate filmmakers on a royalty basis.
FESTIVALS & CONTESTS
www.awn.com has a phenomenal chronological festivals listing under "Call for Entries." Their links to festivals like “Clermont Ferrand” were a godsend. Plug "animation festival" (with quotes) into Google.com and get about 10,000 results. The links below are believed to be very animation-friendly. Thanks also to the folks at www.pixar.com -- following some of their short films revealed many nice links.
The logic for entering the better-known festivals once was that one will both make contacts and attract sales agents and non-exclusive sales agreements. Now that DVD/ www.netflix.com is making the winning of awards a significant quantity FOR FEATURES, festivals are getting a second look, and some animators are even transferring their films to 35mm film. DVD publishers may be including shorts with some films.
NOTE: www.asifa.net has a list of festivals which it has filtered at their website, and which animators should take note of -- the approximately thirty festivals all don't charge any fee to enter, and accept both PAL and NTSC.
This new web site promises film festivals all the time. There are also numerous "bookmark" pages of festivals links, some specific to animation, like Animation World Magazine's www.awn.com website, hosting several info pages below.
As billed, the only magazine exclusively for short filmmakers. You may find reviews of some of the festivals listed below. Supported by www.shortfilmgroup.org .
The official site for the Cannes Festival. Free to enter.
Short Film Festival. A 20 year old phenomenon attended by worldwide distributors. The best known of the short film festivals, beside Clermont-Ferrand , Aspen and Cannes, Berlin . Free entry. Venice
Sundance has sponsored a shorts contest.
Industry trade magazine Animation Magazine has sponsored a fee-based convention of sometimes daunting proportions called the "World Animation Celebration." A Film Festival is incorporated.
animation festival has a long history and no fee for registration. Annecy
The Bradford Animation Festival has one drawback, like the festival below -- a PAL video. Otherwise, growing repute and no entry fee. www.minkfish.com had good prices for conversion last time I checked.
This 90 second shorts contest has been partly sponsored by Aardman Studios, among others. The only problem may be converting your entry to PAL. www.minkfish.com
Through a collaboration with Universal and Yahoo, hypnotic's "Million Dollar Fim Contest,"in which the best short filmmaker gets to produce a low-budget feature of their script, has continued into its second year, with some modifications: a thirty dollar entry fee, all non-exclusive rights in the short submitted seem to trickle through to Yahoo, there are two additional rounds -- one of which is producing a commercial for a chrysler car, AND the "winner" gets $35,000 only IF a big name star will sign on with the project. So, why list this contest? Because: if you're one of the 24 filmmakers who only make it to the first cut, THAT IS SOMETHING. The pay is better than most of us manage, and since your project is going to be a LIGHTWAVE feature, you can hire 30 of your friends. Does this presuppose that
is corrupt and your winning script couldn't manage a $1,000,000 budget otherwise? No, the filmmaker does the supposing, the less the better. Hollywood
. According to experts, Aspen, Colorado and ASPEN are the two biggest guns in short film marketing. CLERMONT-FERRAND
The Palm Springs International Film Festival has a $30 registration fee, and bills itself as a "short film market." To their credit, they were credited with making contacts of one kind or another for two thirds of the short films during the online bonanza of 1998.
!!!!!!!!! Animafest! I just have to get used to it being ZAGREB . Zagreb, Croatia
International Film Festival Melbourne
's "Just For Laughs" festival Montreal, Canada
Film Festival New Zealand
Shorts Festival Dresden
"ESPINHO" Cinanima festival Portugal
Genzano International Animated Film
"Kaff" Animated Film festival, Tri-annual
Ottowa Animation Festival
Hiroshima Animation Bi-annual
Animation Festival Brisbane, Australia
International Animation Festival Rio de Janeiro
Virgin IslandsAnimation Festival
Short Film Festival Finland
International Short Film Festival Hamburg
Holland International Animation Festival in
, Bi-annual Utrecht, Netherlands
, Bi-annual Stuttgart, Germany
. PERUGIA, Italy
"FAN" International Animation Festival Norwich, England
documentary and animated film festival Leipzig, Germany
One of the
Film Festivals US
film festival Rome, Italy
film festival of high ideals Colorado
" Hof festival of non-Hollywood shorts and features Germany
film festival Locarno, Switzerland
's Effects and Animation Festival Vancouver, Canada
Film Festival Cleveland
This USA Film Festival is held in
Effects and Animation Festival London
Film Festival Mill Valley
There are actually two film festivals in Chicago, one for children. This is the other.
Another children's festival that welcomes shorts.
FANTASY film festival. Catalunya, Spain
's film festival Pusan, Korea
event has attracted some press. Copenhagen
Of the fee-based festivals, the "
" film festival now in its 40th year gets a warm place in my heart, ever since I sent them a super 8mm film. Ann Arbor
One way out of the morass of selling one's short directly is to contact the http://groups.yahoo.com "LW3D" newsgroup and other newsgroups to collaborate on a shorts collection. Another approach is to try selling one's shorts to the DVD's publishers who routinely add four or five "special gifts" to each feature. The leading DVD designers/publishers are listed at www.dvdinsider.com . See "Buyers" above. I have received e-mail from such an entrepreneur.
As long as one does not use a pseudonym, a seller's license is free in most states in the
INSPIRE's 640x480 maximum resolution may limit one's audience, since the professional standard is apparently 720 x 486 for widescreen. (No one wants returns if they can help it!)
Brought to you by the folks who brought you e-shares, this "Open Market" distributor will sell your short films at a cost of 35% of your asking price, and require you to handle mailing. You will be paid once per year, unless you sell more than $100 worth of product.
EBay doesn't do a big business in VHS video's, but it's there for you, at very reasonable prices to list. The "DVD" section of EBay seems to have a little bit better traffic, at only $1500ish to stamp a short run of DVD's. www.videodubs.com
Amazon is trying to reach out to independent filmmakers, with its "Advantage" program. At this time, there is a $750 obstruction in UPC Bar code registration, but if you can find a UPC company to "rep" you: An Amazon.com page featuring space for customer reviews, cover art, bios, and descriptions. Free stocking and shipping-We keep your video in stock so it can be shipped quickly, a proven way to increase sales. Full access to your sales, inventory, and payment reports. Quick payment terms and automatic reordering. www.uc-council.org is not-for-profit, just like the NASD(AQ) used to be.
A good place to be listed is the Independent Movie Database. Some video e-tailers who claim to have ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING BECAUSE WE'RE THE BIGGEST ON THE PLANET SINCE 1922 do not seem to have copies of some pretty familiar indie titles.
ANIMATION STUDIOS BELIEVED TO USE LIGHTWAVE:
A number of the studios listed below use both LIGHTWAVE and another package like MAYA, or may be included out of callous disregard for the facts. Some studios like Dreamworks/PDI use in-house software, and hire animators based on their demo reels and then train them.
/ Burbank / ... New York
[Also, a large number of TV stations are believed to use LIGHTWAVE.]
* www.la411.com : a pretty good resource to find animation companies.
* www.thescratchpost.com : another listing, specifically for animation houses specializing in visual effects or VFX.
If you can only afford INSPIRE, why would you start buying software for it? Isn't that like buying extra RAM for a Commodore? Believe it or not, one CAN buy some of these plug-in's for INSPIRE and then use them for LIGHTWAVE 7 as well. Check with them for upgrade deals, if not. And here's a little known secret: some of the coolest elements in LIGHTWAVE 7actually premiered in LIGHTWAVE 5.6/INSPIRE, including "unwrap" and "cloth" and dynamics.
If you want to animate better oceans or fire, or texture solid rock with a single click, these "procedural" shaders are worth looking over.
The author of the cloth "Motion Designer" offered it as a free download at this site.
One of the first things I was told when posting to the LIGHTWAVE user group went something like this: "Have you downloaded "Bink" yet?"
The other major "dynamics" plug-in is "Impact 2," made by a company that pioneered particle animation, the makers of "Particle Storm 3." Their plug-in's that work with INSPIRE: Impact 2, PS2 Jr, NatureFX, Thor, Tree Druid, LumeTools.
Another FREE tool that comes highly recommended.
I contacted Worley, and they reported that unfortunately their many products only work with FULL versions of LIGHTWAVE, but they are such a neat company, I thought I should mention them.
This humble list is provided as a service to animators who may be available for work (or not), and is comprised of credited animators who have promoted their web addresses publicly. Many of these animators have more than one preferred software; Stahlberg, for instance, currently works primarily in MAYA.
Jose A. Perez
FEATURE ANIMATION RESOURCES, CONTESTS, FESTIVALS & BUYERS
A much larger number of Distributors and Exhibitors exist for the feature film "attraction" which can serve to shorten nights in rainy Seattle or fill a void for a cable content provider or a second bill for a discount movie venue, or provide parents some video-babysitting in the next room. Festivals tend to have entry fees for features, but these fees are often manageable with early-bird discounts. A "search engine" will reveal MANY resources, but the biggest resource is the heart to get started and stick with it. Only one feature, that I know of, has been produced with LIGHTWAVE -- "Jimmy Neutron" -- and I am told it was a model of animator persistence.
This list is going to be skimpy because the way to do these things is talk less and do more. And I simply have not produced any, so how much help will I be?
The "Independent Feature Project" for independent feature filmmakers is a very well known resource for seeing, selling and showing feature films. The IFP may also provide networking and exhibition for short films.