Interview with Tv Animator “Erik Girndt”

Interviewed by Lavalle Lee: Professional Animator Erik Girndt

Q: How did you get the job working for an animation studio?

Erik: For my first large studio animation job, Comedy Central, I applied for the job and sent in my demo reel and resume. Some of my class mates that I worked with at some smaller studios were already on the project, and put in a good word. At Cartoon Network, I didn’t know anyone at the studio, so I had no in at the studio. They liked my demo reel and enjoyed the animation test I did and was hired on.

Q: How long have you been animating for?

Erik: I’ve been animating professionally for about seven years now. Most of it was at smaller internet studios and freelance work. The last three years I’ve worked for Comedy Central, Cartoon Network, and Renegade Animation.

Q: What was it like working on a television series (Foster’s Home For Imaginary Friends)?

Erik: While each show had different styles they were both pretty simular in production. For TV, the deadlines are very important. The whole season’s episodes are budgeted out so if we go over the deadline for one episode, we’ll have that much less time on the next episode. The networks have the shows slated to air on certain dates so the deadlines are pretty solid.

So as an animator, I personally scan through all the shot’s I’m assigned per episodes and find the shots that I can have the most fun with the acting and will spend the most time on. That way I can have fun with those and the easier shots I can get done quickly.

Q: Some advice/tips for people who want to get into making cartoons for television?

Erik: I don’t really have any. Just have fun with what you are doing. Study all different styles, and see what works and what doesn’t. Keep striving to get better and better. If you’re having fun, it’ll show through in your work.

Q: What programs does your animation studios use for Foster’s Home For Imaginary Friends & Puffy AmiYumi?

Erik: We animated in Flash. We used Illustrator for a few things here and there, mostly for BGs and character outlines, but all the animation was done in Flash.

Q: And how many hours/man power to create an episode?

Erik: For Foster’s we had about 10 – 12 animators to animate one 22 minute episode in 4weeks. It’s pretty simular set up at Renegade as well. That is just for animation. Preproduction and Postproduction spent weeks before and after us.

Q: Where did you learn to draw and animate?

Erik: I graduated from the Academy of Art University with a BA in Illustration/Animation. I also just graduated from Animation Mentor a few weeks ago with a degree in Character Animation. Most of the things I’ve learned have been on the job from trial and error, fellow animators or
from my directors.

Q: How can your fans help?

Erik: Keep watching the shows!

Q: Anything else you’d like to add?

Erik: Nothing I can think of at the moment. 🙂