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Camera Fundamentals for Layout

Digital Cinematography



In this lecture, director Aristomenis (Meni) Tsirbas covers the basics of one of CG animation's least understood components: camera and staging, specifically in the context of effective storytelling. By breaking open one of his award-winning short films Meni reveals his creative process for designing a sequence to play clearly and dramatically. Story beats are broken down, camera motions are developed, and important narrative tools such as zoom factor and depth of field are explained. A detailed Do's and Don'ts section guides the viewer to create polished, compelling, and tasteful camera animation by addressing proper use of motion curves, avoiding the 'digital curse', and overlaying the right amount of camera software: Shake.

Duration: 124 minutes

Format: SD 1024x768

Aristomenis Tsirbas

Director, VFX Supervisor, Digital Artist

Aristomenis (Meni) Tsirbas has been directing for film and TV for over ten years and has fifteen years experience as a visual effects supervisor and digital artist. His professional career started in 1996, working as a digital artist on James Cameron's Titanic and national advertising spots for Nike, 7UP and Coca-Cola. As a visual effects supervisor Meni worked on Miramax's A Wrinkle in Time, Disney's My Favorite Martian and Paramount's Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Between 2000 and 2003 Tsirbas wrote and directed a string of highly successful animated short films including SIGGRAPH's Ray Tracey in Full Tilt, Microsoft's Mech Warrior: Vengeance, Terra, and the acclaimed The Freak. In 2004 Tsirbas worked on two back-to-back music videos, including Tears For Fears' Closest Thing To Heaven, before setting off to direct his first feature film, Battle for Terra.

  • Meni is a unique film-maker because he knows how to do everything on a project. He's a true auteur, and that's what allows him to use everything that's necessary to creatively push a project and combine all the elements to tell the most concise and clear visual story possible.

    - Shane Acker
    Academy Award Nominated director and animator "9"