2018 was easily the most nerve-racking and rewarding year for Rusty Animator so far.
Never has RA grown so much and as a result – helped so many aspiring animators.
A lot of that growth wasn’t easy.
It fact some of it was down right terrifying.
But there were a few massive successes that made it all beyond worth it.
So as 2018’s finally moments close - here are a few of the biggest highlights the RA community has had this year.
And the even more exciting plans for 2019.
First up, the scary failures
In February, I left a full time game animation gig to instead focus full time on RustyAnimator (again).
And maybe you think since I created a couple animation courses I’ve been swimming in gold or laying on piles of cash breaking bad style...
...but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Actually, I assumed when I chose to spend the year on Rusty Animator that I’d pocket less than half my normal animation salary this year.
And that’s exactly what happened.
So on a personal level, I just barely skated by paying the bills. For a couple days it lead to some pretty hair-raising thoughts:
- Will I need to scramble for a freelance gig?
- Or find some part time work at a Best Buy?
As a professional animator either option would have been soul crushing. Though, I seriously would do either if I had to.
Because money has never been the focus with Rusty Animator.
The main focus has always been to get animators hired at their dream job. And the joy that comes from helping you achieve it is extremely fulfilling.
That said, I don't think this year could have turned out any better.
Not only did students get amazing results, but I didn't have to pick up a part time job along the way and slack off helping students.
Big Win #1 - Student Needs First
The biggest setback Rusty Animator had this year was taking a few months to update and enhance Memorable Animator.
Not because the course turned out bad, or that the students got poor results.
Not at all. The problem was only a couple of students were truly ready for it.
The vast majority of Rusty Animator fans actually need help with weighty body mechanics, getting a handle on the basic fundamentals, or learning how to use Maya to animate.
They aren’t ready to focus solely on the most creative demo reel shots yet. It’s too far ahead of the game.
So I misunderstood your needs by creating it. And its probably the biggest mistake I made this year.
It probably would have been more helpful to start creating Maya for Animators to teach the software instead.
Yet, at the same time, I don't regret this at all.
This ‘mistake’ was actually one of the BIGGEST wins of the year.
It showed me very clearly what most of you actually need.
And it quickly got me back on track to give you the right solutions to move forward right now.
It’s kind of like ‘failing’ an animation.
By ‘failing’ you learn far more about how to improve your animations than by easily succeeding.
Big Win #2 – Courses from Beginner to Pro
So many students email me with these kind of questions…
- "How do I fix gimbal lock in Maya?"
- "How do I get started with animation?"
- "How do I make my animation feel less floaty?"
- "How do I create a demo reel that will get me hired?"
These questions obviously range from very basic to advanced, and I’ve given tons of answers to them this year through our Youtube, live FB events, and Epic Guides on the blog.
Though as valuable as those free lessons are - many animators need courses on the software, the basics, and the advanced stuff.
For several years, I was actually frustrated at not having lessons available for animators to learn it all step by step.
So at the start of the year, I set a goal finally create a full set of courses that would take you from the software all the way to animation demo reel.
And this year we pulled it off:
- March - Augmented Animator (live mentoring on anything) reopened
- June – Animation Fundamentals (art basics) was created
- August – Memorable Animator (advanced demo reel course) was upgraded
- December – Maya For Animators (Beta for software) started creating course
Now Rusty Animator has become a complete school.
Anyone can start the journey here and go from Aspiring Animator to Professional Animator.
This has me so pumped for 2019!
But its not my favourite win this year.
Big Win #3 - Amazing Student Success
By far the most fulfilling moments this year came from student accomplishments.
A ton of students joined Animation Fundamentals to either begin their animation journey for the first time or to really level up their fundamentals.
Every Augmented Animator student this year made massive strides in their skills over just a few quick months.
And several students created advanced body mechanics shots with far more weight and power than they ever have had before.
What’s more – a couple students just from March’s class - landed their dream job..
Chanthi V. - got hired at Cinesite
- Chanthi dedicated the majority of her time everyday to just 1 term of Augmented Animator and got her first animation job.
I got hired as a junior 3D animator!
The biggest result [from Augmented] is that I would get companies coming to me. And being like "hey we have a position would you be interested in it?" or if I applied they're like "yeah, come in for an interview"
It got me from no one - to hearing from a whole ton of people. And then I got hired as a junior 3D Animator!
Theron C. – got hired at MPC
- After being a student of animation for 8 years, Theron finally landed his first animation job. He is one of the first Rusty Animator students, and made his dream job reality after only 2 terms of Augmented.
- There’s was also a hilarious moment where I predicted how many days it would take before Theron got hired - and the timing was dead on.
- Coincidence?! Or am I Animation Nostradamus?!?
Daniel G. – got hired at Technicolor
- Daniel had been hired as an animator a few times, but struggled to find the next animation gig.
- Then a few months after one term of Augmented he received an offer - earlier than even I expected.
Awesome Student Moments and Praise
2018 also had some cool first moments for Rusty Animator Students.
A couple students, from different parts of the world, happened to both attend CTN (an animation conference) this year.
And as a Rusty Animator first, they got to hang out - face to face!
It sounds funny to read this but getting the chance to find out that your digital classmates are real people and that they’re truly just as much of an animation nerd as you – is an awesome experience.
So, Katie and Ngoc made RA history by hanging out in person. And as you can see they had a horrible time!
Carlos, Ngoc, and Lily also won a giveaway (after pre-enrolling in Augmented Animator) for some inspiring Christmas Gifts…
…The Nine Old Men Flip-books
Sending these gifts out made me feel as jolly as a coca cola fat Santa.
And as I’m pretty sure they all loved winning them, so I can’t wait to send out more goodies next year.
Speaking of next year - checkout the exciting goals and ideas that will help you level up your animation skills in 2019.
Goals and Ideas for 2019
- To give everyone a more consistent and flexible schedule to plan around.
- Upgrade Augmented Animator with…
- An exclusive Maya Rig
- 6 month and 12 month enrollment options
- Low monthly payment plans
- And super low monthly payment plans for former students.
- Release Maya for Animators beta course in January
- If you want to learn Maya in 2 weeks
- Enhancing our Basic Art / Software Courses
- New video lessons for Animation Fundamentals and Maya for Animators added throughout the year.
- A couple live 2 hr group calls w/ me every month.
- Continuing Live Events in the FB Community
- Figure Drawing Practice Sessions
- Posing Challenges
- Animation Challenges
- Quick Critiques
- Continuing to grow our Youtube Channel
These are a few of key goals in store for 2019 that should help you level up and reach your animation dream job.
Game face on!
Now I want to hear from you.
How do you wish Rusty Animator would help you most in 2019?
- The goals you already have are perfect!
- More Youtube tutorials
- An advanced body mechanics course
- A low monthly membership with live events and lectures
- Or something else?!
Let me know in the comments below - 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5?
And as always, I'll be here to put your needs first so you can reach your dream job.
Happy New Year!!