Animation Collborative


I’M BACK! Look I know it’s been awhile. I’m sorry! I’ll be better, I promise. I do have some shiny new things for you to look at though!

During the summer I up for a class at the Animation Collaborative over in Emeryville. I’ve been eyeing these workshops for years and I decided to try one of the slightly shorter and slightly cheaper summer sessions to get my feet wet. Animating for 8 hours a day is obviously not enough. I took the Advanced Animation Critque workshop with Victor Navone, a longtime Pixar animator, and a really great teacher. The course was 8 weeks long and I worked on three shots for it. Here they are!

Animation Collaborative – Summer 2015 from Janel Drewis on Vimeo.

Shot 1 was a head turn assignment. I saw a guy falling asleep on the bus and decided to mash the two into one assignment (he turns his head a little at the end, okay?)

Shot 2 was a gear change assignment, going from one emotion to another. I decided to do a baseball pitcher seeing his pitch turn into a homerun. Something about the way pressure pitchers put themselves under and the disappointment they feel towards themselves in these kinds of moments made me want to animate it.

Shot 3 was a piece of dialogue from Mad Men that I liked and put into a restaurant setting. It’s the first piece of two person dialogue I’ve ever done and I’m not incredibly happy with the end result but I learn a lot and am really happy with myself for just finishing it.

I learned so much from Victor and the other students during the class. Since I never finished Animation Mentor’s program, I never really got to dive into acting training, and this class was just the kick in the butt I needed to get back into that stuff! Hope you like it. Keep an eye out for more work soon.



animation, Uncategorized, workspace

Hi! I know it’s been awhile. But I’ve got a whole bunch of updates!

First off: I got a new job! I’m now at Ubisoft SF working on the new South Park game! It’s really fun (and surprisingly challenging) to work in the South Park style. I will say, it’s odd having to think in 2d terms all of a sudden, but it’s a nice change! Paper cutout style animation has its own unique challenges that are fun to tackle. Here’s the E3 announcement trailer:


Second off: My workspace got a major upgrade! After wanting one for years and years, I finally bit the bullet and bought a Cintiq. And OH MY GOD I LOVE IT SO MUCH. So. Much. I lurked on eBay for a couple of weeks to see what the going prices were and as soon as I saw a barely used 22HD go up for half retail price, I knew I had to grab it. AND BONUS it’s a 22HD Touch, which the seller didn’t even tell me!

Once I got it, I realized I didn’t love using the stand that it comes with, it made it tough to see my second monitor and I wasn’t really sure what to do with my keyboard. So I did a little research into what sorts of monitor mounts were out there and the general consensus seemed to be that the Ergotron monitor arm was the way to go for Cintiq users. During my search, I saw that Amazon’s own line of products had a very similar looking monitor arm for a much better price. Many reviewers said they had basically copied the Ergotron’s model, so I decided to go with the Amazon Basics arm and I am glad I did! Now I can switch between having my Cintiq hover over my desk like a regular monitor and having it hanging off the edge of my desk and turned upwards, which I like for drawing much better than any of the stand positions. Pictures might help explain:


regular monitor position


drawing position (from which it can tilt every which way)


Amazon Basics ftw!

I got a new desk too as you can see, and now I have much more space! All in all I am very happy with the upgrade. I’m going to be posting a lot more drawings, so keep an eye on my Tumblr, I’ll be putting them over there. This blog will stay animation focused for now.

That’s all for now, folks. See you next time.

How I Work: The Hotkeys


So I know I said that the second part of this would be about tools but I changed my mind! We’re going to dive into my hotkey setup first. Software and tools will be the next post, I promise.

Hotkeys! They are great. For a very long time, I thought they were just for fancy people with a touch of OCD. I could get along just fine without them so please stop trying to tell me which ones to assign to where, person. I’m doing great! I’m plenty fast as it is! I’m still learning! I don’t have time to set it all up! It’s not broken, don’t fix it and so on.

Oh, how wrong I was. Hotkeys are the freaking best.

How I Work: The Hardware

How I Work

Welcome to the new blog! I finally decided to get a big girl website and here it is, in the flesh! I hope that you like it.

I’m a big fan of Lifehacker’s How I Work Series (and Lifehacker in general, actually), so I thought I’d start the blog off with something along those lines, but a bit more animation-centric. I figured I could go over the hardware I use, all the useful tools and plugins I’ve come across, how I set up my Maya hotkeys, and share other useful animation related resources that I use frequently. That’s going to be quite a lot of information, so I thought I’d split it up into a few different posts. First up: all the physical stuff I use. Let’s get started!