About Submitting Your Shot
What are the questions I have to answer during the upload process?
When you are ready to upload your shot, you will have to answer a few quick questions. These are very important for us, because they will tell us more about your shot and we will be able to give you the appropriate type of feedback. Here they are:
- Confirm your critique: This is where you tell us your choice of critique length. Please visit the Plans & Pricing page for more info.
- Info about you: This is for your name and email address.
- Upload your shot: To upload your shot, you can browse to the location of the file on your computer, or drag it directly into the upload box. Next you will need to specify whether we must review the entire shot or just a part of it. You can then specify the frame range. This is useful if you want to show your shot in context. It means you can upload a series of shots (in ONE movie file), and then specify exactly what we need to review. Since context is important for continuity, if your shot is part of a sequence please don’t hesitate to send this sequence to us. But please note that the maximum upload file size is 100 Mb.
- Stage and Style of your animation: Tell us about the stage of your animation (Planning, Blocking, etc) and also about the style of animation your are trying to achieve. Find more information in the FAQ below.
- Tell us about your shot: Use the COMMENT box to tell us more about what your shot is about, what you are trying to achieve and what you need us to review. Should we focus on a specific character, ignore this or that, spend more time on a part of the shot or a specific animation principle? No worries, you don’t need to write a book, just tell us briefly what we need to know and we will use this info to make your critique great.
- Tell us about yourself: The answer to the first question will help us to give you the correct type of feedback and also to learn a little more about who is using Animation Critique. The questions about your school and where you live are optional, again, this is to know a little more about who is using our services. We do not share your personal information with anybody. This is between you and us.
What are the different stages of animation?
Studios around the world use various naming conventions to describe where you are in your shot, we have grouped them into 4 basic categories. Here they are:
- Planning: this is the starting point of any animation and a very important stage. We can give you feedback on any of your preferred method of planning. It can be video reference, storyboard, thumbnails, etc.
- Blocking: this is where you start your animation by placing a few key poses in your scene. This stage can be done in Step Mode or in Splines. Blocking is pretty much called Blocking everywhere in the industry, that’s the easy one! There are also other stages that can come before blocking, like Key Poses, Story Telling Poses, 2nd Blocking, etc, but we decided to group them in to 1 category to keep things simple.
- Refine: this stage is a little more tricky and can be quite vast. It begins after Blocking and includes all the stages you will go through until you are close to final. Every studio has it’s own way of working and the naming convention can be very different from place to place. Here we combined them all in 1 category to keep things simple. One thing is for sure, this stage is always in Spline, no more curves in Step mode. Other ways of referring to this stage are: Polish, 1st pass, 2nd pass, Splining, etc.
- Close to final: this stage is when you are pretty much done with all the comments and you are ready to get to the finer details. It means that your performance is locked and that you will only focus on fine tuning your shot. To keep thing simple, we decided to include Ready To Final and To Final in this stage.
- Other: if you are not sure, please use this box to describe where you are at with your shot. If you need more space, you can also use the COMMENTS box.
What are the different styles of animation?
It is important for us to have a rough idea of the style of animation you are trying to achieve. If your are trying to go for a cartoony style, but you are showing something more realistic, then we will be able to adapt our critique to help you to reach that goal. There are so many styles of animations, but to keep thing simple, we decided to combine everything in to 3 categories:
- Realistic:This style is for everything that needs to look real. It is used a lot in FX movies where the 3D characters need to interact with live characters or an environment. Even if they are creatures from another world, it is incredibly important that you make them feel real.
- Traditional:This style is very broad, it includes most of the animated features that you can think of, from companies like Pixar, Disney and Dreamworks. It means that the animation can be a little snappier than real life and the acting is a little more theatrical. You will find some squash and stretch, but nothing over the top. It’s a stylized representation of life.
- Cartoony: This style can be extreme, super snappy and pushing the boundaries of animation with a lot of squash and stretch, smear frames, etc. The animation can be over the top and there is no need to follow real physics. This style is all about fun and comedy.
- Other: as mentioned above, we decided to use only 3 main categories to keep things simple, but feel free to give us more info about the style you are trying to achieve. You can give us a movie as a reference, or something that inspired you on the internet. If you need more space, you can also use the COMMENTS box.
How do I upload my shot?
If this is your first time, click on the “Services & Pricing” button to see the different services that we offer. You can chose between “Individual Critique” or “Packages”. If you have been here before, you can easily click on the “submit your shot” button at the top right of the page. It will take you directly to the upload form.
What file format should I use?
We prefer .mov, .avi and .mp4 formats.
What is the maximum video file size that I can upload?
Can I show my shot in context?
Yes. You can upload your shot in context and then specify the frame range in the form during the upload process. We will only critique that part of the video.
Can I specify the frame range I want to be reviewed?
Yes, definitely. You can give us a specific frame range when you submit your shot or you can add a comment to specify what you want to get feedback on.
Can I upload more than one shot at once?
We would prefer if you would limit yourself to one specific shot per critique. You can add surrounding shots to show the context. But you can also upload a series of non-related shots if you want, like in the case of a demo reel, no problem, as long as they are all part on the same movie file.
Do you offer critique for 2D and 3D animation?
We can offer both. Our website shows a lot of 2D animations simply because we love it! But no worries, if you want to show 3D, you are covered because most of our pros have experience in 3D animation. Basically, we love 2D animation, 3D animation, stop motion, sand animation, paper cut, Lego animations… if it’s animation… we love it!
What kind of feedback will I receive?
The type of feedback you will receive will be highly related to the stage of your animation. For example, if you are showing your animation at a Blocking stage, we will provide feedback about acting choices, overall timing, appeal of your poses, silhouette, etc. However, if you are showing your animation at a more advanced stage like Refine or Close to Final, we will focus more on arcs, spacing, lipsync, facial animation, weight, plus anything that can make your shot stand out.
Can I get feedback on only a specific aspect of my animation?
Yes, absolutely. Please use the COMMENTS box during the submission process. This is your space to tell us more about your shot. We strongly encourage you to tell us about what you need in your critique. Maybe you want us to focus on a specific character of the shot, or on lipsync, maybe there is a specific problem that you are having, etc. Whatever it is that you need, please let us know and we will focus on these points first.
Can I get feedback on a bouncing ball?
Yes, of course, we can provide feedback on any types of animations like a bouncing ball, a walk cycle, a pantomime, all the way to very complex emotional shots with lipsync and detailed facial animation. Whatever you want to show us, do it, do not be shy, every animation will be studied and critiqued with the same level of details.
Do you offer live critiques?
We are always open to new ideas! Please contact us directly and we will see what we could possibly arrange.
Are you a school?
No, we simply offer video feedback.
About Plans & Pricing
Can I pay with a credit card?
Yes, at the end of the submission process, you will be redirected to Paypal. You will have the option to pay with your Paypal account or with a credit card.
Do I need a Paypal account?
No, at the end of the submission process, you will be redirected to Paypal. You will have the option to pay with your credit card once you get there.
I do not see a shopping cart, when do I pay?
At the end of the shot submission process, you will be redirected to Paypal. You will have the option to pay with your Paypal account or with a credit card.
Which critique length should I use?
The length of the critique that you choose will directly affect how much detail we can get into. Our Standard Pricing Chart (see our Plans & Pricing page) is there to tell you what we believe is the best critique length depending on how long is your shot. If you decide to choose a shorter critique, be aware that we will probably only have enough time to give you an overview of your shot. We will pack your critique with as much information as we can, but we might not be able to get to the finer details. On the other hand, if you choose a longer critique, that will give us extra time to get more in-depth into your shot. But sometimes, too much time is not ideal either, for example, it would be difficult to give you 60 minutes of critique for a 5 seconds shot. Our best advice is to follow our Standard Pricing Chart.
How many critiques should I buy?
You can buy one critique at the time, you pay at the end of the submission process. The number of critiques you will need in total will depend on where you are with your shot. If you are in the first stages of animation, you might want to purchase a few critiques in order to help you along until your work is complete. However, at the end of the day, it is all up to you.