Our first moment of inspiration comes from Yoga Priyanto, a character Animator with international experience for more than 8 years. One of many cool project he had worked on was Saint Seiya : Legend of Sanctuary !
Bengkel Animasi (Bgkl): Sampurasun.. Kumaha damang?
Yoga (Y): Pangestu, damang kang…
Bgkl: Now let’s switch from French to English 🙂
Can you share with us your journey, starting from how you got interested into animation, until finally decided to choose to be an animator?
Y: I’ve always interested in drawings, reading comics, watching cartoons, and those sort of things. My Dad also introduced me to computer, which off course, I used mostly to play games at the time. I remember my Dad’s PC was a yellow monochrome monitor with 2 Hard Drive, each had 32 Mb capacity (yes, 32 Megabyte!). As it progress, I became interested to computer graphics, and was using it to make text banners and simple CAD drawings.
At the beginning, I was more interested in making video games, rather than in CG animation. But after learning and trying it for quite some time, I realised that my programming skill was not really good. No, I meant, bad.
I became more interested in CG animation after watching Toy Story, and also the CG cinematics from all the Playstation 1 video games that I played.
Deciding to specifically becoming an animator was quite a long journey for me. I started by being a CG generalist for a couple of year, doing modeling, rigging, lighting and even compositing. Being The Jack Of All Trades gave me several advantages, it helped me to understand the whole pipeline of CG animation. But I was worried, that if I kept on doing this, I will only able to touch the surface, without being really good at any of them.
When I moved to Singapore, I decided to focus in one specific area, and I chose Animator, because to me, it’s the most fun to do, compared from the other disciplines like modeling, rigging, lighting, etc.
Bgkl: What made you convinced to choose Animator as a profession? Considering the local animation industry wasn’t considered a real industry back in the day.
Y: Because it sounds so Cool, right?! 🙂
Giving life to a character is the most fun thing to do. You can express your feelings and imaginations through the character. You can become anyone and anything that you can imagine, which makes an animator needs to learn a lot of things to successfully bringing the characters to life.
I didn’t really care about the current situation at that time, I only do what I want and what I like. I already thought of doing animation as a career, so working abroad was already on my mind at that time. I always try to get what I want.
Bgkl: How was the learning process?
Y: My learning process was kinda messy, because I learned all the stuff by myself. I didn’t go to a real Animation school. I don’t even think we have a special animation school in Indonesia back then, right ?
Grabbed some stuff from internet and magazines. The internet connection was very slow, sometimes I spent a lot of time at the internet cafe just to download 1 short animation.
I even learnt the principles of animation at a very late stage (that’s not cool though), when I already professionally working as an animator. In fact, most of the character animation knowledge I had was learned on the professional stage. I met and learned a lot from the animation supervisor, who some of them were involved in big projects in the past, doing cool movies that I watched before. On other times, famous animators come to the office to share their experiences.
For me, the learning process is still happening until now.
“Listen to the pro, don’t act like a pro!”
– Yoga Priyanto
Bgkl: Could you share with us your career journey, from landing your first gig, until where you are now?
Y: My 1st gig was a motion graphic project done for an electronic band from my home town in Bandung. It wasn’t really a professional work, but rather a helping-friend type of project. I was paid with a T-shirt (which I still keep until now!).
During my final year in college, I had to put on hold my study and earn some money. So I set up a small animation studio with some friends, and did some projects together. I finally managed to get the money I needed to pay my final project and finish my study.
The team went on for another 5 years, until the situation became really hard for multimedia industry to survive, including our studio.
I then got an offer from an animation company in Singapore, which I accepted without thinking twice. But going to Singapore wasn’t easy, I have to borrow a lot of money from my friends. I also crashed in for two weeks at someone’s place, who I just met (we were both members of an online animation forum). And also borrowed his money too! LOL!
But even if it’s tough, my family and friends were always supporting. Thanks to them I was able to kept going and made it through. Thanks a lot good people!
I lived and worked in Singapore for almost 3 years. I met with a lot of good friends, had a blast of fun, and never got bored. It was sad for me to leave Singapore, but I had to continue my journey to build my skills and fulfill my dreams.
Now I’m in Japan, and have been living and working here for 5 years now.
Bgkl: What are the roles and responsibilities of an Animator?
Y: To make the character become alive, to give it emotions and send the message or story to the audience. Simple right? 🙂
No. It’s not that simple. It requires a lot of hard works and dedications.
Sending the message to the audience is very important, we have to touch their feelings through the acting and movements that we created. We also need to help put a realization to the director’s vision, and not only just that, we also have to make it better than what the director have in their mind. But be careful, more is not always better.
And last and most important is, to have fun !
Bgkl: How do you grow and develop your skill as an Animator?
Y: By watching movies and animation like everyone else.
During work, don’t be afraid to try things and made a lot of mistakes. I learned a lot of stuff from revisions of my works.
Don’t be allergic to critics. I always ask my colleagues for advices and comments before sending it to the supervisor. It’s interesting that everyone would have different ideas on a same thing, especially when they have multinational backgrounds. Each will have different way of thinking based on their cultures.
By asking opinions, it won’t only grow your skills, but also broaden your mind.
Bgkl: What are the secret ingredients of becoming a good Animator?
Y: Observation! Don’t just imagine stuff. Do it. Unless the action is jumping from the 100th floor.
Listen to the pro, don’t act like a pro.
Learn the principles of animation, don’t be late like Me.
Give and receive comments.
See your animation with fresh eyes. When you think your animation is done and good, go somewhere else a couple of minutes and come back to your desk. Watch your playblast again and see if there’s anything need to be done. Do it again the day after.
Don’t move stuffs if it doesn’t have any purpose.
Love the curve, make it as beautiful as a woman’s curve.
Watch movies as an audience not as an animator, so when you work on your animation, you will understand what the audiences want and expecting.
Go outside, experience real life!
Bgkl: Any personal milestones/memories, during your career journey, that you would like to share with us?
Y: During my college days, me and my friend were joining an animation festival. We were competing with each other.
My PC was not the best at the time, I couldn’t afford a powerful PC. The machine was almost died, and after my animation work was done, it really died. Forever.
It was the last day for submission, I need to post my animation submission (yes, you have to post it, not upload it to the internet, arghh !), and it was raining like hell. But I still need to send my animation, so I go to the post office with all the wet clothes.
After a couple of weeks, I realised at the festival time, that my submission never made it as an entry, and my CD never got to its destination. I was sad and shocked of course. The work that I put so much effort to, with all the less sleep and becoming ‘zombie’ afterwards, in the end no one will watch it. And the death of my PC became worthless.
At that time I learned something,
It’s not about winning or acceptance from other people. It’s not just about the result, but more about the journey. Through the journey, you’d experience and learn lots of stuff. The process of making your ideas becoming a reality, and the effort of getting to your destination, will teach you a lot of lessons.
Eventhough I was dissapointed, I felt so alive at that time.
Bgkl: How is our local animation industry & education progressing in your eyes?
Y: I think it grows very fast, we already can compete with other countries, especially in Asia, and it proves that a lot of foreign companies are outsourcing their work to Indonesia.
However, I think we still need to work on our education, especially the animation schools. It kinda exist, but not exist at the same time, meaning that it’s there, but not really having a relevant impact in teaching animation. But I guess it’s getting better now.
With the internet and the technology we have now, it’s easier to get informations and learn something. But making use of all the informations need an understanding on the topic itself, we need to learn the informations in the right construction, from step one to higher. If not, it will make us lost on direction during the learning, and our learning process becomes messy.
That’s why, a really dedicated animation school is needed,
Animation school which not only teaching about the technical of how to use software and operate computers, but more importantly, teaching stuffs that support the animation.
Bgkl: Any tip for the young souls out there? Maybe who’s still learning, or just started their journey in the industry.
Y: If there is a life drawing session, please contribute on it. It will help build your posing skills, and becoming useful for when you make key poses.
When animating, make things right first, abandon all the styles and spices, You can put it on later. Is your key pose already correct, looks good, how about the silhouette? If it hasn’t, don’t jump to the next step.
Learn about rythm and timing from music. I particularly tend to use Jazz or Blues as an inspiration.
Be patient about learning and doing animation. It’s like when you cook meat, you want to have it cooked evenly, through inside out. Don’t do it like as if you’re really starving, and want to eat it as soon as possible, and you use a big fire to cook it. It will appear to be done in the end, but the inside will still be rare.
To me, that type of work is just addressing technical, no emotion.
If you have the chance, go study in a proper animation school. There’s a lot of online animation school now, and recently have more variations. We even have Indonesian online schools now, like this Bengkel Animasi. (No. I’m not promoting here 😀 )
Don’t hesitate to go abroad, either to look for experience and then go back to Indonesia, or even to start your new life. Don’t worry if someone said you don’t have ‘Nasionalism’ when you’re working abroad. Because to me, working abroad holds certain responsibilities, we are representing the country we came from, we have to show them, that Indonesian are good, in both characters and skills. Being abroad will teach us to be more tolerant, how it feel to be minority, respecting and understanding other people’s culture.
Now, I didn’t say that staying in our country is bad. Both have an equal quality to it.
Create short animations and contribute to animation festivals around the world. I’m really happy whenever I see there’s a contributor from Indonesia at the animation or movie festival here in Japan.
Don’t stay too long in front of your computer. Be balanced, hang out with Your friends. If they’re not available? go on a holiday by yourself. Always try to have fun!
Last but not least, don’t forget to eat Your food!
Name : YOGA PRIYANTO
Current post : Animator at ILCA.Inc, Tokyo, Japan.
Date of birth : 22 April 1981
List of project credits :
Naruto Shippuden : Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 ( In Game Cinematic )
Love Live ! The School Idol Movie
Saint Seiya : Legend of Sanctuary
PACMAN and the Ghostly adventures
TRON : Uprising
Working history :
ILCA, Tokyo, Japan.
MARZA Animation Planet, Tokyo, Japan.
TOEI Animation, Tokyo, Japan.
OLM Digital, Tokyo, Japan.
Polygon Pictures, Tokyo, Japan.