Nice To Meet You... Animator Daisy Summerfield

Nice To Meet You... Animator Daisy Summerfield

Daisy tells us all about becoming Outpost's own Doctor Dolittle and helping to lead animation teams


25 January 2019

Reading Time

5 minutes, 26 seconds

Hello Daisy! How long have you been here and what were you doing before you joined Outpost VFX?
I’ve been at Outpost for about 13 months now, I joined in December 2017. Before that, I was at Framestore in Bournemouth, doing matchmove there and I did that for two and a half years. Before that, I was at AUB studying animation production!

What drew you to the course?
I’m from Bournemouth anyway and at the time, that was the flagship uni for that area, so it was seen as the best place to go. I was really happy when I got into the course.

Have you always wanted to stay in Bournemouth or has it all just been a coincidence?
It’s just the way it’s gone really, I was always happy to go to London but it’s just the way it’s ended up?

What drove you to study animation?
Before uni, I was more into art and didn’t know that much about animation. I also had an interest in film, so animation was just a combination of those two for me, a merge of art and film. The course at AUB is more 2D-driven, it’s more about drawing and stuff – so it continued my passion in art but also combined it with film. It was all about bringing characters to life and telling stories, and it was just a good way to combine all of my favourite things.

What tools/software do you use day to day?
99% Maya and YouTube! YouTube is my other tool for reference of whatever we need, animals and anything else!

What has been your favourite thing to do since being here?
I’ve been like Doctor Dolittle ever since I got here, I’ve been doing all sorts – like sharks, bats, cockroaches. I’ve been an animal fanatic since I’ve been here.

What is one tip you’ve learned while being here that you’ll never forget?
Being quite flexible and adaptable to things changing. Being able to problem solve and not to get wrapped up in only animating, because all the other bits I’ve done always help animation in the end. It’s quite common here that you end up doing lots of different things, and that’s the nice thing about being a part of Outpost – I’ve done a bit of rigging and I help where it’s needed. Now the projects have gotten a bit bigger, my focus is definitely more on animation but it’s been nice to learn a lot of different things that have helped my day-to-day Maya knowledge.

Are there any skills you think you’ve developed the most since being here?
I’ve worked really closely with Nick Hurst, one of our VFX supervisors, and even just going to dailies and getting client notes. There are so many different experiences that you get and so many different bits of feedback that have really helped. I think it's improved my communication skills, being able to talk, my general confidence, teamworking and building up my confidence in my ability. I’ve only been animating for a year but I’ve been given the chance to look after an animation team, so it's really boosted my confidence and I haven't felt restricted by how long I’ve been doing it because I've been surrounded by everyone and they've all been really supportive, so it’s been a good pick-me-up in that way as well.

Where would you like to go from here?
I just want to keep getting better at animating! I just want to do more and different types of animation, whether it’s still continuing with creature work or working on character-based animation. I always look at Rocket from Guardians of the Galaxy, and I think it’s the perfect combination of the two. I’d love to animate a character like that. I also enjoy leading, supervising and giving feedback! I want to keep honing my animation skills but I want to keep progressing my leadership skills, too. Looking after a team has been fun as well!

What’s your favourite thing about Outpost?
Being by the beach is fantastic! But just in general, there’s a very friendly atmosphere here. There’s no limitation here! If you can prove yourself, and prove that you can do something then there’s no, "Oh you don’t have that experience" or "You’ve only been doing something for an x amount of time so you can't do it". If you can prove that you’re a hardworking person, there’s no judgment there. But also, you constantly get feedback as well if you aren’t achieving something. If you’re struggling, there’s always someone to help you as well. It’s a nice team atmosphere.

Are there any tips you’d give to aspiring animators?
Keep animating and look at references always! I didn’t start in animation, I started in matchmove and I did a lot of bodytracking. It really helped my eye for animation, it really helped me when going frame by frame and looking for pops and jitters. It even helped me in understanding Maya in that way, and in understanding rigs and things like that. The place where you start isn't necessarily where you end up. I always wanted to animate, but I really enjoyed my time in matchmove as well. So it’s a good idea to keep that open-mindedness!

Okay, let's do some quickfire questions now.

Dog or cat? Dog
Tea or Coffee? Tea
What’s one thing you always keep on your desk? I’ve got a little model of Hela, because I bodytracked her for nine months straight on Thor when I was at Framestore!
Sunrise or sunset? Sunset
Are you a morning or evening person? Evening. No, morning? Erm, whenever I’m on the sofa!
Dark chocolate or milk chocolate? Milk chocolate?
Fave movie? My lifelong favourite film would be Toy Story.
iPhone or Android? iPhone
What would be your superpower? To have five billion hands and legs so I can do everything at once!
Do you have any pets? I have one dog
Favourite thing to relax? Bingewatch Netflix!
What time will you go to bed tonight? Midnight
Crisps or Chips? Chips
What’s your favourite book? Hmm… I don’t really read.
Rice or pasta? Pasta
Takeaways or sit in? Takeaway
What are you currently learning? Animation
Ninjas or pirates? Ninjas
Facebook or Twitter? Facebook