Moho Featured Artist: Kim Kelly
Mario Quinones @
How did you become an animator?
As a kid I've always had a passion for films, especially animated films and storytelling. I was terrible at drawing and actually hated it for the longest time; eventually around the age of 10, after being inspired by numerous friends and my favourite artists online, I was determined to have a skill and be decent at something so I just started life drawing, learning Photoshop with a Graphire tablet, doing simple flipbooks and honing my skills. I'm adamant anyone can become an artist/animator and find work at it, so long as you have the drive, enjoy what you do and are fortunate enough to have those work opportunities.
Where do you get inspiration?
Music, new and old films, nature and travelling, all that good stuff. Social media (Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr) for me has been instrumental in discovering new artists and emerging young talent, who can all be super inspiring and always encourage me to try new mediums, software and projects. I've also been very fortunate to work in studios that have incredibly talented teams - just seeing the crew's new backgrounds, colourwork, designs, effects and animation tests daily is super motivating.
What’s your hardware setup?
Currently I've an MSI GS65 (with a Wacom Intuos tablet) and its specs are ideal for everything from light sketching/painting to heavy Moho rigs and compositing large effects scenes, but I'd love to look into other options like render farms for rendering large projects. I've also just recently bought an iPad Pro and look forward to sketching more and doing line tests. I really hope Apple expand on their app options with the M1 chip, it'd be amazing to do light Moho work or check scenes from a tablet!
What do you like best about Moho?
I'm always amazed at how fast it is to build and animate simple but still incredibly powerful rigs, and I really think Moho has one of the best and most user-friendly interfaces of all animation software. Whilst the program does have its own limitations, I'm still surprised that it hasn't been utilized by more and more studios in the industry, especially for simplistic but re-use heavy productions like pre-school shows.
What’s your favorite animation made with Moho?
For personal projects, two of my favourite tests were the Moomins Reanimated project and the Zelda: Breath Of The Wild Guardian rig. They both took a while to build but were super fun, a learning experience and still quick to animate. I love experimenting with After Effects too and testing out new rigs, designs and finding ways to replicate existing material and effects in a simple 2D format, like the Star Fox Arwing rig, (entirely built of vectors and smart actions, no 3D) a particle effects, composited rig of the Night-walker from Princess Mononoke and the Hades Bone Hydra rig. (a boss from the fabulous game by the studio SuperGiant, based off the designs used in the trailer by Studio Grackle.)
Would you consider Moho an industry tool?
Definitely. We've used it in the studio for both large scale feature and TV productions and it's been a massive, adaptive asset for all departments - taking on extra work to help lighten the load, and even minor features which most users probably wouldn't need (Layer Comps and Project Settings like changing the entire file's line and fill options efficiently) have been super useful for follow-up departments like Compositing because we can provide them with multiple vector character mattes, masks and other options to help aid the compositors.
Would you like to promote a recent project?
My machine has been away for repair and I've been busy most of this year so sadly I don't have many finished recent personal projects, only WIPs, but I'd like to promote past projects at the studio such as the feature film Wolfwalkers, where we used Moho extensively for things like large town crowds, vehicles, the forest elements and vines, chains, forest leaf debris and effects, etc. I'm currently working on My Father's Dragon, the next feature film at the studio with an amazing little team including Moho's own Víctor Paredes, so keep an eye out for it next year.
Where can we follow your work?
You can find me across most social media (Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram) but my portfolio website www.kim-kelly.net is a good hub for all my work and contact details. Thanks again interviewing me, it was a pleasure and I'm looking forward to seeing all the exciting future changes and updates to Moho.