What is your name and your current occupation?
My name is Wei-Chuan Hsu (people call me Wei, pronounced “way”). My current occupation is a freelance animator / generalist.
What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
I worked as a receptionist at the president’s office at my College and I would play WarCraft III at the desk.
What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?It’s almost impossible for me to work on a project I’m not excited about. So if you see me working on a project, most likely I’m at least 90% excited about it. Some of my favorites are TRON: Legacy, Star Wars: The Clone Wars (TV), FXGURU and Mythic Journey Documentary.
Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I am originally from Taiwan. When I was 8, my family and I moved to Malaysia. I went to a British high school there and that’s where I learned English. Then I came to the US for College in Minnesota major in Fine Art and minor in Comp Sci. The last year of College I decided to pick up 2 animation classes at MCAD and created an animation piece called “Worker” which got me an animation internship in Hollywood. Then I picked up 3D skills from Gnomon, and it just kept going from there.
What’s a typical day like for you with regards to your job?
A typical day has been sitting in front of my computer animating, laughing at my own jokes, trouble shooting and oh, after freelancing at home for a year, I talk to myself.
What part of your job do you like best? Why?
I gotta say, the best part is seeing the final result and getting positive feedbacks from the viewers. Nothing makes me happier than seeing people enjoying my work and occasionally letting me know. Those feedbacks keep me going.
What part of your job do you like least? Why?
I do not like it when software bugs out very close to the deadline. This usually means I got to stay up all night to troubleshoot and you know how it’s like if you don’t sleep for days.
What kind of technology do you work with on a daily basis, how has technology changed in the last few years in your field and how has that impacted you in your job?
I mainly use Maya, Photoshop, After Effects, Zbrush, and Rebusfarm. Technology has made things a lot quicker and possible for 1 person to accomplish a lot in a short time.
What is the most difficult part for you about being in the business?
The more you know, the more you don’t know!
If you could change the way the business works and is run how would
you do it?
I think it’s great the way it is, constantly evolving.
In your travels, have you had any brushes with animation greatness?
Yes, I sat next to an animator that animated the dinosaurs in Jurrassic Park.
In the 3 Brahmins Riddle animation, I animated over the voice of, Mark Hamill.
The 3 Brahmins Riddle.
Describe a tough situation you had in life.
I cannot resist squeezing my cute cat.
Any side projects you’re working on that you’d like to share details of?
A youtube channel probably?
Any unusual talents or hobbies like tying a cherry stem with your tongue or metallurgy?
I’m pretty good at League of Legends. (platinum league!)
Is there any advice you can give for an aspiring animation student or artist trying to break into the business?
Work on a strong foundation (such as drawing or animating realistically, understand anatomy). Keep learning about everything, things that may seem unrelated can be useful someday. Constantly learn from others because everybody knows something you don’t.
Be humble, there’s always someone better than you.