sickVisionz (Level 24)

For the first time in a years I'm in the mood to wiki edit.
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It covers the man himself as well as his views and techniques for using 3D animation as well as some information about animation in general. It's a very cool read. I won't post the whole thing here because it's well written and Tested deserves the hits for writing it, but here is the opening...

2D ANIMATION IN THE DIGITAL ERA: INTERVIEW WITH JAPANESE DIRECTOR MAKOTO SHINKAI
by Wesley Fenlon on Sept. 20, 2012
In May 2001, a young Japanese graphic designer named Makoto Shinkai left his job at a video game company to create a short animated film called Voices of a Distant Star. Despite having almost no experience combining narrative and animation, Shinkai told a uniquely poignant story, blending science fiction with the drama and angst of adolescence. More importantly, the short film looked incredibly good for a one-man project. Voices was a breakout success for an amateur animator, and Shinkai has created three more films in the past decade, establishing himself as one of the anime industry's preeminent creators.
Shinkai belongs to a new generation of animators who have never worked in the traditional pen-and-paper format, and Voices of a Distant Star is a testament to how dramatically computers have changed the animation industry in the past decade. He created the 25 minute short in seven months, using only a Power Mac G4 at a time when PowerPC processors were still reaching for the 1GHz barrier.
"If I had been born 10 years earlier, I don’t think I would be an animator," wrote Makoto Shinkai in an email interview about the evolving landscape of 2D and 3D animation. "Oh, I might have drawn some things, but I doubt I would have been able to do it for a living. When I became obsessed, in my twenties, with the need to express myself, it was just at the point when computers and digital tools had matured enough to make that possible."
Aspiring animators can now create their passion projects with technology that's cheaper and more approachable than it's ever been, and Shinkai's follow-ups to Voices of a Distant Star have embraced that technology to create some of the industry's most beautiful imagery. All of his art has a distinct visual feel thanks to a combination of warm lighting and detailed vistas.
But Shinkai proposes an important distinction between the technology and style of digital animation: Though the process is brand new, the technique is still rooted in the cel tradition. And tradition is slow to change...
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