How To Get Creative Inspiration
When you stare at a blank page, and you don't know where to start...
Or, rather, when you open up an empty Muvizu set, and you can't think of anything to animate.
What do you do?
You can have the best lighting, the coolest models, incredible voice acting - but it all starts with an idea.
PSD Tuts has an excellent article, 12 Ways to Tap Into an Endless Well of Creativity This is a good place to start.
When it comes to studying artists you admire: many people are wary of this. Often there exists an irrational fear of (either consciously or subconsciously) ripping off other the artists that you study and admire. Don't worry about it. The truth is: everyone rips off everyone else. No work of art exists in isolation. Look at Oasis: they ripped off the Beatles, who in turn, ripped off countless lesser-known bossa nova and rock 'n' roll artists. Call it inspiration. Call it appropriation. Call it a love in. Point is - studying other artists can give you a starting point. You can learn from people who are better than you.
Some artists I admire
This is not an exhaustive list, but here are a few that come to mind.
Mark Bannerman: I like that his work doesn't look like a lot of the typical stuff you see other 3D artists make. He is particularly good with texturing and lighting. His images feel like paintings, rather than models. There's a good interview with him here.
Erik Johansson: When philosophy and photoshop skills collide.
Poked Studio: Great use of colour and created with a playful imagination.
Owen McGonigle: Visual effects artist. Enter the Lovely is one of the best graduate animations I've ever seen. Maybe not technically perfect, it has an wonderful, creepy atmosphere. Really well put together.
Alex Ronald: Nazi Vampire Vixens. What else do you need?!
Juilia Pott and David Firth. Particularly the animations My First Crush and Salad Fingers. I'm lumping these two together, not because they are in any way similar thematically, but because they show how simple music, simple dialogue and simple animation can present an idea well. I find both these videos very amusing.
I hope that helps in offering some inspiration.