CTNX '12 - Day 3

CTN is ending the last day of the expo with a lot of Disney events. Time has gone by so quickly but at the same time I felt like I spent a lifetime being re-inspired. The fun's not over yet so here's is what I have for day three.

First up was the panel on Frankenweenie. Particularly fun about the panel was that not only were the producers, Don Hahn and Allison Abbate, and the art director Rick Heinrichs, present but the voice actor of Edgar, Atticus Schaefer, and the actual puppet of Sparky used in the film also joined in. What's great about the panel is how they talked a lot about the beauty of puppet animation in a world that is currently so invested in CG. There is a tactile quality to stop motion that people really respond to and love. Also, puppet animation is something that anyone can easily get into with something as simple as Legos and not have to worry about all the expensive software. One thing that was really great about Atticus was that he really loved being a voice actor. It has been said that there is a disjunction between animators and actors due to deciding who is really driving the performance of the character on screen; is it the motion or the voice and emotion portrayed. Atticus loved that being a voice actor and working with the various people on the film allowed for him to really try different variations out and to take on a new different persona to become the character instead of where in live action where not a lot of takes are allowed and directors may want something specific.

Paperman was amazing. Again. Even though I've seen the making of Paperman before, at the panel additional clips were seen. There was a shot breakdown of the process they went through to create a shot. First an animation pass, then the 2D lines animated over, a beautiful light render, and then shaded shadows and highlights to give the shot a more drawn textured quality. It was also shown an animator working in the Meander software to get a sense of how things are done. The panel that consisted of John Kars, director, Jeff Turley, art director, Patrick Osbourne, animation supervisor, and Sarah Airriess, final line supervisor talked a lot about the lighting and composition of the shot. It was really interesting of how things were setup in that the shots that George was in were darker while Meg's shots were lighter. George was primarily on screen left while Meg was on screen right, which is additionally the same direction that the light comes from. Beautiful. I should have seen this from the beginning but I was so enamored by the art and story that I haven't broken the film down and analyzed it per shot.

Dreamworks was doing an animation panel but unfortunately I was not able to attend as I was standing in line waiting for the next panel, Wreck-it-Ralph. From the line I did get to see shots from Rise of the Guardians and that was neat and has me hyped up for the movie to come out even more. What was really cool about the Wreck-it-Ralph panel was the push for 2D animation as still an integral part of Disney and used along with 3D animation. As Glen Keane says that we all have a lifetime of learning and we owe it to each other to teach and pass it on. 2D animation still has so much to teach 3D animation with its fluidity. As in a pipeline for a 3D animated film there is a large process that has to be passed through with concept, modeling, and rigging, before animators get their hands on something to work with. Animation tests are really important though in that starting from there acting is created and personalities of the characters becomes established. The great thing about having 2D animators at Disney was that they were able to start the development of character personalities a lot quicker with 2D animation tests. Among the many tests that were showed, one amazing one came up and everyone wanted to watch it over and over again even though we were short on time. It was Eric Goldberg's animation test on King Candy. Hilarious and amazing.

As today was a shorter day and I had lined up the three main panels that I wanted to see I got to wander around a bit more in the exhibit hall. Early in the morning I stopped by the booth that was selling all the art books. The booth finally wasn't overly crowded and I could browse through and look. I found an amazing giant book of Art of Mulan. It was so beautiful but so expensive. As I walked away with longing eyes I passed by a booth that was selling prints and saw and bought the Facial Expressions print from Lackadaisy by Tracy Butler. Unfortunately it wasn't Tracy herself at the booth nor do I know if she was actually at CTN but it would have been amazing to have it signed. Later in the afternoon as I was headed from the main building back towards the exhibit hall, I suddenly see Nick Pitera walking towards me and I nearly freaked out. I kept my cool though and was able to greet him, introduce myself, chat for a bit, and as we were both heading off in opposite directions for something, wish him a good day and to enjoy the expo. It was amazing and it was great that he stopped to talk. As Pixar didn't have a booth, much to my disappointment and surprise, I wasn't expecting to meet anyone that I may know other than Mike Makarwicz so when I met Nick it was such a wonderful surprise.

For the past few days I've seen a couple people walking around with drawings on canvas stretchers and I had no idea what they were. After the Wreck-it-Ralph panel and as everyone from AAU was getting together and getting ready for the ride home on the shuttle, one of my friends had one of those drawings and I asked him what it was. Those drawings on canvas stretchers were drawings for sale done by Ryan Woodward, the creator of Thought of You. Why did I not know this and why do I not have one! The shuttle had already arrived and would be leaving soon so after I got my luggage I ran over to buy the last one that they currently had. I was happy. My friends called it the pooping pose. Rude. If I had options it may have not been the first one that I would pick to buy as I saw some other works that are a lot more gestural and uses more basic shapes that are really interesting, the one I had was still very nice in the line quality, form, weight, and perspective exaggeration. As people were still waiting around and not on the bus yet, I again ran back inside the exhibit hall for one last look and soak-up of talent and inspiration. So glad that I did for I was able to meet Ryan and got him to even autograph the drawing that I just bought. Now my friends are all jealous.

CTN was amazing. The panels were great; the talent were great. I got to see Glen Keane and Andreas Deja and I got to actually meet Bobby Chiu and Nick Pitera. The shuttle ride to and back from CTN wasn't fun and standing in the cold and rain waiting for the Glen Keane talk left quite a bit to be desired. CTN was a great experience where I got to soak up see so much talent and soak up so much inspiration I can't wait to go again next year!

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