CTN is finally here and it is amazing being surrounded with so many awesome people with such great talent. I tried to go to bed at 11ish as I had to wake up at 1:30am to get ready and then head downtown to catch a bus at 4am. The ride was rough but we got here to the event location.
I started off the day with a kick off event lecture by Brenda Chapman, co-director of Brave. It was a great way to start off as her theme was passion, finding passion, applying passion, and just loving what you do.
Wandering around the artist panels I got to see a lot of amazing art, among those are Disney, Laika, and Riot, but the best part was that I was able to meet Bobby Chiu. Bobby Chou is a huge inspiration to me as it can be said that it was his work that got me started rolling down this path towards animation. His work was among those that made me love digital painting and creature design and made me think that I would like to go into visual development. While I have shifted towards texture painting and lighting, visual development and design is still something that I would like to develop a skillset for.
Next up on my amazing day was the appearance of Glen Keane doing a demo. Everyone was excited and when he came in it was this amazing sense of awe and respect. He animated Ariel swimming and drew and talked about designing Tarzan, Pocohontas, and the Beast. Glen Keane was awesome and hilarious. He started off saying that he hasn't done 2D animation in a long time and wasn't sure if was still able to do it. Clearly he can. He mentioned that Ariel's face and Tarzan's feet were based off his wife! Aoparently there was a lack of consensus on the size of Ariel's chest so Glen was able to tell who did what shots based on the size of the seashells. When asked what was the hardest character that he has to work on, Glen answered Pocohontas due to that she had a non-caucasian face, it was structured to be the opposite of the classic Disney face like Ariel, and that there were a lot of subtleties that would also be difficult to convey to other animators. I was so close to getting an autograph from him but unfortunately the crowd was too large and there was a character design lecture that I wanted to attend next.
Not to be outdone by Glen Keane, Andreas Deja gave a lecture on "the elements of charm and wonder". Andreas Deja is known for his villians such as Jafar and Scar. Even though the characters are the antagonists and you want to hate them, they have a charm that keeps you attracted and Andreas attributed a lot of this to the design and presence of the characters. A big surprise was hidden in the lecture that a surprise guest showed up. It was Lisa Davis, the voice actress of Anita from 101 Dalmations. She came and talked about her experience and afterwards I got a chance to talk to her and get an autograph! She is an awesome person who is extremely warm, kind, and approachable.
Things that I am looking forward to tomorrow include the talent behind Translyvania, creature design with Bobby Chiu, animation lecture with Mike Makarwicz, talent behind Rise of the Guardians, and the Glen Keane lecture. Big day tomorrow!
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