Interview with Patrick Bramley (VFX Compositor)

Interview with Patrick Bramley (VFX Compositor)

Let me introduce, an artist, and a friend of mine who I met back during my time at Academy of Art University, Patrick William Bramley. We first had the chance to work together on some projects such as Aria for a Cow and Valiant and more recently I also got to work with him at Ingenuity Studios where he is now currently working as a sequence lead compositor. 

Since graduating in 2015, Patrick has worked on many major hit television series, and features such as a Series of Series of Unfortunate Events, Jessica Jones S1, Westworld S1, DareDevil S2, Live by Night, Going in Style Nerve, and HBO’s Confirmation, just to name a few. When not freelance contracting at a studio, he works as an independent visual effects supervisor. He is currently supervising an independent feature film titled “Rightful”.

If you would like to see his compositing work, and personal portfolio. You can check out his website, and IMDB here at:

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Freelancing in the Animation & VFX Industry with Bryan Woods

Has the idea of freelancing ever crossed your mind? Even a fleeting thought? Yes? Good, you'll want to pay attention then as this will be important if you do end up going down that path.

Thanks to a speaker event held by PixelnautsBryan Woods gave a talk all about freelancing in the animation & vfx industry in what to expect, what it entails, what is required of you, and how to survive it.

Get ready, this is going to be a long one. It's all super important though so a gigantic thank you to Bryan!

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An Afternoon with Carlos Baena

Apologies for the delay. Life gets a bit hectic when you somehow find yourself on 13(ish) different productions. We've had quite a few events and amazing people come over the past month so here is the start of catching you all up on what's been happening! Carlos Baena has come back from Paramount Studios to AAU to be an onsite director for his film Market Street. Through the lovely people of Sasha Korellis and Becky Johnson, we got to schedule Carlos in, back on October 31st, to give a talk to Tea Time!

For those who don't know, Carlos Baena has worked at Pixar as an animator and is well known for his contribution to Toy Story 3 with the Spanish Buzz Lightyear sequences. Just as amazing is that he is one of the founders of Animation Mentor, now one of the largest online schools/community for animation.

Carlos gave an amazing talk on the 12 Principles of Animation which he loves as even though they start simple, they apply to everything. On top of the 12 original principles set by Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnson, Carlos has an additional 7. The extra 7 aren't exactly certain laws to obey but rather things to remember to be a better animator.

Observation Visualization Blocking Simplicity Clarity Personality Have Fun!

What do these 7 new principles mean you ask? First off, study movement. Don't just be looking at what's happening but the reasons behind actions. While studying though, make sure you find your references from real life and not film as those are people acting and their own interpretations. Next is to always find the appeal of everything that you're animation. Make sure things are appealing and clear first instead of rushing to acting. Try turning on silhouette mode or turning your character around to make sure your poses and animation are able to be read on their own. Lastly, make sure to have fun! There will always be stress and you'll have ups and downs but there is a lot of time after school so make sure that the time you spend is enjoyable for yourself and others. While it's great sitting in front of a computer and all, carefully tweaking each and every spline, find a balance between doing "work" and going out to experience the world instead of burning yourself out.

Of course people always want to know about the industry and getting into it so we end the talk with a few tips from Carlos.

You'll be spending out hundreds of letters and reels trying to get internships and jobs and you'll get hundreds of rejections and no responses back but don't let rejection discourage you, let it push you forward. When checking in with a recruiter, just email to confirm if they received your submission ONCE; otherwise hands off. If they really want you, they'll contact you, usually within a few weeks. If you don't hear back, look at other places and take whatever you can get. Don't be that person who makes other people wait just because you're sitting there waiting to see if Pixar, Disney, Dreamworks, ILM, or whoever will respond to you.

Carlos unfortunately didn't get to finish his talk on the principles but was excited to come back in the spring to continue so look forward to part 2!

Blue Sky Panel

Over in the repurposed church that is now the beautiful St. Brigid's Theatre was an enlightening evening with Blue Sky's Mike Daley, story artist, and Deb Stone, manager of talent development. We got to watch the trailer for Rio 2 and hear a little about BlueSky's internship program, Acorn Academy. However, the highlight of the evening was Mike Daley's talk about being a story artist. Through a hilarious and adorable series of boards, Mike illustrates the process of a story artist's "life cycle". First is "The Egg" where the story artist is hatched. After the script or idea is created, the concept is handed to the story artist, who is still an egg, and is "kicked off" to hatch into a little caterpillar story artist to start working. The caterpillar story artist will look for various references stemming from real life and/or movies. After working hard to collect all the references, the little caterpillar story artists takes all the ideas and hides away in a chrysalis to finalize the draft of storyboards. Once the boards are finished, the story artist emerges and either turns into a beautiful butterfly, if the idea is liked and approved, or a ugly moth, if the idea is no good. If the story artist becomes a moth, the moth will give birth to another egg for the whole process to start over again.

While showing some of his storyboards from Ice Age 4, Mike gives some tips vital for being a quick yet effective storyboarder. Most important is the eyeballs and silhouettes have to be clear. Storyboards are seen quickly in succession so in the few seconds that a board is on screen, the character and the composition has to be able to be quickly grasped. As story artists have to churn out hundreds of boards in multiple iterations, it is important that there is economy in the drawings and is efficient. Digital tools have allowed artists to take advantage of the fact that not all drawings have to be done over from a clean sheet of paper but rather can be copied and have only certain elements altered. A step further is to limit yourself in what goes into a storyboard. They do not have to be incredibly and excruciatingly detailed but with simple of blocking in limited values (black, white, and a few grays in between) with a focus on contrast, a whole composition can quickly come together depicting depth and focal point. Thinking about camera work also comes into play. Depending on where the camera is "placed" different types of feelings may be conveyed. A camera closer to a conflict is more intense while further away is clearer and is better used for static shots to set a scene. The camera can be moved closer towards a certain character, from over the shoulder, point of view, or a closeup to see reactions. To determine where the camera should be is to think about who's story is the shot telling. For all of you story artists who are looking to creating a portfolio, Mike's advice is to make it clear. Start off with a written opening description to help setup what will be shown. Layout the boards clearly. A great way to show off a story artist portfolio is to have the boards in a video and be able to pitch through the boards. There is no need to have voice acting and sound and music attached, but rather you want to show a strong grasp of the boards and the story that they are telling.

Mr. Peabody and Sherman Panel

Following the previous post where I got to go to a special press screening of Mr. Peabody and Sherman, yesterday was when the director Rob Minkoff and the producers Alex Schwartz and Denise Cascino came to talk about Mr. Peabody and Sherman. Unfortunately I was a few minutes late as I had a last minute meeting so I missed out on getting a drawing from Rob. I feel bad for being late, particularly that now I'm on the board for Tea Time and also they skipped meeting the Dali Lama who was apparently arriving at their hotel to come to give a panel to us. That's dedication! There was some great questions/topics and it was a very enjoyable evening. The process of creating the film The movie was 12 years in the making. Tiffany Ward first brought the concept to Classic Media where it was seen by Jason Clark. Jason and Rob took the idea and pitched it to Walden Media where they bought it and wanted to go forward with the movie. Unfortunately some legal issues arose and a year later Walden Media unfortunately says that they are only able to give 50% of the funding and that another backer and distributor will need to be found. The idea was then pitched to Jeffery Katzenberg at Dreamworks who also gave a resounding yes but didn't want the involvement of Walden Media. Dreamworks wanted to take it all and produce it or none at all. Scripts were written. Initially the story had an antagonist who was a mole named Little Jimmy, and there was going to be the eight wonders of the world be stolen. With the release of Despicable Me, that story line had to be scrapped and it was with a meeting with writers Jeffrey Ventimilia and Joshua Sternin that the movie changed direction. Instead of Little Jimmy, the little girl character named Penny came to be to show and help further the relationship and development of Sherman.

Approach to creating story They really liked the idea of being able to go to multiple time periods and with the promise of what animation can do and offer, they really wanted to showcase that ability. From there, how a movie starts and boils down to is the relationship of the characters with each other or to certain things or ideas. Start with a question and as the plot progresses, always return back to thinking what is the journey of the characters and their relationships and always old on to that core and how the story is told.

If there was any pushback from fans that held up production There weren't any major issues from production, rather as so many people were also fans, everyone felt responsible to get the movie right.

Tiffany Ward's contribution As the daughter of the original creator, Jay Ward, Tiffany was described as the "godmother of production". Not only being the executive producer in ensuring the movie being true to the original, Tiffany made sure everyone was motivated and excited about creating the film.

Ty Burrell as Peabody's voice actor Since Mr. Peabody is already an existing character, when finding a new voice actor to play Mr. Peabody, a particular type of voice and acting is required. A mimic isn't good enough as sounding alike doesn't quite go the distance. Instead life and character needs to be given and not just an impersonation. Initially Steven Colbert and Robert Downey Jr. were considered. Steven Colbert loved Mr. Peabody and Sherman and said he would love to voice any character in the movie except Mr. Peabody as unfortunately he did not time in his schedule to play the main character. RDJ was unfortunately busy making Avengers. Ty Burrell was brought in and after working with him for a couple weeks the voice of Mr. Peabody was found!

Development of the bullying scene The bullying scene is really dark and serious. Even more so now as bullying is an important issue that is occurring in schools today. When the scene was first scripted there was some pushback saying that it was too dark and negative but it was felt and decided that they were on the right side of the issue. A great quote that comes into play by Mr. Peabody and further proves itself further down the plot is "All great relationships start with conflict and then evolves into something greater".

Transition from 2D to 3D The original Peabody and Sherman started back in 1959 and it had very minimal budget. To keep costs low, not only was the show even produced in Mexico but the artists used house paint  to paint on cels so that the cels could be erased and reused. Also, part of the influencing style of the original cartoon was that it was created for TV and with the limited technology, the art required to have heavy outlines for things to be visible. The movie sought to approach with the same aesthetic sensibility of being graphic, designed, and flat. There was at one point when Mr. Peabody was designed with square glasses, to make him more modern and trendy and to contrast Sherman's roundness, but that was quickly veto'd as the round glasses were signature of the time back when Peabody and Sherman aired.

Limited animation of original cartoons While some may feel that to be true to the original classic cartoons, the same or similar limited animation is required; also in a way decreasing the appeal of watching a movie with such limitations in theaters. However, the limit was due to the budget and technology back then, not because artists back then wanted the animation to look exactly that way. Back then they had a limited budget so there was limited animation but now with a high budget it would make sense to have high animation. In fact, Jay Ward even wanted better animation if it was possible. Even more so as a movie about time traveling, in a way it makes sense for them to change for the different time periods. The original 2D and the current CG versions are the same but different, like looking at a mirror.

Balance between the adult and children audiences While there may be some lines to be drawn between adult and children audiences in terms of humor, what they sought to do instead is to make the comedy universally funny and able to encompass both age groups. It's not so much of there is this, this, and this to do while there is that, that, and that to not do but rather to just fine what they thought is funny and hope that everyone else will find it funny also. Rob has even asked this same question about comedy to Chuck Jones before and the reply was to find ways to make yourself laugh and others may laugh also. Going to far would probably have been what the original opening to the movie was planned to be. While the movie currently begins, after the prologue, in the midst of Peabody and Sherman's adventures in France with the French Revolution, it was initially script of the two being in Germany dressed up as Nazis, completely with Peabody disguised with a Hitler stache, as they attempt to steal the war plans and change the future.

41st Annie Awards

The Annie Awards are awards for accomplishments in animation. Animation across both animated and live action feature film, television/broadcast, shorts, and games. The 41st Annie Awards happened last night, Saturday, February 1st, and for those of us who couldn't be there in person, the awards ceremony was streamed live on their website to all the winners! I really wish that I could have watched the entire ceremony but unfortunately it started while I was still at school working in the labs and I had to leave part way through as it was getting late and I wanted to go home, especially since I hadn't even eaten dinner yet. I left partway through Phil Tippett's acceptance speech and did not get home until the end where I saw Frozen winning the category for best animated feature. PRODUCTION CATEGORIES Best Animated Feature Frozen – Walt Disney Animation Studios Best Animated Special Production Chipotle Scarecrow – Moonbot Studios Best Animated Short Subject Get A Horse! – Walt Disney Animation Studios Best Animated TV/Broadcast Commercial Despicable Me 2 – Cinemark – Universal Pictures Best Animated TV/Broadcast Production For Preschool Children Disney Sofia the First – Disney Television Animation Best Animated TV/Broadcast Production For Children’s Audience Adventure Time – Cartoon Network Studios Best General Audience Animated TV/Broadcast Production Futurama – 20th Century Fox Television Best Animated Video Game The Last of Us – Naughty Dog Best Student Film Wedding Cake – Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg

INDIVIDUAL ACHIEVEMENT CATEGORIES Animated Effects in an Animated Production Jeff Budsberg, Andre Le Blanc, Louis Flores, Jason Mayer – The Croods – DreamWorks Animation Animated Effects in a Live Action Production Michael Balog, Ryan Hopkins, Patrick Conran, Florian Witzel – Pacific Rim – Industrial Light & Magic Character Animation in an Animated Television/Broadcast Production Kureha Yokoo – Toy Story OF TERROR! – Pixar Animation Studios Character Character Animation in an Animated Feature Production Jakob Jensen – The Croods – DreamWorks Animation Character Animation in a Live Action Production Jeff Capogreco, Jedrzej Wojtowicz, Kevin Estey, Alessandro Bonora, Gino Acevedo – The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey – Gollum – Weta Digital Character Design in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production Paul Rudish – Disney Mickey Mouse – Disney Television Animation Character Design in an Animated Feature Production Carter Goodrich, Takao Noguchi, Shane Prigmore – The Croods – DreamWorks Animation Directing in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production Angus MacLane – Toy Story OF TERROR! – Pixar Animation Studios Directing in an Animated Feature Production Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee – Frozen – Walt Disney Animation Studios Music in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production Christopher Willis – Disney Mickey Mouse – Disney Television Animation Music in an Animated Feature Production Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Robert Lopez, Christophe Beck – Frozen – Walt Disney Animation Studios Production Design in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production Angela Sung, William Niu, Christine Bian, Emily Tetri, Frederic Stewart – The Legend of Korra – Nickelodeon Animation Studio Production Design in an Animated Feature Production Michael Giaimo, Lisa Keene, David Womersley – Frozen – Walt Disney Animation Studios Storyboarding in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production Daniel Chong – Toy Story of TERROR! – Pixar Animation Studios Storyboarding in an Animated Feature Production Dean Kelly – Monsters University – Pixar Animation Studios Voice Acting in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production Tom Kenny as the voice of Ice King – Adventure Time – Cartoon Network Studios Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Production Josh Gad as the voice of Olaf – Frozen
 – Walt Disney Animation Studios Writing in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production Lewis Morton – Futurama – 20th Century Fox Television Writing in an Animated Feature Production Miyazaki Hayao – The Wind Rises – The Walt Disney Studios Editorial in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production Illya Owens – Disney Mickey Mouse – Disney Television Animation Editorial in an Animated Feature Production Greg Snyder, Gregory Amundson, Steve Bloom – Monsters University – Pixar Animation Studios

JURIED AWARDS Winsor McCay Award – Katsuhiro Otomo, Steven Spielberg, and Phil Tippett June Foray – Alice Davis Certificate of Merit – I Know That Voice Ub Iwerks —DZED Systems for Dragonframe stop-motion animation software Special Achievement Award — The CTN animation Expo

CTNx '13 - Meet All the People and My Haul (Part 3)

One of the perks to being a volunteer is that your ticket is free. You can walk around the exhibit halls and attend the panels. Since that is $130 that will be refunded back to me I decided that I can afford to splurge a little and buy some artwork from the amazing artists at CTN. I bought a bit more than I planned but there were just so many tigers. I'm a big fan of tigers and I just could not resist. When I got off volunteering on Friday, after hearing people talk about how amazing the exhibit hall was and all the interesting booths, my first step was to see the exhibit hall. As I stepped in I immediately saw a booth with many drawings of tigers. I made a beeline for the booth and met the artist Tori Davis. I didn't know it at the time, I just loved her instantly for all the tigers, but she is a visual development artist with an amazing CV of having worked on Disney's Frankenweenie, Blue Sky's Rio, vis dev for Sony, background artist for Nickelodeon, and etc. She is awesome. We talked about tigers and big cats. Completely jealous that she knows a person who has a big cat sanctuary so Tori got to go and actually study the beautiful animals up close. Good thing I brought my tiger hat, just in case if I had a bad hair day and I didn't want to deal with it, so I wore it on Saturday and I showed it to her which led to us taking a few selfies.


I'm sorry if a fanboy a little (ok, a lot) over him but Bobby Chiu is one of my biggest inspirations. He was the one that inspired me to get into the animation industry while I was studying art at University of Washington. I thought I would go into visual development and/or matte painting. I didn't buy any prints from him last year as while his works from Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland were great I wanted one of his personal works that had a full composition and story. While his prints are a bit more expensive, I saw that he was selling Big Bad Bunny Eater and I just had to buy it. Big Bad Bunny Eater is one of my favorite works of him as it is so amusing and clever, and my other favorite is Early Bloom. I wish I got to talk to him some more but I didn't really know what to say other than the standard "thank you for continuously inspiring me" as I had already asked a lot of questions last year. I promise to be more prepared next time!


Over in the expanded tent area is where the new talent get to exhibit their works. Exhibiting this year is Cody Lyon and Finn from HOUND Illustration. Cody is an amazing artist, I love his drawings that he would post up on Facebook and the fun drawings that he would do while at Tea Time. I love Tigger from Winnie the Pooh so I just had to buy this drawing. If I can get him to do something Calvin and Hobbes I will be on that in a heartbeat.

by Hound Illustration

I had seen Gary Montablano's artwork at last year's CTN, most notably was that I saw large posters of tigers. This year I actually went up to greet him and we talked for awhile. It was great as he knew me by face as I had helped him for exhibitor check-ins. I loved the large black tiger as it sort of reminded me of the Great Sphinx of Giza and the Cave of Wonders from Aladdin. The other poster I got had two tigers on it and it reminded me of one of my favorite novels, Tiger's Curse by Colleen Houck, that features a white and a black tiger.

by Gary Montablano

The Daily Zoo, by Chris Ayers, is one of those big names that I know of and have looked at a few times but was unfortunately ill prepared to meet. I've loved his artwork and his animals always bring a smile to my face so I had to stop by and buy a print of Content Kitty. I wish I could have spoken to him some more but I wasn't sure what to say.


Big fan of Andreas Deja. I was incredibly disappointed last year when I got cut off while waiting in line to talk to him and hopefully get a drawing as it was after an evening panel and it was getting to late into the night. Now back to the present, on Friday night my friend who was on closer relations with him introduced me to Andreas and even asked if he would do a drawing for me. Andreas was just walking out so he said that he would promise me a drawing the next day if I show up at the demo that he will be presenting. He remembered and was apparently looking for me during the demo. Unfortunately I wasn't able to make it to the demo and showed up near the end while he was answering questions. I went up and greeted him saying "Hi, sorry I missed your demo. Hopefully I can catch up with you later and talk with you some more and ask about how your film, Mushka, is doing." I was not expecting to get a drawing as I was too late and missed it, I just mainly wanted to greet and apologize. Instead, Andreas was like "I owe this guy a drawing. Can I draw something for him right now? I'm going to draw something for him right now." So amazing. I got a personal drawing of Scar. I was grinning like a fool as this completely made my day and all of CTN. While I love Scar, all things Lion King, as Andreas was finishing the drawing it dawned on me that instead of asking for Scar I should have asked him to draw me Mushka. Next year! I think I was trying to do a snarl/growl face in the picture but I was just smiling too much.


I stopped by the Nickelodeon booth to ask some questions about their studio and production as I had met another volunteer who works as a texture artist for Nickelodeon. This was confusing as what I knew was that back when Nickelodeon came to talk at AAU about their internship program, what I thought I learned was that they were more of a preproduction studio and they sent their production to other countries. Turns out they outsource the animation but still keep the other areas of production in house. This lets me keep my options a bit more open which is nice.

At the CTN@nite event on Saturday evening, I met Chris Erickson. He is the creator of Hewie in the Cold, which I saw at AAU's Spring Show and loved. I got to see his demo reel and what was really impressive is that he did most everything by himself, from pre vis all the way down to final comp, instead of going into the large collaborative approach. He has graduated from the Academy and is now at Disney Animation's apprenticeship program! Talking with him has inspired me to go back and do more personal work and create short 30 second clips. I would love to do a scene from my Supernova story, a fly-through of the house to see of Reo sitting down and then going supernova. I've also been wanting to take my tiger  character and create a 3D model of him. I don't have a story though as his style is too different to be used in place in Tiger Tails.

I knew his work and knew his art but I never had a face to attach to the artist so I had missed who exactly Chris Sanders is. Thankfully my friends told me to check him out especially since he also has tigers. His tigers are adorable and reminded me a lot of the characteristics of Lilo and Stitch. I love Stitch, one of my favorite characters, he is adorable. While I loved all his sketchbooks I ended up buying #2 (I would have liked to buy all 6 but I had already spent so much money) due to a specific page in the book of his tiger character in various poses. Particularly the one with the tiger reading a newspaper and a bunny with a cup. After talking with Chris Erickson the night prior, I had been thinking of what sort of story or event that I could write for my tiger that would be interesting, cute, and endearing while still showing a depth of technical challenges and abilities. The tiger and the bunny reminded me of the alternate story to Tiger Tails that I had created which was about a lonely tiger and his best friend bunny trying to set him up on various dates that do not work. Once I saw that I knew I had to buy this specific sketchbook so I can look at it daily for inspiration.

Chris Sanders Sketchbook 2

Attendees got a nice tote bag this year which was cool. Last year it was just a yellow plastic bag with the CTN logo printed on it. One of my favorite things to do is to go around collecting buttons for my lanyard. I've got Blue Sky, Women in Animation, two buttons from Disney's Get a Horse, and a tiger pin from Tori. The adorable chameleon pin is from Azadae to help promote their kickstarter. Azadae is an animated series that follows a young girl and her friends through the everyday life of a child growing up in Tanzania and seeks to help educate and entertain young children by teaching themes like colors, math, science, and animals while integrating Tanzanian culture and geography.


Unfortunately I didn't get to see Nick Pitera again this year. I expected as much since he had a concert in New York at the Carnegie Hall for a benefit to support Music for Hope on the Saturday of CTN. I wish I got a chance to meet the Bancroft brothers. Maybe I'll bring my Lion King DVD next year and ask them to sign it for me.

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CTNx '13 - The Panels (Part 2)

Since I had already worked all day on Thursday and Friday, I was told that I didn't have to work on Saturday if I didn't want to and can instead enjoy myself. My original scheduled time to work was Friday and Saturday evening so I decided that I will take the morning off on Saturday and still worked the afternoon. On Saturday I got to see the panel of Ted Thomas talking about his new documentary and Phil Tippett on the history of stop motion animation. On Sunday I saw Storytelling through Color by Jill Daniels and Lorelay Bove, a sneak peak of Mr. Peabody and Sherman, and an interview of Jim Blinn. MC'd by Andreas Deja, Ted Thomas talked about and showed his new documentary Growing up with Nine Old Men. Ted Thomas is the son of Frank Thomas, one of the nine legendary animators and author of one of the must have books in the industry, Animation Survival Guide. Ted goes on a journey all across America to find and interview the other children of Les Clark, Ollie Johnston, Milt Kahl, Ward Kimball, John Lounsbery, and Wolfgang Reitherman. While creativity was always nurtured and encouraged the children were never pressured to follow in their father's footsteps and only John Kimball actually went into animation while others split off to focus in other aspects and two went to become lawyers. Ted grew up knowing some of them well while others he have only just heard about but he describes the process of finding the others, interviewing them, and getting to know them and their childhood was like reestablishing a family.

Phil Tippett's panel mainly revolved around him talking about the history of animation from the stop motion standpoint. It is unfortunate that stop motion is expensive and fell out of favor but recently there has been a resurgence of the art form. It was interesting to hear about Phil's view on the current animation industry, saying that he dislikes CG due to it all being too homogenized due to the commercial standpoint. I can see where Phil is coming from with this view and which is why I like going to the Animation Show of Shows where animation from all over the world is collected and screened as there are many different things out there that people are making. The panel was closed with a screening of part one of his film, Mad God, that he has been working on. It was crazy and it was interesting. Mad God will have a total of four parts. Part one is still a work in progress and parts two and three are going into development.

Storytelling Through The Use of Color, presented by Jill Daniels and Lorelay Bove, talked a lot about color theory. Color is important as it is emotional power and anybody of any age responds to color. The key to using color is to keep in mind of balance and unity to create a plausible yet still beautiful and story driven world. There are four main palettes that are typically used: saturated vs. desaturated, analogous, complimentary, and monochromatic. Going back to balance and unity, not all colors have to be pushed to their extremes but instead also consider the composition as a whole. It is also better to go with simpler and more organized palettes as it those would be easier for the audience to remember. While using palettes that are lacking in vibrant colors, that are more desaturated, interest can be given to the composition by using a lot of textures. There is never a true right or wrong with color. Color can be instinctual but also choose them with discernment; ask why and how the color helps the story. They can also mean anything you want them to mean; pink doesn't have to be soft and fluffy but can mean evil as long as the artistic interpretation is set up from the beginning.

Getting a sneak peek of Mr. Peabody and Sherman, presented by Philippe Denis (head of vfx) and Jason Schleifer (head of character animation), was exciting. I didn't grow up with Peabody and Sherman and I never saw the cartoon so I didn't know what to expect of this movie. Seeing the sneak peek has me really excited for the movie as the few clips that I saw were both hilarious, beautiful, and interesting. While the movie will be done in 3D, Dreamworks has kept very much in tune with the original 2D series. They achieve the same style but in 3D by keeping the shapes in their graphic nature and being very geometrical. A step further from the graphic nature is applying the "wonk". Wonk is the skewing of the design of objects so they're not just straight solid objects but rather have tilts and exaggerations. A issue that arose though with wonk is that if it is not applied correctly, it can look gimmicky and compromises the scale of objects. In order to solve this issue, large scale objects, such as building, will have no wonk while detail objects, such as door handles, will have a lot of wonk. For the color palette Dreamworks also kept this similar to the original series, the color scheme tends to be monochromatic with accent colors. The texturing of everything in the movie seek to be stylized but simple and then a naturalistic shading is applied. Since the characters stylized proportions with large heads and thin limbs, a creative rig was used to test animation to figure out what worked and didn't. This allowed them to quickly change proportions and the rig to figure out what does work. Through such tests, the production team found that Sherman looked too skinny and doesn't reflect his age as well in 3D as he did in 2D. Sherman got fattened up a little bit and made slightly cuter. In order to get a clean silhouette, the front cowlick of Sherman was animated to always point in front. Extra limbs would be added in to get that fast cartoony motion blur movements. What was really great is due to the graphic nature of everything in the film and shapes and silhouettes are important, there are full documents created for animators on how to shape the head of the characters for fluidity in animation.

Jim Blinn. This was the big panel that I was so excited for. I initially didn't even notice this panel when going through the schedule. It was later on while on my way down to CTN that I saw the word "teapot" my thought was "oh, like the one that they always show with Renderman?" Then I saw the name Jim Blinn and thought "Blinn...that's an interesting name, sound familiar..." Then it all clicked together in my mind and I became extremely excited. This is the person who made the Blinn material and is one of the people who helped paved the way to make it possible to do what I do in CG. MC'd by Tad Guilo, the panel was an interview where I got to learn about Jim's past. Jim loved astronomy, inspired by Disney's Man in Space, and wanted that as his first career goal. He went to University of Michigan to study physics but quickly became entrapped by computers which led him to get a job programming for theses of graduate students. By doing so he got to play with the computer for the next four years while at UM and began experimenting with animation created from line drawing. After receiving both an undergraduate and graduate degree plus two years, Jim went to Utah, which was the technology mecca at the time, and got to experiment with the famous Martin Newell's Teapot. Through his experimentation and the Phong material, Jim made the first render with texture mapping and presented his Blinn material which is based off the torrance illumination model at SIGGRAPH. Further developing, Jim wanted more textural quality as everything previous was flatly painted on to the model. This led to the creation of the bump map! Since then Jim has created a CG Jupiter and moons for NASA's Voyager 2 fly-through, DNA replication animation for Cosmos, made the 50 episode series Mechanical Universe, and the series Project Mathematics. He is currently working for Microsoft calculating algebraic geometries. I wanted to personally thank him for his contribution to the industry and enabling me to do what I do today but unfortunately the panels were all running behind and so I had to leave the area before I got a chance to.