Thursday, January 28, 2010

Thank you for everything, you useless reptile

After 9 months of very challenging and very rewarding work, my employment on "How To Train Your Dragon" has come to an end. I am officially off the show, and am now gearing up for my next DreamWorks endeavor. The experience has been indescribable, and as recently mentioned here, I'm sure I will attempt to pass along some of the artistic knowledge I have gained through this journey.

This was a privileged opportunity to work with some of the most talented feature animation artists working today in all departments. Personally in my department, I got to work with layout veterans James Ryan Peterson of Kung Fu Panda, JC Alvarez of Shark Tale and Bee Movie among others, and our head of layout, Gil Zimmerman. Learning from these three gents was always a simultaneously humbling and empowering experience, both making me realize my bad habits, and yet showing me how to utilize my strengths. You can find an interview here on the official How To Train Your Dragon blog with Gil, where he briefly answers some questions about himself and the movie. Also, a brief clip in which he discusses the challenges and process that went into Romantic Flight, the first sequence I worked on in this film.

Tomorrow, I get to meet with the director of the next project I am starting on, where we will discuss the set dressing for one of the large landscapes we'll be using. Always new and challenging work to be done at DreamWorks! More to come!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Welcome to Dragon Training

Hello readers! Much time has passed since the last post, for many things have been occupying my time. The purchase of a Condo being one of the biggest time consumers, but also because in the past year I've been enjoying a position as a Final Layout Artist at DreamWorks Animation working on the next upcoming film "How To Train Your Dragon".

The experience has been incredible to say the least. It has been a continuous challenge, both in artistry and stamina, but the rewards have been invaluable. The amount of things I am learning about stereo, cinemetography, camerawork, staging, and visual storytelling make the job well worth the efforts alone, besides of course all the fantastic benefits that the company itself provides us. It is awesome to get to work at a union shop and experience what The Animation Guild has to offer. I'm nearly finished with my dues, I'm sure I'll have a celebratory post when that day arrives!

There is simply too much to say about the amazing things I've been able to experience, accomplish, see and learn in the past year in just one post, and I'm sure I'll be posting more updates that are relevant to the adventures in layout, but in the meantime I shall say that this movie may be the most amazing things I ever get to work on in my entire professional career. Seeing final renders from this movie are astounding to absolutely everyone on the show across the board. I truly think people are in store for images they have never seen anything like before. Check it out everyone!! Just 2 months away!