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About Our Instructors

Your work is critiqued live, and recorded for later re-watching, from top professional animators with years of experience and have worked at many of the top studios around the world. These live reviews are very important because it simulates the real studio "Dailies" environment.

Feature Animation Instructors Bios

  • Jason Ryan

    Jason Ryan

    Jason was a Supervising Animator at Walt Disney Animation Studios and now a supervising Animator at DreamWorks Animation Studios. After graduating from the European School of Animation (aka Senior College, Ballyfermot), Ireland in 1993, with a student of the year award from Don Bluth (creator of An American Tail and Land Before Time), he started straight in as a 2D animator working on various German feature Productions. After a brief time in London as an Animator in computer games he got the call from Disney Animation Studios in 1995 to animate on Fantasia 2000 (Tin Soldier segment), Dinosaur (Kron and Carnataur), animation supervisor on Magic Lamp (CG genie in 3D), animation supervisor on Philharmagic (classic Disney characters in CG and 3D), supervising animator on Chicken Little (chicken little himself). At DreamWorks Animation SKG, he's animated on Monsters Versus Aliens, Shrek4, Megamind, Kung Fu Panda 2, Madagascar 3, and now The Croods.

  • Ben Rush

    Ben Rush

    Ben first became obsessed with animation and filmmaking at the age of 8 when his father bought him a Super 8mm camera and a lump of clay. Since then, with 16+ years of industry experience, Ben has worn many hats, from pixel pusher to conceptual designer to story artist. Ben has held supervisory positions as both a character technical director and an animator, and has animated on 10 of the last 14 CG feature films released by Dreamworks.

  • Tal Shwarzman

    Tal Shwarzman

    Tal is currently an Animator at Pixar Animation Studios. Previously he had been at DreamWorks Animation for over seven and a half years, and has animated on Kung Fu Panda, Monsters Vs. Aliens, Shrek Forever After, Kung Fu Panda 2, Rise of the Guardians and How to Train Your Dragon 2.
    His interest in animation started while watching animated TV shows of the mid 80's and films like The Fox and The Hound and The Land Before Time. He graduated from Sheridan College (Ontario, Canada) classical animation program in 2000. After freelancing as a 2D animator for two years on European feature film productions he got his first big job at DPSi (IDT ent.) working on TV shows and the feature film Everyone's Hero, which had lead to a job at Blue Sky Studio animating on Ice Age: The Meltdown.
    Tal shares his knowledge of animation history and his experience in feature animation industry with iAnimate students  from the first semester it opened its virtual doors. He finally accepted his preoccupation with all things animation as a sort of addiction that he deals with at his blog.

  • Bill Tessier

    Bill Tessier

    Bill currently works as an animator at DreamWorks Animation where his credits include "Flushed Away", "Bee Movie", "Monsters vs. Aliens", "How To Train Your Dragon", and "Kung-Fu Panda 2". His career began, however, at Sony Pictures Imageworks where he interned for a summer before being hired to animate on "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone," his first film. During his five years at Imageworks he worked on "Stuart Little 2," "Matrix Revolutions," "The Polar Express," and "Open Season" among other projects. His interest in animation really grew out of his love of stories and storytelling. He holds an M.F.A. in Animation from the Animation Workshop at the UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television whose philosophy of "one person one film" taught him how to produce his own animated films. Previously Bill has taught introductory animation classes at both the UCLA Animation Workshop and Laguna College of Art and Design. In his free time, Bill loves to read, work on carpentry projects, and particpate in Scottish Country Dancing because it's crazy fun!

  • Jacob Gardner

    Jacob Gardner

    Jacob has been working at Dreamworks Animation for over 5 years on films such as Shrek Forever After (reel), Megamind (reel), Puss in Boots, and Rise of the Guardians.  He is co-founder of the animation website SpeakingOfAnimation.com; where he gets to ramble about things he's learned and interview those that know far more than him.

    Jacob found a love for animation at an early age. As early as seven years old, when he could have been found poorly mimicking the genie in Disney's Aladdin, Jacob knew he wanted to create living and loving animated characters. While he did not attend an art school, Jacob scoured the internet for resources and eventually turned himself into an award winning animator at SIGGRAPH's FJORG (The International Iron Animator Event). Shortly after his team won 1st place in 2007, Jacob was hired at Dreamworks. He now resides at the Glendale Campus, playing foosball, eating ice cream, and occasionally animating.

  • Ted Ty

    Ted Ty

    Ted has over 18 years of experience at the feature animation level. He has animated on more than 14 feature films, and is presently working on "Rise of the Guardians". His CG credits include " Puss and Boots ", "Shrek Forever After" and "Kung Fu Panda". Before arriving at Dreamworks, he spent over 10 years at Walt Disney Feature Animation Florida doing traditional animation and worked on films such as "Mulan", "The Lion King" and "Lilo and Stitch" where he served as a Lead Animator. He is a graduate of the CalArts Character Animation program where he was recently the senior animation instructor for 5 consecutive years. Some of his artistic influences include Rembrandt, Pontormo, and the 9 Old Men as well as Mark Henn, James Baxter and Ruben Aquino. He is also a big fan of photographers Henri Cartier-Bresson, James Nachtwey and Jim Marshall. He is passionate about the martial arts, cars, cycling and ice hockey. He is overly obsessed with the Montreal Canadians and thinks his family rocks.

  • Stephen Melagrano

    Stephen Melagrano

    Stephen studied animation at the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale and Animation Mentor. His first big break was an internship at Pixar Animation Studios. Following the internship, Stephen moved on to his first feature film, Horton Hears a Who! at Blue Sky Studios. After Horton Stephen worked on various commercials at ReelFX Creative Studios, the commercials featured Po from Kung Fu Panda in spots for Hewlett Packard, Hubba Bubba and Samsung. Stephen then joined DreamWorks Animation. His projects with DreamWorks include Monsters vs Aliens, MvA Bob's Big Break, Shrek Forever After, Megamind, Puss-in-Boots, and Turbo. Stephen recently worked with Sony Pictures Imageworks as a Senior Animator on Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2. Stephen is also one of the co-founders of SpeakingofAnimation.com where he podcasts interviews with animators and blogs about animation. Stephen runs the site with his friends and fellow animators and loves every minute of it!

  • Ken Fountain

    Ken Fountain

    Ken is an independent animator recently working for DreamWorks Animation in Glendale, California (Monsters vs. Aliens, Shrek 4, Megamind, Kung Fu Panda 2, Puss in Boots, and the How to Train Your Dragon Holiday Special.) Ken made his way to the animation world via the stage. From large outdoor arenas to intimate studio theaters. From the bawdy comedies of Shakespeare to the subtle dramas of Tennessee Williams. From lavish musical theater productions to minimalist modern plays. Through it all Ken has received a wealth of instruction and experience; including method acting and improvisation, children's theater, dance, mime, juggling, and a 5-summer stint as a theatrical swordfighter. Woven in to all of that is a 20+ year career writing, recording and touring with Chicago-based rock bands Birds at the End of the Road, Mother Factor, and Red Elephant. Promoting these endeavors along the way put Ken back in touch with his visual arts roots, and that quickly grew in to a small but busy commercial art studio. From there he was able to hone his skills as a designer, illustrator and animator. Oh, and he loves puppets.

  • Mike Walling

    Mike Walling

    Mike is currently an animator at Dreamworks Feature Animation on Kung Fu Panda, The Kaboom of Doom. Before coming to Dreamworks Mike worked at Blue Sky Studios on the feature films, Robots, Horton Hears a Who and Ice Age 3. In 2005 Mike took an opportunity to work at Sony Imageworks as a senior character animator on Open Season and Surf’s Up. Mike got his start in animation as a Production Assistant on PDI's Antz and Shrek and feels very lucky have been able to work on some great movies throughout his career. Because of how Mike got his start in the industry he feels that with enough drive and dedication anybody can learn to be an animator. That means you!

  • Chris Kirshbaum

    Chris Kirshbaum

    Chris is an alum of Calarts and the Gnomon School of Animation, Chris has worked in animation for 18 years, and has been a 3D character animator at Dreamworks Animation since 2003. Animation credits include: Shark Tale, Over the Hedge, Flushed Away, Kung Fu Pandas I and II, Monsters vs. Aliens, Puss in Boots, and Madagascar 3. Chris is currently working on Turbo. In addition to teaching at Gnomon, Chris has released a three part DVD series of instructional DVDs through the Gnomon Workshop: Character Animation I: Fundamentals / Character Animation II: Mechanics and Emotion / Character Animation III: Acting and Lip Sync When not in the throes of animation, Chris can usually be found on a football field, running through the park, or behind a drum kit.

  • Tim Ingersoll

    Tim Ingersoll

    imothy attended CalArts, a million years ago. He has 24 years experience. He started at Filmation Studios in 1985. Then to Disney in 1989, where he worked on “Roger Rabbit” and “Little Mermaid”. Then worked 4 years at Baer Animation Studios. And in 1994 began to work at Turner Feature Animation, on “ Pagemaster” and “Cats Don't Dance”. He joined DreamWorks in 1996, worked on “Prince of Egypt”, “El Dorado”, “Spirit”, “Sinbad”, “SharkTale”, “Over the Hedge”. Then in 2006, he went to work with world famous James Baxter on “ The Enchanted”. And presently he is teaching newly hired animators at Dreamworks, their proprietary animation software. Also helped animate a bit on“ How to Train your Dragon” and the dvd Dragon supplement. He also teaches/taught Character Animation at Woodbury University, and Gnomon school in Hollywood. And owes Sean Sexton a lifetime of gratitude.

  • Manuel Aparicio

    Manuel Aparicio

    Manuel Aparicio has been working in the animation industry for over 14 years. He has been an Animator at DreamWorks Animation for most of his career. His first feature animation was in 2D on the film “Spirit” from DreamWorks Animation. Manuel's first CG animation film was “Sharktale” and continued as a CG animator at DreamWorks on such films as “Flushed Away”, “Kung Fu Panda” , “Madagascar 2”, “Guardians" ,"Dragons2" and is currently working on “KFP3”. Manuel is also a traditional artist and is heavily involved in his own personal art work that range from canvases , ink drawings and murals. His passion for art is what lead him to animation in high school. He was accepted to "Cal Arts school of Animation" in 1998, before leaving to his first employment in the animation industry at Sony pictures.

  • Luke Randall

    Luke Randall

    Luke is originally from Australia but now resides in Los Angeles, California where he works as a character animator at Dreamworks Animation. Luke got his start in TV series and game cinematics before moving into features where he has completed animation on Open Season 2, Shrek Forever After, Megamind, Puss in Boots and Turbo as well as character development work on Dreamwork's Rocky and Bullwinkle short . In addition to his character animation Luke is a total story addict and aspiring filmmaker; his first short film REACH collected over 20 awards on the film festival circuit and is hopefully the first of many film making endeavors.

  • Mike Safianoff

    Mike Safianoff

    Mike joined Dreamworks a few years ago and in that time has worked on Puss in Boots, Madagascar 3, Turbo, and currently is on Happy Smekday. He had a wide range of animation experience before coming to Dreamworks; working at studios such as ILM, Tippett, and EA. He is very fond of cheese and peanut butter, but not necessarily together.

  • Jamaal Bradley

    Jamaal Bradley

    Jamaal began his animation career at a small commercial studio in Atlanta, GA. (Wild Hare Studios). Working as a 2D animator for a year, he quickly found out that the business of animation was changing rapidly. By jumping onto the computer, he was able to apply his fine art and 2D animation background to 3D animation. Over the past 10 years Jamaal has worked as a feature film and video game animator, storyboard artist, and director. He was privileged to work with Glen Keane as an animator at Walt Disney Animation Studios on 'Tangled' and currently is a Supervising Animator at DreamWorks. Some of the other projects he has had the pleasure of working on include the Oscar Nominated Surfs Up and Monster House as well Sony Animations first CG feature; Open Season. Jamaal made a small step into directing working at the critically acclaimed video game studio 'Valve'. He also runs the well known website Pencil Test Depot in an effort to bring the raw state of 2D animation as a resource to enthusiasts and fans around the world.

  • Jim van der Keyl

    Jim van der Keyl

    Jim has been in the animation industry since 1989 getting his start as an inbetweener on the Little Mermaid at Disney. He has since worked his way up to animator, getting his education on the job at studios such as Baer Animation, Rich Animation, Warner Brothers, Sony Imageworks, Dreamworks Animation, and with Catmandu in Buenos Aires in Argentina. While at Warner Brothers Jim was nominated for a Best Animator Annie Award for his work on Iron Giant with Brad Bird (director of Incredibles and Ratatouille). He made the transition to CG animation early on during Osmosis Jones from WB doing small bits of animation on Drix. His first full featured CG animation projects came when working on Stuart Little 2 for Sony Imageworks and he has been doing CG ever since. Past projects include Shark Tale, Over the Hedge, Monsters vs. Aliens, Kung Fu Panda, Kung Fu Panda 2 and Puss N Boots. He is currently animating on "Metegol" directed by Oscar winning director Juan Campanella, which is totally in Spanish!! Wish Jim luck as he struggles to communicate with the natives. Jim has a BFA from Boston University in Fine Art with a Painting major. His book and several DVD's on how to draw caricatures are available at www.sketchme.com

  • Michael Kiely

    Michael Kiely

    Originally from Ireland Micheal studied Graphic design and Illustration at the Waterford College of Art and Design. He began his Animation career in 1988 when his love of the medium led him to change his career path and he went to work for Don Bluth studios, where after a stint doing cleanup / inbetweening he got to animate his first scene ( tiny, tiny, dinosaurs running up a hill ). Since then he has worked in various studios in many countries including Germany, Australia and New Zealand. While working in New York doing commercials and TV shows he received an award from the NY Television and film board for his work on the ad councils AID's awareness campaign. Micheal has worked for WETA, Sony Pictures imageworks, Sony Entertainment America, Walt Disney feature Animation studios and currently works as an Animator for DreamWorks Animation. His credits include " Land before Time ", " All Dogs go to Heaven ", "Rockadoodle", "God of War (video game)", "Lord of the Rings ROTK", "Spiderman 2", "Meet the Robinsons", "Bee Movie", "Shrek for Ever After " and " How to Train your dragon ". Having studied various forms of Martial arts for over 30 years Micheal believes that it helps him in his understanding of movement, especially dynamic movement and the human form. Working on " Kung Fu Panda " and now " Kung Fu Panda 2 " for Dreamworks allows him to combine his two major passions in life, Martial arts and Animation.

  • Angie Jones

    Angie Jones

    Angie has created animation for film, music videos, ride films, games, and commercials since 1994. Her film and commercial work include Oscar winning films, two Clios and one VES award. Over the years, she has worked on numerous productions including: Stuart Little 2, Pan's Labyrinth, Smurfs, Disney's 50th Anniversary commercials, Oddworld: Abe's Exoddus, Garfield, I'm Here, Chronicles of Narnia, Geico Gecko spots, Scooby Doo Too, XMen 2, and National Treasure. Jones was trained at Atlanta College of Art in Fine Arts and transitioned to CG in the mid 1990's. Always with one foot firmly planted in the arts, she is currently enrolled in the Laguna College of Art and Design MFA Painting program. She has written 3 books on animation, the most recent being "Thinking Animation; Bridging the Gap between 2D and CG" http://thinkinganimation.com/ Jones has also taught at several institutions in the Los Angeles area. You can find out more about Angie's animation career here Spicy Cricket Animation. When she is not setting key frames, you can find Angie in her downtown loft in Los Angeles painting on large canvases and skateboards.

  • Dave Hardin

    Dave Hardin

    Dave's been animating professionally for about 8 1/2 years. He's worked at Sony Pictures Imageworks for a little over 5 years and is now currently working at Dreamworks Animation. There he's animated on "Kung Fu Panda 2," "Puss in Boots," "Rise of the Guardians," "The Croods," "Turbo," and is currently animating on "How to Train your Dragon 2." Dave grew up in Michigan and started drawing ever since he was little. Having loved watching all those movies like Independence Day (ones with big explosions and cool digital sequences) he attended College for Creative Studies in Michigan, originally wanting to work in visual effects. But really became interested in character animation in his sophomore year at college when he was given an assignment to bring an object to life. "I just decided to grab a default cylinder straight from 3D studio max and I parented a sphere on it to give the character a nose. I started making the character bounce around the screen and people responded to it so much that I just got hooked." Listening to movie scores really inspires him while he animates.

  • Doug Bennett

    Doug Bennett

    Doug is currently a Supervising Animator at Walt Disney Animation Studios. His film credits include Frozen, Wreck-it-Ralph, Tangled, Bolt, Tarzan and Treasure Planet. Doug has experience in both CG and traditional animation. Originally from Toronto, Canada, he attended Sheridan College and worked at Sullivan Bluth Studios in Dublin, Ireland where he got his start animating for feature films. After a few years of bouncing between Dublin and Toronto, working on features, TV shows, commercials, and special projects, he landed at Disney in 1995 and has been there ever since.

  • Alexis Wanneroy

    Alexis Wanneroy

    Alexis is currently a Supervising Animator at Dreamworks Animation Studios. He graduated top of his class from the prestigious Gobelins school in Paris, then joined Dreamworks in 2006. After working on “Flushed away”, “Bee movie” and “Kung fu panda”, due to his natural ability to develop a specific character, he quickly became the character lead animator for Fishlegs on “How to Train your Dragon” and Toothfairy on “Rise of the Guardians”. He is now working as a Supervising Animator on the movie “BOO” coming out in 2015 and has been heavily involved in all the pre-production development of the movie.

  • Paul Chung

    Paul Chung

    Paul is an animation director/supervisor who has been working in England and USA for over 30 years. He started his career in traditional animation and worked on films such as the Academy award winner "Who framed Rogger Rabbit?" and "SpaceJam". In 1999 he joined Dreamworks as a directing animator. In 2001 he was nominated for the Annie Award for "Outstanding individual achievement for character animation". Films that he has worked on during his 12 year career at Dreamworks include Shrek, Madagascar, Megamind and many others. In 2011 he return to London with his family to work at Framestore, where he was an Animation Supervisor on "Wrath of the Titans." As one of the industry's most experienced and talented Animators, Paul also regularly  conducts workshops and master classes on the art form. Paul is currently working at MPC’s Bangalore studio heading up the Animation department.

  • Jason Anastas

    Jason Anastas

    Jason was bitten by the animation bug at a very young age, like most, watching cartoons on countless Saturday mornings with cereal bowl in hand. Born and raised in Toronto, Canada. He studied 2D animation and CG post grad at Sheridan College (1989-95). His animation career started in 1995 at Walt Disney Animations Studios as an animation trainee. His first task at Disney was animating CG crowds on "Hunchback Of Notre Dame". Working with a mentor, Jason continued to grow and master his skills on "Dinosaur", "102 Dalmatians", "Reign Of Fire" and "Kangaroo Jack". After a brief stint at Rhythm & Hues working on "Garfield" and "Scooby 2", he was back at Disney as a Lead Animator of "Gaston" on "Meet The Robinsons" and Sr. Animator on "Bolt" and "Tangled". During Bolt, Jason became a mentor for the new trainees. He is currently working at Dreamworks Animation SKG. His credits include "Kung Fu Panda 2", "Puss And Boots", "Rise Of The Guardians", "The Croods" and "Peabody And Sherman". When not geeking out on "all things animation", Jason can be found blazing down Mammoth Mountain with his hair on fire....or more recently, the bunny slopes with his wife, Joan and 6-year old daughter, Sophia.

  • Jason Ryan
  • Ben Rush
  • Tal Shwarzman
  • Bill Tessier
  • Jacob Gardner
  • Ted Ty
  • Stephen Melagrano
  • Ken Fountain
  • Mike Walling
  • Chris Kirshbaum
  • Tim Ingersoll
  • Manuel Aparicio
  • Luke Randall
  • Mike Safianoff
  • Jamaal Bradley
  • Jim van der Keyl
  • Michael Kiely
  • Angie Jones
  • Dave Hardin
  • Doug Bennett
  • Alexis Wanneroy
  • Paul Chung
  • Jason Anastas

Games Animation Instructors Bios

  • Richard Arroyo

    Richard Arroyo

    Richard, most people call him Ric, is the type of guy that when you meet him, you don't forget him. Ric is so passionate about his work that it transpires in his attitude. Being very animated himself, he's the guy that will do handstands, show up at your desk dancing and do pretty much anything to get his team motivated. Since he can remember, Ric has been obsessed with cartoons, games, SyFy and Kung Fu movies. He started his animation career more then ten years ago after he graduated from Montreal's Interdec College in 2000 with a degree in Computer Animation for Television and Film. Ric has worked anywhere from television to award winning cinematic. He's been part of multiple projects with the responsability of taking on some fierce deadlines. He has worked on titles such as Splinter Cell, Prince of Persia, Aliens and Thor. It has been four years since Ric has left Montreal where he was working at Ubisoft to now enjoying sunny California with wife and son working as Lead Animator at a gaming studio in Pasadena.

  • David Lam

    David Lam

    David grew up as an active kid, full of energy who often ran into things, sometimes even trees. He quickly channeled this energy into sports and martial arts. Little did he know this paved the way for his career in animation where he became obsessed with action and combat scenes. His career now has spans over 8 years in games, film and commercials as a character animator. He has worked on numerous AAA titles for game studios such as Activision, Lucas Arts, Bungie and Naughty Dog. He has contributed on films for VFX studios, WETA Digital, Sony Pictures Imageworks and Digital Domain. More recently he completed work on “Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception” and “Uncharted 2: Among Thieves.” Currently, he is a Lead Cinematic Animator at Naughty Dog on a new exclusive PS3 title called “The Last of Us”.

  • Kevin Rucker

    Kevin Rucker

    Kevin is currently a Senior Animator at Blizzard Entertainment in Irvine California. After graduating from the Academy of Art University, he landed his first job at Sony Computer Entertainment to work on a, now cancelled, PlayStation 2 title. He then moved to Southern California to work for The Collective on a Dirty Harry game where he learned the importance of workflow to speed up production. From there he went to Ready At Dawn to work on his dream project, a God of War game for the PlayStation Portable. After shipping God of War: Chains of Olympus he went to work for Blue Sky Studios on Ice Age 3. He then returned to R.A.D to work on another God of War game, Ghost of Sparta. Before coming to Blizzard he was cinematic lead on the up coming PS4 title The Order:1886. When he's not working, Kevin enjoys spending time with his wife and two daughters. He also enjoys motorcycle riding, cookies and girly pop music.

  • Richard Lico

    Richard Lico

    Richard, or better known simply as Lico (lee-ko) by his friends, is currently Senior Art Lead with Bungie studios. Lico is responsible for the overall character animation technology and working with the art director to set the animation vision on Bungie's newest unannounced project. He has a passion for animation and game design, so the days when he can be hands-on, creating content or iterating on gameplay, he couldn't be happier. Lico has an uncanny understanding of motion, and how it can add to the game play experience. He's been in the gaming industry since graduating the Savannah College of Art and Design back in 1999, and has been animating, designing, or leading over 10 shipped games, including Halo: Reach, the Condemned series, X-Men: Legend, Jedi Knight, etc... Lico spends his free time tormenting his wife and 10-year-old son by injecting everything inanimate with a personality and voice for maximum embarrassment effect. The more public the better.

  • Brett Pascal

    Brett Pascal

    Brett has been working in the animation industry since 1999, but his journey to animation was unconventional. As a child he was always drawing (usually hockey goalies or various cartoon characters ) and watching cartoons. After a brief stay in college and a career carousel doing everything from forklift operator to rental car agent, Brett was 22 and eager to follow old dreams. Fast forward through rejection letters from animation schools, 10 months of animation training, unemployment insurance, a move to Vancouver and the better part of 2 years looking for work, Brett found a position doing scene cleanup on a CG TV pilot. In a few months he was animating AND getting paid! The experience opened a door at EA Canada and since then he's worked in the games industry.  (save for a few freelance contracts, and mentoring at Vancouver Film School and Think Tank Training Center). Brett has worked on several genres... sports, fighting, action, FPS, and RTS. He's animated on 12 projects, shipped 9 and lead 3. Recently his work can be found in Turok (2008), Sleeping Dogs (2012), and Company of Heroes 2 (2013). Brett recently returned to EA as the Technical Animation Director for the Frostbite Engine team.  He develops workflows, example content and tools for the Frostbite 3 engine, which powers several big EA titles such as Battlefield 4, Dragon Age Inquisition, Mirrors Edge 2, Need For Speed and more coming soon!

  • Johnny Spinelli

    Johnny Spinelli

    Johnny, a proud Montrealer, has been part of the animation world for 12 years. After graduating from Inter-Dec college in 3D Animation, he began his career on a small feature film called Pinocchio 3000. Later, he joined the Cinematics team at Ubisoft Montreal to work on trailers and in-game cinematics for titles such as Assassin's Creed and Prince of Persia. In 2009, he was offered an experience of a lifetime working at Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) on Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. In 2010, he continued working at ILM, animating on Rango, an Oscar winning feature. He is currently working at Eidos Montreal.

  • Bennie Terry III

    Bennie Terry III

    Bennie has over 18 years of experience working in the film and game industry. He has worked for companies such as Rhythm and Hues, Disney,  Marvel and has developed game related content across nine unique platforms with millions of units sold to his credit. From Art Director to Technical Director, Bennie has a highly creative and deep knowledge on how to use and lead today's technologies. When possible, Bennie can be found travelling the world from Brazil, Costa Rica, and Canada :)

  • Kristjan Zadziuk

    Kristjan Zadziuk

    Kristjan Zadziuk is currently Animation Director at Ubisoft Toronto. He's been in the industry for over 15 years most recently shipped the award winning Splinter Cell Blacklist. Before Kristjan had worked at Ubisoft Montreal from 2005 shipping the original Assassins Creed which was a industry breaking game. Kris will be part of the iAnimate Games and Motion Capture Workshop.

  • Richard Arroyo
  • David Lam
  • Kevin Rucker
  • Richard Lico
  • Brett Pascal
  • Johnny Spinelli
  • Bennie Terry III
  • Kristjan Zadziuk

Creatures Animation Instructors Bios

  • David Hubert

    David Hubert

    David has over 13 years of experience in animation and visual effects. He graduated from Montreal's Interdec College in 2000 and even though his background in graphic design led him towards a career in lighting and surfacing, his path took a sharp turn when he was hired as a character animator on the 3D animated series Xcalibur (Never heard of it? I know... no one ever did). After a few years of hard work in Montreal, David then traveled the world and worked on many feature films including Happy Feet and Hellboy: The Golden Army. He then landed at Dreamworks in 2008 and animated on many production including Shrek Forever After, Kung Fu Panda 2: The Kaboom of Doom, Puss in Boots, Madagascar 3: Europe Most Wanted and The Croods as Lead Creature animator. He came back to Montreal in 2012 and took the role of Animation and Cinematic Director at Eidos Montreal on a unannounced project.

  • Darryl Purdy

    Darryl Purdy

    Darryl, also known as RDP on the production floor, has been working in the animation industry for 13+ years. He has most recently joined Warner Bros. Games Montreal as Animation Director on a yet unannounced next gen AAA title. Darryl started his career as a character animator in the TV industry for the CBC Saturday morning animated series The Hippo Tub Co. and the SciFi Channel series Lexx: The Dark Zone. Shortly after this he made his jump into video games. His first role in video games was with the independent developer Artificial Mind and Movement (Behavior Interactive). In his time as senior animator at A2M he was lucky to be part of their internal prototyping team and was able to help flesh out core game mechanics that later became key features of A2M's AAA title Wet. He was also fortunate to work in partnership with Lucas Arts on the Indiana Jones series and Marvel Studios on the Iron Man game. As lead animator on Monster House for Sony Entertainment his project was lucky to be nominated for "Best Animated Video Game" in the 2007 Annie Awards. Since then Darryl has had the pleasure to work with National Geographic on a 3D stereoscopic IMAX feature, with Bungie Studios as a cinematic animator on Halo 3 and with Pandemic Studios (EA) and THQ Studio Oz as a lead animator. Most recently Darryl was the Animation Director and Cinematic Director on Far Cry 3 at Ubisoft Montreal.

  • Johnny Spinelli

    Johnny Spinelli

    Johnny, a proud Montrealer, has been part of the animation world for 12 years. After graduating from Inter-Dec college in 3D Animation, he began his career on a small feature film called Pinocchio 3000. Later, he joined the Cinematics team at Ubisoft Montreal to work on trailers and in-game cinematics for titles such as Assassin's Creed and Prince of Persia. In 2009, he was offered an experience of a lifetime working at Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) on Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. In 2010, he continued working at ILM, animating on Rango, an Oscar winning feature. He is currently working at Eidos Montreal.

  • Scott Holmes

    Scott Holmes

    Scott has been a professional feature film animator for over 14 years. His credits include  “Stuart Little,” “Eight Legged Freaks,” “Open Season,” “Narnia,” “Garfield,” Lord of the Rings, the two towers,” and “Hellboy II.” Recently he was lead animator on “Paul” and Animation Supervisor at Nickelodeon on the upcoming “Robot & Monster.” Currently he is the academic director of the animation program at Daemen College, responsible for the entire degree curriculum as well as teaching duties. In addition to animation he also paint portraits.

  • Brendan Body

    Brendan Body

    Brendan has just passed his 13th year anniversary in the animation industry. After leaving his native Scotland in 2000 he has worked around the world, switching between Animated features and Visual Effects. Some of his film credits include four of the Harry Potter films, Hellboy 2, John Carter, Legend of The Guardians and more recently Cloudy with a Chance of meatballs 2, Pacific Rim and The Amazing Spider-Man. The theme of flight has run throughout his career, having brought to life various birds, pixies, dragons, a Hippogryph and giant flying kaju. This, along with a personal interest, has lead to a deep understanding of flight animation which is why it'll be the subject of his iAnimate lecture.

  • Jason Snyman

    Jason Snyman

    Jason has been surrounded by art his whole life and took an interest in 3d when he was 13, having access to state of the art machines at sgi in south africa he was able to hone his skills as a 3d artists at a young age. 4 years later he found himself working at millfilm in london , he then went onto work at weta on LORT Return of the king where he made the move into the animation department. Since then he has worked on many shows at weta and mpc over the past 10 years from kingkong, Avatar to superman and Godzilla.
    He is still very passionate about art and film making and in his free time you can find him painting or working on his short film - if not, he's on the mountain shredding some pow pow

  • Pierre Périfel

    Pierre Périfel

    Pierre Perifel is a native from Lyon, France, and has spent the last five years in L.A. working as an animator for Dreamworks Animation. He's a former student of Gobelins. He's worked in Paris on several feature films as a 2D animator from 2005 to 2008, including The Illusionist or Curious George. Working for DWA since february 2008, he's been animating on several features and short films such as Shrek Forever After or Kung Fu Panda 2 on which he lead the character of Lord Shen. He became a supervising animator on Rise of the Guardians,  continued on the now cancelled Me And My Shadow as a 2D and CG supervising animator, and is now part of the development team for Monkeys Bollywood Superstar (working title). He wins an Annie Awards in 2009 for his animation on the short film Secrets of the Furious Five, and was nominated for the 2012  and 2013 Annie Awards for his work on Lord Shen and North.

  • Cameron Fielding

    Cameron Fielding

    Cameron has been working in animation for 13 years. His experience covers a wide range of styles and formats, including video game development, feature animation and visual effects. Originally from England, his journey so far far has spanned studios worldwide including Ubisoft Montreal, Industrial Light & Magic, DreamWorks Animation and now Valve Corporation near Seattle.

  • Alper Akşit

    Alper Akşit

    Alper is an animator from Istanbul, currently residing in London. He received a bachelors degree in filmmaking and during his education he grew an interest in visual effects and animation. Persuing a career in animation he started his profesional career in 2009 on local TV series in Turkey and in early 2010, moved on to work as an animator at Double Negative VFX in London. His credits include films such as John Carter, Total Recall, Fast and Furious 6 and Thor: The Dark World. He currently continues his role at Double Negative VFX.

  • James Cunliffe

    James Cunliffe

    James has been animating professionally since 1998 when he accepted a job at Rare Ltd in the UK. Within 8 months he left Rare with a select few other members to head up their own company - Free Radical Design. He directed the animation department through every part of its internationally award winning growth until 2005 when he decided to travel the world. He left his, now 180, Free Radical' friends and set off on his journey into feature animation. James worked in various animation roles on 8 feature length movies across 3 continents before returning back to video games in 2010 with the role of Animation Director at Crytek UK. In 2011 James was nominated for a VES award for "Outstanding Animated Character in an Animated Feature Motion Picture" for his work on Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole. Since then James has moved to Valve, in Seattle, where he navigates their infamous bossless vacuum and learns at an accelerated pace.

  • Jalil Sadool

    Jalil Sadool

    Jalil has worked in the film industry as an animator for over 8 years. He started his career at Rhythm and Hues Studios on “The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe”, and then spent five years in New Zealand as a Senior Animator and a Lead Animator at Weta Digital Ltd where he worked on such notable films as “Prince Caspian”, “Avatar” and “Rise of the Planet of the Apes”. In 2011, he switched from Visual Effects to Feature Animation and joined DreamWorks Animation to work on “Rise of the Guardians” and the highly anticipated “How to Train your Dragon 2”.

  • James Bennett

    James Bennett

    James is a Senior Animator & Lead Previz artist with over 15 years experience in the animation industry. With a genuine passion for animation, his list of credits includes Godzilla, The Hobbit, Avatar, King Kong, Tin Tin, Happy Feet, How To Train your Dragon 2, Madagascar 3, Iron Man 2 & a host more.

     

     

  • David Hubert
  • Darryl Purdy
  • Johnny Spinelli
  • Scott Holmes
  • Brendan Body
  • Jason Snyman
  • Pierre Périfel
  • Cameron Fielding
  • Alper Akşit
  • James Cunliffe
  • Jalil Sadool
  • James Bennett

Our other Workshop Instructors Bios

  • Jonah Austin

    Jonah Austin - Rigging Instructor

    Jonah graduated in 2001 from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago with B.F.A. in Fine Arts / Animation. After only animating with a pencil and paper, he spent time at Gnomon School of Visual Effects in Hollywood learning Maya. Although aiming to be an animator he found and aptitude for rigging and was hired by Sony Imageworks as a character TD. He learned facial rigging on Beowulf and put his skills to use rigging the Oscar winning Benjamin Button at Digital Domain. He went on to rig over 70 assets for Tron:Legacy before switching roles to the facial animation team and eventually move to MPC, Santa Monica as a lead animator. He now puts both sets of skills to use as an iAnimate Rigging instructor.

  • Brent George

    Brent George - Motion Capture Instructor

    Since 1997, Brent’s career has been enriched by many corners of the animation industry. Having spent time in Commercials, Television, Film and more recently Video Games, he has gotten a pretty good taste of what animation has to offer. During his travels Brent has worked as Animator, CG Supervisor, Producer, VFX Supervisor, Character Technical Director, Animation Director and a countless number of other roles. Most recently, Brent can be found freelancing at local VFX and Game companies, Directing his latest webseries “Le Chalet” and/or enthusiastically imparting his knowledge onto the students of Dawson College’s 3D Animation and CGI program. Brent is best known for spearheading highly creative projects by assembling custom tailored teams and designing pipelines from the ground up. After which, he applies his unique flavour of collaboration and leadership in order to deliver high quality results on time and on budget.

  • Colin Graham

    Colin Graham - Motion Capture Instructor

    Colin is currently an Animation Director Ubisoft and is a 14 year industry veteran with 12 shipped titles and is now working on Ubisoft Montreal's latest AAA blockbuster Watch Dogs. He graduated from Sheridan College in 1999 and started his career at Bullfrog/EA Europe working on several Harry Potter titles until joining Ubisoft in 2005. Over the past four and a half years, he has been developing the animation style and pipeline on Watch Dogs which has already won multiple awards.  Starting in January, Colin will be teaching his techniques and breaking down philosophies when animating and working with motion capture.

  • Sean Callan

    Sean Callan - Modeling for Animators Instructor

    Sean has been modeling for 15 years and has practical experience creating both hard surface and organic models for TV/film and real time simulations. He graduated with a BFA in Animation from the International Academy of Design in 2002 and is a Certified Maya Instructor who teaches at Future Media Concepts (an Autodesk certified training canter). He also heads up a small collaboration of artists who create many Pilot TV show concepts from beginning to end and visualizations for various clients including Cake Mix and Hasbro Studios. By the end of this class, students will be able to create and collect reference material used to model, UV and  texture: props, interior & exterior sets, vehicles, weapons, etc.

    Career highlights include: Co-modeled four new Transformers 4 character car models, Reebok and new product development models & animations, Kreo Transformer Play-Set animations for in store advertisments, Chuck & Friends Pilot  (Sets for pilot), Mr Potato Head products and commercials, Project leader on rigging for all Season 1 Transformer Prime charters for Hasbro Studios.

  • Simon Unger

    Simon Unger - Motion Capture Instructor

    Simon has been animating for games for over 13 years. Most recently finishing a role as Animation Director on Hitman: Absolution for Square Enix, which won and was nominated for several awards including Best Animation (G4TV) and Outstanding Achievement in Animation (DICE 2013). Before Hitman, he spent nearly nine years with Electronic Arts, primarily in the Lead Cinematic Animator role, shipping many notable titles including MVP Baseball 2005, which was named by OperationSports.com to be "The Greatest Sports Game Ever Made". In between work and family life, Simon writes for AltDevBlogADay on animation, games, and art related topics and was also a speaker at GDC 2013 on Performance Capture in Games. Currently Simon is the Lead Animator at Robotoki on a new IP called Human Element.

  • Frederick Gaudreau

    Frederick Gaudreau - Surface & Lighting for Animators Instructor

    After graduating from Montreal's ICARI school in 1999, Frederick started as a modeler/generalist on game animatics. His attention to detail, skills and eagerness quickly brought him to work on big productions. His professional path led him to work on sets as a motion control TD, experiencing and discovering live lighting, a medium holding the power to transform a boring environment into a true work of art. Over the years, his career evolved into lighting and compositing, his true passion. He moved to California in 2004, where his good reputation preceded him. He had the pleasure to light and comp on animation films such as Monster House and Open season. Frederick then had the opportunity to work on award wining live features such as Spider Man 3, I am Legend, Val Kyrie, Body of Lies, Watchmen and more. He currently holds a position as a VFX supervisor at Warner Bros Animation.

  • Jonah Austin
  • Brent George
  • Colin Graham
  • Sean Callan
  • Simon Unger
  • Frederick Gaudreau

Apply

Click HERE to Apply for the Feature, Games, or Rigging workshops.

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