Monday, July 2, 2018

More TN Art Conference Photos


The conference posted a huge selection of photos taken by the talented Karen Orozco (who I also had as a student once!).  Fun seeing all the reactions to people trying VR for the first time.



Tuesday, June 26, 2018

VR at TN Arts Conference


This past week I had the awesome chance to hold several VR workshops for the artists and art educators at the Tennessee Arts Commission’s 2018 Tennessee Arts and Arts Education Conference.  The event was titled "Design Thinking: A Pathway for Innovation in the Arts" and was held at APSU this year.  It was a lot of fun to have people explore virtual painting, sculpting and animation for the first time and talk about the possibilities that VR opens up for students. APSU featured us in a video and press release that you can read below or HERE

APSU’s CECA highlights art innovations on campus during state conference 
More than 200 art educators, administrators and artists from across the state visited the Austin Peay State University campus this month to discover new, innovative ways to teach and advocate for the arts in the coming year. Austin Peay’s Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts (CECA) hosted the Tennessee Arts Commission’s 2018 Tennessee Arts and Arts Education Conference, which allowed CECA to show off the groundbreaking projects taking place at Austin Peay. 
“It was an honor to host this conference at Austin Peay and be able to showcase our amazing facilities and faculty, many of whom were session presenters,” Dr. Janice Crews, CECA director, said. “Providing meaningful resources to arts professionals and getting such positive feedback made it all worthwhile.” 
Scott Raymond, APSU assistant professor of art + design and former DreamWorks animator, unpacked two of the University’s new virtual reality systems so attendees could walk through 3D virtual paintings they made. 
“Coming from digital animation, virtual reality is really taking off,” Raymond said. “They’re making interactive cartoons and shorts. And for artists, you can now paint and sculpt in a three-dimensional space.”   
Educators from public and private schools took turns donning the VR headsets and hand controllers, and then they created wild, three-dimensional works in their own personal worlds. Down the hall in the APSU Art + Design Building, a group of music teachers huddled in a classroom, learning to play the Beatles’ “Let It Be” on ukuleles. 
Other sessions included incorporating visual arts in elementary music, presented by APSU music professor Eric Branscome, and improv for everyone, led by APSU theater professor Talon Beeson. Arts administrators participated in sessions on grant writing, strategic planning and more. 
The three-day event, titled “Design Thinking: A Pathway for Innovation in the Arts,” marked the first time APSU has hosted a Tennessee Arts Commission Conference.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Highway Rat at Annecy


The Highway Rat is screening at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival this year - and has been nominated in the TV Films category!  Congrats to the whole Triggerfish crew who put together some amazing animation.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Random Madagascar 2 Shot


It's always interesting when something you worked on turns up in a random place.  Like the one time we're waiting for our plane in a Chicago airport and my wife looks at the giant United Airlines mural starting back at us and goes "wait - I painted that!"

Well, surfing through my news app the other day I ran across this image in an Engadget article about the latest cut of VLC media player.  And there is one of my earlier shots from Madagascar 2 staring at me.  The "dance fight" sequence in Mad2 was my second crowds sequence at DreamWorks, and probably one of the highest number of shots in any overall sequence during my time there.  So, there was a lot of care and consistency going into those 3 lions you see on the right side of the screen :)

Friday, May 18, 2018

Updated Reel


Summer break is always a good time to update the ol' animation reel.  It includes new shots from The Highway Rat, Planet Blue, and Racing Legends.  Check it out!

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Jackson Alley Film Festival Screening

Darren Michael and Talon Beeson introductions
Tonight was the screening of the First Annual Jackson Alley Film Festival!

We had 4 submitted final films, around 20 students participating, 6 faculty mentors, and almost 100 people show up for the Festival screening.  We held the screening in the lecture hall of the Art + Design building, and it was great to see everyone's hard work on the big screen.  The films were enthusiastically received by everyone and it was just a really fun night.

We got great responses from our student participants and learned a lot ourselves along the way.  We've agreed to start earlier next year with the Festival and will adjust the format a bit based on this year's experience.  Next year we'll have a budget, some visiting artists from Screen Actors Guild, and hoping to get some animation/visual effects students involved.  We'll be putting the films online soon and I'll post a link when those are up.

Student diretor Juan Romero Q&A