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The Development of the Digital Animator

Panel moderated by animator and historian Tom Sito

When "Toy Story" burst onto the scene in 1995, its computer-generated imagery was, for many, a bold new technique in animation. However, the development of computer-generated motion picture animation was a lengthy and meticulous process that had its first public exposure with the mesmerizing swirls of the opening titles for "Vertigo" (1958). Of equal importance to the technical developments were the influential animators and designers who devised artistic uses for engineering advances. Our panel of some of the pioneers of digital animation revisitsd the long path from laboratory to cineplex.

Panelists:

Rebecca Allen is a media artist, designer and director whose groundbreaking animated work ranges from landmark music videos to dance films, interactive art installations and Emmy Award-winning opening titles. Her collaborators include Kraftwerk, Mark Mothersbaugh, Carter Burwell, Peter Gabriel and Twyla Tharp. She is currently professor of Design|Media Arts at UCLA.

Philippe Bergeron is a CG animator and president of PaintScaping.com, a 3D projection mapping company. He co-directed and animated one of the first CG characters in the short "Tony de Peltrie," the closing film of SIGGRAPH '85. He also worked at Digital Productions and Whitney/Demos Productions.

David Em began producing digital art in the 1970s and has worked as an independent artist in research laboratories such as the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Apple Computer's Advanced Technology Group. He is the first digital artist to have his papers collected and preserved by the Smithsonian Institution's Archives of American Art.

Tim Johnson is a director and animator who began his career at Chicago's Post Effects. At Pacific Data Images in the 1980s, he animated the first digital Pillsbury Doughboy. His feature directing credits include "Antz," "Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas" and "Over the Hedge."

Jeff Kleiser is the co-founder of Digital Effects, New York's first CG house. He later co-founded both Kleiser-Walczak Construction Company and Synthespian Studios. His credits include "Tron," "Honey, I Blew Up the Kid," "Stargate" and "X-Men: The Last Stand."

Bill Kroyer is an animator and director whose credits include "Tron," "FernGully: The Last Rainforest" and "Scooby-Doo." He received an Academy Award nomination for his 1988 short film "Technological Threat." He is currently Director of Digital Arts at the Dodge College of Film and Media Arts at Chapman University.

John Lasseter is Chief Creative Officer of Walt Disney Feature Animation and Pixar Studios. His directing credits include Pixar's first short, the Academy Award-winning "Luxo Jr.," and the feature films "Toy Story," "A Bug's Life," "Toy Story 2," "Cars" and "Cars 2."

Tom Sito is a veteran Hollywood animator and historian. His screen credits include "Who Framed Roger Rabbit," "The Little Mermaid," "Beauty and the Beast," "The Lion King," "Shrek" and "Hop."

Phil Tippett is an Academy Award-winning visual effects animation director whose creditsinclude “Star Wars,” “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom,” “Jurassic Park,” “The Spiderwick Chronicles” and several of the films in the “Twilight Saga.”

Diana Walczak is a CG animator and director who co-founded Kleiser-Walczak Construction Company and Synthespian Studios. With Jeff Kleiser, she created the first female Synthespian performer, Dozo, for the 1989 music video "Don't Touch Me." Her credits include the digital opera "Monsters of Grace" and the feature films "X-Men" and "Surrogates."

Toy Story 3 "Toy Story 3"

 

Event Information

May 21, 2012
Samuel Goldwyn Theater
Don't Show Again