Disney animators help Vizzers create videos in industry class

 

The secret afterhours lives of office supplies were revealed in three video shorts developed by graduate Texas A&M visualization students last summer under the guidance of visiting professionals from Walt Disney Animation Studios.

Starting with a story idea from Disney, student teams created the videos using the same production pipeline employed by the fabled animation company to create feature-length animated movies.

Working in three teams, students took responsibility for different parts of the production such as the story, lighting, visual development or technical direction.

“It is always interesting to watch the transformation from storyboard and concept art to final piece, and this year was no different,” said Ann McNamara, assistant professor of visualization, who served as a producer, managing the course and facilitating interaction between the students and industry visitors. “What was impressive with this group was that the teams figured out early on how to work well within their own teams and across teams and that made everyone’s work better."

Disney animators, whose specialization matched a particular stage of the development process, visited the Viz Lab and advised the students as they crafted the 30-second videos. They also received feedback from Disney animators via video conference calls.

"The Disney artists continue to amaze us all with their generosity in terms of time, guidance and encouragement,” said McNamara.

Everyone was very impressed with the students’ work and how the teams managed the very intense project schedule, she said.

“While the final pieces are truly impressive, most of the lessons learned come from the process, problem solving and working with each other,” she said.

The industry course, which the department offers each summer, provides students with real-world experience from a studio, such as Disney or DreamWorks Animation SKG, with the highest standards for visual arts and computer graphics.

A Moonlit Story - Viz Summer Animation Project with Disney

Night Shift - Viz Summer Animation Project with Disney

After Hours - Viz Summer Animation Project with Disney

posted November 17, 2011