Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New Animation Club Meeting Time

Happy Holidays Club!

School session will be starting up again in February and there has been some interest in changing the Animation Club Meeting time to a different day of the week.

We currently meet Wednesdays at 12:30pm, but it has been suggested by several members that we change the day to Friday and possibly change the time as well.

We thought the best way to decide would be to put it to a vote on the Blog. Please vote for the day that would work best for you and once that's decided, we will pick the time of day.

We will make an announcement on the blog ahead of time as to when our first meeting of the semester will be, which may be the second week of the Spring semester.

For now, please vote in the poll and comment below about what day and time you would prefer to meet for Animation Club.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Genericwalk, Just started to learn animation, need some critique :P . I can't seems to get rid the pops of the knees..

*posted a new link just in case the video doesn't work

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Rc car with Antenna!

Hello! Please critique my new animation exercise Antenna study. 

Rc car with Antenna! perspective from Andrei Radacina on Vimeo.

Rc car with Antenna! Side. from Andrei Radacina on Vimeo.

Please critique the braking joins and the vibration!

Best regards,

Andrei ( 

Friday, December 4, 2009

Ball, squash and stretch!

Hello this is one of my exercise Ball bounce with squash and stretch.

Ball, squash and stretch. from Andrei Radacina on Vimeo.

Please critique the space and the timing, squashing and streching.

Best regards,


Online Club Critique login

ONLINE Club Critique:

If you would like to post your animation (or animation related work) up on the blog for critique, login with: AAUcritique

Password: Critique

Once logged in, Create a New Post and upload the video file of your animation (or other file type, depending on the work) and ask for the type of critique or feedback you are looking for.


Join us TODAY at MORGAN AUDITORIUM, 5PM for the Fall Animation Festival. There's a widely anticipated intro. animation, Special guest Nik Ranieri, and great submissions from your fellow classmates.

Come check out the Fall animation scene.

At 491 POST, cross street Mason.

Kyle Balda: A "Broad Strokes" 10 minute tutorial on YouTube

Reel Inspiration and Reference Post


People in lab are talking about these great reels!

Check out Travis Tohill's reel


Check out this Muybridge-like video reference on Bodies In Motion Image Library page.

He has uploaded some great free content and the rest you can subscribe to.

Thursday, November 12, 2009



Blizzard Logo

Thursday, November 12th

Morgan Auditorium - 10 AM

Calling all Game Designers, Animators, Illustrators and Fine Artists!

Hear what BLIZZARD ENTERTAINMENT looks for in portfolios and reels.

Learn about internships and job opportunities.


Simply bring your alumni ID to gain entry.

Questions? Email

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Fall Animation Festival!

Now's the time to show your animated short film at the
Fall Animation Festival!

The deadline is quickly approaching:
Sunday, November 15th, Lab closing time.
For more information, check out the Festival Info Blog:

Submission drop-off locations can be found at:
540 Powell, 180 New Montgomery, and 601 Brannan.

See you there!

CTN Animation Expo: Group BUS Update

The Price of Bus Seats is officially down and the cost per seat is just $30. That's the round-trip fare to take the AAU Bus down to Burbank, CA.

Our HUGE THANKS to Director Sherrie H. Sinclair who made the buses possible!

For those who have NOT yet signed up and emailed Ting about a bus seat, the sign-up info below is for you!

By commenting below. And we will give you our email so you can send your Name, Student ID number and Phone number to get on our Bus List.

PAYMENT: Due by 5pm THIS Friday. You can pay our good man Brian Schirmer at Room #301, on the 3rd floor of the 180 building. You will receive a waiver to sign when you pay for your seat. Once you commit to going and pay for your seat, we cannot refund your money should you drop out.

Meet to BOARD the BUSES: At Midnight on Thursday, Nov. 19th, outside of the 180 building.

Pack light, its a short visit!

IMD on Campus, Nov. 18th!


IMD artwork

State of the art studio devoted exclusively to performance capture feature films

Wednesday, November 18th

79 New Montgomery Theater

7:00PM sharp!

Hear and ask about:

The upcoming film Disney's A Christmas Carol

Company culture

Motion capture process

And much more...


Simply bring your alumni ID to gain entry. Questions? Email

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

We're Going to the CTN Animation Expo!

The CTN Animation Expo is coming up soon!
Nov. 20-22
At the Burbank Convention Center

We have buses to take us down to the Expo! The cost of a bus seat, ROUND TRIP, is currently between $45-50.We will know the exact price when we get a final number on the people who want to bus down, but the price will not go above $50.

That's a pretty sweet deal for a road trip to LA with all your animation friends on a bus!

We are trying to see if we can get around 20 more people for the buses. If we do, the price per bus seat will be closer to $45.

Whoever wants to go by bus, please comment below and let us know you're interested in a bus seat!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Part three of the Norman Modification Workshop

Norman Mod Workshop Tutorial
Part 3
Tips and Ticks originally taught to the AAU Animation Club by Joshua Slice in a live demonstration on campus, 10-03-2009, is now in a SUPER EASY written tutorial by Vaughan Weigert. Enjoy!

Modding The Mouth...

Start with fixing that giant overbite on the Original Norman... Make Curves visible again and place the Teeth back in the head so they don't collide with the head mesh.

1. Grab the Jaw Controllers and move them up or back as the case may be.
2. And SCALE the jaw Controllers to fit your head.

3. Select the "boca-burger" mouth shape surrounding the jaw and hit the "f8" key to view the mesh in COMPONENT MODE.
4. Now, select all verts of the object in component mode and move it back, and scale it, to fit into the head.


1. Grab all vertices of the mesh in Component Mode and move it up (TY).

You may want to open the jaw and check to see that it looks right.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Brad Bird speaking at Berkeley Repertory Theater - Monday, Nov. 9th

Jon Carroll in Conversation with Brad Bird from Pixar
Buy your Student Ticket now!

Brad Bird is the writer and director of the Academy® Award-winning films Ratatouille and The Incredibles, as well as the critically acclaimed 1999 animated feature, The Iron Giant.

Berkeley Repertory Theater - Thrust Stage
2025 Addison St.
Berkeley, CA 94704

Doors open at 6 PM - Program begins at 7 PM
No host wine reception at 6 PM

All proceeds benefit the academic and financial assistance
programs at Park Day School in Oakland.

Nickelodeon on Campus November 10th!

Nickelodeon on Campus Event!

TUESDAY November 10th, at Morgan Auditorium 5:00PM.

Get the scoop on the best PAID writing fellowship in comedy.

Calling all 3D, 2D, Illustration, Games and Fine Art students.
Portfolio and Reel submissions Q&A

It will be a great networking and info finding opportunity. Come on out!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Part two of the Norman Modification Workshop

Norman Mod Workshop Tutorial
Part 2
Tips and Ticks originally taught to the AAU Animation Club by Joshua Slice in a live demonstration on campus, 10-03-2009, is now in a SUPER EASY written tutorial by Vaughan Weigert. Enjoy!

Starting With The Head...

TIP: Have one duplicate (blendshape) head only. UNLESS, you want to make an extra blendshape head(s) for extreme facial animation poses, but that is something you should do LATER, when your basic norman mod is done and you're already making progress on your shot.

0. Have a reference...
1. Work in front and side view primarily. It's best to make BROAD SHAPE ADJUSTMENTS on the head FIRST, with the LATTICE tool (not vert by vert choices).

Recommended Lattice Tool Settings:
Lattice: 8x8x8
Local divisions at 2x2x2
*Make sure you can see the Lattice you created in all windows: under SHOW, make sure DEFORMERS visibility is checked on.
2. Select the blendshape head geo and in the Animation MENU, select CREATE DEFORMERS > LATTICE and move the lattice points to adjust the head shape.
If further modification is desired, and you need more or different points on the head to pull/ push,
then select the blendshape head and EDIT> DELETE BY TYPE> HISTORY on the blendshape head. The current lattice tool will be deleted from it.
The changes in shape you made will remain.

Select the head blendshape geo and in the Animation MENU, select CREATE DEFORMERS > LATTICE.
A NEW lattice will appear on your mesh which you can make further adjustments to, with a clean lattice shape.
While using the LATTICE TOOL: scale tool --> go to Channel Box Settings --> play with Soft select "Fall off" to get more or less global squash & stretch.

- Don't move the eye lid geometry too much - you want it to hug the eyeballs.
- Same with the mouth. So when you use SOFT SELECT, make sure your soft select grabs the WHOLE mouth shape or eye socket, if you move it around.

Image Plane Setup: Setup your reference to model from. 5 steps and some tips.
1. Select Camera View
2. Create image plane.Image Plane Setup:
3. Source file into Image plane.Image Plane Setup:
Check: Cameras must be visible.
Image Plane Setup:
4. Rename Image Plane.
5. Adjust settings and movement options to line up the image with character's head size.
6. (TIP) "X-Ray" mesh view of the character can help you line up the reference to your model.Image Plane Setup:
TIP: Lock your camera view.
The Lattice tool is best for creating basic form/shape. The Sculpt brush for smoothing it out.

FOR MORE DETAILED HEAD SHAPING: use the SCULPT BRUSH -->settings "Reflection". Opacity at 1%.
Next, part three of the Norman Modification Workshop, "The Mouth"...

Part one of the Norman Modification Workshop

Norman Mod Workshop Tutorial
Tips and Ticks originally taught to the AAU Animation Club by Joshua Slice in a live demonstration on campus, 10-03-2009, is now in a SUPER EASY written tutorial by Vaughan Weigert. Enjoy!

FIRST, Prepare the Norman Character for Modding Blendshapes: 10 easy steps

1. Open New Norman file
2. Go to Outliner: Expand the Norman Character Group, under "World Space", select "grWorld_Geometry".
3. Go to Attribute Editor: Under "Display" go to "Drawing Overrides" --> select "Display type": Normal
4. Go to SHOW menu--> polys only.

5. Drag Select with your mouse, all the Norman geo displayed and hit CTRL "D" to duplicate it.
6. Put your cursor over the Outliner and hit "F" to find this new group...

7. Then Hit CTRL "G" to group the selection. With cursor in Outliner, hit "F" to locate the new Group.

8. Double Click this new group and rename it "Blendshapes".

9. Then Middle Mouse click/drag this new group out of the Original Norman hierarchy.

10. With the "Blendshapes" group selected, use the Translate Tool to move this new geometry to the side.

SECOND, Setting up the Blendshapes: 4 Steps
-with a little repetition.

1. Delete any geometry on the Norman Dup that won't be used as a Blendshape...
Typically, this means you can delete the NORMAN DUP's Feet, Hands, Eyeballs, Nose and Ears.
NOTE ON FEET: If you want to SHAPE the feet/shoes geo, you can keep the Feet Geo for your Dup (blendshape) Norman.
NEED to make a character with tiny feet? It's easier to make everything else on the character bigger, than to scale the feet down. It's also easy to WRAP a Shoe Geo shape to the foot as well.

2. BEFORE selecting Norman's head to make a blendshape: go to the Blendshape Editor and check the advanced settings. It should be set to "FRONT OF CHAIN".
3. One part at a time, Select Norman Dup Geometry then select Original Norman mesh geometry and hit "Create Blendshape".

4. Then select the Original Norman mesh and look in the Channel Box. Where it says "blendshape#": make sure it is set
to "1". Do this for all Original Norman parts that have blendshapes.

Now You Can Start Modding!

It's best to have a sketch (or reference photo) of the character you are going to mod Norman into, BEFORE you start modding.
A great reference & source of inspiration for modding Norman into interesting Character shapes is the book "How to Draw Caricatures" byLenn Redman.

Check it out!

Next, part two of the Norman Modification Workshop, "Starting With The Head"...

Thursday, October 8, 2009

EVENTS CALENDAR! New! in the Animation Community Links Section

Listing Local and primarily in-State Events in the Animation Community. We will update it continuously with club meeting times, free museum days, special events, lectures, screenings and film festivals that you can get out to.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Norman Modification Workshop Today!

There is a Norman Mod workshop happening today, taught pro bono by our very own Joshua Slice.

Come learn (more) tips and tricks about modifying the school's Norman Character that will help you mod faster and achieve more creative results.

WHEN: 3:00pm

WHERE: 3rd floor, room 349, at the 180 New Montgomery building.

For those of you can't make it or are off-site, we will be recording the demonstration via Camtasia Studio (or similar) and posting it to the blog in a couple days.

For all attending today's workshop, we suggest bringing a $1 donation, which will go towards the "Putting Food in Josh's Mouth" fund.

Have a great weekend guys!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Inspiration Post: Body Language

Here's a great, funny video to study.

It's a multiple person dialogue, with great subtle acting performance... and zero lipsync/ facial!

NOTE: as with ALL video content posted, some of the views expressed in these videos may... possibly... be considered offensive. The views expressed are not necessarily the views of the AAU Animation Club.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

What's Cookin' on the back burner

An animation community Events Calendar:
Listing Free days at museums around town, ASIFA and ACM SIGGRAPH meetings, as well as special events.

A Night Program (?!)
Once a week, in the evening, after classes are done for the day... we'll get together all ninja-like in one of the classrooms and have a "Best of " showing. Everyone who comes should contribute with a link, file or DVD of the best animation or animation related video they've seen that day, week, month, year, etc. This additional weekly event should exist to provide the group with added discussion, ideas, questions, comments and inspiration.

Field Trips:
We plan on scheduling group trips to the events and museums. Speaking of which, we're all very excited about the new Disney Museum in the Presido, which opens this Thursday. We hear it is worth several day trips and will blow your socks off!

We also foresee putting together bigger group road trips for things like SIGGRAPH.

At the moment we're all buzzing about Animation Expo which is happening soon: Nov. 20-22 2009. Club members definitely want to go and volunteer to work at the event (free admission for volunteers!). If you're interested, go over to the Volunteer Page and sign up TODAY. They are still short on volunteers at the moment, but you'll have to sign up quickly to secure your free admission to the event.

The question now is how we all want to get down there -carpool? Bus? And where we'll stay while we're there for about 3 days. If we can get club funding for a bus or lodging, we will post that info here ASAP, for now though it's up to us, so...

Comment if you'll be going!

Some good questions covered from the Town Hall Meeting Discussion today

Points discussed were:

Lab space & Peak lab hours:
The directors will look into opening up classroom space and possibly adding more lab space as usage and student enrollment dictates.

Peak Hours, according to the 3rd floor lab front desk, are 1pm to 4pm.

The PC lab is open from 7:30AM to 1:30AM daily and if you don't want to wait for a computer it is recommended you come in before 12:00 noon.

Approaching and working with your Faculty Directly:

1. To express interest in bringing in additional guest speakers to review demo reels before the student's last year of classes.

Outside of the guest lecturers and panels AAU brings to speak in Morgan Auditorium, like Dreamworks, etc. It is recommended that you, as students, approach your instructors and ask them collectively, to bring in a colleague in the field to review your reels in class and give you some added feedback.

As always, you should keep in mind who you are catering your reel to: what studio? and what kind of reel are you presenting? Keep it specific and you will get better feedback.

2. To get more info on a course you would like to take.

Have you read the course description in the AAU catalog? Read the syllabus online? Called your advisor and they can't tell you any more about the class? Still not sure if the class is right for you...?

Email the Director of the Department that the class is in, to ask for more info. about the class: what software is used or taught. What are the projects you'll do and what skills are those projects going to teach you. Ask specific questions about the class.

If you'd like to ask more than just a question or two, CALL to schedule a meeting. That way as soon as an opening is available, you can book it.

It is strongly recommended that you CALL rather than emailing; because it may take half a day for you to get back about the time that was available and which may no longer be available by the time you reply to the email. So, CALL to book appointments.

Do we have a render farm? Yes we do!
To keep things from getting disorganized and haphazzard with the renderfarm usage it is overseen by our awesome lab matron: Galina Rozina. Once you are ready to render out your project, go to the back of the 180 building's 3rd floor lab and speak to her directly about setting up your renders.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Fall Kick-off BBQ Rescheduled for THIS Saturday -> New Location

The BBQ planned for last Saturday was postponed due to thunderstorms.

Now that the weather seems to have cleared up again, we will have the BBQ THIS weekend, at Dolores Park this Saturday from 1-5.
Collaboratively Organized by clubs in: VFX, ADV, ANM, ILL, & MPT.

This event is fully catered by CASE and it is BYOB.
(No really, bring your own beer!)

Join us to start the semester off right with a frisbee, a friend, some tunes and brews. See you there!

We are unable to secure any area ahead of time, so several of us are going to show up early and steak out a space, between 9:30 and 10am. Any of you who can come early and help with this, please do, it will be greatly appreciated.


Check out the AAU VFX facebook page for the most current status updates on this event (if you are unsure about the weather on Saturday or any future cancellations) as well as regular postings for collaborative projects.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

BBQ This Weekend in GG Park!

Important info about FREE FOOD!

There is a huge BARBECUE this Saturday, September 12th--1-5pm at Golden Gate Park!

Collaboratively Organized by the clubs in: VFX, ADV, ANM, ILL, & MPT.

This event is fully catered by CASE and it is BYOB. (No really, bring your own beer!)

Start the semester off right with us at Golden Gate Park. Bring a frisbee, a friend, some tunes and brews. See you there!

- VFX Gateway

It's going down in Dougboy Meadows, @ JFK Dr. & 16th Ave--spread the word.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Kyle Balda Master Class in 3D World Magazine

Check out 3D World magazine, June & July 2009. There is a great Kyle Balda masterclass on animating a 2 person dialogue shot, that has been passed around the labs quite a bit lately.

The lecture is called "Learn to animate the Hollywood way".
It is a two-part video masterclass. The videos have been posted on 3D World Magazine's website and are free for download: June Issue videos and July Issue videos

The magazine lecture notes are really concise and very insightful, especially for students experimenting with 3D work flow and looking for a clean way to layer in and build up animation.

The magazine is worth the purchase since it gives you the lecture notes and a CD with the Maya files containing the 2 characters, as well as individual Maya files showing you Kyle's separate animation passes. You can go right into the graph editor and see exactly what he did in his passes. What great learning material!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Reference and Motivation post: Cameron Fielding

Check out Cameron Fielding's reel

You may already be familiar with his Turok animation, but check it out again along with his girl acting clip and other great shots. JD talks about what he really likes about the Girl Acting shot over at his blog Spungella and we thought we aught to re-post it here to make sure you'd seen it too.

Great Stuff!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Norman Mod. Library Discussion

Hi All,

Now that we've got a bit of a following, it seems like a good time to create a discussion post for those who want to share their thoughts on contributing to a Norman Mod. Library at the Academy.

Please post all "Norman Mod Library" related comments here.

The main idea behind the discussion is this:

Whether or not Academy of Art students would like to have a shared library of Norman Mods.

We have set up a poll to gauge interest in starting a library, based on whether or not students think they would benefit by having the extra resources for their assignments.

This mod library would exist to give students a variety of characters to use and further modify, for personal projects and class assignments.

Students are not obligated to share their mods.

Many students spend a great deal of time modding and consider their mods a piece of personal art that they have created to make their reel stand out. It is perfectly understandable if someone does not want to share this kind of work in a public library.

The library would be available to any Academy student who wishes to use it as a resource, whether or not they choose to contribute to the library's collection.

That said, please post any questions, concerns or general comments on the subject here for all to read.


Thursday, July 23, 2009

NEW Animation Classes!

There are 2 new Anim499 Special Topics classes for FALL 2009:

LIP SYNC, Instructor Linda Bel
A master class on creating a 2 person dialogue.
Prerequisites: Advanced Animation 3, Acting for Animators,


REALISM, Instructor Linda Bel
Includes quadruped walk cycles and animating various creatures.
Prerequisites: Advanced Animation 3

These classes require portfolio review for admission.
Interested students must make an appointment with Linda Bel to review their work to be considered for the class.

To make an appointment with Linda Bel, go to the 180 building, 3rd floor main office, and ask to schedule an appointment for portfolio review, for the class you are interested in taking.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Animation, VFX, MPT, ILL, ADV ---> BBQ!

12th Barbecue

Join your friends and peers for a fall BBQ!

It will be open to the entire school,
hosted by VFX, ANM, MPT, ILL, ADV.

The BBQ will be held Sept. 12
at Speedway Meadows from 1-5.

Meat, buns and all the basics will be provided.

Reminder announcements as we get closer to the date!

Tea Time Animation Club

The goal of Tea Time is to bring together current animation students and Alumni to discuss industry and department related news and concerns, facilitate lectures by guest speakers, nurture communication between the student body and the Animation Department and finally, to provide an opportunity for peer-to-peer critique. We are a networking resource for the student community.

Tea Time meets on Fridays at 3:30pm in room 349 of 180 New Montgomery. On top of the company you want and the critique you need, it's customary that we provide hot beverages and snacks to enjoy while you're with us. After all, it is Tea Time! If you'd like a more in-depth look at what Tea Time is all about, please feel free to tune in to this recording of our online informational session with some of our staff!

What should I Bring? 

Well...yourself! Everything else is optional. That being said, we strongly encourage all Tea Time members to participate in group critique, thus, you should also bring some work! For animated pieces Quicktime files only, please! You also may want to bring a pen and paper for note taking, and, needless to say, a good attitude.

Want more? Feel free to join our brand new Facebook group! This is your opportunity to have a greater voice within our club. Post about anything -- Need critique? Find a cool blog? Have a helpful animating tip? Post it on the Facebook. Share, learn and hear up-to-date information on the comings and goings of Tea Time members. It's the perfect place to hear about any and all upcoming events, while having regular access your peers that you may not usually get in between classes.

Finally, Community Clean Team events happen every month. The animation club takes pride in giving back to our local and global community. For dates and pick-up locations, as well as any additional club updates, please follow to this blog. 

Get to know your Full Time Faculty

Full Time Faculty

Chris Armstrong
Director, Animation and Visual Effects

For the past ten years Chris Armstrong has worked at ILM as a senior and lead animator on over a dozen feature films, as well as animation supervisor on Galaxy Quest, Day After Tomorrow and Star Wars Episode II.

Beginning his career as an inbetweener on Saturday morning cartoons, he has worked on both 3D and traditional feature films and commercials, and has been involved in most aspects of production from storyboarding to final edit. On his own time, Chris works on personal short films.

Tom Bertino
Graduate Director, Animation and Visual Effects

A native of Berkeley, Tom Bertino graduated from the California College of Art & Crafts (now California College of the Arts) in 1981.

Bertino begin his professional animation career with independent producer/director Sally Cruikshank in 1978, and has worked for such studios as Nepenthe, DIC, Hanna-Barbera and Colossal Pictures in a number of capacities including character design, storyboards, layout, voices and sound effects.

In 1986, Bertino joined Industrial Light & Magic as supervisor of the rotoscope department. In 1993, he was asked to bring his traditional animation skills to the digital realm, leading to a successful career in computer animation for feature films and commercials.

In 1995, Bertino was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Achievement in Visual Effects for the groundbreaking CG imagery he created for The Mask. He received a BAFTA nomination in the same category.

Bertino’s directorial debut was the short film Work In Progress (2000/I), released in 2000.

Sherrie Sinclair
Director, 2D Animation

Sherrie H. Sinclair joins the Academy after almost nine years as a clean-up animator with Walt Disney Feature Animation in Orlando, FL. Ms. Sinclair began her education and career with a BA in the History and Criticism of Art from Florida State University which led her to assume the Assistant Directorship of the Meridian Museum of Art in Meridian, MS. Continuing her educational pursuits with second degree in Illustration from the Academy of Art University in 1991, she worked briefly at Storyboard Express in San Francisco before being accepted for an internship and subsequent position with Disney Feature Animation in Florida.

Ms. Sinclair’s film credits include “The Lion King,” “Pocahontas,” “Mulan,” “Tarzan,” and “Lilo and Stitch.” She was also involved with a Goofy short for Disney TV entitled “How to Haunt a House” and contributed to the Aladdin and Pocahontas CD Rom games. Ms. Sinclair sees her position at the Academy as a wonderful opportunity to share her knowledge and love of art and traditional animation with today’s aspiring animators.

Vince De Quattro
Online Director, Animation and Visual Effects

Vince De Quattro spent most of his visual effects career with Industrial Light & Magic, joining them as a technical director in 1997. While there, De Quattro worked on five Academy-Award(tm) nominated films in Highest Achievement in Visual Effects, Might Joe Young, Star Wars Episode I, Pearl Harbor, Star Wars Episode II, and Pirates of the Carribean. He has worked with several other Bay Area effects houses, including Matte World, Inc., The Orphanage and Tweak Films. Prior to joining ILM, he worked as a technical director and animator for Warner Brothers Digital Studios, Robert Greenberg Studios Los Angeles and the Sony High Definition Television Center in Culver City.

As a technical director and computer graphics supervisor, De Quattro was responsible for the design, development and implementation of visual effects for feature films.

You can view his professional vita at

De Quattro was born in Washington, D.C. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Fine Arts/Studio Art from the University of Southern California, and a Master's Degree in Computer Animation in Film from the University of Southern California Film School.

Vince has been teaching at AAU since September of 2004. He is currently the Director of Animation and Visual Effects Online. Vince is an active member of the Visual Effects Society, an academic member of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, and a member of ACM SIGGRAPH. External links for more info: Currently teaching ANM 405 (Senior Portfolio), ANM 670MV (Pre-production)

George Pafnutieff
Associate Director, Animation and Visual Effects

George’s visual effects experience comes from his work at Industrial Light and Magic where he was a member of the Digital Post Production group. George was an artist working in the “Rebel Unit”, an experimental effort in which production shots were modeled, animated and composited using inexpensive tools (PC’s, “off the shelf” software, scripts and other code written by Rebel Unit team members, etc.), as opposed to relying on the expensive “CG pipeline” that ran all the ILM film projects. Many times a Rebel Unit artist was asked to wear several hats and complete an effects shot by animating, compositing and perhaps even modeling for it. Typically these skills were separate responsibilities on the main CG pipeline. His work can be seen in films such as “Star Trek – First Contact”, “The Phantom Menace” and the three “Star Wars Special Editions”

After ILM, George joined Apple Computer’s Digital Media team as a Senior Systems Engineer. He worked with Film and Television studios to find ways to incorporate Final Cut Pro and other Apple tools into the feature production

George has been teaching at AAU since January of 2003

Department Leads

Rob Gibson

Technology Officer/Computer Animation Production coordinator

With an impressive list of commercial art on his resume and several yeas of teaching under his belt, Rob Gibson is an experienced director of 3D animation.

Most recently, he is the Technology Officer, floor warden and lead instructor of the Computer Animation Production course at the Academy of Art University. A 1990 graduate of California College of Arts and Crafts’ architecture program, Gibson also studied engineering at American River College. He was first employed in 1988 at UCP CAD Productions in Oakland, California as an AutoCAD operator and manager, where he trained and managed the work of physically challenged people using AutoCAD to created drawings for various projects.

During his years of teaching at the Academy of Art University, Gibson has taught courses including 3-D modeling and animation, digital production studio, visual effects for film and television and effects animation. He has been an Advocate with the Student Affairs Department since Fall 2002.

Catherine Tate
Compositing Lead

Catherine Tate is a visual effects artist and compositor with over fourteen years experience in the motion picture industry and has worked on thirty feature films. Some of her film credits include: Hellboy, Men In Black, Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, Sleepy Hollow, Galaxy Quest, Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones and The Hulk.

Catherine worked at Industrial Light & Magic for eleven years. She also worked in London, England at Framestore/CFC, and Peerless Camera Company. Since Leaving ILM in 2003, she has worked at ESC Entertainment, The Orphanage, Evil Eye Pictures, Wildbrain and Photon VFX in Australia.

Catherine is now the Compositing Lead at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. She is also involved in effects creation and supervision on independent projects.

Derek Flood
Visual Effects Lead

As the VFX Lead, Derek Flood brings over 15 years experience in CG animation to the Academy of Art . Specializing in lighting, texturing, and compositing, Derek has worked in major studios here and in Europe, both for feature animation as well as live action VFX films. When he can find the time, Derek continues to make independent animated short films. His most recent film "Emelia The Five Year Old Goth Girl" was the #1 short on iTunes, screened in festivals across the globe, and won several awards.

As a teacher, Derek gets revved up about creating stories of depth and redemption rather than bland entertainment, helping students to find a calling not just a career, and having art and story help us to understand who we are and what life is about.

Scott Leberecht
Preproduction Lead

Scott is from Cincinnati, OH and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Design. Applying his conceptual skills to the film arts, he joined George Lucas' Industrial Light & Magic in 1995 and went on to become the Visual Effects Art Director on several feature films, including SLEEPY HOLLOW, SPAWN and FLUBBER.

Tareq Mirza
Modeling Lead

Tareq Mirza is one of the most accomplished digital sculptors in the industry today, contributing to blockbuster effects films like Star Wars: Episode II, The Matrix 2, and Pirates of the Caribbean.

Tareq's gestural style and attention to anatomical detail has earned him the respect of the post-production digital industry, where he has served as a digital modeling supervisor for Escape Entertainment and Industrial Light & Magic.
Tareq's feature modeling career started in 2002 when, after three years at commercial production house Foundation Imaging, he was hired by Industrial Light & Magic to create high-resolution digital models for George Lucas' film Star Wars: Episode II. Tareq's job was to create high-resolution creature models like Wat Tambor.
After a few more years in Production, Tareq decided a change of pace was in order and moved on to the Education field as the Head of 3D modeling at the Academy of Art University. There Tareq found a new appreciation for teaching and helping students attain their dreams.

Robert Steele
Portfolio Lead

Robert Steele's professional background includes working as Art Director and Computer Animator for various video game companies such as Sega Technical Institute, Captivation Digital Laboratories, Full-On Amusement Company Blizzard Entertainment, and Virgin Entertainment.

Project credits include Diablo 2, Diehard Arcade, ComicZone, Robocop vs. Terminator, and Disney’s The Jungle Book video games.

He also produced Commercial Animatics and Storyboards at Jim Keeshen Studios in Los Angeles, California and was a Storyboard Artist for the Widget and Mr. Bogus animated television series for Calico Creations.

He was Producer on animated short, “Monkey Love " at Jim Keeshen Studios which was a Nominee for Animated Short Film ASIFA 1996 and recipient of the Golden Gate Award, San Francisco Independent Film Festival, 1997.

His hobbies include planning and coordinating the Neo-Luddite Revolution.

Shaun Featherstone
Storyboard Lead

Shaun Featherstone was born in Teesside in the United Kingdom in 1976. Upon obtaining a BA degree in Animation in 1999, he moved into the world of freelance animation and pre-production. Shaun has worked with a variety of European companies such as Telemagination UK, best known for their work on 'The Cramp Twins'. Developing preproduction and story pitches for a wide variety of projects from TV animated series to Music Videos. Shaun also enjoyed working as a freelancer with companies such as Fictitious Egg, 422 South and ATTIC/UK

During this time, Shaun received and accepted an offer to continue post-graduate study while at the University of Teesside's School of Computing where he became a senior lecturer in the Computer Animation Department and successfully led their 2D Animation Department. During this period he was one of the creative forces behind the organization of the AnimEX International Animation Festival, where he was Programme Director. The festival is now in it's tenth year and continues to enjoy great success. This role led to a keen interest in the world of Visual Effects.

Shaun continues work as a Story Artist and Preproduction Specialist and is currently Storyboard Lead for the BFA Story Track here at the School of Animation and Visual Effects. He teaches a variety of classes at both 2D and 3D Animation departments including ANM104: The History of Visual Effects & Computer Animation and ANM499: Short Form Animation Preproduction.

Jason Patnode
Video Games Lead

Jason has worked at such companies as LucasArts, Activision, and Pixar.
He has written one book on Maya and is working on a new Maya and Z-brush book.

Currently teaching ANM 331 (Games: Modeling and Texturing), ANM 413 (ZBrush Modeling), ANM 624 (MS: Maya 2), ANM 800 (MS: Directed Study).