VFX Character Animation
Sat, Nov 2nd
1:00PM - 2:00PM
Corus 8th Floor Theatre
The merging of animation and live action has been around since the start of movies, but we are seeing animation used in feature films and TV series more prominently and seamlessly than ever before. In this discussion, Marc-Andre Baron (Detective Pikachu) Cesar Dacol Jr (Happy Feet 2), Jeff Robinson, and Lon Molnar (HBO's Watchmen) will talk about the use of animation in live action, and how to achieve seamless interaction between animated characters and their live action counterparts.
Cesar Dacol Jr, Creature Art Director, Spin VFX
Cesar Dacol Jr joined SpinVFX in 2016 as a concept supervisor. Dacol has been bringing creatures and characters to life for 20 years. He started his career in the makeup effects industry and transitioned to CG in the mid 90s. From designing the hero dinosaur, Giganotosaurus, in Journey to the Center of the Earth to the Werewolves in The Mortal Instruments, this talented artist has carved a path in animated features such as The Wild (Disney), Happy Feet 2 (Warner Bros.), and live action features that include, Fantastic Four (20th Century Fox), 300 (Warner Bros.), and The Incredible Hulk (Universal Pictures).
Jeff Robinson, Animation Director, Sinking Ship Entertainment
Jeff Robinson (born in Vancouver, 1980) - animator, filmmaker and woodworker
During his over fifteen years of experience in the animation industry, Jeff has worked on many TV, feature and commercial projects. Jeff loves cartoons, mahogany and monsters.
Jeff currently works as an animation director at Sinking Ship Entertainment in Toronto. In the midnight hours he is making the first ever monster movie about a ten foot tall mutant Canadian goose.
Lon Molnar, Co-Founder, Monsters Aliens Robots Zombies
With more than 20 years of experience, Lon Molnar has contributed a vast amount of visual effects to film and television as an artist, VFX supervisor, and former CEO of the award winning VFX company Intelligent Creatures.
Inspired by the magic of Toy Story, Lon attended the Vancouver Film School with the single goal of opening up his own VFX studio. As he built his resume, he became dissatisfied with working on VFX for TV, and set his sights on feature films. He became a VFX generalist, working in animation, lighting, compositing and modelling, while using a vast array of software. After serving as the CG supervisor on the groundbreaking films Chicago and The Cell, he fulfilled his earlier dream and opened up Intelligent Creatures in 2002.
Working with talented creators like Mark Forster, Darren Aronofsky, Alejandro González Iñárritu, David Tattersall, Oliver Stone and others, Lon quickly built the Toronto-based VFX house into an award-winning studio. Intelligent Creatures lent its creativity to dozens of projects such as Mr and Mrs Smith, The Witch, Curiosity: Battlefield Cell and Babel. They built robust pipelines to tackle critically-acclaimed projects, such as the Watchmen's famous Rorschach mask of moving inkblots, or the clones in Orphan Black.
Fifteen years after the formation of Intelligent Creatures, Lon recognized that unlike when he had started in the industry, TV was no longer the "lesser" medium for VFX. When he spoke to Jonathan Bronfman, the two found themselves sharing symbiotic ideas. They saw a gap that others didn't. In 2018, the two co-presidents founded Monsters Aliens Robots Zombies with the goal of delivering feature-film quality VFX exclusively to TV series. Over the past year, MARZ has worked many shows including HBO's Watchmen, Amazon Prime's The Boys, as well as Netflix's The Umbrella Academy and Living With Yourself.
Marc-Andre Baron, Senior Character Animator, Framestore
Having been in love with art and animation since a young age, Marc-Andre joined the visual effects industry in 2003 and has had the chance to travel the world for his work. After working abroad at Animal Logic and Sony, he relocated to his hometown in Montreal and joined the Framestore team in early 2018. Hard at work from the get-go, Marc-Andre has applied his animation expertise on Deadpool 2, the Oscar nominated Christopher Robin, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald and most recently Pokémon: Detective Pikachu. Throughout his career, he has continued to perfect and hone his acting skills, one of his most valuable assets.
While animation is his full-time passion, Marc-Andre is always keen on mentoring artists and values the talent and thirst for knowledge of his teammates. Marc-Andre always says that he did not pick animation but it chose him and that he is thankful for!
"Animation is the best job on earth, it's like getting paid to play with Legos in my room".