My Journey into Animation

Archive for November, 2013

CTNX 2013

by on Nov.18, 2013, under Uncategorized

So CTNX has come and gone for another year with this year having a few more bumps than last year from my perspective at least. I think it may be best to save that part for later. Sorry in advanced because this is a lot of text.

On the first day of CTNX, I was delayed a bit which caused me to miss the first Frozen panel. Overall, the first day wasn’t that exciting. I registered for the Turbo Character workshop for some reason but I missed it because I stopped to talk to another artist I met last year waiting for a critique at Disney. I wandered around a bit after getting lunch to kill time before Nathan Fowkes’ workshop on finding artistry. I found the workshop to be pretty good and it has me thinking about trying to dabble in digital painting. Day 1 ended there for me as I needed to get back home with dinner. I was going to head back for CTNX @ Nite but I am terrible at networking and everyone I knew at the show was going to be elsewhere.

Day 2 started with a stop at the Disney Animation booth for a portfolio critique. I was there to get some feedback on my rigging work but they actually had no Character TDs there at the time so I sat down with a TD by the name of Kevin. I recall that he was there for animation critiques but he was helpful. There were a few times where he made some positive remarks to what he was seeing which was great. In the end, he basically told me to keep going forward with what I am doing. After that, I went over to Anatomy of a Sequence with Steve Kaplan which was a workshop about comedy. He covered some great things about a sequence in Chicken Little and another in The Road To El Dorado. It was actually a really good workshop with a lot of good laughs and some great information. After this, I roamed the exhibit hall a bit and picked up Zbrush since they had it for 20% off. I ended up missing the first part of a panel about directing animation but I got there and stayed to talk to Bibo Bergeron for a couple of minutes and get his input on my latest project since they are the characters of a film he was a director on. Another workshop later on and then I was back on the road heading home. Again I had planned to go back for CTNX @ Nite but I was tired and I had to be up early.

The reason for being up early was because I was one of the lucky ones selected for Breakfast with the Pros. I got there as people were starting to show up. We were let in, got our food and then got to sit down with a pro. As I went back with my food, I asked the Production Manager from CTN who was checking people if there was any specific table we were assigned to. There wasn’t but she directed me towards the table where Jeff Gabor, lead animator at Blue Sky, was sitting. It was nice to hear more about the animation side of things. We even got to talk a bit about games. I did end up missing the Eric Goldberg talk which I had a fastpass for but I decided it was worth it. After breakfast, I was signed up for another critique at Disney with modeling in mind this time. Go figure, there wasn’t a modeler that Sunday like there was on Saturday. This time, I met an effects artist named Collin who was positive about my work just like Kevin and recommended I put the dragon piece up front. He ended it by saying I was in the sweet spot between modeling and rigging. Next on my schedule was the preview of Mr. Peabody and Sherman with Jason Schleifer and Philippe Denis. The trailer for the film that was released a while ago looked great and to see a couple of sequences just backed up the fact that the film looks like it is going to be good. At the same time, I felt a little bad because Jeff was over in the East Tent giving a talk about Epic.

Anyways, after a quick-lunch I was back at the East Tent to see a last-minute talk on the animation in Frozen lead by Lino diSalva which was great. Afterwards I took a few minutes to talk to Dawn Rivera-Ernster, Director of Talent Development & Recruiting at Disney Animation, about how I enjoyed Inspire Day even though I made the choice to not go with the Character TD group. I left shortly after this just because I had a couple of things to do before the big finish of CTNX…

The Disney On The Lot mystery screening. What a way to finish the expo. I went to the Ralph screening last year after CTNX so I knew the process which was that we would see what DisneyToon and Disney TV Animation are working on before the recent Feature Animation was screened. This year though, it was kept a mystery and Darrin Butters started pulling our leg by saying that we were only going to be seeing a couple of clips even though they were showing the full thing to family throughout the day. I knew better but he kept it up long enough that part of my did start to believe him. Only a small part though. He called up Lino to talk about some of the work and he was the one who revealed that we were going to be getting a preview but it was a preview of the whole film. I did miss out on cookies and apple cider because I figured there would be an intermission like last year but no. Oh well, I don’t exactly need the cookies anyways. So Frozen was really good. I had already seen about 30 minutes of the film and I have to give them credit because those 30 minutes were missing enough that I was still surprised even though there were clips that came out of the last bit of the film.

That was all of the good stuff. I also got to see a few friends that I met last year at the show as well as meet some new ones. Now for a few of the negatives.

The main thing is that the event seemed a bit disorganized this year. After the registration for the screenings, confirmation emails never went out. I actually emailed three times asking about it but never got a response. Even talking to the help desk wasn’t helpful as they simply said that we didn’t get in if we didn’t get a confirmation which surprised me since I signed up right when the event opened up. I had my registration confirmation before the email came in saying the event was live. It wasn’t until I tracked down Kelly Prow, production manager for CTN, that things were cleared up about everything and reassured that I should be on the list as long as I didn’t try applying for multiple screenings. Another thing negative thing was the line to get badges. Last year, I walked right up with pretty much no line. This year, at about the same time on the same day, there was a line that took me an hour to get through. It would have taken just a few minutes to go up and buy a pass then to wait to get the one I paid for over the summer. One last small negative was that emails for the recruiting program never went out like they said they would. I was told by one attendee that he got an email saying he got a meeting but the email for everyone else never went out.

It all worked out in the end but things like the lack of confirmation for the screening bugged me because I knew that I should be on the list but it was left up in the air.

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