Students and animation practitioners had a chance to learn from the best during an interactive masterclass with Pixar's Andrew Gordon and Chris Sasaki, hosted by VFX Jam and RMIT.
Two of the talents behind Monsters Inc, Toy Story, Inside Out and Finding Nemo inspired the audience - which included many RMIT animation students - with their invaluable insights into character development, animation techniques and storytelling.
Directing Animator Andrew Gordon enjoyed sharing his knowledge with the students during the three-day workshop.
“Getting out to these events and meeting the students, seeing what they’re doing and bringing the stuff that we are learning to them is really fun,” Gordon said.
“It’s something that I always wished for when I was studying.”
Character Designer Chris Sasaki wanted students to understand the importance of the foundations for a good story.
He urged students to focus on building characters with emotions and feeling, and to avoid clichés.
“There is more to animation than just drawing,” Sasaki said.
“I spoke about the thinking side of things - problem solving, research and then how to execute that all into your drawings.
“Every decision you make as an animator comes down to story, it is the driver of all decisions.”
Day three of the program included a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for personal feedback, where students presented their sketches, folios and video show-reels to the pair.
“I get inspired by seeing the kids' work, it’s amazing the kinds of stuff they are doing,” Gordon said.
“Today was rewarding and it was satisfying being able to give back.”
RMIT Bachelor of Design (Interactive Media and Animation) student Zada Herbert took part in the full three days of the masterclass and had the opportunity to present her folio and receive personal feedback.
“This experience was both extremely validating and extremely useful; they gave me invaluable direction with exactly where my skills would be most applicable in this industry,” Herbert said.
“They also gave me some tips on how to make my show-reel stand out from all of the others.”
The knowledge that goes into process of creation is one of the most significant things that Herbert will take away from this event.
“From the inspiration and design of your character, to how their life experiences and personality will affect the types of gestures they use – I learnt that it’s integral to add depth to your characters to give them these human qualities.”
Herbert will use this experience to refine her work and to create a stronger impact when selling her story ideas.
Story: Jordan Di Stefano