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Event Schedule

Friday January 21st, 2022
Armand Baltazar

Storytelling Design
for Visual Development
7pm – 10pm pacific

Friday January 28th, 2022
Danny Arriaga

Character Design Process
7pm – 10pm pacific

Friday February 4th, 2022
Mike Stern

Sincerity in Animation
7pm – 10pm pacific

Friday February 11th, 2022
Rej Bourdages

How to Storyboard
for Feature Animation
7pm – 10pm pacific

Friday February 18th, 2022
Tracy Burns

Emotional EQ for Animators: Creating Emotionally-Resonant Performances
7pm – 10pm pacific

Friday February 25th, 2022
Allen Simpson

Preparing a Role
7pm – 10pm pacific


Armand Baltazar

Author, Illustrator
Timeless: Diego and the Rangers of the Vaslantic

Storytelling Design for Visual Development:
Join veteran animation artist, author, and art director, Armand Baltazar, for an in-depth talk on utilizing storytelling design for concept painting, world design, character design, and lighting and color design for visual development.

Armand Baltazar is from Chicago where he studied at the Art Institute Chicago, then later graduated from Northern Illinois University with a BFA in Advertising & Editorial Art. Furthering his education, Armand earned a second BFA in Illustration with an emphasis in Visual Storytelling at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena Ca.

Armand began his Visual Storytelling career in feature animation first as a background artist, then as a visual development artist, and art director for DreamWorks Studios, Walt Disney Feature Animation, Image Movers Digital and Pixar Animation Studio.  His credits include: DreamWorks’ Prince Of Egypt,  Disney’s Princess and the Frog, Pixar’s  Cars 2, Brave, The Good Dinosaur, and Inside Out.

Danny Arriaga

Visual Development Artist
Disney Studios

Character Design Process:
In this lecture I’ll explain my thought process and steps as I go through each character design.

Danny Arriaga joined Pixar Animation Studios in May 2001 as a Production Assistant in simulation & Effects on “Monster’s Inc.” and soon became the Production Assistant on the Academy Award winning “The Incredibles.” He transitioned over to the art department as a Sketch Artist on Academy Award-winning “Ratatouille” contributing to the character and set designs. He continued in the art department on other award winning feature films “WALL•E,” “Up” and became Character Art Director for “Toy Story 3.”

In 2009, Arriaga began working with Walt Disney Animation as a Visual Development Artist on “Wreck-It-Ralph,” and as an Art Director for “Prep and Landing 2.” In 2011, he reunited with Pixar as a character designer on Academy Award-winning “Inside Out,” and recently served as the Character Art Director on the studio’s original film, “Coco” for which he won an Annie. As of May 6th 2019, he started working freelance for various studios including Illumination, Warner Bros and Netflix among others. He is currently now working on a feature film being created by Kuku Studios.

Mike Stern

Pixar Animation Studios

Sincerity in Animation:
This workshop Is designed to help artists increase the level of honesty and believability in their work.

In this course we will

  • Study examples from live action and animated films and discuss what makes or breaks a believable performance.
  • Talk about tools and techniques to further develop one’s own sense of sincerity in animation.
  • Demonstrate 3D animation workflow techniques that will enhance an artist’s ability to create truthful acting.

Mike Stern
Mike has been working in the animation industry since 2003. After starting in commercials and games, Mike was hired at Dreamworks Animation where he spent the following 7 years. His credits include Bee Movie, Kung Fu Panda, Monsters vs. Aliens, How To Train Your Dragon, Puss in Boots, Rise of the Guardians, The Croods and How to Train Your Dragon 2. 

In 2013, Mike left DreamWorks to join the team at Pixar Animation Studios where he contributed to their next 9 releases. These films include Inside Out, The Good Dinosaur, Finding Dory, Cars 3, Coco, Incredibles 2, Toy Story 4, Onward and Soul.

Rej Bourdages

Storyboard Artist
Pixar Animation Studios

How to storyboard for Feature animation:
 In this lecture we will talk about the storyboarding process, specifically in terms of Feature Animation.

Where and How do you start? We will tackle this question both in terms of the script as well as when there’s just an outline. We will also discuss how to tackle the “Blank” page. 

I’ve been in the animation industry for close to 40 years and I am excited to share my process and insights into storyboarding for Feature Animation with you.


Rejean Bourdages:
Rej has been in the animation industry for close to 40 years. Among some of his credits as an animator are “Who Framed Roger Rabbit”, “Beauty and the Beast”, “Aladdin” and “The Lion King” . As a story artist he’s credited on a variety of films such as “Shrek” , “Madagascar”, “Chicken Run” and “Wallace and Gromit and the Curse of the WereRabbit”. He’s currently been at Pixar for the last 10 years having recently finished work on “Onward”, “Soul” and “Luca”. 


Tracy Burns

Acting Teacher and
Performance Consultant

Emotional EQ for Animators: Creating Emotionally-Resonant Performances:
This class offers tools and techniques for creating dynamic, emotionally-connected performances. Participants will gain a better understanding of the mechanics of emotions and how they’re expressed in the face and body, as well as how to build (and break) emotional tension, craft the journey of an emotional beat and shoot reference more effectively. 

*Dealing with emotions can be a vulnerable experience. No one will be put on the spot or have to “perform” in any way. 

Tracy Burns
is a creative development consultant. Her clients have include Pixar, DreamWorks, Laika, The Sims, Cinesite, The Third Floor, Blue Sky, Telltale Games  and Google. She’s taught at The Academy of Art, The Vancouver Film School, San Francisco State, and The Animation Collaborative. She is the Acting for Animators instructor at California College of the Arts. For more information, contact her: Tracy@BurnsCreative.com

Allen Simpson

Actor, Director, Feature Film Consultant

Preparing a Role:
This is a fun, deep dive into the concepts and skills traditionally used by live action actors for developing rich, three-dimensional characters and how to apply those lessons to animation. Relying heavily on the works of renowned acting teacher/author Uta Hagen, this presentation focuses on what questions to ask when preparing a shot or sequence in order to find the subtlety, nuance and detail that brings a story to life. In addition to examining a myriad of clips from different genres, students will also learn what it means for a performance to be “honest” and how to recognize authenticity, whether when shooting their own reference or simply when watching their favorite movies or shows.

Allen Simpson is an animation acting coach and visual/story consultant. He’s currently working on DreamWorks Animation’s The Bad Guys (2022) and Five Nights at Freddy’s: Security Breach (2021 Video Game). Allen has worked with Pixar, DreamWorks, Blue Sky, The Third Floor, Cinesite, Telltale Games, CTN, LAAFA, Chapman University, California College of the Arts, The Animation Collaborative, The CG Master Academy, and more.

winter Epic Intensive Description


6 Speakers
6 Evenings

Geared toward students and experienced animators, the EPIC: Intensive discusses animation from a feature film and visual effects perspective presented by 6 current industry professionals with a wide variety of studio experience. Through live demos and lectures, this 6 night masterclass packed full of information, experience and the collective wisdom of its instructors is bound to be an unforgettable experience.

Get the tools you need to create your own feature-quality animation, and don’t miss out on an exciting opportunity to meet and network with others in the industry!

1 ticket gets you access to the entire event! (tickets sales in USD)

Terms and Conditions

Ticket purchase fee includes non-refundable registration fee of $75.00 USD. Cancellations for refund of remainder of ticket purchase fee will be accepted up to 3 weeks before the event. From 20-10 days before the event, a cancellation fee of $100 USD will apply. From 9 days before the event and after, refunds cannot be provided. Event tickets are non-transferable.

The Animation Collaborative reserves the right to Cancel the Event if a minimum number of attendees is not reached by two-weeks before the event start date (minimum attendee deadline Jan 7th, 2022)

The event organizer, The Animation Collaborative, reserves the right to cancel or postpone this event with reasonable discretion and for any reason (inclement weather, low enrollment, instructor illness, or any other unforeseen disruptive circumstances). In the case of cancellation by The Animation Collaborative, the full event fee, including the registration fee of $75.00 USD, will be refunded. If the event is postponed, registrants will have the option to either receive a full refund, or transfer their registration to the rescheduled event. In all cases, The Animation Collaborative shall have no further liability beyond the event fee. We regret that any transportation and hotel costs, cancellation penalties, or any other non-recoverable costs incurred by registrants are not refundable. In the event of any unforeseen last-minute scheduling problems, we reserve the right to substitute an equivalent, qualified instructor who might not be listed in the class description.

AGE RESTRICTIONS: Attendees must be over the age of 18.

RECORDING: A pen and paper are recommended for taking notes. Laptop/tablet computers are permitted, but please no recording with these or other devices. NO AUDIO OR VIDEO RECORDING OF THE PRESENTED MATERIAL OF ANY KIND IS PERMITTED. Out of respect for fellow attendees and the instructors, we ask that attendees please refrain from live tweeting, texting, phone calls, etc. during the class.

QUESTIONS? Please contact The Animation Collaborative at: staff@animc.com