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Instructors

The Animation Collaborative strives to bring in the best talent in the Bay Area!  Our instructors include animators, story artists, visual development artists, character designers and directors, from studios such as Pixar Animation Studios, Disney Animation Studios, Blue Sky Studios, Sony Animation Studios, Tippett Studio and Industrial Light and Magic.

Michal Makarewicz

Michal Makarewicz

Directing Animator,
Pixar Animation Studios

Michal joined Pixar Animation Studios in early 2003, where he has been an animator on The Incredibles, Cars, Ratatouille, Wall-E, Up, Toy Story 3, and Brave. Michal was Supervising Animator on the Up DVD Short Dug’s Special Mission, Directing Animator on Cars 2, and was the Supervising Animator on Pixar’s first half-hour TV special Toy Story of Terror. He has most recently finished working as an animator on Pixar’s 2015 feature Inside Out, and was Directing Animator on Finding Dory. Michal recently worked on Pixar’s Incredibles II and is currently animating on Onward.

Animation Instructor Tal Shwarzman

Tal Shwarzman

Animator,
Pixar Animation Studios

Tal Shwarzman is currently an animator at Pixar Animation Studios, where he has animated on Incredibles II, Cars3, Piper (short), Finding Dory, The Good Dinosaur, Inside Out and the Toy Story that Time Forgot. He previously worked at DreamWorks Animation Studios for over seven years, and animated on a number of films including Kung Fu Panda and How to train your dragon series.

Mike Stern

Mike Stern

Pixar Animation Studios

Mike Stern currently works at Pixar Animation Studios and has worked on The Good Dinosaur, Finding Dory, Coco, and Toy Story 4. In the animation industry since 2007, Mike Stern started as an animator at Dreamworks. There he worked on movies like How to Train Your Dragon, Kung Fu Panda, The Croods, and Rise of the Guardians. Mike is a native New Yorker who likes snowboarding, traveling and playing some guitar.

Pixar Animator Robb Denovan

Robb Denovan

Animator,
Pixar Animation Studios

Robb Denovan has worked in the animation industry for over a decade at numerous top studios, including MPC London, Weta Digital, and Pixar Animation Studios. Robb began his career studying Classical Animation at Sheridan College in Ontario, before animating on the Academy Award-winning short film Ryan. Since then, Robb has worked on a variety of highly successful films including Inside Out, King Kong, Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, Clash of the TitansHarry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Brave, Cars 2,Monsters University, Incredibles 2 and Coco. Robb is currently finishing up on Pixar’s upcoming feature film release, Onward.

Jim Brown

James W. Brown

Pixar Animation Studios

Jim Brown has an abundance of experience in the animation industry. Starting at Tippett studio as an animator he has worked on movies like Constantine, Enchanted, New Moon and After Earth, and has been both lead animator and supervising animator. He now currently is an animator at Pixar Animation Studios and has worked on Inside Out, Finding Dory, Incredibles 2, and Onward.

Cory Walker

Animator,
Tippett Studios​

Cory Walker is a 2D and 3D animator with a deep root in computer tech. Cory has worked on a multitude of short films at studios all over California. He has worked alongside Disney and Pixar animators on their personal short films as a Technical Animator, and Animation Supervisor. During his years of animating on films such as; Aria for a Cow, La Noria, and Metro 6, he has learned the ins and outs of Autodesk Maya

Frank Abney

Frank Abney

Animator,
Pixar Animation Studios

Frank fell in love with animation as a kid, watching cartoons and drawing. But it wasn’t until The Lion King, that he really saw the power of storytelling along with the craft of animation, and decided that THAT was going to be his path. Outside of Animation you can catch him hanging out with his family, or doing a trick or 2 on his bmx bike.

Victor Navone

Victor Navone

Animator,
Pixar Animation Studios

Victor is a traditional artist and computer animator. Victor was hired at Pixar Animation Studios in 2000 after his personal project “Alien Song” became a popular viral clip. His animation credits include Monsters, Inc., Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Cars, Wall-E, Toy Story 3, Brave, The Good Dinosaur and Coco.  He also acted as Supervising Animator on Inside Out, and directed several “Cars Toons” for TV and theatrical release.

David Torres

Animator,
Pixar Animation Studios

David Torres has been a professional animator for over 20 years. In 2015, David joined Pixar Animation Studios where he has animated on Onward, Toy Story 4, Incredibles 2, Coco, Cars 3, Finding Dory, and The Good Dinosaur. Before joining Pixar, David worked at PDI/Dreamworks Animation where he was one of the Head of Character Animation on Penguins of Madagascar. Also, David was a Supervising Animator on How to Train your Dragon 1 & 2, Madagascar 3, and Megamind. Prior to that, David was a Lead Animator at Blue Sky Studios and animated on Ice Age, Robots, Ice Age 2, and Dr. Suess’s Horton Hears a Who. Before working in the film industry, David worked at Walt Disney Imagineering, Will Vinton Studios, and Retro Studio. David is currently animating on Soul.

Kevin O'Hara

Animator,
Pixar Animation Studios

Kevin O’Hara joined Pixar Animation Studios as an animator in September 2006. O’Hara has worked on a number of Pixar’s feature films including the Academy Award®-winning Ratatouille, WALL•E, Up, Brave, the Good Dinosaur, and Incredibles 2. He has alsocontributed his talents to some of Pixar’s short films, Your Friend the Rat, Dug’s Special Mission, and Kitbull. Currently, O’Hara is working on Disney•Pixar’s Soul, scheduled for release in 2020. As an animator O’Hara’s job is to give the characters in a film personality and movement.

From an early age, he was inspired to draw by Mort Drucker and Jack Davis, two artists from MAD Magazine. After seeing a re-release of Disney’s The Jungle Book, O’Hara found himself drawn to animation. He was taught and mentored by Milt Neil, a Disney animator who was known for his work on Donald Duck and in the film Dumbo.

O’Hara has 17 years of hand-drawn animation experience prior to working in computer animation. He has worked at a number of studios, including, Don Bluth Studios, Warner Bros., Ralph Bakshi, Turner Feature Animation, Dreamworks, and James Baxter Animation. O’Hara transitioned from hand drawn animation to computer animation at Dreamworks and then Sony Feature Animation.

Pixar Story Artist Austin Madison

Austin Madison

Story Artist,
Pixar Animation Studios

Austin Madison is an animator at Pixar.  Austin graduated from the character animation program at California Institute of the Arts before getting hired as an animator at Pixar.  He also served as an special effects animator for the short traditionally-animated film Adam and Dog.  His credits include animating on RatatouilleToy Story 3 and Up. He also voiced one of the office bros in Purl.

Pixar Story Artist Rejean Bourdages

Rej Bourdages

Story Artist,
Pixar Animation Studios

Rej has been working professionally in animation since 1984. His first big animation feature was Who Framed Roger Rabbit? in 1987. From there, Rej worked as an animator at Walt Disney Features on such films as Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Lion King, and Pocahontas. He transitioned into the field of storyboarding and worked at Dreamworks on many of their animated films including Shrek, Madagascar, and Road to El Dorado. Rej has also been a key player on most of Aardman Animation’s feature films, including Chicken Run, Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, as well as serving as Head of Story on Pirates: Band of Misfits! Rej is currently working at Pixar Animation Studios, where he has contributed to various projects over the past 5 years.

Grant Alexander

Character Designer,
Pixar Animation Studios

Grant began his career at Pixar Animation Studios on the short film Partly Cloudy. He has since contributed to films and shorts such as Cars 2, The Good Dinosaur, Inside Out, Small Fry, Partysaurus Rex, Toy Story of Terror, and Toy Story That Time Forgot. With roots in the Midwest and a love for Animation and Comics, he eventually headed west to Study Art and Design in San Francisco. Grant is currently working as a character designer and sketch artist on several announced and unannounced feature film projects at Pixar.

Daniel Lima

Daniel Lima

Sr. Technical Artist,
Undead Labs

Daniel has 19 years of experience working in all industries for the Cg art; Commercials, TV, VFX, Feature Animation and now Games. He filled roles in animation, modeling and programming and for almost 11 years he has been fully dedicated to character rigging and pipeline at Blue Sky Studios.  His animation credits include District9, Stargate Atlantis, and many TV commercials. His Rigging credits includes Rio, Continental Drift, Epic, Rio2, The Peanuts Movie, Collision Course, Ferdinand, Spies in Disguise, Scrat Shorts and the upcoming feature animated movie Nimona in 2022 where he rigged the main character of the show.

His unique experience in various roles gave him a solid knowledge of how a high-quality character rig can be developed in any CG pipeline. He is now in the game industry currently working at Undead Labs.

Daniel López Muñoz

Daniel López Muñoz

Production Designer / Character Designer / Lighting Art Director
Pixar Animation Studios

Daniel López Muñoz began working at Pixar Animation Studios in January 2006. He worked specifically on Character Design for Disney•Pixar’s Academy Award®-winning animated film “Up,” and as a production designer on several projects in development.

Prior to joining Pixar, López worked for Blue Sky Studios in Environmental Art Direction on “Ice Age,” and Visual Development for “Robots.” 

Growing up in Córdoba, Spain, DLM’s earliest influences were drawn from European Comics, Spanish Art and Architecture and Japanese animation, particularly that of Hayao Miyazaki. Impressed by the imaginative worlds of Miyazaki’s films and the rich process of conception, he left the path to being a 3D computer animator and set off toward a career in Visual Development and Design for Animation instead. Realizing the visual look of a film and being able to be a part of the first brushstrokes of filmmaking are what DLM likes best about his chosen path.

DLM was tasked with setting the tone and style for the Main cast of Characters for Pete Docter’s upcoming feature “Soul” and with Looks Development and Lighting Art Direction on Enrico Casarosa’s “Luca”. Due in theaters (hopefully) Worldwide in the summer of 2021. Amongst other yet to be announced Feature films.

Eryn Katz

Sr. Character Modeler
Blue Sky Studios

When Eryn was six years of age, she saw Fantasia in a theater and despite ‘Night on Bald Mountain’ scaring the crap out of her, she was blown away by the gorgeous design work and ground-breaking animation.


She has now acquired over 15 years experience in the feature animation industry, with a focus on character modeling. At Disney Feature Animation she worked on feature films Bolt, Tangled, and Wreck-it-Ralph, and was the character modeler for the Oscar Award winning short film Paperman. At Blue Sky Studios she worked on Rio 2, The Peanuts Movie, Ferdinand, Ice Age: Collision Course, Spies in Disguise and most recently, Nimona. Outside of studio work, she enjoys getting her hands dirty with traditional sculpting and collaborating with friends on personal projects. For the record, Fantasia’s ‘Night on Bald Mountain’ is now her favorite segment of the film.

 

Willie Real

Character Designer

Willie Real is a character designer and illustrator from San Francisco, CA who’s worked with esteemed folks that include Pixar, Netflix, Dreamworks, Blue Sky, Paramount, AirBnb, Google & Oculus. Willie’s work has contributed to several honors including 3 Emmy’s and an Oscar Nomination. “It’s pretty special to be able to do what we do, striving to create memorable characters and their worlds, so remember to have fun and enjoy the process… it’ll reflect in the work.”