Animators by day Animation teachers by night.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Spline Doctors, where are you...teaching?


Its the new semester and a lot of folks have been inquiring about where they can take classes that the Spline Doctors teach at. Originally, when this blog was started, all the teachers were at the Academy or Art University in San Francisco. It was myself, Angus, Mike, Scott Clark and Stephen Gregory. Alot of us are doing different things. Angus is not teaching right now, Mike is also taking a break, as is Stephen Gregory. At the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, here are the guys teaching the 4 animation classes that are within the "pixar" track, which is not really supposed to be called the pixar track. Pixar animators just happen to teach there.

Level one: Matt Majers and Michal Makerawictz (Matt is great animator who attended Cal-Arts and Michal is one of my former students that has been at Pixar for 4 or 5 years now.

Level one (class two) Andy Beall and Travis Hathaway. Andy and I went to school together. He worked at Warner Bros (iron Giant etc) and has headed up the animation fix team. He is a great teacher with alot of passion and knowledge. Travis is a Cal Arts grad who has been at Pixar since days of Finding Nemo. He is an amazing animator and a great teacher. We taught the summer interns this year.

Level Two Animation: Adam Burke and Mike Wu
Adam is an animation veteran of just about every major studio (Bluth, Warners, etc) and came on during the Incredibles. He brings a wealth of knowledge and a back east attitude. Mike is a 10 year Disney vet who also came on during the Incredibles. He is an awesome teacher and both guys can draw like mo-fo's.

Level Three Animation: Scott Clark and Mark Walsh
Scott was a Supervising Animator on Cars and is Supervising on Pete Docters new film. Mark Walsh is a 10 year Veteran who was a directing animator on Finding Nemo and a Supervising Animator on Rat. Both guys will be working on the third installment of the Virgin Voyage group project, which is as close as you get to doing feature quality work in a school environment. Students are also going to be doing individual projects.

I am taking a semester off from the level 3 class to help start the Animation Program at the California College of Art (CCA). We are gathering some really good people to get the program going and we hope it will be different from other Animation Schools. Hopefully, Mark Andrew's will be coming to teach Story come spring. I am really gonna miss teaching with the guys. It was a great run and most of all, I'll miss the booze afterward and of course, the students.

As for Stephen Gregory, he is currently taking a break and is seeking individuals to mentor. (I think...) You will have to confirm with him... He is an amazing teacher and I would sign up if I was a student.

Former Spline Doc and veteran Pixar animator Billy Merrit is teaching at Ringling in Florida when he is not enjoying a cigar or fishing.

Good Luck to all the students this semester and keep your eyes peeled for more Spline Casts, Roundtables and posts during the year.

-Andrew

27 Comments:

Blogger Nick said...

Is Peter Nash still working with you guys? I had him with Scott Clark in the Pixar 1 class, way back when... They were two of the best teachers I had at AAC...

10:56 PM

 
Blogger Dr. Gordon said...

Peter Nash is at Sony. Not sure if he teaches... anyone who reads this blog at Sony care to ask him?

11:06 PM

 
Blogger Mathew Rees said...

As regards the one on one mentorship. One of you guys are more than welcome to come to sunny Wales and live in my loft while passing on your knowledge. My wife will even feed you! Seriously, if you like the booze, this is the place to be...

Any takers?... Anyone :)

Cracking site though guys, with lots of great stuff on here.

3:35 AM

 
Blogger Mark DeRidder said...

Hey Andrew, what are your feelings on Animation Mentor? I know a lot of Pixar guys are mentoring there as well. I have signed up for the Fall term and was wondering your thoughts on the program.

It sounds like the Academy of Art San Fran is the place be, especially for Pixar internships, but I can't move out of Michigan at the moment.

Thanks for the list.
-Mark

4:51 AM

 
Blogger Dr. Gordon said...

Mark,

Animation Mentor is great. I often tell people to go there especially when they dont have a school around them that meets their needs. I have given two lectures for them. The guys that run it, Bobby, Carlos and Shawn truely are passionate about animation education and they are always changing the program around and making it better. Its an awesome place to learn the craft.

7:37 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know that many students at AAU are upset over andrew gordon leaving. Many wanted to be taught under him, and now he's gone. =(

6:55 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

With or without the "Andrew" P3 is going to be awesome! Gordon can't hang around forever!

12:17 AM

 
Blogger Dr. Stephen G. said...

rest assured your all in good hands with Mark Walsh, and Scott Clark. Andrew's a great teacher and it sucks to see him leave us for now. But it's going to be exciting to see Mark teach, he is such an amazing animator.

10:36 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

dr. gregory, are you going to come back to Academy? can you make it clearer, because it seemed like you're just taking a break

10:53 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So r there going to be other pixar animators along with Andrew Gordon teaching at CCA as well? If so,then wow, I guess the Academy wont be the only school in the Bay area to go to for animation. If not, CCA might even be better!

11:17 AM

 
Blogger Dr. Stephen G. said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

4:52 PM

 
Blogger Dr. Stephen G. said...

I'll be returning to the Academy of Art in the spring semester. I'm currently on a sabbatical from work and teaching. During this time off I'm traveling and painting, and was hoping to mentor a few people on a one on one basis. I'm still trying to figure out how and when I would do this but I'll keep anyone who is interested in the loop.

11:22 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cool... so when you guys ganna let us know who made it into the pixar classes?

12:46 AM

 
Blogger Cody Be said...

i'm very excited to be starting my first semester at AAU on friday. hopefully in a couple of years i'll have you guys teaching me; thanks for the update too!

5:40 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was in Pixar 1 last semester taught by Bobby and Matt. It seems Bobby isn't here in this semester. What happened with him? Does he come back to school next time? He was one of awesome teachers I've met.

12:56 PM

 
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