South African character animator Dan Barker visited the Digital Arts Division on Tuesday to talk to the students about his career and his recent work in the international industry. Dan recently completed work on Disney’s Big Hero 6 and has worked on several films at Blue Sky Studios. Dan says it was his dream at ten years old to become a professional animator and dedicated his early career to perfecting his skills. After completing the Animation Mentor online animation course, Dan began working at Blue Sky Studios.

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Dan took the students through one of the shots he animated for Rio. He explained the intense process the animator needs to go through with approvals from both his supervisor’s to the director. He showed his process of creating his own acting reference and how this reference informs his animation.

Dan explained the process he went through to get into international studios and stressed the need for students to be open to criticism and to always seek good feedback on their work. He is now returning to Blue Sky Studios to continue animation on The Peanuts Movie.