Sunday, January 19, 2014

The Animation Academy celebrates 16 years - 1998 to 2014

Sweet Sixteen !!!

It was 16 years ago today on January 19, 1998 that The Animation Academy held its first session in the back room of a local restaurant in Burbank, California with a class of 20 students. Ever since it's been full speed ahead!

Our school has helped change the face of the industry in many significant ways and has been a very positive influence in the lives of a great many artists over the years.

To our current and former students who have defined the success of our school, along with our many friends, associates and well wishers all over the world, thank you for making The Animation Academy the wonderful phenomenon that it has become.

There's exciting things on the way in 2014. Here's to the future and to many more happy times creating together!

Charles Zembillas
President, Director and Founder
The Animation Academy
Burbank California

Saturday, December 07, 2013

Walt Disney's grave on his birthday - December 5 2013

Hello everyone!

In what's become a tradition for me every year since 2008 I take a trip to Walt Disney's grave in Glendale, California to pay my respects and to honor him on the occasion of his birthday. He was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1901 and passed away in Burbank, California in 1966. He would have been 112 years old. Here's what it looked like on December 5, 2013...

I recorded video of my visit as I did last year and wanted to share it with you on The Academy's blog. The video hasn't shown up on Blogger's YouTube search yet so I can't embed it at this moment but I will later when it becomes available and I'll edit the post.

Meanwhile you can take a look at how things went by following the link below. I had a mishap with the flowers but everything turned out alright. I get a little emotional when I'm at his grave as it's an intense personal experience for me being that close to him. I have a great affection for Walt Disney. In any case it's always a great privilege being there and representing in spirit the artists of the animation community and the world.

There are many people of fame and notoriety that are buried at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Glendale, California. If you'd like to see photos of some of the graves of a few famous people, follow this link to the AnimationNation Forums...

Thanks for checking this out. May the memory of Walt Disney help to keep you creatively inspired.

Charles Zembillas
The Animation Academy
Burbank California

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

In Memory of Zina Lahr 1990 - 2013

On April 2 2013 a most unusual student joined us here at the Academy. She came all the way from Colorado to take Character Design 1 in Burbank.
Her name was Zina Lahr.

She was a remarkable and talented young lady. She dressed in an aviator's head gear with goggles and had feathers streaming from her hair. She was such a gentle, kind and soft spoken soul you knew you were in the presence of someone very special every time you were with her. Someone so extraordinary she didn't seem to be from this earth.

Zina exhibited strong skills and a unique vision. She was involved in making life sized dinosaur puppets move. The kind that would require individuals suiting up inside of the contraption. Her art was beautiful and we all grew creatively while she was with us. Our experience with her was extremely positive and we missed her when she had to go back home to take care of her ailing grandmother. Just last month I received an email from Zina saying how much she looked forward to coming back here again in the future.

A week ago on Wednesday, November 20 2013, Zina Lahr fell to her death in an accident while hiking in the hills around her hometown of Ouray, Colorado. She was only 23 years old.

Zina was the kind of person that is too good for this world. She will be remembered as someone of exceptional significance and her memory will always be held as something very special to me personally. Zina was the kind of girl that made you feel wonderful just by being in her presence. For myself and on behalf of everyone who knew her at the Academy we offer her family and loved ones our sincerest condolences. We were lucky to have known you and to have had you with us Zina. You'll be greatly missed.

Rest In Peace.    

Monday, November 25, 2013

Chance Raspberry's Indiegogo Success

The phenomenon of crowdfunding has become and is increasingly a major method of launching projects of any and all sorts. In animation and other creative fields sites such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo have transformed the way that business is done. This positive and dynamic development is making a difference in the lives of many people. It holds tremendous potential for the future considering how far this new system will eventually go.

Simpsons animator and Academy legend Chance Raspberry wrapped up his second crowdfunding campaign on  November 12 2013. This time on Indiegogo. Chance has already made history with his successful Little Billy project on Kickstarter last year. His follow up involved a showcase for his musical talents. It's a CD entitled "Old Souls.... Young Hearts". His goal was $4500 and he wound up with $6401. Now he can push Little Billy even further.
Congrats again Chance!
Here's the promotional video he created for the Indiegogo campaign...


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Kiana Mosser animation

One of our long term standout students has been experimenting with animation featuring characters she's been developing through her time at the Academy. Take a look at this simple and poetic video Kiana Mosser created. It's called "Dusk"...

Here's something else she's created recently. This video is entitled "Journey"...

You can see more of Kiana's animation on her YouTube channel...

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Art of Vanessa Ramirez

We've had the pleasure of having Vanessa Ramirez as a student for most of 2013. She is a professional artist who attends class at The Academy to develop additional skills and further progress her projects. This is some recent art that Vanessa created while in the Visual Development class. She's been focusing on enhancing her tonal rendering through the use of blue pencil and free form black line sketching. Her style is unique and very distinctive. One look at her work and you know right away who did it. You're welcome to visit the blog of Vanessa Ramirez to get the full scope of her talents and see more of what she can do.

Monday, September 09, 2013

Class art from Chari Pere

Earlier this year we had the pleasure of Chari Pere's participation in Character Design 1. She successfully completed the class and will be returning next month to continue her creative studies. Chari is a  cartoonist who's been making inroads with her career through independent projects she's been developing. You can see Chari's website here.
Let's take a look at some of what she created in her Character Design class. Chari focused on nurturing her own style while focusing on fundamentals and the difference they make when applied to your art.
After Chari completed her concept designs she moved into a production mode. First she established the definitive look of her character through a rotation. The three pose rotation you see below is suitable for modeling the character in a 3D program. Next she delved into her facial expressions, action attitude poses, and finished off with a rendered dimensional drawing suitable for visual development. Solid work from a talented artist. Looking forward to what Chari will be coming up with upon her return.

Friday, September 06, 2013

Carlos Del Castillo on live TV in LA - August 25 2013

We had a surprise this past August 25 2013 when one of our students was featured on live TV in Los Angeles. The KTLA Morning News put a spotlight on Carlos Del Castillo, a talented artist and one of our youngest students. Carlos has been at the Academy for several months. He is a very promising student with a high degree of skill for his age. Watch how well he handles a live broadcast... 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Andre Medina on "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2"

Later this year Sony Pictures Animation will release "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2". Happy to report that Andre Medina a former student from The Animation Academy in Burbank was on the visual development crew for the movie. Take a look at the latest trailer and see some of his highly imaginative work for the film on his blog.

Andre Medina's blog:

Monday, July 01, 2013

Evan Burse on Kickstarter

Evan Burse is a former student of The Animation Academy. Since the time he attended classes he's created a following through his Cartoon Block YouTube channel. Now he's got a Kickstarter campaign in the works to raise funds to publish his first book of his art. The campaign wraps up July 13 2013. See the video below for details and access Evan's Kickstarter campaign here.