Monday, July 7, 2014

Teaching 2D Traditional Animation at Otronicon

Sam Ewing who was the lead clean up artist for Stitch was asked to teach an animation class at Otronicon in the Orlando Science Center (777 E Princeton St, Orlando, FL). I assisted Sam with one of these sessions. It is fun to see how enthusiastic young kids are about animation. Full Sail sponsored the classes offering Mac computers on which Sam showed some scenes of Stitch in action. Although Otronicon is a high tech conference, we taught low tech animation, giving the enthusiastic kids pencils and paper to put their ideas down. We had them storyboard very simple story ideas and then gave them flip books to do drawing after drawing to create the illusion of motion. Since these kids haven't been told that they aren't artists, anything is possible.

I teach traditional animation at Full Sail and an apathetic student wanted to know why he had to learn traditional animation techniques. At a Fringe pre-show warm up an actor asked the audience what was their one true passion in life. A wife's hand went up and she said "My husband." The actor joked that the husband's hand didn't dart up as fast since it was clutching a beer.  Another man asked about his one passion, had no idea. He didn't have any passions. The audience laughed but it was also quite sad. I refuse to believe that anyone could go through life without a desire to express something, anything.  That is why we learn to write, to draw to photograph or sing.  How could a student spend hundreds of thousands of dollars and not have that basic passion? So many seem to want to coast through college with minimal effort.  I still believe one spark can ignite any fire. It is amazing to see the possibilities when a mind is set free.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at