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Instructor Qualifications and Experience - Animation

PHIL YOUNG

Education:

M.A., Savannah College of Art & Design, 2007

B.F.A., California State University, Long Beach, with great distinction, 1977

Areas of Expertise:

FINE ARTS: During my undergraduate years, my concentration was on Fine Arts / Drawing and Painting.  Many outstanding instructors were available in Southern California, both on the Community college and University level, and I learned life drawing under James Nastasia, a member of Rico LeBrun’s group of Chicago artists, and John Lincoln.  My instruction in Life Drawing was enhanced by a semester of Anatomy for Artists under Peter Mendes, in which we did studies from live models as well as cadaver studies, invaluable as a method of thorough knowledge of structure.

 
ILLUSTRATION:  Deciding to specialize in Illustration was a decision that came about during my Junior Year, largely as a result of having been thoroughly immersed in life drawing skills for several years.  I was fortunate to study with renowned West Coast illustrator Neal Boyle in my senior year, which helped me prepare my portfolio to compete in the tough California market.  My painting approaches were also developed at this time under Neal’s tutelage.
 
ANIMATION:  Having spent the better part of three decades in the animation industry, animation has shaped and refined my drawing skills, as the job entailed primarily the exploration of graphic applications as a means of communicating ideas, stories, and emotions.  The expression of drawings as moving entities depends on an understanding of timing and spacing, composition, acting and technical knowledge of screen technology and terminology.  These principles remain as valid with the advances in digital technology as ever, as the only intuitive way for the illusion of life to be taught.  There is no intuitive aspect to computer generated imagery; therefore the machine must be made to perform by humans acquainted with the traditional skills brought to it by artists.
 
My good fortune was to have studied with several of the great artists from the “Golden Age’’ of Disney animation while they were still available, including Ward Kimball, Frank Thomas, Ollie Johnston, Eric Larson, and Marc Davis.
 
PAINTING AND SCULPTURE:  While at Disney, the artists were given access to many classes in figure drawing, life sculpture, painting, and sketching in the field.  The opportunities for a steadily growing set of abilities were also provided by evening classes in painting and sculpture provided by Ron Pekar, a professional instructor and producer of many sculptural installations around the country.  Under his mentoring, I continued to develop abilities as a sculptor and painter that continue to this day.  I am currently building a body of work, painting in acrylic using figurative and landscape subjects, and have continued to sculpt as well, having produced a piece in bronze commissioned and executed by the Sun Foundry in Glendale, California.

 

Effects and Commercials:

In addition to character animation, I picked up knowledge from veterans of the industry in effects animation, enough knowledge to have done effects at the latter stages of production on many of the Disney features previously mentioned.  I also did effects on TV commercials and have screen credit as an effects animator on a Filmation Theatrical release.

I’ve also had considerable experience producing work as a freelance animator on many TV commercials for Duck Soup Productions in Santa Monica, CA, including work for General Foods and Kellogg’s, many combining live action footage with animation.

Professional Experience:

2007-2014: Southwest University of Visual Arts, Animation, Fine Arts, Illustration Faculty, Albuquerque, NM

2004-2007: Savannah College of Art & Design, Animation Professor, Savannah, GA

2004: Co-authored textbook “Exploring Animation with Maya 6” with Patricia Beckmann

2003: Warner Brothers Feature Animation, Animator

2002: Dreamworks SKG, Animator

1979-2002: Walt Disney Feature Animation, promoted to Character Animator

1977: Hired as trainee, Feature Animation Department, Walt Disney Studios

1966-1969:  U.S. Army, Germany, Draftsman/Illustrator, Attaining rank of Sergeant

Professional Organizations:

The Animation Guild, Member from 1977-2003.

Member of Disney Studio Review Board 

Screen Credits as Animator:

In March 2003, I signed on at the Warner Brothers’ feature unit, working on “Looney Tunes: Back in Action”, animating many of the classic WB characters.

In March of 2002, I signed with Dreamworks Animation to work on “Sinbad”, animating the ship’s crew and scenes with the Sinbad character.

Disney Feature Animation:

HOME ON THE RANGE (2001) worked on various scenes through the latter part of 2001.

THE EMPEROR’S NEW GROOVE (2001) worked on Pacha, Kuzco and Pacha’s wife.

FANTASIA 2000 animated on “Rhapsody in Blue” sequence.

“HUMAN AGAIN” SEQUENCE (2000) sequence added for re-release of “Beauty and the Beast”.  Animated scenes of Cogsworth, Lumiere, Mrs. Potts and the Wardrobe.

TARZAN (1999) worked on the Clayton character in his final scenes.

MULAN (1998) upon returning to traditional animation was assigned to the title character, animating the final battle scenes.

1997-1998 went into a period of computer animation training in pre-production on Disney’s “DINOSAUR” project.  On the production for 14 months, opting to return to traditional animation at the end of that period.

THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME (1996) animated on the Quasimodo character, and assisted on the development.  Also animated Esmeralda.  Created a sculpted commemorative “Notre Dame Gargoyle” mug which was produced as a limited edition gift to the Disney staff on the opening of the new Animation building in December of 1995.

THE LION KING (1994) animated on the Mufasa unit.  Also worked on many scenes of the young and adult Simba.  Animated the majority of the “pouncing lesson” sequence, and a large part of the death of Mufasa in the Wildebeest stampede.

ALADDIN (1992) designed and was lead animator on the guards.  The Captain of the guards (Rasoul) was initially a 3D sculpture, approved and then designed as a 2D animated character.  Mattel Corp., using this design later produced the character as a toy.  Also animated on Aladdin and Jasmine.

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (1991) worked on Mrs. Potts and Chip, Belle, and most of the other characters.  Developed and animated the Woodstove.

MICKEY’S PRINCE AND THE PAUPER (1990) animated Mickey and various supporting characters in this featurette.

THE RESCUERS DOWN UNDER (1990) designed and animated the crocodiles.  Original design was done as a 3D sculpture.  Also animated Cody.

THE LITTLE MERMAID (1989) animated Ariel and did developmental work and animation work on “Scuttle” the seagull.

OLIVER AND COMPANY (1988) did storyboard work; animated Tito, Oliver, Georgette and most of the other principals.  Was sent to Brazil by Disney for promotional tour upon the Brazilian release

THE GREAT MOUSE DETECTIVE (1986) worked on and helped to develop the “Fidget the Bat” character; also Rattigan.

THE BLACK CAULDRON (1985) worked on all principal characters during the 4 ½ year production schedule.

THE FOX AND THE HOUND (1980) (First screen credit as Animator) worked on Todd, Vixey and the Bear.

Experience as educator:

As a faculty member of Southwest University of Visual Arts in New Mexico, 2007-2014, I taught classes in animation, figure drawing, basic and intermediate drawing, fundamentals of 2d design, and illustration.

At Savannah College of Art & Design, while employed as full time faculty, I earned a Master of Arts degree in Sequential Art at the end of the Spring Quarter of 2007.

In July of 2006, I was featured as an accomplished faculty member in an advertisement for SCAD to appear in the September 2006 SIGGRAPH edition of Animation Magazine.

During my first year at SCAD I co-authored a textbook, “Exploring Animation with Maya 6” with Patricia Beckmann, then chair of the Animation Department.  The work was published by Cengage Learning, and has worldwide distribution.  My contribution was to explain the concepts of traditional animation, and how those concepts relate directly to the production of computer-generated animation of the type possible with an advanced animation software program.  A Maya7 updated version was published in 2006.

Hired by Savannah College of Art & Design as a Professor of Animation, I served from January, 2004 to May of 2007, teaching entry-level traditional animation classes, along with Layout and Character Design, intermediate-level 2D Character Animation and an advanced 2D Character class, which I wrote at the request of the Dean and the Chairman of the Animation Department. 

The class was initiated by the school’s desire to be more competitive with the Cal Arts and Sheridan College curriculum.  The students had the opportunity to be seen by some of the major employers in feature animation, and it was felt they needed to be brought up to speed on performance skills.

In addition I taught a 2D/3D Senior Project class, which supported production of individual student films, regardless of medium.  Focus was on strong visual storytelling, application of animation skills, and production management to work towards a completed film over the course of two quarters.

Over the span of the years at Disney, I was a mentor to new animators, both in traditional and digital animation.  I also served as a member of the review board, the body that selected new candidates for the department.  I taught many classes on approaches and techniques in the animation process through the Fundamentals of Disney Animation program, and made presentations to schools on all grade levels, including colleges.

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