Disney's Dinosaur: My Journey
In 1995, Walt Disney Feature Animation started a small computer character animation division with the goal of creating a proof of concept short film about dinosaurs. The purpose of the project was to test various methods that could be used to make a full-blown CGI feature film. I was hired as an animator for this test project, even though I had not yet worked professionally in computer graphics. Animation director Eric Leighton recommended me for the position based on our previous work together on The Nightmare Before Christmas and my personal experience teaching myself the basics of CGI in my free time. This project marked the most transformative period in my animation career and reflected the changes happening at Disney as well. What began as a small crew of 30 people for the test project ultimately grew into a state-of-the-art digital studio of 350 artists, animators, and technical experts over the next four years. During this expansion, I became an Animation Supervisor and mentor for Disney's feature film Dinosaur!