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Inspiring Insights from Blue Sky Studios

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(L–R) Deb Stone, manager of talent development at Blue Sky Studios and Matt Munn, senior animator at Blue Sky Studios. Photo by Bob Toy.

Follow your heart and use your time wisely. Senior Animator Matt Munn offered this advice to Academy of Art University students eager to work for the Greenwich, CT-based Blue Sky Studios after treating them to a teaser trailer for the upcoming feature Peanuts on Wednesday, February 25 in Morgan Auditorium.

Munn shared his own journey as an animator, from his computer science days as an undergraduate to his M.F.A. While completing his computer science degree, Munn happened upon some modeling work his junior year that sealed his decision to pursue a master’s. While in graduate school he shifted course again, this time from modeling to animation. “When I discovered animation, it was like partying in a club, and then this woman walks in and the music changes to Marvin Gaye or something. I just fell in love. Once I discovered animation, that was it for me.”

Munn then shared his own animation process using a scene from Rio 2. First he brainstorms how to most effectively animate a scene and how to give it extra punch. Then he thumbnails and finds—or films—his own reference material, often acting out the scene himself in order to detail the action. Then he begins animating.

After working full time for such companies as DreamWorks and Sony Imageworks, Munn said his experience at Blue Sky has been meaningful, because he knows everyone in the department and his voice matters, even in such areas as marketing. If he has an idea, the staff will listen.

 

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Deb Stone, manager of talent development at Blue Sky Studios (left) laughs with Matt Munn, senior animator at Blue Sky Studios (right) during their presentation in Morgan Auditorium on Wednesday, February 25. Photo by Bob Toy