The Making of Pixar’s "Coco"

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Date/Time: 28 November 2017, 02:00pm - 04:30pm
Venue: GH 202&203
Location: Bangkok Int'l Trade & Exhibition Centre (BITEC)


Speaker(s): Pixar Animation Studios
David Ryu
Supervising Technical Director
Alonso Martinez
Character Modeling Artist
Emron Grover
Tailoring Lead
Jacob Brooks
Simulation lead
Aaron Lo
Crowds Technical Lead
Lana Sun
Crowds Technical Artist
Renee Tam
Lightspeed Lead

Summary: In this talk, learn how Pixar filmmakers created the world of Coco, telling an epic adventure story celebrating the art and culture of Dia de los Muertos. Join us as we discuss the artistic and technical challenges in creating the huge cast of characters, beautiful environments, and epic crowds in the film, and how we brought the Land of the Dead to life.

Speaker Bios:
David Ryu, Supervising Technical Director
David Ryu joined Pixar Animation Studios in 2001. After working as a graphics software engineer in Pixar’s tools department, David has since worked in a variety of capacities on multiple Academy Award®-winning feature films. He worked as a character shading artist on 2003’s "Finding Nemo," as a crowds technical director and on global technology for 2007’s "Ratatouille,” and as a crowds technical director for 2008’s "WALL•E." David also worked on global technology for the Academy Award®-winning feature "Up,” as shots sequence lead on "Toy Story 3,” and global technology supervisor on “Monsters University.” David supervised the effort to transition Pixar to a fully path-traced rendering environment on “Finding Dory.” Most recently, he served as supervising technical director for Disney•Pixar’s upcoming feature film "Coco," set to release November 22, 2017. As supervising technical director, David oversaw all the technical artists and technical directors on the film, balancing visual, production, and technical goals in the making of “Coco”.

Raised in Tustin, California, David was influenced by the "Star Wars" films and attended Harvard University, where he received his degree in 2001. While in school, he interned at Electronic Arts and Microsoft, where he briefly worked on Microsoft Word and Tiger Woods golf video games.

David currently resides in the San Francisco Bay Area with his family.

Alonso Martinez, Character Modeling Artist
Alonso Martinez joined Pixar Animation Studios in June of 2008 and has helped create characters in movies such as Up,” “Cars 2,” “The Good inosaur,” and “Inside Out.” He is a digital sculptor and rigger in "Character Department" and most recently worked on Disney•Pixar’s upcoming feature film, “Coco,” set to release November 22, 2017.

As a 'Technical Director' in digital sculpting and rigging, Martinez helps interpret drawings into digital sculptures and adds controls to give the ability for these digital puppets to be posed. He has worked on characters such as Butch, Arlo and Spot from “The Good Dinosaur”; Riley, Mom, Dad, & Fear from “Inside Out,” and several new Pixar character from “Coco” including Dante, Pepita, Hector, Mama, and Papa.

Raised in Monterrey, NL, Mexico, Martinez moved to Texas when he was 13 years old. He went on to earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Ringling College of Art and Design in Florida. Outside of Pixar, Alonso continues his passion for creating lovable characters through robotics.

Emron Grover, Tailoring Lead
Emron Grover has been a Cloth Simulation and Tailoring artist at Pixar Animation Studios since 2007. He holds a BFA in Animation from Brigham Young University. Emron has excelled at using technology to push creative boundaries in cloth simulation. He was the Cloth Tailoring Lead on the Academy Award winning titles Brave and Inside Out. He has most recently completed work on Pixar’s 19th feature film, Coco as the Tailoring Lead. Emron resides in Oakland, California.

Jacob Brooks, Simulation lead

Aaron Lo, Crowds Technical Lead
Aaron Lo is the crowds tech lead on Coco. He is responsible for developing and deploying the new tech needed for crowds for the movie. He received his M.S. in entertainment technology from Carnegie Mellon University and joined Pixar as an intern in 2008. He worked on various Pixar titles like "Up", "Toy Story 3", "Brave" and "Inside Out" as global tech engineer and crowds technical artist.

Lana Sun, Crowds Technical Artist
Lana Sun is a Global Tech and Crowds TD at Pixar. She received her B.S. in Network Engineering from Nanjing University of Posts and Telecommunication and her MFA in Digital Production Arts from Clemson University. After finishing school, she worked at PDI/DreamWorks as an FX artist on movies such as “Madagascar 3”, “Rise of the Guardians”, and “Mr. Peabody and Sherman”. Lana joined Pixar in 2015 as an FX TD on “The Good Dinosaur” before transitioning to a more technical role as Global Tech and Crowds TD for “Finding Dory”. Lana developed the “skeleton brain” system in use on the film Coco.

Renee Tam, Lightspeed Lead
Renee Tam first joined Pixar Animation Studios in 2006 as a shading technical director on Disney•Pixar’s Academy Award®-winning feature film “WALL•E”. She then transitioned to roles as both rendering and lightspeed technical director on “Up”, “Toy Story 3”, “Brave”, “Monsters University”, and “Finding Dory”. She has also worked on many shorts at Pixar. She has recently led the lightspeed department on Disney•Pixar’s “The Good Dinosaur” and “Coco”. “Coco” is set to release November 22, 2017 in the US. As the lightspeed lead, she oversaw a group of up to 9 lightspeed technical directors and worked with other department leads to resolve any technical issues that presented themselves during production. She also assisted the lighting department to make sure the pipeline ran as smoothly as possible.

As a lightspeed lead, her focus is to ensure lighting's priorities are met, whether they're technical or artististic. Her responsibities involve technical R&D for developing looks, debugging issues encountered with the tools, helping artists work with the softwares, optimizing show performance particularly for rendering, as well as working with other departments to ensure the show runs smoothly.

Presentation Language: English