This was work week at Max the Mutt, a perfect opportunity for a field trip! Tina Seemann and senior students visited Guru Studio (www.gurustudio.com), one of Toronto’s fastest growing animation houses. Guru does work both in 2D & 3D. MTM graduates are well represented here both in animation and design. The visit was generously organized for us by Nadine Simard, Talent Coordinator.
When Tina telephoned after the tour she was very excited! The whole event was energizing for her and for the students, and she was amazed at the generosity of everyone they met. She also reported that our alums working for Guru reported that they love the environment and say it’s a great company to work for.
Here’s Tina’s report:
This afternoon I accompanied Animation and Concept Art senior students on a visit to #Guru Studio, one of Toronto’s fastest growing animation companies . The bonus was that this is the day before the Halloween weekend, so the folks at GURU had fun dressing up. (See photos here-)
I wasn’t allowed to photograph Nadine Simard , who arranged this visit, as she was dressed as one of their characters in an upcoming series.
Brandon Scott was the first person we spoke with. He is Guru’s Studio Art Director and the creator of Justin Time. The rest of the tour followed with the following:
We visited 4 departments in all, Yurie Rocha, CG Supervisor, told the students about storyboarding and character design. (He also stressed the importance of silhouette in posing!) They use #TOONBOOM STORYBOARD PRO.
From there we squeezed into the ‘idea tank’ where we met Guru’s Development Team: Rachel Marcus, Development Executive, Dave Padbury, Development Coordinator and San Suryavanshi, Art Director. They shared with us some top secret series yet to be launched! We got to see a snippet of a scene showing a 2D animated girl dancing in a dark room. The room was built in 3D, it was reduced and rotated for us to see…then light effects and a shower of dust particles were added for an overall stunning effect that lasted but a few seconds. (Note: I did not name the series! It’s top secret! ) The effects were amazing.
Then we met Andrew Strimaitis, Animation Director for Ever After High who showed us the 2D series he’s working on, “Ever After High” where the characters are very detailed. He admitted having fun with the ‘beauty shots’ of the dolls.
The CA group learned some animation tricks!
The best part of this visit was that it felt like ‘old home week’! I’ve been on studio tours before but this was the first one where I encountered so many of our graduates from years past!
Animator Keith Fukumoto has been an instructor at MTM for several years; Raechel Dickey, Rigging Supervisor, will join us in the new year to teach Harmony. Other Max the Mutt alums working at Guru include Tess Tolmatcheva, Adam Klassen, Jason Comacho, Tabitha Fisher (lead Background Painter), Damjan Lazic (2014 CA grad), Isaac Yakabuskie,Vanessa Noller (location designer, 2013 CA graduate ), and 2015 animation grads Enoch Gawain and Jacob Whyte.
GURU was very welcoming and the students had a wonderful time! It felt like a second home! Everyone had a great time.
Thanks so much to Nadine Simard for having us over to visit GURU studios!