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Smoke and Mirrors: Elemental Alchemy

Smoke and Mirrors: Elemental Alchemy

Title: Smoke and Mirrors: Elemental Alchemy
Hosted by The Creative Talent Network
Length 45min
Presenter: Joseph Gilland

Join master special effects animator and author of ‘Elemental Magic’ Joseph Gilland in an in depth look in to creating special effects.


An Organic Approach to Special Effects Animation

Joseph Gilland is an animation director, special effects animator, journalist, author and musician. His most recent book ‘Elemental Magic – The Art of Special Effects Animation’, has quickly become a sensation in the global animation community, bringing to print for the first time the magic behind the visual effects animation that has dazzled animation audiences since the 1930’s. Joseph’s approach to the animation process focuses not only on technical know how, but also reveals the raw energy underlying all great animation works. With passion, emotion and a vast amount of practical experience, Gilland introduces the reader to a fluid organic process of discovery and interactive experimentation that breathes new life into a fine art form that many believe to be a highly technical and tedious affair. While writing and illustrating Elemental Magic over the last four years, Joseph began bringing his vision to a workshop series entitled ‘An Organic Approach to Special Effects Animation’. The workshops and his book evolved together, feeding off of each other and resulting in a book that not only contains Joseph’s deep expertise on the subject, but also reflects the feedback of animation artists and students from around the world.

In his long and storied animation career, Joseph has utilized his traditional and digital animation talents at such studios as Walt Disney Feature Animation, Don Bluth Animation, and the National Film Board of Canada. At Walt Disney Feature Animation, Joseph served as Supervisor of Visual Effects for the Disney classics Lilo & Stitch and Brother Bear. Joseph also served as Head of Florida Special Effects Unit for the features Kingdom of the Sun, and Tarzan, and was Special Effects Animator on such notable titles as Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, James and the Giant Peach, Hercules and Mulan. His broad experience also includes animating on several short film projects at the National Film Board of Canada, and directing dozens of television commercials as an independent director. From 2003 to 2005, Joseph headed up the world renowned animation program at the Vancouver Film School.

Joseph is currently at work on an independent short film and is writing a follow up volume to ‘Elemental Magic’ that will delve deeper into special effects and also include a DVD with real time step by step ‘how-to’ footage, and clips from live workshops.

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