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The Visual Development Process

Title: The Visual Development Process
Sponsored by The Creative Talent Network
Length: 45min
Filmed in November 2010

Moderator Sue Nichols Visual Development and Story Artist

“For years, Sue Nichols has been one of the best vis dev and storyboard people in the business, having helped to create some of Disney’s greatest animated motion pictures of the 1990s…” – Allan Neuwirth, “Makin’ Toons”. Sue is currently freelancing story and design work.

She has held the positions of Director, Art Director, Production Stylist, Model Supervisor, Head of Story, Story, Consultant / Instructor, Story Illustrator / Writer, Visual Development Artist, Character Designer, Design Teacher / Lecturer, Costume Designer, Interior Designer and Merchandise Designer.

She has worked with Marvel Productions, Mike Joens Productions, TMS, Turner Feature Animation, Walt Disney Feature Animation, Disney Television, Universal, Disneytoons, Disney Productions (Live Action), Canum Entertainment, Kid’s Clubhouse.

PANELIST MARCELO VIGNALI is a Production Designer and Visual Development artist for Sony Pictures Animation in Culver City, California.

He was born in Baltimore, Maryland, to Argentine immigrant parents. In 1976 his family moved to Southern California, where his father started an auto repair shop.  Marcelo graduated from West Covina high school in 1983, and that same year began his formal art education at Otis Art Institute of Parson’s School of Design.

Marcelo began working as a commercial artist in 1985 doing black and white illustrations for the Los Angeles Times Syndicate; his illustrations were featured in 56 newspapers across the United States. Two years later Marcelo embarked on a career in television animation, as a storyboard clean up artist and character designer.

In 1989 Marcelo would establish a relationship with the Walt Disney Company that would span well over a decade, both in feature animated films and theme park design. During which, some of that time he was working as a freelancer while living in St. George, Utah.

In 2003, Marcelo Vignali returned to Southern California to join the creative team at Sony Picture Animation. Since then he has worked on a variety of Sony projects. In addition to Surf’s Up, Marcelo has also worked on Open Season (2006), Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (2009), and Hotel Transylvania.

For over 25 years Marcelo Vignali has carved out a name for himself in various industries, from commercial illustration, television animation, computer gaming, theme park design to feature animation — from Disney’s Mulan, Lilo & Stitch, to Surf’s up, to Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs — enjoying the reputation of being one of the entertainment industry’s top talents.

Marcelo currently resides in Los Angeles, California, and is working on Sony Pictures Animation’s latest animated picture, Hotel Transylvania.

Join Marcelo at CTN-X 2009
CTN Member Marcelo Vignali

PaulYoung03WEBPanelist Paul Young is a co-founder and CEO of Cartoon Saloon,  Producer of the animated feature The Secret of Kells and Executive Producer of the animated children’s series Skunk Fu! which has sold globally to territories including the BBC, Super RTL, Kids WB and Cartoon Network in the US. Paul is also an award winning cartoonist and illustrator.

Paul travels a lot to spread the good word.

Did you know:

People who have met Paul seldom realize that ‘Paul’ is the hat, the body underneath is just a drone who does the hat’s bidding.

Visit their studio.

Panelist Robh Ruppel has designed for video games, feature films and animation, publishing and theme parks. Most recently Uncharted 2 took almost every GOTY award and several for best Art Direction.  He has taught at Art Center College of Design, Gnomon and Concept Design Academy. He has received Gold and Silver awards from the Spectrum Fantasy Art Annual and has been published in several other annuals and collections. When not painting he paints.

For more information about Rob please visit his website:

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