Capilano University Students Meet Animation Inspiration Nik Ranieri

Techman Joe is racking up the frequent flyer miles this month. Last week he flew up to Vancouver, BC to meet with the next generation of animation students at Capilano University. When he wasn’t answering questions and sharing his experience with Wacom tablets with the students, we asked him to send a dispatch from Capilano capturing the sights and sounds of his time there.

Click here to see how other professional artists use the Cintiq Companion.

We visited Capilano University to capture a little about the next generation of professional animators, and to attend “Fan-uary.”  Students, faculty and alumni from Capilano’s Animation and Art departments, and many others from local studios and art schools in the Vancouver area attended “Fan-uary” for a presentation by former Disney animator Nik Ranieri.

As with many animators who relish and suffer their veil of anonymity, you may not know Ranieri’s face, but you would know his work from current family films like Disney’s Tangled and Bolt, to some the greats that put Disney back in the limelight, like Beauty and the Beast and The Little Mermaid. Capilano is nestled in the foothills above Vancouver BC, and conjures images of the Canadian animated TV series, "The Raccoons.” In fact, both Ranieri and Capilano instructor, Don Perro helped create it

Attendees got to try out the Wacom Cintiq Companions. People put them through their paces, and Annex Pro was there with special offers for those who didn’t want to live without one any longer. 

At Capilano the Wacom team sat in on classes with Don Perro who allowed us to capture video as he led students through the nuances of animating quadrupeds.… who knew it was so complex?  It may not sound like much, but it is one of many secrets that make creatures and characters come to life.  So much time and detail goes into each second of animating a single character, one cannot help but acquire a deep respect for the artistry and effort that goes into every full length animated movie. We’ll feature the videos right here on the blog as soon as they’re edited.

Every student sat at their own station, comprised of an ergonomically designed desk, Cintiqs mounted on Ergotron articulating arms, for comfort and flexibility. The students were armed with great animation software like TVPaint. Capilano embraces technology to push art forward while teaching students traditional mediums as well. Capilano students will enter their careers with the best tools in their arsenal while understanding and appreciating the traditions that got them there.