The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Texas A&M utility Gavin Grahovac (9) throws the ball during A&Ms game against Georgia on Friday, April 26, 2024, at Olsen Field. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
Southern slugfest
May 23, 2024
Advertisement
Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
A&M System’s Title IX director suspended after supporting Biden's Title IX changes
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • May 23, 2024
Advertisement
A fighter jet squadron flies over during the National Anthem before Texas A&M’s game against Arkansas at Olsen Field on Saturday, May 18, 2024. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
Bryan-College Station Regional participants announced
Ian Curtis, Sports Writer • May 27, 2024

For the second time in three seasons, No. 3 national seed Texas A&M baseball will host the Bryan-College Station Regional, where it’ll...

Advertisement
Beekeeper Shelby Dittman scoops bees back into their hive during a visit on Friday, April 5, 2024. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
Bee-hind the scenes
Shalina Sabih, Sports Writer • May 1, 2024

The speakers turn on. Static clicks. And a voice reads “Your starting lineup for the Texas A&M Aggies is …” Spectators hear that...

Kennedy White, 19, sits for a portrait in the sweats she wore the night of her alleged assault inside the Y.M.C.A building that holds Texas A&M’s Title IX offices in College Station, Texas on Feb. 16, 2024 (Ishika Samant/The Battalion).
'I was terrified'
April 25, 2024
Scenes from 74
Scenes from '74
April 25, 2024
Advertisement
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The BattalionMay 4, 2024

To Aggieland and beyond

Toy+Story+4+contains+the+work+of+16+Aggies+and+premiered+in+theaters+June+21.+The+film+tops+the+box+office+at+%24650+million+globally.
Photo by Creative Commons

“Toy Story 4” contains the work of 16 Aggies and premiered in theaters June 21. The film tops the box office at $650 million globally.

Pixar’s latest installment of the Toy Story series had the help of 16 former students who developed their experience at Texas A&M’s Visualization Lab.
Toy Story 4 currently tops the box office with $650 million around the globe, and Aggies played an important part in the film’s success.
The Aggies who helped in the making of the Pixar film’s fourth installment include Jean-Claude Kalache, Jesse Weglein, Austin Goddard, Patrick James, Robert Graf, Chris Chapman, Gary Bruins, David Verona, Laura Murphy, Don Bui, Bob Moyer, Sajan Skaria, Kevin Singleton, Seth Freeman, Jon Reisch and Jonathan Kiker. The former students held various roles in the movie, from director of photography to effects supervisor and technical director.
Department of Visualization Associate Professor Ann McNamara said the Visualization program at A&M offers a collaborative and interdisciplinary program for students.
“What’s interesting about the Aggies who helped in the making of this movie is a lot of them have very specific leadership roles and supervisor roles,” McNamara said. “I think what’s interesting about our program is that it allows you to specialize into those roles. It’s really easy for them to take their skills and hone them in one specific area.”
McNamara said she believes both being a Viz student and an Aggie gives students the skills they need to go out into the world.
“One of the things we do here at Texas A&M in the Visualization program, is we have the technical and the creative in the same department,” McNamara said. “I think one of the major skills that they are able to pick up here is creative problem solving.”
The Visualization program also offers a summer industry course that partners with a big studios such as Disney, Pixar, Dreamworks and Reel FX.
“It’s a 10 week course, students work in teams and they have a faculty advisor,” McNamara said. “The studio will send artists to work on the ground with students in the Visualization department, they work hands on to create 30 second animations in 10 weeks. It really emulates a production environment and I think that’s really helpful when they move into their careers.”
Department of Visualization Associate Professor and Director, Tim Mclaughlin said the movie making process has a lot of different roles that people play from early on, including story development and visual elements.
“One of the beautiful things about Toy Story 4 is just the richness of the materials and the lighting, the environment, the sky, grass and the objects,” Mclaughlin said. “If you look at the objects they interact with, every object appears to have had a history — there’s weathering and age and paint.”
Mclaughlin said incorporating creative artistic ability with technical skills is what got these Aggies the important position they have in the Toy Story franchise.
“It requires the ability to look at the world around you and convert it into computer graphics,” Mclaughlin said. “And, maybe that’s one of the biggest things our students learn here – how to collaborate with a big team and being able to observe the world and turn that into art with a computer.”

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Battalion

Your donation will support the student journalists of Texas A&M University - College Station. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Battalion

Comments (0)

All The Battalion Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *