Foundational Drawing / Illustration / Story Boards / Comics Instructor
Woody Woodman is an artist, storyteller and teacher with 20 years in the animation industry. After being honorably discharged from the United States Marine Corps in 1991, I began my pursuit to become a professional artist, and enrolled at Ringling School of Art and Design in Sarasota Florida, where I received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.
I was recruited by Walt Disney Feature Animation and continued my education in their internship program in Orlando Florida in July of 1997. I began my animation career as an ‘inbetweener’ on the film “Mulan” with Barry Cook. I worked on several films; “Tarzan,” “The Emperor’s New Groove” and “Lilo & Stitch” Then I was accepted into the story department working with some of the finest storyboard artists and directors in the business. I also worked on “Treasure Planet” with Ron Clements, John Musker and Glen Keane. I continued to work for Disney in the story department on “Brother Bear” and a few films that where never realized, until the Orlando studio was shut down in 2003. Woody has continued his Animation experience working with such clients such as: Aardman, Lucas Films, Laika and 20 Century Fox.
Traditional Animation / Comics and Cartooning Instructor
Jason Peltz was drawing Mickey Mouse from the age of three, in the hopes of someday working for Disney. Jason graduated Carnegie Mellon with an illustration degree, which was put to use in NYC at Jim Henson Productions, Marvel Comics, and Disney Consumer Products. At this point, Jason was bit by the animation bug, and moved to Chicago. There, he worked for Startoons on such projects as Animaniacs, Pinky and the Brain, and Tiny Toons. After gaining some experience, Disney brought Jason to Orlando, giving him the opportunity to draw Mickey Mouse professionally. Jason’s credits include The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Hercules, Mushu from Mulan, Tarzan, Kuzco from The Emperor’s New Groove, Jumba from Lilo and Stitch, and Koda from Brother Bear. Jason also added sculpting to his resume, doing the John Henry maquette for the Disney produced short.
After Disney Animation closed it’s doors in Orlando, Jason spent almost two years working as a Senior Key Assistant on a traditionally animated video game. He’s now working as a full time freelancer, sculpting and illustrating for such clients as Disney Publishing, Disney Entertainment Design, Busch Gardens, Premise Entertainment, Big Idea, SPCA, and many others. Since finishing work on Disney’s latest 2-D feature, The Princess and the Frog, Jason’s been freelancing as a Disney Storybook Artist on such books as UP, Toy Story 3 and CARS.
Traditional Animation / Sketching / Foundational Drawing / Figure Drawing Instructor
Thomas Thorspecken, also known as Thor, attended the school of Visual Arts and Design in New York City. In his 10 years as a freelance illustrator in the city, one of his assignments for the Daily News included sketching historic buildings throughout the city for a column called “Undiscovered Manhattan”. Thor relocated to Orlando in 1993 to work for Disney Feature Animation.
After 10 years the studio closed, and he continued to pursue his passion for art through teaching and sketching. His blog “Analog Artist Digital World” began in 2009 as a resolution to post a sketch every day. He describes it as “his way to finally put down roots, to be part of the community, one sketch at a time.” Thor has also been teaching Traditional Animation at Full Sail University and now is part of a great team of instructors at Elite Animation Academy. Thor will continue his passion to teach and now will include Middle and High School students. Some of the classes he will teach include Traditional Animation, Drawing Fundamental and Urban Sketching.
3D Animation / 2D Animation & Gaming Instructor
Joe Zaffuto is a graduate of Ringling College of Art & Design, receiving a BFA in Computer Animation in 1999. I then obtained a MFA Degree specializing in Modeling from The Academy of Art University of San Francisco.
With over 14 years that span over a plethora of different projects from college instruction, movies, television, and video games. My true passion is for lighting, and art direction, but I also love to instruct, inspire and lead.
Brandon M. Burghard
Character Design / Digital Painting / Illustration / Anime-Manga Instructor
Brandon M. Burghard, a young freelance digital artist for over 4 years whose professional work includes; designing characters, creating promotional material, rendering splash art, designing icons,logos, pixel art and sprite work on multiple indie games and projects, as well as an art consultant.
Ever since he was young, Brandon crafted stories and designed characters expressing each in different mediums throughout the years. It was only until later in life where he honed his potential as a draftsmen and studied the way of illustration and design. Brandon’s works are inspired by many Eastern artists as well as a blend of his own art style. in his free time he often continues his education in art, writes stories, and works on his web-comic.
2D & 3D Animation Instructor
Genesis Laboy was born and raised in Puerto Rico. As a kid I was always interested in film and animation but never imagined this could be a career for me. After moving to Florida I’ve had the opportunity to grow as an artist by exploring both traditional and digital mediums while learning the different steps of the production pipeline.
My background in theatrical lighting helped me with the transition into digital lighting for animated movies while working on the short film Tiffany and attending the University of Central Florida. I’ve since dedicated myself to learning as much as a can about lighting so that I can enhance the look of the animated projects I am a part of.
Traditional Animation / Character Design / 2D & 3D Animation Instructor
Anthony Sims primarily works as an Assistant Professor in the School of Design at Rasmussen College, he has accrued over a decade of teaching and course authoring within the realms of traditional art and animation, graphic design, 3d content creation, as well as dabbling in website creation and interactive design.
Anthony has his MFA in Visual Effects and Animation from The Academy of Art in San Francisco, which features a specialization in 3d Modeling, as well as his BFA in Media Arts and Animation from AI Tampa, as well as certifications in Graphic Design and Computer Art. Anthony is skilled in the traditional arts of painting, drawing, and sculpture, as well as the digital arts of digital illustration, 3d art and animation, video edition, motion graphics and animation.
Character Design / 2D & 3D Animation Instructor
Dana Corrigan is a 2D animator from Tampa, with a passion for storytelling and an MFA in Fine Arts from Savannah College of Art and Design. She is someone who’s always loved a school environment, and has been teaching Animation and Digital Art at a college level since 2011, at the University of Tampa and the University of South Florida. She has worked as a freelance animator and graphic designer since 2005.
Some of her projects include character sprites and animations for Flash games and the Xbox 360, animation for a TV series in Cartoon Network South Asia, TV pilots, short films, motion comics, book illustrations, pitch booklets and presentation material, online commercials and interactive media. In her spare time, she develops pitches for cartoon shows, some of which have been pitched to Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network and Warner Brothers.
2D & 3D Animation / Anime-Manga Instructor
Brittany Sprouse is an artist and animator. I graduated in 2011 with a Bachelors in Fine Arts in Media Arts and Animation from The Art Institute of Tampa. For the past few years I have been an in house artist working on cell phone applications. Doing everything from creating icons and ad’s to animating in game characters.
Some of the programs I use are Paint Tool Sai, the Adobe suite (including: Photoshop, Priemere, Illustrator, and Flash) as well as 3D software such as 3DS Max and Maya. I also illustrate freelance doing wide ranges of styles including
2D & 3D Animation Instructor
Frankie Caldarazzo is a 2D/3D animator and digital artist with a degree in Emerging Media from the University of Central Florida, specializing in Character Animation. He has been drawing for most of his life and has focused on digital artwork since 2010, driven by his passion for cartoons and storytelling. Some of his experience includes creating motion graphics and animation for the Tampa Bay Rays baseball team as well as a variety of graphic design work for numerous businesses and apparel.
In his spare time, he creates character concepts and illustrations inspired by tabletop RPGs he enjoys playing with his friends. Some of the programs he has used to create his work include the Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere, and Flash), After Effects, Cinema 4D, and Maya.
Colin Boyer is a freelance genre illustrator who works for Magic: the Gathering and does cover illustrations for Fantasy Flight Game’s Star Wars: Legion. He studied illustration at Ringling College of Art + Design, and while there he took an intensive multi week summer workshop called The Illustration Academy, where he learned from world renowned illustrators like Mark English, Gary Kelley, and Jon Foster. When the Academy started an online school he was awarded a full ride scholarship. He also studied classical drawing and painting at The Southern Atelier, and did a private mentor-ship with illustrator Greg Manchess through SmArt School. He lives in Orlando with his beautiful wife and daughter.