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2016 PPP TruebloodFaculty Spotlight

Position: Assistant Professor of Animation and Visual Effects
Undergraduate Degree: B.A. in Animation, Edinboro University
Graduate Degree: M.F.A. in Fine Arts, Carnegie Mellon University
Current Hometown: Robinson, Pa.

Animating a Career

After obtaining in bachelor's degree at Edinboro University, Jonathan Trueblood moved to New York City where he worked for several different motion graphic studios. It was there where he worked with companies such as MTV and ESPN to create short animations and effects for their shows. He specifically remembers working on animations and video clips that played during the commercial breaks for popular shows on MTV such as Viva La Bam and Pimp My Ride. He was also part of a team that made ten-second animated clips to promote up and coming bands on MTV.

"In a year, we probably made about 180 to 200 of those 10-second animations. That was a really fun product."

Jonathan has also created animation effects for large companies like BP, American Express and the NFL Network. However, of all the exciting projects he has been a part of, the project that stands out in Jonathan's memory is one he and his former Point Park students made for TED Talks that received a lot of positive feedback.

Animating the Lives of Others

Jonathan became passionate about teaching when he was a graduate teacher's assistant at Carnegie Mellon. Jonathan gets the most satisfaction when he sees that students are learning, working hard and setting themselves up to join the workforce after graduation. Jonathan remarked that the students who work hard and log the most hours in the computer room are often times the ones who end up working for companies like Disney and Pixar.

"The work that you did, the hours that we spent in my office, the critiques and discussions we had, when that stuff pays off, that's the best feeling."

Old School at Heart

Growing up, Jonathan remembers seeing two specific films with his grandmother that first inspired him to work in animation. Those films were Who Framed Roger Rabbit and The Lion King. These groundbreaking films made him want to draw something that would come to life and generate a reaction from the audience.

Jonathan prefers the hand-drawn, traditional, 2D animation over 3D animation because it is the form he grew up watching and that inspired him to get into the field. 1940s and 50s cartoons and classic Disney movies showcase the human touch that 3D animation, however impressive, lacks.

"I love some of the things that you can do with 3D, but actually getting the pencil smudges on your hand, touching the paper, and crinkling the paper, you can't get with 3D that you can get when you animate by hand."

More About: cinema arts, animation, Conservatory of Performing Arts, animation and visual effects