Meet the Artist: Emile Ghorayeb

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  02 February 2006
Hey Emile!

I was just wondering if you have good story about getting the job at dreamworks, like were you up all night waiting for the phone call, stuff like that.
  02 February 2006
Hi, great to see that you wanna do this and many kudos on Madagascar, actually just surfed around for images on that reeally good-looking piece of art.
Well, here it goes:
How did you start, schools and such? Or well, how did you become a part of all cg?
  02 February 2006
hey there looks like your going to have a big load hahaha

You want to here somethign really wierd im doing the exact same eduaction as you... im going to study fine arts at Dawson( my dad teachs there in the photography department )and then im eather going to inter dec or NAD center.... im wondering now why did u choose Inter dec over Nad center and how was the program and Interdec. Which 3d app do they teach there?

Thanks in advance

Last edited by Canadianboy : 02 February 2006 at 09:31 PM.
  02 February 2006

hey guys/gals!


I'm actually at work... Just popping in to say hello, and to also say that I will take some time later and "attempt" to answer questions. There's some really GREAT questions here and I promise I'll do my bestest (better than best, it's bestEST!) to answer everything I can.

AND, I definitely wanted to thank Leigh and the CGtalk team.
BIG thanks, hugs and kisses.
Emile Ghorayeb | animator

Last edited by emilioG : 02 February 2006 at 09:24 PM. Reason: how could I forget sweet, sweet Leigh!
  02 February 2006

yo emileeee! u worked on shrek ... wow! my dream ... to work on DONKEY
anyway... i wanna ask u ...

How was it working on donkey? what were the problems while working on him... ( if there were ) ... ?
How did u enter DreamWorks? when... ?
5 tips for young guys ( 18 years ) that wanna become part of 3d&Animation industry!

Concept designer
  02 February 2006
Man I'm a HUGE fan of your work. Was just curious about what programs you used to achieve your results.
"Every Passing Minute Is A Chance To Turn It All Around"- Vanilla Sky ...tIcK ToCk!
3D Modeller, Architect, Product Designer
  02 February 2006
Elloooo......Great to have you in here. And will be bestEST if you could spare sometime for my tiny viny questions.

The Squash n Stretch actions in Madagascar were mindblowing and something that i never saw ever was the transition from Shrek kind of suble n slow animation to Madagascar kinda snaapppyyy n Sque-tch animation ? And how was the Animation Style maintained over the movie... Any special trainings for all the animators for that ?

And you yourself did the expressions of the characters in Madagascar ? Ther was a lot of Sqetch in facials too. Was it all dynamic ?? Rig dependent ?

N lastly...did you urself rigged the characters in your personal Reel ? They are awsomeee....

Thnnxxxx for takin out ur time !!

Last edited by Abhimation : 02 February 2006 at 12:15 AM.
  02 February 2006
Hi Emile, great to have you here. I have a quick question regarding your shot planning.

What steps do you take when analyzing dialogue to make sure that you are understanding the characters thought process and motivation?
  02 February 2006
Oy doooode! Nice to see you here!
If you (hopefully) come back and have any question on how to use the rocket launcher I'd be happy to answer them for you :P
In vino veritas
  02 February 2006
Thanks for doing this thing!

I was wondering what it was like to animate on Madagascar, mainly the penguins. I was wondering how you went about making such fun animation for them.

  02 February 2006
in house vs off the shelf software? learning curve?

thanks up front for taking the time to read and answer all of the questions your gonna get asked

the only question that i have that hasn't been asked yet (i think) is :

every major animation house has their own "special" software that they create that is an addtion to the off the shelf stuff. in general what is the learning curve like - UbiSoft to PDI etc. do they give ample time to adjust or are you thrown into the water and its "sink or swim"

i think this is the question that ponders me the most-- how much time is allowed for adjustment.

thanks again, good luck answering ?'s

  02 February 2006
Hi! Im very excited that I can even communicate with artists like you.

What I was wondering about is how did it all start? DId you wake up one morning telling yourself you want to animate characters? What was your original 3d program? How is it working with DreamWorks?

Wich was the hardest/funnest character to work on?

Are you ever going to release any tutorials through Gnomon?
  02 February 2006
who is this guy anyway?


Heya Emiilio!
congrats on your last works buddy, no questions here, just big kuddos
-- pascal blanché --
- - " If only you could see what I've seen with your eyes... " (Roy, Nexus 6). - - -
  02 February 2006
General note to all

I'm starting to answer... and holy cra...

But b4 I do:

1) Thank you Dreamworks
2) although I animated all these shots, and i don't want to name anyone because I don't want to leave anyone out, none of this would've been possible for me without my peers, the TD's, char modelers, lighters, charFX, completion, layout at PDI.
3) To you the readers: The pleasure is most definitely all mine.

Here we go... (gasp!)
Emile Ghorayeb | animator
  02 February 2006
part 1

Finally, some answers!


Hi Matt! I only do animation here at PDI/DW. The Gods, I mean TD's here always back us up when there is need for changes or when problems occur. Before it gets to them though we have what we call animation TD's. They filter real problems from, well, our mistakes
And yes, animation is always preserved. I cannot stres how amazing the rigs are.



hey old friend! still in France? send me an IM



1) Hi! I [obviously] can't disclose all information, but yes, we have some automated secondary motion sytems.

2) There is nothing wrong with recording yourself as long as you're using it as reference for timing or to analyse some movement. Just don't copy it frame by frame. Use it as your base and take it from there. Thumbnail, video, snap pictures, etc. What I find important is tht you have a definitive vision before you start animating your shot/sequence/short. If not, things can get out of control and you never get to the end.




1) We are given a facial sheet with some posibilities. As much as I'd like to tell you how many controls we have, I can't. What I can say is that thre's enough not to overwhelm but to give us complete control and freedom. Best system I've ever used by far.

2) As for rigs, I can't answer that, but you can get a glimpse of our rigs in the extras on the DVD's.

3) We keyframe everything. 0 mocap.

4) um... like all major studios, thinsg are calm at first, and as prod comes to an end, we get heavier loads. Since we're more used to it by then, we can dish out more in less time, so it balances itself out. I kinda like the pressure



Thank you!
I always feel I need to ramp up a little when animating a new character. PDI is very good in giving us time to study and get used to our characters.



1) (2 hidden questions here you sly dog!... lol) I fell into character animation by "fluke", but not really. I used to watch Coyote and Road Runner (amongst others) with my dad when I was a little kid. Robotech, Transformers, Tintin, and obviously all the Disney classics. The major turning point for me was Tiny Toons, Aliens and Alien3. Funny mix, maybe, but they all had one thing in common. They all moved because someone was moving them. (I had Plucky Duck tatooed on my right shoulder at age 13). And here's the "fluke" part. The Alien running on the walls in A3 was a puppet. I did not know that. Frankly, I didn't know anything about the medium but knew that that's what I wante to do, so I researched, and that's how I found 3D. Wasn't exactly what I was looking for, but I knew I could get to where I wanted with this. I learned to model and rig through school. Bonus! All my personal animations are modeled, rigged, textured and animated by moi

2)Depending on the shot, sometimes the dirs already have a set view of the motivation of each character. Other times they give you lots of control. Each director is different. You learn your director(s), then you learn to work together!

3) Acting, acting, acting! I believe as you progress not only with animation but also with yourself, your perspective changes and you get into your chars' heads more and more. It's always a challenge, which in turn makes it a constantly learning and fun experience!

4) Hard shots: Mad: Skipper pacing back and forth. There was alot of subtleties betwee characters that I had to make sure their timing was on, or I'd lose the flow of the shot, and the punch at the end when Private breaks the crayon and it hits Kowalski in the head.
S2: The last 2 dancing shots of the film. Given it was mostly physical motion, but I had to deal with dancing to a beat, chreography between characters, making sure they're all on character, and the stress of "the last shot"! I remember Conrad Vernon telling me "this is the last shot emilio, everyone will remember this one". I remember I puked a little after that sentence. lol
Fave shots: Mad: "I got ya Melman, I got ya!" beach shot. I remember going to see my anim dir (Trey Thomas) back then and asking him to let me go nuts on this one, and he did. With good feedback from Rex, the dirs and even Jeffrey Katzenberg (kudos to him for the underground tunneling), this is the result of a bunch of people having fun.
Dancing Penguins (credits): Again, the directors let me go wild. Slapping, bum hitting, too fun!
S2: "Look at our mutant little babies!" with Donkey, Dragon and the babies. TOO MANY BABIES!!! I love kids. I attmpted to put me and my fiends' personalities in there. Kevan, Trish, Lou, Jason and me in the back smiling at the cam

You ask any animator if he/she thinks their shots could've been better, the answer is always: all of them.

5) I tend to go back and forth between real and cartoony. I would've loved to work on such characters as King Kong or Gollum, but alas the cards just weren't there. I hate you Jason... i love you! coffee? lol



First off, Spain is GORGEOUS! Sweet and beautiful people. And like I said, the pleasure is all mine.

1) Aaaaah, the Pixney question. Throwing curveballs are we? lol. Well, (cli-click, i can hear people loading their guns already), I always LOVED Disney. My favorite film of all time is Bambi. I love Pixar's stuff, I love Dreamworks' stuff (except my shots, yuk!). i honestly don't see this as being as bad as many portray it. We don't know what'll happen. But what we do know is 2 big boys have just joined forces. There's no point in disecting it until there are results. Let's give it a chance, I wouldn't be surprised if we all end up with big smiles. So my stance is: I have faith.

2) Shrek3, 4: Whether it's Shrek, Toy Story, Jaws, whatever, as long as there is content that we can relate to and story we can enjoy, I believe the public ends up happy. Butb then again, what do I know!??! I LOVE "The Never Ending Story", SW1, 2 and 3. You could say I have a very childish outlook on films. In the end, Shrek was the reason I came down here so... go go green ogre!

3) to get a good jump start on your shot: plan out what you'd like to do and talk it out with your directors, anim dirs, etc. planning is crucial for a good result from the get go. Do whatever it takes to get going on the right foot. Pencil it out, video, whatever!

4) PDI's a great place. Working along side people like Lou Dellarosa, Paul Chung, Denis Couchon, Dave Burgess (I miss you man), my good mates Kevan and Schleif just gets your creative juices flowing. Awe-some. When I first got to PDI, I thought I had a fir grasp of animation... boy was I waaaaaaaay off! I didn't know much, come to think of it, i still don't know anything! I don't think you ever get to "the end of animation". Every shot is a new thing, a new feel, and that's what's so amazing about what we do. Always new, always fresh.

5) Good books: AST is a great book. All the books we know will help you learn the principles of animation, but none of them will give you the most crucial aspect, and here it is: everything around you. Grab your camcorder, some food, go to the park and start filming. Go back home, watch everything frame by frame. Get ready to flip out.


PD: O! K! lol
Emile Ghorayeb | animator
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