Meet the Artist: Emile Ghorayeb

Become a member of the CGSociety

Connect, Share, and Learn with our Large Growing CG Art Community. It's Free!

Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  02 February 2006
Hi Emilio and thanks for doing this.
Can you please say something about how to get good at timing animations beacause I find it the hardest thing to do so far. Is it possible to name books or some other learning material that you found usefull about timing.

Last edited by r9onaldo : 02 February 2006 at 02:03 AM.
  02 February 2006
Hi emilio

Thanks for your time. Just a few quick question...

Was it a big change (i.e. learning curve) for you going from Ubisoft to PDI? What did it feel like getting assigned with you first shot? What did it feel like going from a generalist to a specialist just doing animation? Was the level of quality (they wanted) like you had expected? or much more? what are the hours like for you in PDI?

Thanks for million for you help!
  02 February 2006
Thanks for your reply,

Another question I have is basicaly an extention off sheep factorys. Im working on a short animation for my final at university. Have you are are you currently making any short animations yourself. if you have or even if you havn't how would you go about it, Whats the best piece of advice you can give from a animation perspective.

Thanks again for your reply

Animator at Double Negative VFX London..
  02 February 2006
hi Emile.

thanks for reply to my previous questions, can you please answer this other question..

-speking of the extras on the sherk 2`s dvd, i notice in one part of the making of videos that an artist was using MAYA, my question is for what part of the process does dreamworks use maya? you use it for animation?

thanks again for your time

  02 February 2006
Hi Emile,

I checked out your reels, nice work! Got some questions for ya:

1) How do you like working at PDI/Dreamworks? (I'm going to be applying in the near future) Where do you work, in Redwood or Glendale?

2) Did you get your job at PDI/Dreamworks based on the strength of your personal reel on your site, or was it a different reel?

3) Did you find it hard to adapt to from the style of animation in Shrek 2 to that of Madagascar? Which do you find more difficult?

4) How much fun was it animating the penguins in the end credits? Was that something you guys did in your spare time, or right at the end after principle animation was done? I love the rythym in the penguins, great!

Thanks for your time,

Dan Caylor
  02 February 2006
Emilio, Thank you very much for taking this time to answer so many questions. Thank you to CGSociety for setting this up.

I don't have a specific question but I would like to encourage you to please continue with your animation tutorials through CG Channel. There is a silent majority that is patiently waiting for more.

I hope that the criticism of the Man Walk Cycle preview webcast does not discourage you or John from working on future projects.
  02 February 2006
gaming background


I just a question regarding your gaming background.

- did you do mostly cut scene and trailer animation or did you do much in-game animation?
- how important was your game animation experience in becoming an animator for a feature film?
- Is there much difference between animating for games and animating for a movie?

I ask because currently I'm working as a character animator doing lot of lip-synching and talking but not much action.

I have a chance to work for a game company doing in-game animation for an action game and I can't decide what I should do. I don't really know what to expect and I don't know how useful that experience will be.


  02 February 2006

1.) How much time a day do you spend modelling characters at home?
3.) Who's the hardest character you've worked with in Shrek 2?
4.) What would you suggest for me to do for an education if I want to work for a big named movie animation company like Dream Works?

Thanks for taking the time to answer these questions. You're really great.
-Dren T. Martin
Josh Martin | Animation Mentor Future Student

Last edited by SheepFactory : 02 February 2006 at 03:44 PM.
  02 February 2006
Hey emile, thanks for spending the time answering all of our questions.

1.what I would like to ask you is how do you 'get' into your character? what do you think about before you start planning? how long on average do you do this? and how much do you collaborate with other animators etc. about your acting choices?

2.what would you say is the minimum amount of footage a professional animator should produce a week? you have any advice about what a company would like to see in a reel/CV?

4. finally (sorry about all the questions) could you please outline your basic working procedure? e.g do you ever use timing charts, how much control you leave to the computer in a given scene?

thanks a lot, much appreciated.
  02 February 2006
Hi Emile,

I'm just starting out and i find that sometimes i'm just too scared to animate anything cause i'm too worried to jump in and just do it. I think it takes far longer than i have to spend on it at that given time and leave it, do you think it's worth wile throwing even ten minutes at an exercise if that's all i have at that time?.

I spend most of the time reading as much as i can on animation rather than actuall practice, do you think reading on the topic is also beneficial?

Have you felt at anytime that you are not good enough or won't make the cut?

Thanx for the interview

Last edited by SheepFactory : 02 February 2006 at 03:44 PM.
  02 February 2006
ok 2 more questions by me !

1. Do u do any sport now? if not did u do while u where younger?
2. what was ur biggest problem while u where in learning stage of animating! ( i mean principles and so on ... ?

Concept designer
  02 February 2006
Hi emile

thats really good you are here! i really love your works.
1.How many animators you guys usually use for a film like Madagascar or Shrek?
2.Do you use different animators for different shots ? if so dont it make problems for the general behavior of a character in film?
  02 February 2006
part 6


That's very kind. Thanks!
If it's you great dream, then keep pushing, and you'll get it.


Sheep factory:

I do have a short in the works. Unfortunately, I rarely have time for it :(
I decided to go more towards a serious approach. Maybe all this is due to making happy-go-lucky cartoons all day, but I feel we have the capabilities for all kinds of different tones these days, so I decided to make it very serious, more geared towards an “older” audience.


TC Harrison:

What's up old friend. Thanks.
Yep, those late nights were pretty cool!



I can't remember any books per say, but one major thing to remember when figuring out your timing is dialogue. Pay attention to tone of voice and even the words.

For example: “WHY are you doing this???”

“Why” is an obvious place to hit, and “this” is another. It's also good to remember that you don't have to hit every change in tone, in other words, you can hit on “why” and not hit anywhere else. You don't want to put poses in just to put them in. This can easily become over animation. Block out your major beats, and see how it feels. It's not rare for me to block something out and realize that I'm hitting in too many places, deleting poses and going over it again. The trick here is to realize what should and shouldn't be there early on so you're not stuck with way too many keys when the time comes to change things.

Hope that helps!



this must be a robotech name, eh? Nice one.

Like I said, I had multiple jobs between Ubi and PDI, but I've used so many softwarews now that the leraning curve wasn't THAT big. I had to learn E-motion (PDI soft), and the usual changes such as new company, new people applied.

I was really pumped when I got my first shot, to the point of almost imploding. lol
Going from generalist to specialist is somethig that has happened to me over a long stretch of time, so I guess you could say that I never really felt it. But I always concentrated on animation from the beginning.

I've always stuck to this piece of advice: everyone always wants to get to these big companies and work on the “big” films. Here's what worked for me: I wanted it so bad. You have to really love what you do. If you REALLY want it, when you feel ready, send in your stuff, but make sure they're hiring at that point.


More to come...
Emile Ghorayeb | animator
  02 February 2006
Hi Emile,

I was wondering what are the character models modeled from at PDI/Dreamworks? Polygons, Nurbs, Sub-D's?? Any reason for the preference? Are you guys using a special plug-in for hair?

Thanks in advance!!
  02 February 2006
part 7


Short film advice:
I have 3 big points I think should be mentioned.
First off, story. I cannot stress this enough. You have no story, you have no short.

And once you got your story, you want people to relate to your character(s).

And last but not least, less is better. What I mean is that don't over clutter your short with useless shots. Time is obviously against you, so make sure that every shot has a reason for it. If you can make something happen in 1 instead of 3, do it. It's the whole "quantity vs. quality" thing, and this goes not only for your shots, but even on your animation. 1 good strong pose is much better than 3 mediocre poses. Having less shots will give you more time to concentrate on better performance.



Hi! um, there is use of Maya here in other departments, but I'm not sure for what! lol. But what I do know is that we don't use it in animation, we have our own software.



1) I'm in the Redwood City campus. I LOVE working here, simple as that. I've never worked with a better bunch. Simple as that.

2) At the time it was adifferent reel. If I can remember, I had my Kaena stuff, Sitting Ducks and a few personal animations (the duck stuff on my site)

3) It was hard per say to swith over since I had already done some squash and strecth animation in the past. In trems of difficulty, each has it's own advantages I guess. Shrek2 demands alot more attention to subtleties, while Madagascar demands alot more focus on strong poses. But this can be reversed depending on the shot.

4) Thanks I had a blast animating that bit. They asked us to do this at the end, and gave us total liberty to go wild with them.



That's very nice of you, thanks.
I don't think this is the place to talk about my other work Let's try to keep the focus of this talk is animation. But don't worry, we're doing just fine (lol), and i believe it's important to note that I wouldn't have chosen to work with Jonny if I didn't know he's good at what he does. He's fun, a real passionate, is willing to share, and I'm totally the same way. We LOVE animation, and feel we can give back to the community, like I'm doing right now.



- I was supervising the TD's and character modelers during my time in the cinematic dept. at Ubi. Prior to that I had doen some in-game animation on a few titles.

- Any experience in animation is good experience, but I fear that what got me the job here was my work on TV and Kaena. It's important to know that you need to knwo how to animate acting shots to be ready for feature. Not to say that game animation isn't going to get you a job in feature, but that wasn't the case for me. As far as I know, we do have 2 animators here straight from EA (Electronic Arts).

- there is a huge difference between animating for games and film. For games, you need to mostly animate cycles (runs, walks, jumps, attacks, etc.), which are usually 99% physical motion. For feature, you need to work on acting shots, meaning characters thinking before they do something, interacting more in a thought based environment. Both are great, depends what you want/like.

Hope that helps Alex



1) I haven't in a long time. when I get an urge, I'll spend 2-3 hours a night until I'm done, which could take 1 to 15 weeks depending on how much time I have.

2) Puss n' Boots. Not very forgiving

3) if you plan to animate, is a great place and is done on webcams. They teach you full on animation. There are similar places that offer the courses on site, such as Sheridan college (Canada), Vancouver film school, Academy of arts (Cali), etc. Just remember that it's important that you learn ANIMATION and not general 3D.



1) to get "into" your character is to understand as much as possible about who he is and what his life is/was like. Example: Shrek. We all know he's partially insecure about his capabilities, Loves Fiona, scares humans sometimes, has a big heart, can be firm about his decisions, etc. This is who he is because of many things that have happened in his life. Knowing this (and many other things obviously), we can imagine how he would act or react. So know everything you can about your character, the more you know, the more you'll be able to anticipate his/her actions. if you're creating a character, try to build them a past and a personailty profile. That would definitely help
Planning really depends on the shot and how lazy I feel that day (which is a horrible excuse!). My suggestion is sit down, plan out. Sketch, video, anything you can do will help you while you're animating. The more set you are before hand, the easier it will be while you animate.
And I always try to show my shots to friends. Lou Dellarosa and Kevan Shorey are my cube mates, so I usually bounce my shots off them. They're really good at giving me their thoughts.

2) 3-5. But again, depends of how complex your shot is. There's a huge difference between 1 character and 14.
3) Reels. Well, if you're looking to shoot your stuff at a big place (DW, Pixar, Disney, etc.), strong acting stuff is the way to go. Forget the cool music, opening flying logos and that kind of stuff. They're looking for you to show them that you can make a character have personality. Physical stuff is good, but rarely enough.

4) this is a big one. I'll paste what I wroe before, and add to it:

general steps I take on a shot (when I can):
1) view and understand the story
2) view and understand the sequence

Your shot(s):
3) write down notes of what you'd like to achieve. Motivation (shot or char), thoughts, layout, etc.
4) talk with your dirs and animdirs.
5) reference. video, thmbnail, what have you. I'm very lazy about this, and sometimes kick myself afterwards for not doing so.
6) Start animating only the major beats. Body AND facials. Key everything.
7) Show it and get your notes. Dirs, friends, mom, janitor, etc.
8) add in your notes and make your passing poses, antics and overlap IN YOUR POSES. No key shifting here.
9) Show, get notes.
10) Refine.
11) repeat 9 & 10 as needed.

Don't be scared to show it to people with a good explanation of where you're at with it. Fresh eyes are needed as you gte too close to the shot and can easily lose focus. Remember: The computer is your enemy. Don't let it do the work but work FOR you. Well placed keys will eliminate that "computer feel".


Emile Ghorayeb | animator
Thread Closed share thread

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Society of Digital Artists

Powered by vBulletin
Copyright ©2000 - 2006,
Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Minimize Ads
Forum Jump

All times are GMT. The time now is 12:01 PM.

Powered by vBulletin
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.