Meet the Artist: Emile Ghorayeb

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  02 February 2006
Meet the Artist: Emile Ghorayeb

Emile Ghorayeb
Character Animator

As a character animator at DreamWorks Animation, Emile Ghorayeb has the challenging task of translating character movements and emotions in accordance to the visions of the filmmakers. The success he’s had with completing this important duty can be seen in his work in the studio’s hit feature films Shrek 2 and Madagascar, as well as the spin-off short, The Madagascar Penguins in a Christmas Caper. He holds this same role on the third installment of Shrek, which is currently in production.

Before joining PDI/DreamWorks in 2003, Ghorayeb got his start in the gaming community at the renowned studio Ubisoft Entertainment, contributing to several projects in their cinematic department. Some of his credits there include Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell, Batman: The New Adventures, Tarzan Untamed and many others.

Ghorayeb studied 3D animation at Inter-Dec College in Quebec and Fine Arts at Dawson College in Montreal.

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The "Meet the Artists" forum provides a conducive environment where CGTalk members can have the opportunity to speak to some of the finest digital art talents in the world! CGTalk members can post questions and artwork, and have them answered or critiqued by these master artists. This is a fantastic opportunity to gain valuable insight from seasoned industry veterans!

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  02 February 2006
Hi Emile!
That's cool that you're doing a cgtalk interview - hopfully one day I'll do one too...

My Q:
When working with character rigs, do you you ever run into rigging problems? If so, do you ever fix them, or even add features yourself? Also, if they have to go back to the rigging dept, with your animation be preserved? Is this an often scenario?

Thanks man!

Circumstances do not make the man, they reveal him."
James Allen
  02 February 2006
Hey Emilio

no real questions...

just a little hello from old time colleague
"When I watch myself in a mirror, I see the wireframe..." (J.Banana)
Digital Banana Studio
  02 February 2006
Hello Emile, it is very good that you are going to be answering our questions. I saw Shrek 2 again last night, and it is still a beautiful film.

My question is, pertaining to MattVogt's rigging question, do you use some extra deformers in your rig for secondary motion, such as for jiggling muscle/breasts, and hanging objects like chains? Or do you create expressions to automate these tasks?

And do you often use video footage to time things like poses and timing? Such as recording yourself, let's say looking bored at a desk? Because I want to create a short film and I hear this is the "poor man's MOCAP".

Thanks in advance, looking forward to Shrek 3

Kashif R
  02 February 2006
Hi Emile

Big congratulations for your fantastic...

Sherk 2 has some of the most beautiful animations that i have ever seen in any cg animated movie, i want to ask you some things about it, please.

-1. in sherk 2 the facial expresions of sherk are fantastic, how many controls do you have to animate his face and how do you refer to that controls (i mean do you have some kind of pictures to represent each control or do you just have an iconic representation)?..

-2. How shrek's rig was build?....i mean with muscule system, blendshapes, corrective blenshapes...or maybe all?

-3. do you use MO CAP in some animations or is everything with key frame animation?

-4.what amount of work do you have to deliver each day or week?

best regards

Last edited by yolao : 02 February 2006 at 05:39 PM.
  02 February 2006
Nice name, Emile. I like it!

Thanks for making yourself available for all of us here- much, much appreciated!

So, on with the questions- How did you find animating someone who's meant to be much taller and heavier than average? What sort of problems did you encounter & how did you get around them?

Once more: thanks man.
  02 February 2006
its good to have you here for Q&A...thanx cgtalk for bringing top artists here...

so some Questions:

1-how did you find caracter animating???i know you like it but are you stuck in it or you feel intrested and act in other parts like shading,modelings,rigging,texture???

2-for the overal moves and acts of a caracter,do they talk with animators before the animation process to hear theire sudgestions and opinion on each caracter moves and behaviors and then they start the animate part,or you just sit there,they say he must act like this,based on his personality,now its your art to put some fun and idea into it,limited in the overal actions/personality the director/s said....

3-what are the most challenging acts for you??funny moves,reastick?complicated moves???

4-what was the hardest shot you did?
what shots you like most?
is there a shot you did and you think you could do better???if yes,PLS tell which one(if you liked)

5-do you like animating the realstick caracters as well (yuda,gollum,kong,griveous ets...) or only funny fantasy ones (king luyi,shrek,donkey)??

anyway,thanks alot for answering

Last edited by kmest : 02 February 2006 at 06:28 PM.
  02 February 2006
Hi Emile, regards from Spain.
First of all, i want to say you that i'm very happy with the opportunity to talk to you, and second, congratulate for your excellent work in your last films, specially Madagascar, one of better and funniest film i've seen in last years. I love Madagascar.

Here are my questions:

1. How do you think about the buy of Pixar by Disney? How can affect to the Cg Industry?
2. You are now making Shrek 3, and there are rumors that Shrek 4 it is in production or preproduction, don't think that the shrek character can lose his freshness, to turn into a repetitive character, in spite of good stories?
3. when you receive a shot, what's your planning just before start to animate? Draw some poses? record yourself at video? I would like to know how do you prepare yourselfjust before put your hands in computer.
4. Can you tell us a little about the life in PDI/Dreamworks? how is the environment?
5. Can you recommend me a good book not so famous like Illusion of Life or Animation Survival kit?
6. Have you got a personal webpage?

Well, thanks for dedicate your spare time with cgtalk users. Again, regards from Spain

PD: I want to see more films llike madagascar and madagascar penguins short!

Last edited by rafaelrubio : 02 February 2006 at 06:35 PM.
  02 February 2006
as kmest said, I'm glad to have really top cg artist here in Q&A

here's something I'd like to know

- What's a typical day like in the studio?

- What's your favourite 3d app

- and finally, what advice would you give students who's aiming to achieve what you achieved?

thanks alot m8
This message DOES reflect the opinions of the extraterrestrials
  02 February 2006
Thumbs up Which character?

Hi Emile,

First of all, I want to say that I really liked Shrek 2 and Madagascar. My question to you is what character you liked animating the most, both in Shrek 2 and Madagascar? And why them?


  02 February 2006
Emilio's Website

Ooo! Ooo! I can answer that one!

Emilio's website is here:

  02 February 2006
How can you make your animations so alive?
What´s your secret? What technique do you use? Pose to pose? Straith ahead?
And can you please give us an special tip on how to improve our animations?

  02 February 2006
Hi Emile,at now i m not intersted in animating but i love to watch it!
anyway i want to know what kind of music you listen?
  02 February 2006
Hey Thanks for doing this. I always love when someone takes the time out to help everyone in the community.

Mine is a question about general techniqe. Watching your Madagascar animation just makes me smile. I love how zippy and fast paced it is. I was just wondering the steps you take to do a shot. From concepts to blocking through all the passes to completion. Do you do the facial stuff first, last or somewhere inbetween?

Just curious how you get that sweet old warner brothers zippyness and great acting.

Thanks in advance.
Rob Wilson
Hybrid Medical Animation CGer
  02 February 2006
Hey Emile!

Glad to see you as featured artist man!

Can you tell us a bit aboutyour workflow? How do you start a shot and see it to completion? For example that shot where Alex is trying to keep melman from falling when he is stuck in a crate (my fav shot in the movie btw man , didnt know you did it)

-Stepped or spline? pepsi or coke?

-Any tips on how to keep the character alive during a moving hold? Right now thats my biggest challenge , keeping a character alive and not moving him too much when doing a moving hold.


Last edited by SheepFactory : 02 February 2006 at 08:13 PM.
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