Meet the Artist: Carlos Baena


Carlos Baena

Carlos has been animating for over 8 years. He specialized in computer animation, and has had experience in the traditional and stop-motion mediums as well as drawing and film.

He has been working at PIXAR Animation Studios ( for the last few years where he has worked on films such as “Finding Nemo” and “The Incredibles”. He has just finished working on “Cars” (2006) and is working a future film which has not been announced just yet.

Carlos has also previously worked at Industrial Light & Magic ( ) as an Animator on the films “Jurassic Park 3”, “StarWars Ep.2: Attack of the Clones” and “Men in Black 2”.

Before jumping on to work on feature films, he worked on commercials, documentaries and shortfilms such as WildBrain Inc. “Hubert’s Brain” ( or Will Vinton Studios M&M’s Commercials.

Carlos is also Co-Founder and Creative Director of AnimationMentor (, an Online Animation School taught by professional animators and with students from all over the world. On his free time, he has been working on video projects, creating music and animated shortfilms (

Related links:

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Hi Carlos! Good to see you here! I’m going to post a question I once asked you at AnimationMentor, but I’ll repeat it because your answer was very usefull and should be shared. :slight_smile:

Brad Bird called you the king of physics on The Incredibles’ director’s commentary. How did you ever came to understand how to convey physics and weighting in animation so well?


  • Daan Velsink.


BIG BIG BIG Fan of your work!



I’d like to know if you’ve always been a 3D guy, or if you’ve done some 2D work in the past… And like Breinmeester asked, your crazy understanding of physics… are you really a scientist in an animator’s clothing?? :smiley:



Hi Carlos,
Its a treat to have you here. Got some questions -

1)What makes a reel really stand apart? Is ‘the reel’ the only thing which is key to getting your dream job? Or there are other things which influence it, things like location, contacts?

2)What kind of music do you make? Which instruments do play?

3)One character you would love to animate? (preferably out of the Pixar domains)

4)A recipe for some instant paellas? :wink:

5)Your favourite outdoor sport?




Hi there. First off- What you did and are doing is simply impressive. These might sound like dull questions, but I am very curious;

  • How did you get aquanted with Pixar studios?
  • What’s your typical daily routine like? (Or might there not be one)

Thanks for your time,

Gael van der Schans


As Breinmeester said, I would also like to know how came to achieve such a great understanding of physics and weight. Next, just a few questions:

  • What is your usual workflow or how do you organize and prepare your assets when presented with a sequence?

  • I would like to know how you managed to leave Spain and get into the schools in the US. I especially would like to know how you ‘made the step’ to go overseas and did you finance your studies while working in Animation.

  • How do you see the importance of studying Traditional Art (painting, life drawing, sculpting, …) towards working in Animation.

That said, I love your work and I’m a BIG fan!

Un caluroso saludo desde Madrid!


WOW! Great job Leigh!

No questions from me…purely a fanboy post.

You ROCK Carlos! :smiley:


Hi everyone,

I´ll try my best to reply to all questions here. I sort of just woke up, so my first replies may be a bit slow at first. I´m currently taking a few weeks off from work, so I´m in Spain these days with my family.

I also wanted to thank Leigh and CgTalk.



Hola vecino!:smiley: First of all,congratulations for working on what you really want:) .You were so brave to leave your home to catch your dream.

One question: Is it really necessary to go out there to get your dream? (above all if you live in Spain and if you are not a football player or a tv famous,hahah)

Thanks so much y saludos de un gallego!:thumbsup:



I’d like to use this opportunity to congratulate you on your successful career path!

You rock man! :buttrock:

Best of luck to the future, all the best mate! :thumbsup:

Oh, I actually might have a question :slight_smile:

- How to get a job at IL&M or PIXAR? Any tips/hints/tricks would be much appretiated! :thumbsup:

Keep up the great work…!


Wow LOL… Yeah you rock \m/ :smiley: \m/

I know fairly generic question here but I feel it is important lol.

Could you give us some insight into how much you practiced and what you practiced that most helped you get to the level of artist you are today?


Hey Carlos!

*I’d also like to know how did you finance your step from Spain to USA, I know that’s a big problem for most spanish animator wannabes. I guess that’s why you co-founded :thumbsup:

*When will you finish “Screws” shortfilm? last news in your website are from 2003 :shrug:

*congratulate you for your amazing carreer!! Eres el ejemplo a seguir.


Hi Carlos, Thankyou for giving us the opportunity :slight_smile: (and cgtalk)

I must say yourself and other professionals with inspiring stories of chasing their dreams is what gives me hope. Many times have i fought off the anger to launch my pc out the window. Making me realise that it isn’t surpose to be easy and that we are here for the challenge and that feeling of being in the zone (so to call it).

I have a couple of questions as I have just started in the industry myself after a long length of time trying to get myself to this very stage.

Do you have other interests other then 3d animation etc? (things you might get up to off the computer maybe on the weekends or other hobbies).

Have you ever had a part-time or casual job while in the 3d industry when you started? If so how did you handle it? (Atm i’m wondering wether I should give up my casual job and settle for less money and have more time for 3d).

Sorry for the random questions I find them more interesting. Thankyou again mate!


Hi Carlos,
U and friends from animation mentor are doing an amazing work.But for beginners like us from india aren’t able to afford as it costs a lot.But still we’re trying to join and study.If i have a plan to join a college for learning animation.Which degree or course should i do and pls also advice me on the colleges from U.S.


Hi,Carlos!I want to know how you think about the difference of Cartoon actor’s performation between U.S.A and Chinese!!!


Hi Carlos! Thanks for that’s Q&A

I would like to know how do you deal getting good arcs and continuity in animations. Most of 3d sorftware lack a good ghosting function and when you are refining your blocking with inbetweens it’s very dificult for me don’t get pops in the animation betwen poses. The only way I find to solve this is in graph editor analazing the curves. I would like to know if there is a more visual way to deal with this.

Thanks in advance!


Carlos! Just back from a relaxing vacation and already going head-on with something like this? You’ll have to go back to Spain next week! editwoops, missed that first post of yours :smiley:

Anways, while you’re here, I might as well ask some questions…

  • How do you feel you’ve grown as an artist in your career?

  • Animation is communication, so how important are regular people’s reactions to your shots to you?

  • What’s the most challenging shot you’ve ever animated?

  • What shot you’ve animated are you most proud of?

  • If you could choose one particular character from the history of animation, that you would have loved to animate on, which would it be, and why?

  • What kind of questions do you ask yourself to get to know your character?

  • How much have you learned by experimenting with different media (2D and stopmo, or perhaps even theater)

  • As you mentors constantly say… animation is a continuous learning experience. What’s the last thing you’ve learned in animation? And what’s the one most important thing you’ve learned in animation?

  • Who is or are your favorite animator(s)? The one(s) you look up to most?

  • Will you, or some of the other mentors, or even officially Animation Mentor, be at Annecy this year? I’m guessing that’s thé European event which you guys would be coming overseas for (aside from vacation).

That’s it for now…

Keep on rockin’

  • Benjamin


Hi Carlos,
first of all let me just say that u have been one of the most
inspiring and pleasant personalities in the animation world for years,
and your work simply ROCKS !!
Ok couple of questions there :

  • What references do u use when it comes to animating a character ?
  • What advice would u give to anyone planning their own short film?
  • What are the pros and cons of working for a company like Pixar?

Best of luck for anything you plan in the future, we’ll be here to see your work !!


Hi Carlos, thanks for doing this! :slight_smile: I have a few questions…

Do you think that with so many new and current companies producing CG Animated films, that the market will become stifled and weaker, or increase competativness and help create better animated movies?

What do you enjoy most about animating?

What does a basic day involve for a Pixar animator such as yourself?