Pixar's character animator Sajan Skaria on why art and science should go together

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“At times, too much of engineering is bad,” says character animator Sajan Skaria who was part of the jubilant crew of Pixar Animation Studios whose 'Inside Out' won the Oscar for best animated feature.

Skaria, who boasts of such hits like 'Toy Story' and 'Finding Nemo' was speaking at the Animation Masters Summit 2020 which concluded on Friday. The virtual Summit hosted by Toonz Media Group witnessed six master sessions by renowned artists from diverse fields of entertainment and Skaria was one among them.

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Recalling his initial days and works, Skaria opened up how he dreamt of going to the Disney and thus joined Pixar in 2001. He currently lives in San Francisco with his artist wife Mary Ann and children Esha and Zack and emphasized that Pixar treats it's employees as 'family'.

Talking about the evolution of a few characters like Ratatouille, Eve and The Captain from Wall E and Joy from inside Out, Skaria said, “It's all about connecting it with life. The process involves  observing to modeling, rigging, shade painting, grooming and even tailoring the characters.”

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He even recalled how the characters knowingly or unknowingly relate with the viewers and thus shared an instance from his daughter's life who after watching the character 'fear' shed her own inhibitions and learnt swimming. 

He also revealed that with each movies, he learnt something and it was while working with Cars 2 that both physics and geometry should go hand-in-hand as sketching for a character supervisor as sketching. “It is importance to establish characters in such a way that both art and science finds a connection with the viewers.”

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Calling Inside Out as his favourite pick from the movies he has done so far, it stated that the film gave him a purpose and meaning.

Currently, working on an yet-to-be-titled film, Skaria feels that the pandemic and lockdown has inspired artists to come up with innovative stuffs. That is definitely a good sign for the animation industry “Make your work unique and make it your own,” he concluded.

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