Monday, January 9, 2017

Welcome to the Senior Film Project, 2017

The coming semester is devoted to your film’s production but it also has a secondary purpose -- to prepare you for the business realities of life outside the College. Lectures and workshops will address not only production issues but also other concerns such as small business management, legal considerations for artists, development insights for animation projects, and panel discussions with recent grads to gain perspectives into what lies ahead. Keep an eye on the Lecture schedule page on this blog for details as they become available.

Regarding the Production Milestones, you can take a look at the outline for the semester here (pdf) ((also available on SLATE.) It lays out the production and post-production timeline for the coming semester.  Especially important is Milestone 2, the Scene Workflow Test, which is due in Week 2. (I'll explain this one in our lecture on Wednesday.)

Lectures & Workshops Move this Semester
The lectures this semester will take place in J102. The screenings in Week 8 and Week 13 will take place in SCAET S235 to take advantage of the Christie Projector in that room.
The workshops make a small lateral move to A150, next door to the last semester's lab.


(10 AM, A150)

This week's  workshop feature our own Michael Hitchcox on the topic of Advanced Colour Design.
Mike requests that you send him some background artwork for his lecture demonstration. You can reach him at  Note that the start time for this workshop is 10 am. 

The lecture begins at 11 am in J102. I'll be handing out and discussing the Semester 8 version of the Student Handbook, which gives details on the Production Milestones for the Senior Film Project.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Lecture & Workshop with Terry Lenko, Layout Supervisor

This week’s lecture and workshop come courtesy of layout artist and supervisor Terry Lenko (Nelvana).

Terry's work includes TV series and theatrical films such as Sidekick (2010-11), Curious George (2006), and Ann of Green Gables (2000). He has also been a production designer for  Backyardigans (2006).

Terry has taken some time away from his busy schedule at Nelvana to talk to us about the topic of Professional Design for Layout (Wednesday, 11 am, S235). 

Before that, he’ll also be on hand to assist you with your own layout design in the workshop (A151 at 9 AM.) 

This layout lecture and workshop are very timely because of the just completed Animatic deadline, which means you should have some nice material to show at the workshop. Bring your work in an easily presentable digital format, such as PNG files or a playable reel. 

Prof. Bruno Degazio
Faculty of Animation, Arts and Design,
Sheridan College, Oakville, ON

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Wednesday’s Trip to University of Toronto Faculty of Music
Note that there will be no 4th Year lecture or workshop on Wednesday.

This trip is an opportunity for Sheridan student animators to meet with the University of Toronto student composers.
Each UT composer will present an example of their recent music that gives a sense of their musical style. Sheridan animators will then have a chance to meet them individually and present their project in the form of their Leica Reel.

DATE: Wednesday, November 16, 11 am - 4 pm
PLACE:  Faculty of Music, University of Toronto, 80 Queen’s Park  (behind the Royal Ontario Museum). Meeting place: Walter Hall, lower basement

Don't confuse the Faculty of Music with the Royal Conservatory of Music! They are both near the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM), but the Royal Conservatory is on Bloor St., while the Faculty of Music is on Queen's Park Crescent (University Avenue).

There is a Go Train from Oakville to Union Station every 1/2 Hr between appr. 8 am and 10:26 AM. The 9:56 am or earlier train will get you there with enough time to find your destination.

Sheridan students, please bring the following to this session:
• your Leica reel with TEMP AUDIO MIX on a tablet, laptop (preferable) or memory stick
• headphones
• pen & notepad (for jotting down names and contact info)

Note that you must commit to a working partnership within a few weeks of this meeting! Thereafter it is your responsibility to stay in contact with each other via email, text, telephone, etc.


Complete Directions from Oakville: 

It is very easy to get to the University by TTC.
- take the Go Train from Oakville station to Union Station
- take the University Subway line north to Museum Station ( 5 stops)
- exit from station on west side of University Ave (Queen’s Park Crescent).
- the Faculty of Music  will be straight ahead, adjacent to the ROM and behind the former Planetarium building.
- once inside the main lobby of the Faculty of Music, take the elevator or stairs to Walter Hall on the lower basement level.

- QEW to Gardiner Expressway
- Gardiner Expressway to Spadina exit
- Spadina Ave. north to Harbord St.
- turn right (east) on Harbord St.
- paid street parking is available on Devonshire Place and in paid lots in the vicinity.
- the Faculty of Music is located in the Edward Johnson Building, 80 Queen’s Park.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

An opportunity to get an orchestra score for your film:

An opportunity to get an orchestra score for your 3rd Year film: 
Composer Joshua Denenberg has a chance for a professional orchestra to record a film score free of charge as part of a competition. But he needs a short animation (less than two minutes) in relatively finished form on short notice. If you're interested, contact him asap at

Friday, October 7, 2016

Online Music Resources

I get regular inquiries from students regarding internet sites that offer free or cheap-to-license music for use in your films. Here are a few which have been useful in the past couple of years. I list them roughly in order of preference. 

PS - Please let me know if any of these links have gone dead since I put this list together last year. 

Jamendo - Jamendo has a LOT of free stuff. Try it first.

Vimeo Music Store - mostly commercial ($99 for a festival license) but also has free (Creative Commons Share-Alike License)

SoundCloud - online file locker for audio. Nice player software, and many items licensable for the asking. 

Overview | Music | Musopen - recent site with only copyright-free material. Mostly old recordings and/or government produced. 

With Etiquette - collective of alternative musicians who make their music available for low license fee. 

‎ - commercial stock music site

UniqueTracks Inc. - commercial stock music site, good selection, low rates ($40)

Royalty Free Music Library from - commercial stock music site

Stock Music - Royalty Free Music with an Edge - commercial stock music site

Of course, there is also the Cyclops server, where Mario and Rick Andersen maintain a library of approximately 10,000 titles of stick music, for which the college pays a flat fee each year on your behalf. 

Last but not least, there is also the world's biggest recorded music store, iTunes. While it's not always easy to license music found here, it's a fantastic resource for searching and experimenting with musical ideas. With 37,000,000 titles free to audition and available for download at about $1 per track (and no DRM!), there's no reason not to find music suitable for your temp-track. 

Animation Project Scoring - Sergei Kofman

Here is an offer for animation music scoring from Sergei Kofman, a music student at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo. You can check out his work via the links in his email below and you can contact him at   kofm8390 (at) 
Here is a link to the 4th Year Animation project he did last year:

Feel free to contact him with any inquiries. 

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

This Week in 4th Year Animation: Script, Colour and Design

LECTURE: Colour, Concept and History - Tim McCormick  (S235, 11 AM Wednesday )

Tim's talk will discuss alternative creative processes and workflows for animated film
with a focus on colour and visual design. Tim shows how art-historical
influences shaped his short animated landscape After-Effects MA film, leading to
an exploration of how landscapes of the past influence and colour so much concept
art in film today, both animated and live action, with an emphasis on the 'epic.'
Tim will finish with some strategies to develop colour and mood, colour scripts and a
better feel for colour harmonies.

WORKSHOP: Character Design Critique - Enzo Avolio
Note that the workshop will NOT take place at the usual time but on  Thursday October 6 at 10 AM in in Lab A151.

Our own Enzo Avolio will lead a character design workshop for us this week. Bring your current work-in-progress character designs to discuss with Enzo and others.

Although design work (character or otherwise) is not specifically graded in the fourth year Milestones, it is an important part of the pre-production process and the Senior Film Project mentors support your design efforts with workshops like this.  Below is an example of some of Enzo's character design work, from the Character Design Blogspot at:

As noted last week there are several examples of excellent storyboards and scripts from previous BAA students available on this page:

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

This Week's Events in 4th Year - September 27 2016


At the critical storyboarding stage of your project we're lucky to have designer and storyboard artist Scott Caple, veteran of The Incredibles,  The Emperor's New Groove, Fantasia 2000, Mulan, and many other feature films and TV series. Scott will outline the responsibilities and challenges of story development in an animated project. S235, 11 AM.

WORKSHOP: Wednesday, 10 AM, A151: (NOTE CHANGE OF TIME!)

Scott Caple will be on hand to review your storyboards in A151 from 10 to 11 am on Wednesday. Please note the change of time, and the fact that this workshop takes place BEFORE the lecture.


Our next Milestone is coming up soon (due in Week 5)  and is an important  stepping stone on the way to an effective Leica Reel. Check out these examples on the Course blog:

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

This Week's Milestone


This week's Milestone includes a project treatment, a type of document which you might not be familiar with.  While there are some guidelines for it in the 4th Year Handbook, I have found this quick guide to be helpful.

As you can see, it's not really that complicated. The first few items require only very brief answers. Your main effort should go into items seven, eight and nine, the Three Act Story Summary.

If you want more information go to Marilyn Horowitz's blog at the address below.

some of the information below is adapted from

How To Write a  Treatment
This one to two page document should read like a short story and be written in the present tense. It should present the entire story including the ending, and use some key scenes and dialogue from the script it is based on.

What Should Be in the Treatment?
1. Working Title
2. Your name and contact information
3. A logline. (one or two sentences MAX. see example below)
4. What makes this a good project? (Its "hook" or rationale.)
        5.     Genre, target audience, style, length.
6. Introduction to key characters
                THREE ACT STORY SUMMARY 
7. Act 1 in one paragraph. Setup the scene, characters and main conflict.
8. Act 2 in one paragraph. Dramatize how the conflict leads to a crisis.
9. Act 3 in one paragraph. Dramatize the final conflict and resolution.

Example Logline: The Ramen Girl (2008):
An aimless American woman, abandoned by her boyfriend in Tokyo, impulsively decides to train as a ramen chef under a master who is impossible to please.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Classic stop motion feature "The Adventures of Prince Akhmed" with live music

On Monday October 3, there will be a presentation of the classic stop motion animated feature film, "The Adventures of Prince Akhmed" by German animator Lotte Reiniger,  with music arranged and performed by Theremin virtuoso Pamela Sticky and pianist Marie-Theres Rauba

The performance takes place at Gallery 345, Sorauren Ave., in Toronto's west end. The film begins at 7:30 and will be preceded at 5 pm by a demonstration of the Theremin electronic instrument by Ms. Stickney.

More Information:

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

This Week's Events in 4th Year

WED. 11 AM S235 - LECTURE:  

Nancy Beiman - Advanced Storyboarding

Bruno Degazio - Essential Academic Considerations for 4th Year

WED. 2 PM A151 - WORKSHOP:  

Blair Kitchen - Story Development for 4th Year Film Using Photoshop and StoryBoard Pro


Milestone 1 - Story Pitch and Concept Art


Composer graduate seeks to trade music for 3D artwork

U of T graduate composer Colin Sandquist recently emailed me with this request:

"My goal is to release an album, but I am in need of a 3-D graphic logo design.    I was hoping that you could connect me to some of your students in Animation at Sheridan, who might be able to design the album artwork for something in exchange, like a music composition for their animation film project.   I very much enjoyed working with Sheridan students over the past two years, and it was amazing to see their work on the big screen.

If this is an opportunity that would work for someone at Sheridan College, let me know  - or feel free to give them my contact information below… I will send them the details.

Colin Sandquist"

Vim Animation:

Voice Actor Patrick Sweeney offers his talents for your film

Voice Actor Patrick Sweeney is offering his acting and studio services to Sheridan BA students free of charge. Patrick has done many of our student films in the past few years, and he always does a great job. You can hear some of his work in the demo links at the websites listed below.

Here are some links to voice work Patrick has done for previous 4th Year films --

Just Desserts
The Tale
The Master Bait
Rory Smith

-- Bruno
Patrick Sweeney <

If anyone is interested in using my services the following process can be followed:

1. Contact me by email or phone to discuss their project.  Cell 416 520-8786,  email

2. Tell me as much about their vision/project as possible, their expectations of us, any character details/pictures etc..... 
3. After discussing the project we can set up a time to record a raw audio file in mp3, wav or aiff etc... 

4. On the set appointed recording date, the student can direct me over the phone or via Skype. During the session I can provide the student with as many takes as they wish throughout the recording process. My goal is to make sure their characters come to life and to ensure their expectations are met to produce a successful film.

5. Once the recording session is complete I will then send the student the raw file via FTP for them to edit within 24-48 hours depending upon my schedule.

If the students wish to learn more about me or to listen to my demos they can visit my website at the following link:
Skype ID: pats voice

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Welcome to 4th Year!

The 4th Year Senior Project Blog
Greetings to all Sheridan 4th Year BA Animation students.

This is the first posting of the 2016-2017 school year.  Please note this blog address for future reference:

This is where all announcements relevant to ANIM 45436 are posted, including Lecture guest announcements, workshops, and Milestone deadlines. There is also a listing of Mentor office hours (soon to be updated.)

Blog posts are automatically mailed to the 4thYear Mailing list, so keep an eye on your official Sheridan email for new postings.


What does this course consist of? 

ANIM 45436 is the course to help you make your Senior Project Film. It's made up of three components:

1) The Lecture Series, which takes place on Wednesdays at 11 am, in S235
2) The Workshop Series - optional, Wednesdays at 2 pm, in Lab A151
3) Mentor Group Meetings - various times through the week, mostly in A360A and B

In addition there are several highlights to the semester:

4) SCREENINGS - All film works-in-progress are screened twice in the semester; the Leica Reel in Week 8, and the Animatic Reel in Week 14. These screenings are CENTRAL to the production workflow and are therefore required of all students. There is a 20% Grade Penalty for not submitting your film for screening. 

5) GUEST CRITIQUE - During Week 7's Mentor Group Meeting, a guest, normally from the animation industry, will be present to view and critique your Leica Reel. This is a valuable opportunity to have an experienced pair of eyes view your film - make the most of it!

6) UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO "Composing For Film" CLASS VISIT  - Each year about 40-50 animation students work with musicians from the U of T Faculty of Music to have music written specially for their films. The first step of this process happens this Fall (normally in Week 10 or 11) when we travel to U of T for a "Meet and Greet" session.

Monday of Week 4 is already slated for a visit from our friends at Disney. Other studio visits through the fall are possible. More details TBA.

The Lecture and Workshop Series

You can get a very good idea of what we cover in the Lectures and Workshops by browsing through this listing. Note that most of the Lecture and Workshop bookings are still tentative and are subject to change. This listing also shows Milestone deadlines for the semester. More details will be available at the first lecture:

Fall Lectures & Workshops

The Milestones

Grading for this course is determined by meeting the Milestone requirements as laid out in the 4th Year Handbook (link below - see especially the section titled, "Part 2 - SEMESTER 7 MILESTONES".) You'll get a very good idea of where you're going with your film project over the next few months by browsing through this document. More details at the lecture:


What workflow do we use? 

You might enjoy watching the video below. It's a compilation of several films from recent graduating students, shown in four stages of development, from Leica Reel to Final Film. It should give you an idea of the overall workflow we use in the 4th Year Senior Project films. I'll show this video at the lecture and we'll have some time to discuss what it means for you. The password is: 'Sheridan'


I'm looking forward to seeing you all on Wednesday at 11 am.

Bruno Degazio
4th Year Academic Advisor
Senior Project Course Lead
Senior Project Mentor

Monday, February 22, 2016

Copyright and Ownership of Creative Property

LECTURE: S235, Noon

This week we're lucky to have guest Graham Peddie, Operations Manager of booming visual effects studio, Mr. X, Inc. freshly returned from his trip to Hollywood for the Visual Effects Society's (VES) 2016 Awards ceremony (spoiler - Star Wars cleaned up in live action, Pixar for animation).

Graham is also a copyright lawyer and worked as such for years for Sullivan Entertainment, makers of the Anne of Green Gables series. Along with news from the VES Awards, he'll give us the rundown on ownership of creative work, both your own and the work you do when employed by a studio. And maybe if someone asks him he'll talk to us about the implications of the reversal of the Happy Birthday Song's copyright status.

Please note that there will be no Wednesday workshop this week due to scheduling difficulties.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Composer Available

Peter Grant Mackechnie

Hello filmmakers! I am a huge fan of film, particularly animated. You make 'em, I score 'em. Let's work together! My style is... eclectic? I enjoy trying to match your filmmaking vision, so if you're interested in chatting further, send me an email and we can discuss the direction you'd like to go.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Wednesday February 10. 

Graham Peddie , Operations Manager for Toronto's Mr. X Visual FX studio is away in Los Angeles this week to attend an award ceremony the company has been nominated in.  Graham was previously scheduled for this week's lecture but he's had to postpone due to the award nominations. He should be able to visit us some time in the next couple of weeks instead.

In the meantime, we'll take the opportunity to catch up on the Animatic reels which haven't yet been screened. S235 at 12 noon. 

Barney Wornoff's Toonboom drop-in and workshop is back by popular demand this week in Lab A151. Bring your ToonBoom work-in-progress for Barney to brainstorm, or just drop in and pick up a few tricks and techniques.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Wednesday February 3 - The Music Spotting Session and ToonBoom workshop with Barney Wornoff

S235 and A361, 12 noon to 3 pm (time approximate) -- MUSIC SPOTTING SESSION 

As I mentioned in my posting yesterday, this Wednesday is our meeting with the visiting composers from the University of Toronto's film composition course.

Please look carefully at this listing of partnerships with the UT music students (below). During the first portion of tomorrow’s get-together I will confirm and correct this list, so it’s very important that you be present in S235 at noon if you want to schedule a meeting with your composer. 

After we take care of this bit of book-keeping we will move over to the 4th Year studio to make use of the workstations for the actual one-on-one meetings. Remember to bring a pair of headphones!

Also planned for tomorrow is a ToonBoom drop-in session with Barney Wornoff in Lab A151. Bring your ToonBoom work-in-progress for Barney to brainstorm, or just drop in and pick up a few tricks and techniques.

Note that there is some overlap between the two events, so if anyone wants to be involved in both you can do so by going early to the Spotting Session and coming a little later to the ToonBoom workshop. Speak to me in S235 tomorrow and I'll make sure you can squeeze both into the day.

(U of T Partnership list as of January 14, 2016) 

Afif, Ian
Aisha Ibrahim
Sarah Overend
possibly Xin Wu "Ha Gow",
Bidner, Lora 
   Stefanie C "Missing"
   Arthur Banes "Sushi",
   Crystal's "Rotten Love"
   and possibly 
    Keely Prop's "Home Hunting"                         

Chiu, Vicky (dropped out)
   Xin Wu "Ha Gow",                         

Coe, Henrique 
   Ashley Kozbial (otter in a whirlpool)                        

Denenberg, Joshua
    David Du, ”Dung Fu." 

De Niverville, Abigail 
   Soo Kim "Jella Fantasia",
   Sara Mota "Batty",
   Allen Yu "Untitled",
   Valerie Garnace "Cotton Candy"                        

Hamilton, Blake                 

Hammell, Evan 
   Meghan Taylor "Bone Mail",
   SooHyun Kim "(Untitled Wizard Shop short)",
   Andres Derakhshani "Crocodile Dentist",
   Carly Dziob "Guard Duty"                        

Jager, David 
   Eric Bourdages "Sky Pirates"                        

Michalski, Caleb    (dropped out)
Jing Gang - “No Zuo No Die”
Samantha Tan - “Mayham"

McIntire, Matthias                         

Orlando, Stephanie 
   Kit Kee "Dr. Narren's Lab"
   Katharina Brzezinska "I love my doggie"
   Sean Cornish "Monster Hunt"                        

Petkovski, Katharine 
   Rebecca Murrell (Little Red Riding Hood)
   Brendan Lindsay
   Julie Eum                        

Pylypczak, Greta 
   Robin Blake "Release",
   Terence Ng "Mia and Mr. Philips",
   Mary Tacuyan "In the Blank",
   Paprika "Untitled Alien Mockumentary"                        

Steinwall, Jack                 
Rebecca Boehn  - “Something Nutty"
Thompson, Jacob 
  Ricky Chen - NightFall

  Katherine de Vries - Crow's Keep                     

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The Music Spotting Session; Effects Animation with Trevor Davies


In two weeks the U of T musicians will be visiting us, with their purpose in mind being specifically to work out the details of the musical score for your film. This important meeting between film-maker  and composer is traditionally known as the the "Music Spotting Session."

To help you prepare for this meeting, Wednesday's Lecture and Workshop are both oriented to an explanation of the Music Spotting Session.

(You might want to also read this recent blog posting  by Mark Kennedy, Disney's Head of Story.  He talks about the importance of spotting temp music while working on the Leica reel, links to some interesting examples of the use of musical score. Thanks to ames Caswell for pointing out this blog to me.)

A while ago I wrote the music for Chris Walsh's stop-motion film,  True Family Story.  We recognized our collaboration as a "teachable moment", so I saved the files I created as the score developed. These files now make an  effective demonstration of the collaborative process between a film-maker and a composer.

This year I'm supplementing the talk with examples from a more recent project, Save Our Bees, a Public Service Announcement animation, with music in the style of the Warner Bros classics.

During the lecture (11 am, S235) I'll walk you through the three stages of the Music Spotting process as it took place in recent work, and play for you some famous and not-so-famous historical examples of "Temp Music" and musical scores.


Do you have fire, rain,  snow or water in your film? How about fog, glows or sparkles? Come talk to Trevor about the best software techniques to use in animating these various effects challenges. A151 at 2 pm. 

Sunday, January 24, 2016