During her third year, Zipor took a course that taught her fundamental animation skills.
“I did a 3-D animation class at UVA taught by professor Earl Mark in the Architecture School. He was wonderful and gave us an introduction to Maya, the 3-D animation software, and assigned us animated short films to make,” she said. “Eventually, I submitted those in my portfolio to earn this internship.”
In her role this summer, Zipor has been assisting on an animated show set to be released in 2022.
“When I got the internship, at first I thought I’d be working on some children’s show, but I was pleasantly surprised to be placed at Lex + Otis, where they do incredible 2-D style shows geared toward adults. They recently came out with ‘Trese,’ which is currently on Netflix. The first time I saw it, I was like, ‘This is the coolest show ever,’” she said. “Right now, I’m working on their next project; an anime TV show called ‘ARK: The Animated Series,’ which is based on the video game of the same name.”
On a daily basis, Zipor assists the team at Lex + Otis to bring “ARK: The Animated Series” to life.
“I work with the producers and the production team. An animated show is very tedious because every single character, object and background has to be tracked to make sure all the shots are continuous and make sense,” Zipor said. “It’s been so amazing learning just how detailed they get into each and every frame.”
The process of creating an animated show involves several complex steps that Zipor helps facilitate.
“Lex + Otis will first record the actor’s dialogue so they’ll know how to match the lip flaps onto the animated characters to the dialogue. Then a company called Tiger Animation in Korea will actually hand-draw the frames, and their quality of animation is astounding,” she said. “So, once we get the shots back, and then add visual effects. We can add a blood splatter, some shine, camera movement, or pull objects in or out of focus. All the effects added in post are the final details to make the show what it is.”
“Post-production is my favorite part of the animation process, because you get to fully see these characters come to life. You see them in their full motion. Before we receive shots from Tiger,
the characters are only seen in the animatic or on a model sheet. But after we receive the hand-drawn frames, we finally see a 360-degree view of the characters in fluid motion. It feels like magic,” Zipor said.