' Tara Donovan - Animator

Animation Supervisor at Game On

Sept 2020 

Very excited to announce my new gig as Animation Supervisor at Game On

The largest motion capture facility on the East Coast, Game On has produced animation for hundreds of diverse, AAA properties such as Batman, Outlast, Far Cry, Prince of Persia, Halo, Deus Ex, Assassin's Creed, and Deadpool.

Having so much fun juggling multiple projects for top-drawer clients, learning new software, and getting to know my talented team. 

Stay tuned for some exciting announcements from this dynamic studio. 

A Babysitter's Guide to Monster Hunting at Method

Oct 30, 2020 

So happy to announce our Netflix Hallowe'en special animated at Method Vancouver. 

With my co-Lead Kevin Kohri, our Super Anim Supe Matt Kowaliszyn, and our awesome animation team, I had a ball working on this feature-length special directed by Rachel Talalay.

Moving to Montreal!!

July 2020

After nearly 4 wonderful years in Vancouver, it's time for us to move back East. 

We packed up our life, packed our car, took some time off and, during a pandemic, camped our way right across the country. It was the epic trip of a lifetime!!! Highly recommended. 

Lead Animator at Method Studios

January, 2020

New home: Method Studios!
I'm working on a secret Netflix project due for release around Halloween 2020. Really enjoying getting a chance to hop back into a lead role again. Can't wait to say more about this fun project. 

Pencil Pushers Podcast Interview

January, 2020

Great chatting with Mike Rosado on @thepencilpusherspodcast about transitioning from hand-drawn to CG animation, and staying healthy no matter what the industry throws at you! http://pencilpusherspodcast.libsyn.com/tara-donovan

Godzilla vs King Kong at ScanlineVFX

December, 2019

I had the best time returning to ScanlineVFX for one of the coolest projects I could ever hope to work on. I'm a longtime fan of bombastic monster movies, specifically King Kong and Godzilla. To have the chance to animate both of these epic characters in the same shots was a dream come true!  Looking forward to seeing them on the big screen at some future time.. 2021?  

Pencil Pushers Podcast: Richard Williams Tribute

Sept 3, 2019

So honoured to be part of this episode of The Pencil Pusher's Podcast, discussing the life and legacy of Richard Williams along with Kevin Schreck (director of "Persistence of Vision"), Dean Lennert (animator, friend of Richard Williams), and Tony White (animator, Richard Williams' "A Christmas Carol"), and me, animator, "The Thief and the Cobbler". https://pencilpusherspodcast.libsyn.com/the-animated-life-of-richard-williams

Skull sketching by the lake

June, 2019

Skull sketching by the lake - cold beer, cool tunes, great teacher. Thanks, Stanley Park Ecology Society.

Toons on Tap: Wonder Woman!

Jan 6, 2019

Just pulled these sketches out of the basement on a quick trip to Toronto. I miss life drawing and Toons On Tap! I’m also getting super excited for Wonder Woman 2 and am really curious who’s doing the VFX on that show. These are quick 30-second 2 and 5 min sketches from a really fun night.

Skull Sketching by the Lake

December, 2018

Drawing animal skulls with some MPC crew at the Stanley Park Ecology Center

Lead Animator at MPC Vancouver on Detective Pikachu

November, 2018

It's been an exciting few months working on this hybrid live action-performance show with the talented team at MPC Vancouver. Along with an exceptional team of Leads and Supes we've been working tirelessly to wrangle dozens of hearty Animators to bring life to these beloved characters.  So far the audience reaction to our first trailer has been super positive!


Panel Moderator at the Spark FX Diversity Summit 2018

February 2018

I had the honour of moderating a panel at the Spark FX Diversity Summit on the ‘WOMEN IN VFX’ PROJECT produced by the wonderful Charmaine Chan. Charmaine has interviewed over 50 women in three countries in an effort to celebrate and bring a voice to women working in the industry. Charmaine shared a wealth of information and fielded great questions from the audience about how to promote and support creative women in our field. Through her work she addresses some of the common stumbling blocks to women's advancement in VFX where women make up only 7-17% of the industry. Charmaine is a full-time compositor and area tech lead at ILM. It was super fun meeting the creative and vivacious Charmaine in person and I was very happy to be part of the Diversity Summit at SparkFX.
Charmaine created this SparkFX 2018 edition of Women in VFX just for us - she even got me front of the camera.

Aquaman at ScanlineVFX Vancouver

July 20, 2017

More superheroes and villains! Diving into a new show: Aquaman! I've had a ball on this project animating some ______ and _____ and getting to do a ton of _____ work. As usual I can't say a word about it but here's the trailer!

Justice League at ScanlineVFX Vancouver

May, 2017

My new studio home is ScanlineVFX Vancouver They make little movies like Batman vs Superman and Iron Man.

Super excited about superheroes! (and villains!) It's big segue for me from the 2D show DOT but I'm up for a challenge.

Scanline has been absolutely awesome but I'm not allowed to say a word about it so here's the 1st trailer for the movie. So excited!     

Character Design Masterclass with Borja Montoro

April, 2017

What an inspiring day at this incredible masterclass put on by SparkCG.

Borja Montoro led us through the process of designing characters from initial concept through to turnarounds and expression sheets. Along the way he shared words of insight, inspiration and wisdom with an appreciative crowd at Vancity Theatre. Drawing live in front of such a packed auditorium would be pretty daunting but he seemed relaxed and full of witty anecdotes from his decades of experience designing at some of the world's most prestigious animation companies. 

I'm grateful to SparkCG for putting this event together. Time for me to dust of my sketchbook and shake the rust of my pencil. (Ya that metaphor doesn't really work but you get the idea.) Must draw more!

Borja’s inspiring and gorgeous sketches below -

Stage Combat Fundamentals at Academie Duello

March 2017

Watch out! I'm certified in pretend combat! If you need someone to punch someone really hard but miss by at least 2 feet I'm your girl. I took this 4-week course at Vancouver's premiere stage combat school, Academie Duello. We covered a lot of ground very quickly with an emphasis on safety. They taught us basic moves with bo staves, knives, swords, kicking, punching, shoving, slapping, hair-pulling (!), falling, rolling.. all pretend!

It was an ideal course for animators. The concepts overlap quite with animation principles, for example - staging, silhouette, timing, action-reaction and follow through.

It was great for preparing to shoot reference or mocap, and for animating fight scenes that pack maximum impact to the camera. Lots of fun!

Animation Directing on Dot.

Feb 2016

Woo-hoo! I got a chance to be the Animation Director on a brand-new show! "Dot." is a preschool series based on the book by Randi Zuckerberg and produced by Industrial Brothers, Jim Henson, and CBC. I was really drawn to the project by the sweet style of Joe Berger's illustrations for the book:

Aren't they adorable?

The talented design team at Industrial Brothers brought them to life for animation. The stories were great and the whole collaborative process was 100% smooth sailing! (*.. perhaps not quite 100%)..

One technical challenge was adopting a brand new software, CelAction. While it has been used extensively for European productions, we were the 1st North American production to use it. We chose it for its robust ability to add dynamic fluidity to cloth and hair, and to build extensive libraries across multiple assets.

*edit -- Dot. just one a KidScreen award for Best New Series!  Congratulations to the whole wonderful bunch!

Ice Age: The Great Egg-Scapade is out!

March 21, 2016

The top-secret Ice Age short I worked on at Arc Productions last year:  Ice Age: The Great Egg-Scapade aired on Fox and is now out on iTunes http://www.iceagemovies.com/greateggscapade

I had the great fortune to be an Animation Lead on this super fun short for Blue Sky Studios at Arc Productions. Best crew ever, including both my husband Phil Bonner (CG Sup) and son Max Lafrance (TD)!!

I even got to animate some super fun shots with this very fluffy bunny (thanks, CFX!) and Scrat doing some high kicks.

Lead Animation on "Eggs", TBC...

January 21, 2016

For the past several months I've been one of 3 Animation Leads on what I am only allowed to describe as, "...an unannounced Easter special for a multi award-winning property to be released on Fox in March 2016". I can't wait to share more information about our show, but like everything else I've done in the past couple of years, it is very NDA!

I had an absolute ball working at Arc Productions. The project and my team were top-of-the-line. My experience at Arc could not have been better. Arc does high-end animation for Walt Disney Co, DreamWorks Animation, Nickelodeon, Fox, Blue Sky Studios, Lego, Mattel and more. The company has grown quickly to over 500 strong. Here's the wall new hires all get to sign when they join...

....and the lobby of the beautiful new building Arc will be moving very soon.

Bunny iPhone doodle in Animation Creator HD

Oct, 2015

Doodlin' on my iPhone :)