News 2012-2013


Women In Philanthropy Awards $28K Grant

Maria Palazzi was awarded a $28,000 grant from Women & Philanthropy in support of the summer program: Digital Animation: A Technology Mentoring Program for Young Women. Women & Philanthropy members change the world by investing together in the people of Ohio State and the work they do. As part of their mission they help OSU faculty by seeding ideas proposed to add new programs, grow existing programs, or create new collaborations. This generous support will provide funding for ACCAD's summer program for young women in 2014 and 2015; as well as seeding a new social networking community for both mentors and attendees of past and future programs.


ACCAD Alumna Works on Future Intelligent Car

Melissa Quintanilha combines technical savvy, an artist's passion for design, and a global perspective that comes from growing up in Brazil; to design a car that doesn't just drive, but learns who you are and anticipates your needs. Melissa, a Design | ACCAD alumna works for Microsoft. She was featured in a Microsoft video regarding her work with the Microsoft Windows Embedded Automotive team. Their team is envisioning the future of technology use in the intelligent car. Melissa was a member of the Synchronous Objects project team and worked at ACCAD in the development of her MFA thesis project, Amebeats.


Thesis Work - Official Selection

Nikki Lemon’s MFA thesis film Wonder is an official selection for screening in the Le Femme International Film Festival in Beverly Hills, CA and the Philadelphia Film & Animation Festival in Philadelphia, PA.  Lemon's animation was chosen from over 300 entries for screening in the Philadelphia festival which runs from September 27- 29.  Wonder will be screened October 17th – 20 in the Le Femme festival.  Previous to these screenings, Wonder made its premiere as an official selection ofFlickers: Rhode Island International Film Festival, August 6-11 2013. Lemon made Wonder as part of her MFA studies in the Department of Design’s Digital Animation and Interactive Media program in collaboration with the Advanced Computing Center for the Arts and Design (ACCAD).


Dance | EMMA Student Wins Denman Forum Award

Rebekah Edie, a 4th year undergraduate Dance major at OSU, is concentrating in Choreography & Technology and minoring in Women's Gender & Sexuality Studies. Bekah won 3rd place at the Denman Undergraduate Research Forum this year, in the Arts & Architecture division. Bekah developed her project in the EMMA Lab at ACCAD. The project title is "(Man)ipulated" and is further explained via this abstract: Western society tends to objectify and hyper-sexualize the female body, and my work aims to deconstruct these tendencies through application of feminst theory and transformation of ideas into physical movement. By incorporating media and technology with three live female dancers, I intend to layer another dimension to my research interests in perception and manipulation of the female body.


Congratulations to ACCAD Alums who worked on 2013 Oscar Winning Films
ACCAD extends enthusiastic congratulations to ACCAD Alumni who helped create the Oscar winning films, Life of Pi and BRAVE. Life of Pi, about a boy stranded at sea with a tiger, earned Oscars for Best Cinematography and Best Visual Effects. ACCAD alumnus Matt Derksen (2000, BFA, Art) and Rigging Supervisor (Rhythm & Hues) on Life of Pi, is pictured here with both Oscars that the film brought home.
PIXAR won Best Animated Film at the 2013 Motion Picture Academy Awards ceremony in Los Angeles. Steve May, Chief Technology Officer at PIXAR served as Supervising Technical Director on the film and worked along-side digital artists: Beth Albright (2008, MFA, Design), Fran Kalal (2008, MFA, Design), Kyoung Lee (2004, MFA, Art), and Jenny Macy (2000, BFA, Art). 
Fran Kalal
(pictured left) caught a photo opportunity with the BRAVE Oscar and PIXAR's Mark Andrews who co-directed the film with Brenda Chapman.


ACCAD Ranked #2 in Top 20 Midwest Animation Programs

ACCAD was recently recognized for its excellence in preparing students in the discipline of animation. Animation Career Review recognized ACCAD as the #2 animation program in the Midwest and nicely characterized our unique multidisciplinary research center in this way:

The Ohio State University’s Advanced Computing Center for the Arts & Design (ACCAD) is home to some of the most innovative and promising digital artists, many of whom are graduate students. That’s because ACCAD is a non-degree offering program that allows current OSU grad (and a few of the best undergrad) students to study the craft of animation vis-à-vis their area of interest. This multidisciplinary approach allows for a refreshingly full range of student work in conjunction with their degree program. ACCAD leverages technology to advance art and utilizes a full suite of software and hardware to do so. Much of the student work is experimental in form, though the nuts and bolts of the program are the hands-on approach to research projects.

See the article in Animation Career Review.


Thesis Research Wins First Prize

Kellen Maicher won first prize in the Arts Category at the Edward F Hayes 2013 Graduate Research Forum. Kellen's presentation was entitled, Designing Interactive Affective Virtual Characters. Kellen is pursuing an  MFA in Digital Animation and Interactive Media (DAIM), through the OSU Design Department. Congratulations to Kellen!

ACCAD Moving to a Specially Designed Creative Research Space in 2014

Built in 1916 as the original home to the Ohio Historical Society, Sullivant Hall will be refurbished to a LEED Silver-certified home for ACCAD, the Department of Dance, the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum, the Department of Arts Administration, Education and Policy, the Barnett Center for Integrated Arts and Enterprise and the Barnett Theatre.

In its new form, Sullivant Hall will be a crux of arts activities, with gallery spaces for student exhibitions, a state-of-the-art performance space, collaborative research facilities, and quarters for guest artists and scholars, as well as the designated home for Barnett Scholars. ACCAD's specially design facilities will include a reconfigurable Creative Research Space & Simulation Lab, a Movement Analysis & Performance Lab, Open Collaborative Spaces, a Sonic Arts Lab and a Graphics Classroom.

The total project budget is $30 million. Ohio State alumnus and entertainment industry leader Lawrence Barnett has committed $6 million to The Ohio State University’s College of Arts and Sciences to establish the multi-disciplinary Lawrence and Isabel Barnett Center for Integrated Arts and Enterprise and to support extensive renovations to Sullivant Hall. The Ohio State University received a gift of $1 million from Jean Schulz, the widow of Peanuts creator Charles M. Schulz, to support the renovation of Sullivant Hall, the future home of the world's most comprehensive academic research facility dedicated to documenting printed cartoon art. Along with her generous gift, Mrs. Schulz issued a challenge: she will provide an additional matching gift of $ 2.5 million if Ohio State raises the same amount from other sources, making the total impact of her gift $ 6 million.


ACCAD Alum Fran Kalal Visits ~ November 2012

Fran Kalal (MFA, Design, 2008) returned to ACCAD November 7th & 8th to give a presentation about working at PIXAR. Fran met with animation graduate students to review their portfolios and provide feedback. Ms. Kalal was the digital tailor who fitted the dresses of Merida, the young heroine of PIXAR's latest animated feature, BRAVE .

Steve Martino to Co-Direct Film based on Charles Schulz's Peanuts

Twentieth Century Fox Animation and Blue Sky Studios announced plans to make a feature film based on Charles Schulz’s “Peanuts”. The film release in 2015 will coincide with the 65th anniversary of the comic strip's first publication in 1950.

ACCAD alumnus Steve Martino will direct the “Peanuts” feature. Steve previously directed (with Jimmy Hayward) Fox/Blue Sky’s “Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who! ”  He also directed (with Michael Thurmeier) Fox’s recent box-office smash “Ice Age: Continental Drift.”  Steve received his undergraduate degree at Ohio State's Department of Design and his Masters degree in Art Education via the celebrated Computer Graphics Research Group (now ACCAD) in 1989..

Steve Martino
Steve Martino of Blue Sky Studio - October 2012 Visit

ACCAD and OSU were pleased to welcome Steve Martino to campus for a full agenda on October 4 & 5. Along with several distinguished alumni, Steve gave a special presentation during the But For Ohio State campaign kickoff at the Ohio Union. He also generously included a lecture at the Wexner Center entitled, Studio Animation Behind the Scenes. On Friday, he concluded his visit by meeting with ACCAD students individually to discuss their current work and portfolios.

Steve May
Native Ohioians | ACCAD Alums Featured in Local News

ACCAD | Ohio State Alumni were recently featured in Ohio news for their "home" town connections with 2 summer blockbusters: Brave and Ice Age 4 Continental Drift.  Local newspapers recently interviewed Steve May (right), a Mansfield native and current Chief Technology Officer at PIXAR. The Cleveland Plan Dealer and Columbus Dispatch talked with him about the new PIXAR feature-length animation. In these articles Steve discusses the path leading to his career at PIXAR and highlights his industry experiences to date.

ACCAD Alum Fran Kalal, a Columbus, Ohio native also spoke with the Ohio State University Communications Office about her contributions to Brave. Fran, along with ACCAD Alums: Jenny Macy, Beth Albright and Kyoung Lee are also credited within the latest PIXAR feature.

Steve Martino, (Dayton) and his colleague John Donkin (Cleveland) have a major influence at Blue Sky Studios and key roles in the success of the Ice Age series of films. Steve, John and Chris Wedge (co- creater of Blue Sky Studios) are ACCAD alums. Steve interviewed recently with the Columbus Dispatch and the Dayton Daily News. See also a more recent Columbus Dispatch article.

ACCAD is proud to recognize these and other graduates who currently work in the film industry, along with education, government and numerous private sector fields. ACCAD's alumni page shows the breadth of alumni influence around the world.

DanceTech: ACCAD and BalletMet Collaboration

BalletMet Columbus approached ACCAD last year about creating a new performance entitled, DanceTech. Alan Price agreed to collaborate. Alan worked with Choreographer Jimmy Orrante and video game composer Sean Beeson to create an entirely new performance, using interactive elements affected and influenced by the choreography and the audience. Among several digital designs created for the stage, Alan inserted LED lights into large helium filled balloons; including a device that transmuted the colors throughout the dance. The performances were held April 20-28, 2012.

Columbus Dispatch Review
The Other Paper Review
Blue Sky Studio Visit - April 2012
ACCAD was pleased to welcome Senior Recruiter Deb Stone and Lighting TD Jasmine Katatikarn. After an overview presentation about Blue Sky, Ms. Katatikarn gave a presentation on Lighting. They also met with Graduate Students to review thesis work and animation projects.
New Motion Capture System

ACCAD recently upgraded our motion capture system to a Vicon MX 40Ts system. This system enables us to increase the quality of captured data to under 1mm accuracy (previously 2mm). The Vicon MX 40T also allows us to conduct motion capture sessions outdoors, simplify system setup and increase configuration flexibility, provide an opportunity to capture fine and gross body movement simultaneously, significantly speed up and simplify data post processing. Ownership of this system will provide high precision data for a variety of research and collaborative projects.

Drums Downtown: City Life

City Life was performed February 24 & 25, 2012 at the Capitol Theater, Columbus as part of the Drums Downtown event created by the OSU School of Music, in collaboration with the Department of Dance and ACCAD.

Alan Price produced Real Time computer animation to accompany the live ensemble performing Steve Reich's 24 minute composition, City Life. Behind the performers, a 35 x 20 foot rear projection screen displayed the computer animation using an array of HD projectors. The animation was rendered in real time from a computer back stage, and was performed in synch to the live music using a handheld game controller. To learn more and to view video documentation of the performance, click City Life.

Winter 2012 Guest Artist - Claudia Hart

The Advanced Computing Center for the Arts and Design (ACCAD) hosted visiting artist Claudia Hartfor a lecture February 9th. Hart, who is active as an artist, curator and critic, presented a talk Beginning and End Games – based on a recently commissioned article for Duke University’s journal, Cultural Politics. Hart is an associate professor in the department of Film, Video, New Media and Animation at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Winter 2012 Visiting Instructor - Robert Flowers

Robert Flowers was a guest lecturer at ACCAD during Winter 2012. Dr. Flowers has been making films and videos since 1985. He received his Ph.D. in Humanities – Major in Aesthetic Studies from the University of Texas at Dallas in August 2010. His dissertation is titled, Experimental Film in the Age of Binary Data: The Digital Alternative to the Celluloid Image.Flowers received a MFA in Filmmaking from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1992.