Matthew A. Tovar

University of the Incarnate Word, USA

Title: Robust Animation Instruction for the “Uneducated” Freshman


Currently serving as an Instructor at the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio Texas. Prior to teaching, I have worked at various studios such as Sony Imageworks, Sony Computer Entertainment of America, Naughty Dog & Infinity Ward. Some of my professional projects include Green Lantern, The Amazing Spiderman, Uncharted 2, Uncharted 3 and The Last of Us. Most recently served as a senior animator at Sony Computer Entertainment of America in San Diego working on an AAA PS4 title.


Incoming freshman face a large reality check entering animation. Animation to most is fun, exciting and offers immersion in the entertainment world that is considered glamorous. Not only is the work challenging and time consuming, it requires intense attention to detail and constant practice and improvement. Instant gratification is not the norm. The comprehension of the numbers of individuals, talents and workload involved in the animation process is only the beginning of the learning curve. The animation industry seeks students not only technically savvy, but dedicated, patient and most importantly, able to work well with others, work hard, long hours and understand their role and responsibilities in the production. Knowing the principles of animation incorporates a strong foundation in the field, but being able to apply them to their animation is key, along with learning other technical aspects such as how & why to use the graph editor, timeline, weighted or unweighted tangents, or broken tangents. This presentation will outline the freshman animation course developed, along with various teaching techniques and tools with some preliminary outcomes and lessons learned.

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