Recap: 'Sonder' At CTNX 2017

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The Sonder team is back in action after a whirlwind weekend in Burbank at the annual CTN Animation Expo. Here's our recap of three fun-filled and productive days at the event. 

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For all three days of the expo, Sonder had a booth in the CTNX exhibit hall, where we met new fans, old friends, and animation industry pros from around the world. Our rotating crew of booth staffers, including Technical Supervisor Andrea Goh, Writer/Director Neth Nom, and Production Coordinator Sarah Tran (pictured above), also offered items for purchase like original prints, stickers, buttons, and posters from the film.

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On Saturday night, the Sonder crew gathered for a well-deserved evening celebration, where we enjoyed '90s hip-hop jams and lots of BBQ chicken. Fortunately things didn't get too crazy, because the next morning, we had some serious work to do.

The team gathered bright and early on Sunday, grabbed some much-needed coffee, and headed to the CTNX VIP Green Room, where we prepared to give the first of our two presentations, "FIRST LOOK: Sonder."

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The presentation, led by our producer Sara Sampson and writer/director Neth Nom, featured the debut of our fully-rendered first sequence from Sonder, and detailed the contributions of our many different departments involved with the film. Joining Sara and Neth were our Technical Supervisor Andrea Goh, CG Supervisor & Lighting DP Farhez Rayani, Lead Storyboard Artist Yui Kurita, and Lead Artists Jas Tham and Sunny Tien. It was great to be able to share our progress with the community, and especially great to receive such an enthusiastic response to our work from the CTNX crowd.

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With the first presentation behind us, our focus shifted to our afternoon session: "The Art of Sonder, Revealed."

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Neth and Sara put the finishing touches on the presentation a few minutes before the doors opened:

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Then, we were underway! For this session, Sara, Sunny, and Jas were joined by Art Supervisor Marius Millar, Lead Texture Artist Megan Tompkins, and Artist Julia Blattman.

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Our presenters discussed the choices and challenges they faced in developing the look and feel of the characters, textures, and worlds of Sonder. They also fielded some great questions from the audience— everything from "Why did you choose to render in Unity?" to "What does the title of the film mean?"

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Overall it was fantastic to be able to meet so many talented, creative folks at CTNX, learn about their projects, and share updates on ours. We left the event totally exhausted, but also fully re-energized as we enter the home stretch of work on our film.

See you next year, Burbank!