ALUMNI + ANIMATOR ALEXANDRE KUMPEL
FREE PUBLIC LECTURE ON ART, DESIGN & ANIMATION
Alexandre Kumpel graduated with a BFA in Graphic Design from LSU in 2012. He continued his studies at Animation Mentor – a 3D animation program developed by working animators.
What are you currently doing in life?
I’m currently living in Dallas with my beautiful wife, and a dog that loves chasing squirrels.
What has been the biggest challenge of the last few years?
One challenge that comes to mind was a shot in which a character was supposed to go from point A to point B, walking to the beat of some good music, dragging his feet on the ground, dazed by the rhythm of the song. In the first version I had him walking almost drunk-like, zigzagging across the screen with his arms hanging in front of him. When I showed the shot to the director, he asked that I not make the character zigzag drunkenly and that I move the character’s arms back; in other words, I had to redo it completely. After showing him the second version, I had to redo the scene one more time before I got it right. Sometimes it is a challenge to picture the idea in someone else’s head, and what seems at first to be the obvious path to pursue is not always the right way to go.
Tell us a highlight from studying art and design at La Sierra.
For me going to LSU was the chance of a lifetime that I will always treasure. The faculty was a fabric of wisdom, knowledge, mentorship, and friendship. The best highlight all, I met my future wife while writing a paper at MICOL!
What advice would you give your earlier self?
I would say to myself, “Don’t be afraid of copying the works you admire! Copying is good if you are learning from it.”
Is Art+Design still a part of your life?
Yes, everyday. All the classes I took help me today in one way or another. Design Principles and Photography were great because I learned about composition and how objects relate to each other in a scene. And that is extremely important to have an eye for during the animation process. At the studio, layout and storyboard artists will have planned what the composition of a scene will look like beforehand, but sometimes animators will change the composition if the director agrees with it. Figure Drawing was another class that really helped me to have better drawing skills when thumbnailing the action before going into the computer to animate.
In my personal life I continue to do photography and drawings as much as I can.
What movies have you worked?
I’ve worked on Free Birds and Book of Life, and I have just finished working on Rock Dog.
Can you give us a hint about your next project?
We have a few movies lined up in early development stage. We are currently testing character rigs. There’s not much about the movies that I can say other than they are going to be awesome!