Walter Lantz Foundation Gives $540,000 for L.A.’s Loyola Marymount University Animation Lab

LOS ANGELES, February 27, 2012 — Loyola Marymount University will outfit its new Animation Lab with state-of-the-art digital equipment and technology, thanks to a grant of $540,000 from the Walter Lantz Foundation to the university’s School of Film and Television.

The grant is one of the largest gifts by the Foundation to a university animation program, and will allow LMU students to use the same kind of computers, software and equipment that professional animators use in Hollywood.

“Animation has transformed from simple cartoons into a medium, language, and mode of thought that crosses multiple disciplines in the art of filmmaking,” said Stephen G. Ujlaki, dean of the School of Film and Television. “This grant from the Walter Lantz Foundation will help our students bring the traditions of animation into the 21st century and beyond.”

The technology funded by the grant represents a quantum leap beyond the inked and hand-painted cels used by Walter Lantz in the 1940s to produce the cartoons starring such classic characters as Woody Woodpecker, Chilly Willy, Andy Panda, and others.

LMU is the only film school in Los Angeles to provide university-level courses in pre-visualization and virtual cinematography, which is the use of computer-generated worlds and characters to achieve shots and camera angles that would be impossible with traditional moviemaking tools.

The equipment supported by the grant  also includes computers for LMU’s newly created motion capture stage, a 3D scanner, lighting for stop-motion animation, and upgraded and networked computer workstations that will allow students to collaborate with ease.

“We’re proud to be able to support the work of LMU’s School of Film and Television,” said Edward Landry of the Walter Lantz Foundation. “There’s no better tribute to Walter Lantz’s memory than helping to train the next generation of animators.”

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