Ken Fountain

 World Animation Masterclass – Ken Fountain and Jason Ryan: “How To ‘Solve’ your Animated Acting Performance”

Difficulty forming ideas for an animated acting performance? Does the sight of the “blank canvas” scare the heck out of you? Do you fail to properly plan? Are you stuck on your own creative comfort zone? Are you still not confident in your ability to interpret video reference? simplify your idea? push your poses? communicate believable thought and emotion? make your audience say “wow”? You may want to check out this class!

Jason Ryan (Disney, DreamWorks, and Ken Fountain (DreamWorks,, will be teaming up to present a full day of demo and discussion, comparing and contrasting their methods for creating energetic and entertaining animation. Together they will explore detailed ways to plan for an acting idea, analyze dialog, capture “informed” live video reference, thumbnail performance beats, find strong story poses and forceful movement, and demonstrate their combined set of workflow methods to help get to you to the most polished, pushed and “wow” inducing performance out of any style of animation you create.

Over an 8-hour day, Jason and Ken will work together to “get inside the character’s head” – finding the right balance between complex emotion, and simple presentation. They will collaborate in front of the camera to capture the essence of the character, and discuss how best to extract all the right elements from the body poses, facial expressions, and overall motion to create just the right emotional “read” as you begin to block your shot.

Then, like duelling pianists, Jason and Ken will finish the afternoon by demonstrating their workflow “best practices” – those individual techniques that give their characters those elusive qualities of physical weight and the illusion of real human thought.

A full day of the full process. Sit back and soak it in, or participate with comments and questions. Either way, you do not want to miss this!

About Ken Fountain

Ken made his way to the animation world via the stage. From large outdoor arenas to intimate studio theatres. From the bawdy comedies of Shakespeare to the subtle dramas of Tennessee Williams. From lavish musical theater productions to minimalist modern plays. Through it all Ken has received a wealth of instruction and experience; including method acting and improvisation, children’s theater, dance, mime, juggling, and a 5-summer stint as a theatrical sword-fighter.

Woven in to all of that is a 20+ year career writing, recording and touring with Chicago-based rock bands Birds at the End of the Road, Mother Factor, and Red Elephant.

Promoting these endeavours along the way put Ken back in touch with his visual arts roots, and that quickly grew in to a small but busy commercial art studio. From there he was able to hone his skills as a designer, illustrator and animator.

After years animating in the Chicago advertising market, Ken moved to LA to begin working for DreamWorks Animation – animating on feature film titles such as: “Monsters Vs. Aliens”, “Shrek Forever After”, “Megamind”, “How to Train Your Dragon: The Gift of the Night Fury”, “Kung Fu Panda 2″, and “Puss in Boots”.

Now, after having the opportunity to create performances for worldwide blockbusters, Ken dedicates his abilities to producing animation for education (Crackerbox Studio) and educating animators (, and iAnimate Workshops).

Ken’s Demoreel:

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