Animator: Calvin Le duc

“I was born in January of 1961, in Ontario, Canada (back when dinosaurs ruled the earth).” – Calvin Leduc, Online Interview (9-22-14)

“. . . I am back teaching 3D Character Animation full time at the Vancouver Animation School in Vancouver.” – Calvin Le duc, Online Interview (9-22-14)

Bio Summary:
“I studied classical animation at Sheridan College for 3 years, after painting and drawing there for a year. I’ve worked on television shows in Ottawa, commercials in Montreal, and feature films for Disney and Steven Spielberg for over 20 years. I was retrained in computer animation at Disney. For the last 7 years I have taught computer animation, storyboarding, sculpting, acting and animation history at several colleges in Vancouver, BC, Canada.” – Calvin Le duc, Animation Teacher Interview (Vancouver Animation School)

Early Life/Education:
“I did not like cold winters, so I worked hard to get to California. No, I did not always want to be an animator. I grew up playing several musical instruments. I had two great High School art teachers. One was a retired commercial artist and the other was a professional fine artist. In High School, I learned to paint and draw every year, including a double period for grade 13. By the end of High School I combined my love of art, comedy and music and thought that animation would be a creative and exciting career. I grew up near Midland, Ontario and Mississauga (beside Toronto, Ontario).” – Calvin Leduc, Online Interview (9-22-14)

Education/Training: “5 years of painting and drawing in High School, taught by professional artists.

1 years of Art Fundamentals at Sheridan College

3 years of classical animation at Sheridan College

1 year of rigging and animation training at Disney Feature Animation Nurbs modeling at Glendale Community College Polygon and Sub-D modeling at Studio Arts Animation Master class with Andrew Gordon

3 years, attended all classes taught by Andrew Gordon and Mike Venturini from Pixar, and Martin L'Heureux from ILM in my 3D Animation course at VanArts.

BFA in Computer Animation at Academy of Art in San Francisco.” – Calvin Leduc, Online Interview (9-23-14)

Career Outline – Family – Training:
“My first job was in Ottawa on the Raccoons TV show (4 hours away). My second job was in Montreal on television commercial (6 hour drive). My third job was in London, England on "Who Framed Roger Rabbit". Animation jobs on features last a year, which is a long time at a studio. Fourth job was in Munich, Bavaria, West Germany, great food and beer, but don't know anything about how to make an animated feature. Fifth job, back in London for American Tail II. I knew that I had to acquire great animation skills and experience to get a work visa for the United States. I saw my parents at Christmas and for a couple of months between features. Sixth job was working for Dale Baer’s commercial studio in Studio City, California. I was there for 3 years. I got my Green Card (permanent residence), but it required that I did not return to Canada during this time. 6 months on a Sony film for DreamQuest. 6 months at Rick Rich studio on Swan Princess, met my future wife. The week I was laid off at Rick Rich, Disney Feature Animation (Burbank) hired me. Worked longer hours and weekends during the end crunch period. Luckily I was married to someone that had worked in the animation industry, (she was Richard Williams assistant on The Thief and the Cobbler), so she understood that what was required if you want to stay employed. Disney stopped making 2D features at the end of 2002. I sold my house in Burbank and the next day I was offered a feature animation job in San Clemente. When someone offers you work in the animation industry, the correct answer is YES! So we rented a house and I worked on The Barnyard for a year. Then we moved to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, because it had an animation industry and I had seen it during my honeymoon. I was the Animation Director for 4 year at the Vancouver Institute of Media Arts (VanArts). Then taught 3D animation, acting, history of animation at Think Tank and the Vancouver Animation School (online) for 3 years. Was a professor of 3D Animation at DigiPen (Redmond, WA) for 2 years, only saw my family on the weekends in Canada. Finally I am back teaching 3D Character Animation fulltime at the Vancouver Animation School in Vancouver.” – Calvin Leduc, Online Interview (9-22-14)

Comments On Style:
From what I have seen from his Filmography, Calvin Leduc’s style of artwork and animation would be around the style of Disney.

“With 2D animation I would say Nik Ranieri taught me the most. We worked on our college film together during 2nd and 3rd year. I also worked with Nik in Ottawa, Montreal and London (Roger Rabbit). For 3D animation I would say Martin L'Heureux. When he started animating at ILM, he was so good and fast that they asked him to teach the other animators. He actually interviewed me while I was the Head of Animation at VanArts. He wanted to teach my students high quality techniques so that they would be great and fast, then he could hire them. He liked the way I had set up the course, so he picked us. He knew speed animating techniques and ways to use the Graph Editor in Maya that I have never seen anywhere else. Mike Venturini from Pixar was also a great instructor.” – Calvin Leduc, Online Interview (9-23-14)

Judging from his interview on the Vancouver Animation School website and the online interview I had with him on September 22 and 23, 2014, Calvin Leduc is a very nice person with a good sense of humor and gives very helpful advice. He even sent me a link that contains recent articles he has written that answer some questions students may have about entering the animation industry.

“I would say a career highlight would be when my old friend Nik Ranieri, who I did my college film with, and worked with professionally in Ottawa and Montreal, called me to see what I was doing next. I told him I was going to fly to Dublin to interview at the Don Bluth studio and also try getting an animation job in London, England. So we both flew over and ended up getting jobs with Walt Disney UK studio working on “Who Framed Roger Rabbit”. One of the most exciting, memorable and hardest projects I’ve ever worked on. I also worked for the Walt Disney Feature Animation studio in Burbank from 1995 – 2003. . I worked on the characters; Roger Rabbit, Meeko (the raccoon), the gargoyles in ‘Hercules’, Terk from ‘Tarzan’, Mushu from ‘Mulan’, Mickey Mouse in ‘Fantastia 2000’, Izma from Emperor’s New Groove and Long John Silver from ‘Treasure Planet’.” – Calvin Leduc, Animation Teacher Interview (Vancouver Animation School)

The transition from being an animator to a professor at an animation school: “I have always had to teach my assistants, so the teaching part is easy, if students have a good attitude and want to learn. I also like seeing the big picture and simplifying complex ideas so that they are easier to understand. This helped with building my own Curriculums for each subject I have taught.” – Calvin Leduc, Online Interview (9-23-14)

2006- Barnyard~ Animator
2004- Home on the Range~ Key Assistant Animator: “Miscellaneous”
2002- Treasure Planet~ Key Assistant Animator: “John Silver”
2000- The Emperor's New Groove~ Key Assistant Animator: “Yzma”
1999- Fantasia/2000~ Key Clean-up Animator
1999- Tarzan~ Additional Clean-up Artist
1998- Mulan~ Key Assistant Clean-up Animator: “Mushu”
1997- Hercules~ Key Assistant Animator: “Pegasus”
1996- The Hunchback of Notre Dame~ Assistant Clean-up Animator: “Gargoyles”
1995- Pocahontas~ Assistant Animator: “Percy” / “Wiggins”
1994- The Swan Princess~ Key Assistant Animator: “Prince Derek”, “Young Derek”, “Young Odette”, “Young Bromley”, “Horses”, “Guards”, and “Animals”
1994- The Lion King~ Breakdown Artist - Uncredited
1992- Tom and Jerry: The Movie~ Key Assistant Animator: The Baer Animation Company
1992- The Magic Voyage~ Character Animation Assistant
1988- Who Framed Roger Rabbit~ Assistant Animator
1987- The Chipmunk Adventure~ Assistant Animator
1986- Babar and Father Christmas(TV Movie) ~ Assistant Animator
1985- The Body Electric(TV Movie) ~ Clean-up/Assistant Animator
1985- For Better or for Worse: The Bestest Present(TV Movie) ~ Animation Layout Artist
1985- The Raccoons(TV Series) ~ Assistant Animator - 4 episodes: “A Night to Remember”, “Surprise Attack”, “The Evergreen Grand Prix”, “Going It Alone!”

– Calvin Leduc Filmography (IMDB)

“Calvin Leduc is a graduate of the classical animation course at Sheridan College. His student film Common Problems won the Canadian Independent Short Film Showcase Award.” – Department of Digital Arts (DigiPen- Institute of Technology)

Related Links: Career Tips and Traps:

Bibliographic References:
Vancouver Animation School- E-mail Interview on 9-22-14 and 9-23-14

Contributors To This Listing:
Taylor Summerlin

Animators Hall of Fame