Office: ART 225
Thomas Esmeralda comes to the Animation/Illustration program with sixteen years of experience in the Feature Animation, Visual Effects, and Video Game industries. He has served in numerous creative roles, ranging from Art Director to Visual Development Artist to Matte Painter for world-renowned studios such as Dreamworks, Industrial Light & Magic, Digital Domain, Framestore, Sony Pictures Imageworks, Electronic Arts, and Blizzard Entertainment. He also remains an active member of The Visual Effects Society. Shortly after earning his BFA in Illustration from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, Professor Esmeralda received his first film credit for background painting on the critically acclaimed Prince of Egypt. His more recent credits include The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Big Miracle, and Diablo III: The Black Soulstone.
Professor Esmeralda’s immersive experience, accumulated from such varied production roles within numerous studio settings, has gained him invaluable insight into modern image creation methodologies utilized in today’s screen arts. While he continues to provide concept art and matte paintings on a limited basis, Professor Esmeralda now focuses most of his time on teaching, where he enjoys sharing his knowledge to inform, nurture, and mentor future animators and illustrators.