Gregory Ecker

Effects technical director, Blue Sky Studios


Programming for Animators

The ability to write scripts (short programs that control other software) is one of the most powerful skills that a CG artist can have. In addition to an artistic eye, it is perhaps the skill that most frequently separates a run-of-the-mill artist from an irreplaceable one. In this course, we will examine Python, which is both a full- fledged programming language suitable for building entire applications and the integrated scripting language of choice in CG software such as Maya, Houdini and Nuke.

Technical Direction

The technical director (TD) is traditionally both a jack of many trades and the “hub” that brings the work of more specialized artists together into a cohesive whole. Nowhere else in the CG ecosystem will you so frequently find professionals who straddle the line between art and science. The most sought after TDs are invariably those who have multiple skills, an artistic eye and the ability to delve into the inner workings of the CG pipeline to repair and/or improve it. This course will cover advanced topics in Python scripting. We will touch upon fluid simulation, particle dynamics, cloth, procedural animation and modeling, rigid and soft bodies, and more. Prerequisite: Programming for Animators.


  • BA, New York University


  • SIGGRAPH, Expert Realflow Developer, NextLimit Technologies


Microsoft, Sony Pictures Imageworks, MPC, The Mill, R/GA, Blue Sky Studios