5 Minutes With... Senior Animator Pierre Pappalardo


5 Minutes With... Senior Animator Pierre Pappalardo

8 October 2021

Senior Animator Pierre tells us what inspired him to embark on a career in animation, and offers some advice for aspiring artists

Can you tell us a bit about your career so far?

I’ve been working as an animator for around 6 years now. My first job was in Paris where I had the chance to make my own tools for various types of productions, I then hopped back and forth between studios for a couple of years.

After that, curiosity brought me to the Montreal scene. I wanted to try different types of projects and the lifestyle seemed very appealing.

What was the first animated show you saw that left an impression on you?

As a kid, I watched a lot of Disney so I always had a big appreciation for animated movies. Much later, I remember watching James Baxter’s pencil tests for Dreamwork's Spirit and how it left me open-mouthed, I was really impressed by the energy and the wildness of his tests.

Did you always want to get into animation, or did you have other aspirations when you were younger?

I got into animation pretty late. I started with illustration and then went to a VFX school in the south of France thinking I’d be a comp artist. I only really tried animation as a test, but I had a very passionate teacher who taught me what it really is to work as an animator.

What piece of advice would you give anyone who is working on their animating skills?

Take a rest and look at real life when it gets tedious; it’s not always easy to judge your own work.

Who or what inspires you?

I am a big fan of horror and creatures such as the ones we find in the eclipse chapters of Berserk or anything that looks like it came from the Doom environment. It’s crazy what an animation can become when adding a little nerve into it.

What brought you to Outpost?

What brought me to Outpost in the first place was the chance to animate creatures and try different rigs. On top of that the team has been outstanding in terms of organisation throughout projects and it is such an advantage as an artist to be able to focus on the right things like creation itself. The life/work balance is also a big plus.

What is the atmosphere like for an animator at Outpost?

It is really nice, the team is used to working with each other and it gives a nice synergy among departments. It is also fast paced and it gives me the ability to just try and animate a lot of different things to generally grow as an animator and pursue my career goals.

What is the biggest challenge you face as an animator?

When working on longer sequences that involve the same characters, it's important to keep the same energy without repeating the same mechanics over and over. I try to make different principles of animation stand out in each shot in order to bring some fresh air to the sequence while keeping it coherent.

How do you see animation changing in the future?

MoCap has already been a game changer because of how quick it is to set a rhythm and how practical it is to make something work from the early stages of production. It's only going to move forward in that direction; I feel it’s the biggest change we are experiencing because of how different of a job it is.

Apart from that, shows are getting more and more ambitious and so are the creatures. I can only guess how this will impact the rigging department and therefore animation.

What characters or creatures do you enjoy animating the most?

Reptiles are a lot of fun to animate. They have so many different ways of moving through their environment. The way they can slither while swimming and walking is so efficient, I find it very elegant despite being deadly creatures.

Finally, some quickfire questions:

What’s the one thing you always keep on your desk?


You can eat one thing for the rest of your life – what is it?


What would be your superpower?

Shape shifting

You’ve got a couple of hours to kill – what do you watch?

Stand-up comedians

What are you currently learning?


Any pets?


Favourite way to relax?

Listening to music / video games

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?

Any glacier

What irritates you?


Guilty pleasures?

A huge brunch

Favourite song?

Alaska & Seba - Back from eternity

Last present you bought yourself?

A pair of Maui Jim

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