November 15, 2017 crahmanti-admin

Spotlight on Animator Gary Tussey

 photo by  Alexis Campanis


How did you get your start in animation?

I first used a copy of 3DStudio3 and also CAD in around 1994 – I was 16.  From an early age I had an interest in art and drawing but also had a lot of mechanical and technical skills learned from working on cars, drafting with pencil and paper and being a wood shop nerd reading plans and thinking in 3D. After graduating high school turned down a couple TINY tennis scholarships and went to the Art Institute and that was that.

My first professional animation position was at a small animation and tech company doing 3D content for – Medical, Aerospace, and Transportation for the military.  I created a lot of award winning medical animation back in the early days of 3D. Later in 2010 we won an Emmy for a 3D Commercial I animated called ‘Globeology’.
Medical animation history 


What is “Globology”
It was a 30s regional TV spot made in 2009 to market a new Exhibit at the Wildlife Experience Museum called ‘Globeology’
This is the commercial

Where do you go for inspiration?
EVERYWHERE – I am a passionate person in general I love to try new things and I do it mostly without fear.  Most of my inspiration comes directly from each client’s and their project requirements. I help them as their partner to fulfill the goals of the project.  When something is 100% my own idea, that’s when actual fear does set in.


I personally try not to look at other artists work until after I have a pretty clear picture of any project in my mind.  For me looking around the internet is the least inspirational thing I can do. It can stifle my own innovation & technique or keep me from creating a new style that works for my client or project.

– Gary Tussey


The animation/motion industry is going through a lot of change, where do you see yourself in 5 years?
It’s a good question that I do not know the answer to.  It is changing FAST.  I would love to pursue making my own original content someday and monetizing & distributing it but for now I will keep animating the best work that I can for each and every one of my clients.  I hope to still pay my bills with animation in 5 years with how things are looking, not sure that will happen.

Now that my daughter is almost in high school, I have been considering full-time positions for the first time in 6+ years.  Right now everything is up in the air, I was even thinking of relocating at one point a few months ago but it didn’t pan out.


Can you speak to the animated film you want to create?  As well as any other dreams/aspirations?
YES! I have a lot of ideas for films and stories I would like to tell through animation.  If I can pull off my first independent short film,  maybe it will lead to something else. I have one in the works now, but its moving slowly.

Distribution seems to be less and less of a roadblock for independent artists now, and I would like to start taking advantage of that.

Do you have a timeline?  When can I look forward to seeing some of your upcoming film?  
No timeline or release date – Sorry I just work on it in my spare time right now and it is in the storyboarding and character design phase.

What are you working on right now?
I just finished animating the introduction animation for TEDxSanDiego this year and I.  This project was a massive undertaking but I think it turned out really cool and fun! I rarely do any pro-bono work but when I believe in something I usually find myself helping out, TEDx is an amazing group and I support their mission so I was happy to create this for them.

Mostly I just service my clients and look for the best projects I can get onto. I am working on my first short animated film only in the background.

I do a lot of traditional art in my spare time. It is a sort of an additional creative outlet to get me out of the confines of the computer. I also rebuild Subaru engines and cars and work on motorcycles for fun and to keep away from the computer when possible.