Michael Berenstein

Animator, Animation Instructor


  I was born in Minsk, former USSR, where, after receiving degree in Architecture,  was hired by Belorussian Film Studio as Camera Assistant, but found myself helping with props for Stop Motion Shorts. Learned in-betweening, clean-up and worked on Cell Animated shorts. After graduating from Moscow Courses for Animators worked on various Shorts as Stop Motion and Cut-out Character Animator.

  Perestroika freed more opportunities and in 1990 I made my first Animated short "The end of cone rider", which was accepted to be shown at Moscow International Animation Festival.

Unfortunate events in former USSR made me decide to move to the USA in 1991.

I've been employed at Will Vinton Claymation, Colossal, Danger Production, Pixar, Tippett, PDI, ILM.

  Throughout of my Animation Career I used various Animation techniques:

Cell Animaiton, Cut-outs, Stop-Motion, Clay on Glass, Back-lit Sand on Glass, Anime Studio, Maya.

 In my teaching at De Anza Community College and Academy of Art University I try to engage students during class by giving them short exercises, that prepare them for homework. For example,  prior to lip-sync assignment I demonstrate and have them do short one word lip-sync  shot.

I'm finding myself helping students in areas away from my expertise: rigging, storyboarding, sound, lighting. To prepare myself for these tasks, I took rigging, lighting and modeling classes at Academy of Art.

My Demo Reel, shorts, rigging and modeling can be seen on my Blog, please follow the link:


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