New York Film Academy (NYFA) 3D Animation & VFX alum Daniela Lobo Dias has been doing animation work on some of Hollywood’s biggest movies since graduating NYFA in 2015 , including the hotly-anticipated Sonic the Hedgehog movie.
Lobo Dias first attended New York Film Academy in 2014, enrolling in the 4-Week 3D Animation & VFX workshop at our New York campus. She later advanced her studies later that fall in NYFA’s 1-Year 3D Animation & VFX conservatory.
“Daniela was a spectacular student whilst enrolled in NYFA,” says NYFA Animation and VFX faculty Robert Appleton, “where she—along with three other outstanding female students—created an incredible final project.”
After graduating, Lobo Dias interned at a top animation company in New York before relocating to the West Coast and then Canada. She has worked on special effects-heavy films such as Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, Venom, Ad Astra, Bumblebee, Pokémon: Detective Pikachu, and recently, Cats.
Her latest film is Sonic the Hedgehog, a mix of live-action and animation that adapts the wildly popular Sega video game franchise about a snarky blue hedgehog that outruns the bad guys at lightning speed. The film stars Jim Carrey as Sonic’s live action nemesis Dr. Robotnik, with Ben Schwartz voicing a completely animated Sonic. Sonic the Hedgehog is directed by Jeff Fowler and co-stars James Marsden, Adam Pally, and Tika Sumpter.
Lobo Dias worked as a layout artist on the film, with her primary tasks being blocking out CG elements (such as characters and environment assets) over the live action plate, creating projection camera setups to integrate live action plates into CG environments, and creating final camera animation with character blocking for full CG shots.
With Sonic coming out on Valentine’s Day, the animation had to be completed well before its theatrical release. In the interim, Lobo Dias worked on the upcoming Disney film Jungle Cruise, starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Emily Blunt. She is currently working on the upcoming sequel Ghostbusters: Afterlife. Her hard work at NYFA has certainly paid off.
“You get out of NYFA what you put in,” says Lobo Dias. “When you show up each day with enthusiasm and a readiness to listen and learn, you’re planting seeds with your teachers and classmates that blossom into a professional network.”
Lobo Dias is quick to express her gratitude for those who helped her along the way, however. “I am very grateful for my teachers at NYFA who not only taught me the skills I needed,” she adds, “but also nurtured my potential, and then gave me my first industry opportunities. A special shoutout to Rob, Boaz, Gavin, Tim, and Phoebe!”
New York Film Academy congratulates 3D Animation & VFX alum Daniela Lobo Dias on the release of Sonic the Hedgehog and looks forward to seeing the blockbusters she’ll be working on in the future!