This Tec de Monterrey graduate’s path through the world of animation has led her to various film productions.
By Carmen Huerta | Guadalajara Campus - 05/13/2021 Photo Carlos González

Tec Guadalajara graduate Alina Zepeda created another scene in her own story within the world of animation by being part of the Disney movie “Raya and the Last Dragon.”

The lighting artist at Walt Disney Animation Studios was on the crew for this recent production, launched on the “Disney+” platform.

This can be added to the list of renowned feature films in which this 2012 graduate and member of the first generation of the campus’s Digital Art and Animation (LAD), has showcased her talent.

This young artist was in charge of the lighting and single-shot composition of “Raya and the Last Dragon,” so that viewers could feel the on-screen emotion.

Behind this movie, there’s a team of more than 450 people who mix magic and reality in the story of a young warrior, including Alina Zepeda.

 

Alina Zepeda trabajó en “Raya y el último dragón”, producción de Disney
Alina Zepeda’s path to Disney Animation was made possible thanks to her academic preparation as part of the first Digital Arts and Animation generation at Tec Guadalajara. During her studies, she did international work experience in California.

 

“For me, being a Tec graduate is being an impeccably presented, well prepared professional, with a certain entrepreneurial spark,” she said.

As a lighting artist, she’s responsible for the emotions that the viewer should feel in each scene.

“I had great teachers who guided me at the Tec, like Beatriz Bastarrica, my Art History and Design teacher, and Alfredo Orozco, my Sculpture teacher. 

“In the final semester, I took the Rendering course with Luis de la Cerda and Compositing with Elena Amador,” she said. 

These last two subjects were especially significant to her, since they’re directly applicable to what she does today in her outstanding career.

 

Creating her own story

Alina worked at Exodo Animation Studios for 2 years, right after graduating, and during her degree she did professional internships at studios such as Ool Digital and Maniac.

She then had the opportunity to make feature films by taking part in the movie, “A Little Brave Rooster by huevocartoon, production of which took place in Guadalajara.

“After finishing production on that movie, I decided to focus and work on my reel to get into Disney

“I took courses at Gnomon -a specialized school in Los Angeles, California- in addition to attending conferences and conventions on technology and art,” she said.

She was later selected to participate in Disney’s Talent Development Program, a mentoring program for discovering new talent that has existed since the days of Walt Disney

At the end of the program, Alina was hired to work on the movies “Moana,” “Ralph Breaks the Internet,” “Frozen 2,” and now, Raya, as well as short films and series coming up on Disney+.

Alina currently works at Walt Disney Animation Studios in Burbank, California, as a Lighting and Compositing Artist.

Her job is to add light to animated scenes in movies, short films, series, and even amusement park ride projections.

 

Alina Zepeda trabajó en “Raya y el último dragón”, producción de Disney
To learn more about Alina Zepeda’s work, visit her official website: alinazepeda.com

 

She focuses on defining the tone and colors of the final images of the scene in question or the park attraction.

“It’s artistic as well as technical work, which is the focus of the Animation degree at the Tec,” she said.

She mentioned that one of her most important achievements was in 2017, when she collaborated with Pixar artists on an independent short film made in Unity called Sonder.

She participated as a lighting lead, working remotely and during her free time to complete it. 

The short film was shown at theaters and won awards at festivals around the world, as well as having almost 3 million views on YouTube.

 

 

“I would love to work in other areas, besides lighting, on the process of creating a movie or short film. 

At the Disney Animation studio, there are many opportunities to do this, and I plan to seize them.”

Alina is concentrating on supervising a Disney movie with her team, while experimenting in other departments: learning modeling, texturing, or on the 3D team.

The plot of this movie by Mexican-American director Carlos López Estrada is inspired by Asian cultures and shows a determined young warrior who has to find dragon gems to save her world.

In this way, Alina will continue her journey at Disney and in the animation industry, adding new scenes to her own professional story. 

Her experience in the digital world and her path to arriving at Disney Animation were made possible by her academic preparation as part of Tec Guadalajara’s first LAD generation. 

“I would love to work in other areas, besides lighting, on the process of creating a movie or short film. 

At the Disney Animation studio, there are many opportunities to do this, and I plan to seize them.”

Alina is concentrating on supervising a Disney movie with her team, while experimenting in other departments: learning modeling, texturing, or on the 3D team.

The plot of this movie by Mexican-American director Carlos López Estrada is inspired by Asian cultures and shows a determined young warrior who has to find dragon gems to save her world.

In this way, Alina will continue her journey at Disney and in the animation industry, adding new scenes to her own professional story. 

Her experience in the digital world and her path to arriving at Disney Animation were made possible by her academic preparation as part of Tec Guadalajara’s first LAD generation. 

 

 

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