Sam Nielson

Presenting | Portfolio Reviews | Demo Area
Sam Nielson's twenty-plus years of industry experience has given him a wealth of knowledge that he applies to both painting and design work. Sam got his start in the video game industry by making games in the basement as a young teenager with his older brother. Sam used one of these games as his portfolio to get a job with a game studio at the age of sixteen. After establishing his career in video games, Sam later returned to college, studying animation at Brigham Young University. While a student at BYU, he was instrumental in the development of the computer-animated short "Pajama Gladiator", which won the Student Academy Award for Animation in 2009. Sam graduated Magna Cum Laude from BYU in 2007. He spent 10 years at Disney Interactive, working as a concept artist. Sam's education and work experience have allowed him to accumulate extensive experience in character design, environment design, modeling, rendering, surfacing, and lighting. Sam currently works as animation faculty at BYU and as a freelance concept artist and illustrator. His clients include Sony Pictures Animation, Blizzard Software, Skylanders Activision, Harper Collins, Scholastic, and many others.

Participant Schedule

Sunday 10/29 3:30PM - 4:30PM

Animation’s Character Design Maestros

Ballroom G | Prem Sai GS, Chris Sasaki, Stephen Silver, Sam Nielson, Max Narciso

Step into the imaginative world of character design with a panel of industry luminaries who have brought life to the animated screen! Join Max Narciso, Prem Sai GS, Sam Nielson, and Chris Sasaki, whose combined portfolios boast contributions to acclaimed films such as "Luca", "Inside Out", "Monsters University", "Luck", "The Boys", and the "Super Mario Bros. Movie". Guided by the seasoned moderation of Stephen Silver, this panel will offer a rare glimpse into the creative process, challenges, and triumphs of designing memorable characters for animation. Whether you’re an aspiring designer, animation enthusiast, or a cinema lover, this session is a golden opportunity to learn and be inspired by the minds behind some of your favorite animated personalities!
Saturday 10/28 4:45PM - 5:45PM

Designing a Character in Disney Lorcana TCG

Demo Area 4 - HALL C | Matthew Eng, Sam Nielson

Get a peek into the visual development and thought process that goes into creating a new look for Disney character glimmers in Disney Lorcana TCG.