a.j. winter

Digital Animation

AJ is a story artist focused primarily in storyboarding and 3D cinematography. From creating a comic series in elementary school, to developing an animated web series in high school, AJ has always had a passion for telling new stories. With a desire to work in feature film, he sought to grow as an artist by learning 3D Graphics and Animation at UCD.

Through the program, he has experienced the pipeline of creating a 3D animated short film, while also learning the language of cinematography. AJ has had the pleasure of growing as an artist with his other teammates during the production of their senior thesis, Bamboo.



When I first approached our senior thesis, it was important to me that we told a story with a more mature theme to it. We were given the opportunity to take over a story that was intended to be the senior thesis for the class of 2008. It was called Bamboo, and unfortunately they were unable to finish it at the time.

Nine years later, it resurfaced and we wanted to put our own spin on the story. Being part of the story team, I aimed to remain faithful to the original source material while also putting my own style into it. The main character was changed from an older demigod, to a young female apprentice, which was very special to me. In past shorts, the main characters were often male, so it was exciting to tell a tale with a strong female character. Additionally, she is from China and I wanted to remain as respectful as possible to Chinese culture.

I sought to learn as much as I could about Chinese history while also contacting consultants to ensure we were being accurate. For me, I want to tell stories of characters from different cultures with different backgrounds, and I was happy I could do this with my team. I am extremely pleased with the story we are telling and I hope everyone will enjoy it when it premieres in May.