DNEG Animation’s INSPIRE Series Welcomes the ‘Blue Eye Samurai’ Team!

Jane Wu & Toby Wilson talk about their award-winning animated series

DNEG Animation was joined by members of the Blue Eye Samurai team as part of our INSPIRE Series!

Earlier this month, we were delighted to host an INSPIRE Series session with the award-winning series’ Supervising Director/Producer Jane Wu and Production Designer Toby Wilson!

Hosted by our very own Denis-Jose Francois (DFX Supervisor), the duo dove into how the show came to life – inspiring the nearly 200 members of our team who tuned in!

L – R: Denis-Jose Francois, Toby Wilson & Jane Wu

Visually dazzling while paying deft attention to character, Blue Eye Samurai is an adult animated action television series created and written for Netflix by wife-and-husband team Amber Noizumi and Michael Green. This masterfully rendered animated adventure has received universal acclaim – including multiple Annie Award wins – and has been renewed for a second season on Netflix!

From the differences between developing an animation show for adults vs kids to maintaining historical accuracy, Jane and Toby shared details on what it’s like bringing a hit series to the screen.

They spoke at length about developing the ‘2 and a half D’ animation style of the series – revealing that in pre-production, every set was built in 3D but presented in a 2D style for the final output. Toby explained, “This allowed us to utilize a full 3D layout, so we could get that live-action working camera within a volume space.”

While this approach allowed freedom for directing and blocking scenes in pre-production, it was important to both Toby & Jane that the final art style paid artistic homage to the period and the culture. Toby explained, “When considering what kind of art we can use to inspire and to drive the look of the show, it just made sense. ”

Jane added, “I wanted a sense that you saw the artist’s hand in every single shot. Because I wanted to highlight the artists – and also I wanted to inspire people that watched it, to run home and go do a painting!”



At the end of the presentation, the DNEG crew had a chance to ask a few questions to Toby & Julia. When asked about building a career in Production Design, Toby advised, “Just be a forever student. Learn from everyone you’re around on every project you’re on, just always be learning. Stay humble, too, cause there’s always somebody better out there and just know that you always have to be getting better yourself!”


Huge thank you to Toby & Julia for joining us!




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