2011 Lanzendorf PaleoArt Prize Recipient
National Geographic Digital Modeling and Animation – Evan Boucher
Evan Boucher is a digital artist from Collegeville, Pennsylvania. As a child, he was captivated by two things: animals and cartoons. Originally planning to study zoology, he decided to pursue a career in animation upon graduating high school. He was inspired to do so through combining his newfound interest in film and video production with his self-taught cartooning abilities.
He completed both his BS (2009) and MS (2011) in Digital Media from Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. At Drexel, he became captivated with motion, and analyzing how organisms move. Drexel is also where he rediscovered his interest in paleontology, and met Dr. Kenneth Lacovara. A seed was planted that led him down the path to fully combine his love for animation with his love for animals.
Gears were set in motion to collaborate with Dr. Lacovara on an idea that would lead to Evan's Master's thesis. This resulted in the complete restoration of the gavialoid crocodylian, Thoracosaurus neocesariensis; starting from the fossil source via digital laser-scanning. This process not only helped Evan to indulge in realistic creature modeling and animation, but required him to do the anatomical research necessary to portray Thoracosaurus as accurately as possible. This included countless hours preparing fossils and exploring the collections at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia, visiting multiple zoos to record live-action reference video, collecting fossils at the site where the Thoracosaurus specimen was excavated, and in-depth researching of the technical literature; all guided by a number of top experts.
After finishing his studies at Drexel, Evan moved to Los Angeles, California, where he is continuing to pursue his career in animation. His personal work continues to be highly influenced by the natural world, and he hopes to one day direct his own feature films.
Top image: Still frame from “Digital Paleoart: Reconstruction and Restoration from Laser-Scanned Fossils”
Bottom photo: Evan Boucher
Image and photo courtesy of Evan Boucher.
View the 2011 Two-Dimensional Art, Three-Dimensional Art, and Scientific Illustration Lanzendorf PaleoArt Prize Recipients.