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Kendal in front of her computer at DreamWorks Animation.
Kendal Sager
Hometown: Los Altos, CA
Workplace: DreamWorks Animation, Glendale, CA
Education: BS, Computer Science, University of Washington
Hobbies: Baking, quilting, sewing—all kinds of crafts.
Fun Fact: "I've seen my favorite movies hundreds of times: Monsters, Inc, Ice Age, and Spanglish."

I design how animated characters move on film.

—Kendal Sager

Dream job at DreamWorks
As a character technical director at DreamWorks, Kendal makes it possible for animated characters to have natural-looking moves and expressions. “I take a 3-D model of a character and put a ‘skeleton’ in it so that the animator can make it come to life.”

How does a pig pucker?
Kendal loves working on characters’ faces. “I set up poses for all the main facial expressions: how the eyebrows move, how the character smiles, and so on.” Her favorite project so far has been Kung Fu Panda 2 “because of all of the awesome creatures. It really makes you think: how does a character with giant tusks smile? How does a pig with a huge nose but no upper lip pucker up?”

What's her passion?
Great movies. “I’m just one of many who contribute to making the film look good. If I do my job right, no one will really
notice—but if the hair looks strange or a character’s movements don’t look right, people notice and it takes them out of the moment.”

Volunteering with kids
Kendal recently volunteered with inner-city kids, teaching them how to program video games. “At first, the kids just seemed to think that programming was lame or too complicated for them. It was tough convincing them that it could actually be fun. But then they started coming up with simple game designs, and within hours they were programming from scratch. That made everything worth it. It was so great to see the kids doing something they never thought they could do.”