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avatar for Mike Dietz

Mike Dietz

Pencil Test Studios
Animation Director

Animator Mike Dietz has extensive experience as an animator and animation director in a variety of media ranging from film to television to games, working in a wide array of animation techniques including CG, hand drawn (both pencil on paper and digital), stop motion and mixed media. Early in his career Mike pioneered innovative animation processes which allowed hand drawn animation to be successfully incorporated into video games, and has since been a driving force on numerous projects integrating hand drawn and hand crafted elements into games and other interactive media. Using these techniques in conjunction with his passion for animation, Dietz set the benchmark for animation quality on such highly successful video game titles as Disney’s Aladdin, Earthworm Jim and the stop motion animated cult classics The Neverhood, SkullMonkeys and more recently, Armikrog. Additionally, Dietz served as director for several episodes of the award winning animated sitcom The PJs, co-directed the short Squirly Town for Nickelodeon’s Random Cartoon Show, and animated on the stop motion production of It’s a SpongeBob Christmas!. In 2008, Mike was the animation director of the Annie Award winning Pixar's Ratatouille video game and was nominated for another Annie Award in 2016 for his animation on Armikrog.


Mike is the co-owner and animation director of Pencil Test Studios, an independent game development and animation production studio founded in 2009 by Dietz and game industry veteran Ed Schofield. Located in Orange County, CA., the studio specializes in content creation, development and production services for games, mobile devices, film, and television, while offering many different animation styles including 2D, CG, stop motion and mixed media. The studio has collaborated on numerous successful video game franchises with high profile clients such as Disney, Pixar, and Microsoft, providing extensive experience and familiarity working within a wide variety of game production pipelines.


Mike is currently an Assistant Professor of Entertainment Art and Animation at Cal State University Fullerton, where he teaches both traditional and digital animation.


Mike also enjoys a successful career as a freelance illustrator and is represented for his illustration work by Shannon and Associates: http://www.shannonassociates.com/artist/mikedietz

My Speakers Sessions

Saturday, November 12