MEET OUR SPRITE MEMBERS

Committed to creating digital imagery of the highest quality, Sprite Animation has attracted a core group of energetic and imaginative artists, each possessing the vigorous spirit from which the company derives its name. With exceptional talent, drive and creative vision, they are dedicated to achieving that perfect look in each and every frame on each and every project.

Our technical team is equally passionate and motivated, with their quest for excellence evidenced by their never-ending task of research, development and innovation.

Most of us have worked together for years, and are confident and respectful of each others capabilities. This kind of trust creates a fun, cooperative, communicative work environment that runs smoothly and efficiently.


MOTO SAKAKIBARA
PRESIDENT, CEO & CREATIVE DIRECTOR

MOTO SAKAKIBARA

Moto founded Sprite Animation Studios in Hawaii in 2002, moving the company to Los Angeles in 2004. The next year, Moto premiered Sprite's first original short film, Journey to the West, which was touted for its brilliant color and use of funky pop images. Soon after, he wrote and directed the acclaimed short, Monster Samurai (Official Selection, Annecy 2006), now in development as a television series.

As Creative Director, Moto brings extensive film and VFX experience to Sprite. Starting his career at JCGL, Japans first computer graphics lab, Moto later joined Square Co. Ltd. as a 3D animator and modeler. He soon moved to directorial work and made his feature film debut as co-director on Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within. Motos visionary talent, quest for excellence, and calm leadership are a constant source of inspiration for his staff.


JUNICHI YANAGIHARA
COO & EXECUTIVE PRODUCER

JUNICHI YANAGIHARA

For over 10 years, Junichi served as an executive for Square Co. Ltd's United States subsidiaries. He was integral to Square's success in game production and growth as a company and played a key role in the company's U.S. expansion, as well as in other international markets. He was also responsible for the business affairs of Square's first fully CG animated feature film Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within. He also served as Executive Producer for the production of Animatrix: Final Flight of the Osiris.

Having studied in both Japan and the United States, Junichi began his career at the law firm Perkins Coie LLP in Seattle, where he worked with various companies in the high-tech industry. He joined Sprite in 2002, where Junichi's bi-cultural background, management skills, and vast business experience have been great assets to the company.


TATSURO MARUYAMA
VICE PRESIDENT & ART DIRECTOR

TATSURO MARUYAMA

Tatsuro began his career as a 2D designer and illustrator attracting much attention for the stylish realism of his magazine cover designs. He joined Sigma Co. Ltd. in 1992 where he was involved in commercials and visual image productions as well as movie productions for PlayStation-based games. In 1997, he became the Lead Artist on the production of Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within where he created sets & props, modeled vehicles and created textures for the film. He was also the Sets & Props Artistic Supervisor for the production of Animatrix: Final Flight of the Osiris.

Joining Sprite in 2002, he art directed the unique look of Sprite's Journey to the West and Monster Samurai as well as our other various projects and pilots. In addition to his exceptional artistic talent, his methodical focus and eternal patience make him a natural leader.


HIDEKI SUDO
ANIMATION DIRECTOR

HIDEKI SUDO

Sudo has been involved with all aspects of CGI animation since 1994. He is a talented senior animator who has a keen sense of timing and incredible flair for character emotion. He is also the brains behind many of Sprite's proprietary software tools that have streamlined our production. He is a wild man in the karaoke bar.


TAKUJI TOMOOKA
TAKUJI TOMOOKA LIGHTING & COMPOSITING SUPERVISOR

Tomooka has more than 9 years experience in lighting, rendering and compositing. He is responsible for bringing Sprite's imagery to the next level and for integrating new technology into Sprite's "mission critical" development systems. Tomooka is also a very snazzy dresser.


TETSUYA ISHII
3D CHARACTER SUPERVISOR

TETSUYA ISHII

It is Tetsuyas modeling and rigging talent that lifts characters off the page and into the 3D world. With 8 years of computer graphics engineering under his belt, he also masterminds Sprite's proprietary modeling and rigging tools and creates our efficient production pipeline. He is a valuable leader with an infectious giggle.


KOJI KAWAMURA
KOJI KAWAMURA VFX SUPERVISOR & RENDERING TD

With 16 years experience, Kawamura is the wizard behind Sprite's highly unique effects and motion animation. He also designs and develops Sprite's proprietary rendering systems. He is a quiet and loveable man and an excellent problem solver.


MASASHI NAKATA
CG ENGINEER & SENIOR PROGRAMMER

MASASHI NAKATA

A highly regarded member of the Sprite team since 2004, Masashi is the genius who writes Sprite's programs and creates the proprietary plug-ins and tools that support our rigging department. He is fluent in 10 programming languages, and can sometimes be found bent over his keyboard with a hot mug of coffee murmuring, "code... code... code...".