Purdue jazz pianist behind the clouds in ‘Valiant’
When you see the Disney-distributed animated film Valiant in theaters this summer, remember that the man behind the clouds is Joshua Schpok who’s played jazz piano for Purdue Bands for six years.
Adapting techniques pioneered by Purdue Prof. David Ebert, Schpok tailored software that allows film animators and artists to make realistic depictions of cloud formations, explosions, smoke, steam and fog for movies and video games.
Finishing his masters in electrical and computer engineering this spring, Schpok has accepted a position with Los Angeles’ prestigious DreamWorks studios. He’s played piano with the Lab and Concert Jazz Bands throughout his Purdue career, and wants to continue to play in Los Angeles.
“Joshua’s got an incredible attitude. No matter what’s going on, he’s got a smile on his face,” says jazz band director Mo Trout. “He just loves to play. He’s always eager to learn and eager to perform.”