Visual effects veteran Hael Kobayashi has relocated from LA to Sydney in the new role of digital artists manager at Australian effects house Animal Logic.

Animal Logic is gearing up for production to start next year on director George Miller's Happy Feet, the first CGI animated feature to be produced in Australia.

One of Kobayashi's first responsibilities will be to recruit people to work on Happy Feet, which is about a young penguin's adventures in Antarctica. It is being made under the Warner Bros/Village Roadshow Pictures production joint venture.

Kobayashi held a similar role at ILM with responsibilities for about 500 people, or over one-third of the staff. He has also worked at PDI/DreamWorks, where he was line producer and production supervisor on Antz and The Road To El Dorado.

About 200 people are currently working at Animal Logic's premises at Fox Studios Australia but this could grow by up to 100 as a result of the film.

Animal Logic's most high-profile recent credits include The Matrix films, Moulin Rouge and Lord Of The Rings: Fellowship Of The Ring. It most recently worked on Hero and The Great Raid and is currently in production on No Way Out.