Posts Tagged ‘Careers’

Recent News in Animation

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015

Image source: http://referentiel.nouvelobs.com/

The Academy-award nominated, BAFTA award winning, and French academy award (Cesar) winning filmmaker and director Sylvain Chomet (director of ‘The Illusionist’ and ‘The Triplets of Belleville’) has just directed a brand new animated music video for “Carmen“, a song off of Rwandan-Belgian rapper Stromae’s album ‘Racine Carrée’.

The video is very clearly done in Chomet’s style, a look achieved by scanning pencil drawings into the computer and then coloring them. With minimal cleanup if any, and watercolor style backgrounds, this creates a more raw look that is both appealing and refreshing to see. The song is loosely based on the 1800′s opera of the same name, and features an animated Stromae struggle with his addiction to Twitter. What begins as a small habit soon turns into a massive weight on his shoulders, an obsession that sinks its claws into every facet of his life, from friendship to love.

The video was released Tuesday, March 31st on Buzzfeed, and has gotten over 5 million views on Buzzfeed and 2 million views on Youtube. It was produced at Th1ng, Chomet was not only the director but served as lead animator as well alongside Neil Boyle. Background layout was done by Marcin Lichowski, while Kirk Hendry served as lead compositor and lighting designer for the short.

Fans of Chomet’s style might also want to check out his Simpson’s Couch gag, which can be viewed on Th1ngs channel on Vimeo.

Source: cartoonbrew.com

Industry veteran Will Finn (animator, voice actor, character designer, storyboard artist and director) with nearly 40 years of experience has offered his thoughts and advice to anyone who’s dream it is to work in animation. In his blog post, “Why You Shouldn’t Want A Job In Animation”, Finn spoke about and explained the difference between a ‘job’ and a ‘career’ in animation:

“To me a job is something you depend on from an employer. It’s theirs to give and theirs to take away… A career is something I have to be responsible for based on my reputation, my ability, and my preferences. I don’t expect much beyond what I invoiced for last week, and I keep tabs on whatever’s coming up—staying in touch with long-term contacts and making new ones almost constantly. I try to keep at least one ‘Plan B’ in mind at all times. And that’s fine. A career is like a life: mine to tend, mine to succeed or fail at, mine to take credit and blame for, mine to earn. I would not have it any other way.”

In the post, Finn also speaks about what it was like starting his career at Walt Disney Animation studios. Following his childhood dream only to have that dream ripped apart after “barely nine months” on the job”, while working on ‘The Fox and the Hound”, getting into behind the scenes politics, his run in’s with the higher ups, and producing work that was “substandard even for a newbie”.

This was his first crash and burn with Disney, Finn would later come back to Disney to supervise the characters of Cogsworth in ‘Beauty and the Beast’ and Iago in ‘Aladdin’, he also worked for Warner Bros., Dreamworks, the Don Bluth Studio, Reel FX, IMAGI, Renegade Animation, and others.

In his third leg at Disney in 1999, Finn would come to realize that his original childhood dream of working at Disney until retirement was clouded by the innocent lens of youth.

“Senior Disney artists who I remember envying on that day in 1979 when I got let go were being given their 20th and 25th anniversary pins alongside pink slips terminating their employment. Some of them had never worked outside the studio and the transition must have been difficult. But at that point I knew while I still admired their talent and artistry, I had stopped envying the idea of a long tenure at a single studio long ago. In 2004, I was on the pavement again, looking for work.”

If you would like to read the full post, please do so on Will’s Blog.

Juan Rubio

Women in Animation and Women in Games International

Tuesday, February 17th, 2015

Image from http://www.womeninanimation.org/


Image from http://www.womeningamesinternational.org/

The animation and games industries are two places where you rarely find women working, until recently. Even Cogswell has been a heavily male-dominated school until a few years ago. What’s exciting is the wide-spread growth of organizations that are specifically for women in these industries (although men may join). These groups promote networking, inclusion, exposure, encouragement and opportunities to hear industry leaders. By creating a more diverse workplace, animations and games will be even stronger therefore garner more consumer enjoyment.

Two organizations that I am involved with are Women in Animation and Women in Games International. Thanks to Women in Animation, I’ve had the opportunity to visit Pixar twice as well as network with some of the best known women in the business. Being a newer member to Women in Games (WIG), this week I will visiting Zynga’s campus for the re-opening of the San Francisco WIG chapter. As a primary developer of Facebook games, Zynga is one of the most famous game companies in the Bay Area.

I definitely recommend checking these two groups out, and any groups dedicated to animation and games in general. As well as being fun to join, they can be key to getting crucial contacts in the industry.

http://www.womeningamesinternational.org/
http://www.womeninanimation.org/

Sierra Gaston

Guests from Massive Black and EA to speak tomorrow

Monday, November 15th, 2010

Tomorrow night, Cogswell is hosting a special event.  We are pleased to have two representatives from the companies Massive Black and Electronic Arts come out and talk about their experiences in the gaming and animation industries. This should be a very informative lecture, as most of Cogswell’s student body has the goal of getting into these industries, and there is a huge amount of interest in learning about what to expect in their future career.  Not only is it beneficial to get an intro of what to expect straight from those who are experiencing it, but it is also prime time to make connections you can utilize.  I heard there will be pizza, so no need to worry about food during the dinner hour.

In other news, the ASB (Associated Student Body) is hosting another Cogswell movie night this Friday.  This week’s offerings?  The newest Harry Potter movie!  As a fan of the series, I’m incredibly excited for this movie night!  I urge students to please sign up ASAP, because spots are limited.  ASB hosts various events throughout the semester and the movie nights are definitely one of the most popular. Depending on the movie, even faculty will get in on the action and join the massive Cogswell mob that inhabits the entrance of various movie theaters.  Unfortunately, we are not seeing the midnight showing, but maybe that’s best for the sake of any Friday morning classes.

-Rachel

Senior Producer at Nickelodeon Kids and Family Games Speaks at Cogswell

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

kevin richardson

Cogswell graduate, Kevin Richardson, will share his wealth of knowledge and experience in the casual game industry during a presentation on campus. His topic will be, “Creativity and Unlocking Your Own Unique Talents.”

Date: November 3, 2009
Time: 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Where: Dragon’s Den at Cogswell
1175 Bordeaux Dr
Sunnyvale, CA 94089
MAP
Pizza will be served
RSVP

Kevin graduated in 2003 with Bachelor of Arts in Computer and Video Imaging – the precursor to Cogswell’s Digital Art and Animation program. He currently works for Nickelodeon Kids and Family Games group in San Francisco as their Senior Producer of games. Kevin also just launched his own casual independent game series for download under the Gamespin banner, Ghost Town Mysteries. He has produced over 30 “E” rated games, including the Family Feud and Risk games and several Hasbro titles including Boggle and Trivial Pursuit while at iWin.com. Prior to iWin.com, he worked at The Learning Company/Mattel Interactive where he was Executive Producer on numerous Reader Rabbit and ClueFinders adventures and at EA/Pogo where he worked on Tumblebees ToGo. He began his career as an animator and special effects artist working for ILM and Hanna Barbera-Wang Films.

Learn more about what it’s like to be a Senior Producer at Nickelodeon.

-Bonnie Phelps, Dean of Institutional Advancement

What is Video Game Level Design?

Monday, October 26th, 2009

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We asked Assistant Professor Albert Chen to explain level design

If Game Development covers how games are made and Game Design determines what the game is and how it is played, Level Design is about defining the moment to moment experience for the player. It includes planning and creating the actual spaces that the player travels through and orchestrating heart-pounding encounters and events that happen along the way.

Can students learn level design at Cogswell?

This past summer term, we offered a six-week Special Topic – Intro to Level Design Workshop. This intensive course introduced students to the fundamentals of 3D level design for 1st person shooters. By using Unreal Tournament 3′s level editor to build playable multiplayer levels, students were able to experience the level design process first-hand. They also learned the theories behind competitive multiplayer map creation to control play balance, intensity and flow.

In Spring, we will offer an Advanced Level Design course. Check the Spring schedule when it is released in early October.

Want to learn more about our Game Art, Game Development, or our Digital Art and Animation programs?

Visit the Cogswell College website or better yet, arrange a tour of our campus and see where you can begin your career in video games.

-Michael Martin, Dean of the College

Raymond Crook On What It’s Like to be an Animator

Thursday, July 16th, 2009

RaymondCrook

I am working as an animator and character modeler/rigger at Double Fine Productions in San Francisco. I started working here shortly before graduation from Cogswell College in 2001. All of the animators in our department are required to know how to model characters as well as rig them. We all wear several hats. We released Psychonauts in 2005 – and our game Brutal Legend that just premiered at the E3 Expo was nominated to receive the Game Critics Award for Best in Show.

The thing I like most about my career is that it gives me a creative outlet. I’m doing something that I love to do and making a living at it. I am happy to say that I truly enjoy my job but that doesn’t mean that it’s easy. It can be very stressful at times and the hours can also be long but the satisfaction of seeing your work inside the game is very rewarding.

If not for Cogswell, and particularly some key faculty members and alumni, I would not have this job or this career. The courses at Cogswell College gave me the foundation in fine arts and digital media to be able to step into my position here at Double Fine and immediately begin working. This is what the company needed at the time. Of course I have learned a lot and made a lot of mistakes since then, but I had enough practical skills and know-how to hit the ground running.

When it was time for me to find a job, it was a faculty member and one of our alumni who helped me get my first interview and get my demo reel to the right people. I will always be grateful for that. The classes were small enough that I was able to get to know some of my instructors on a personal level and have remained good friends with them. I attended a much larger university before transferring to Cogswell, and because of sheer size of the classes and the inapproachability of the professors, I was not able to create the kind of relationship with them that I did with the Cogswell faculty.

I think a key distinguishing factor that sets Cogswell apart from other colleges is the leadership and vision that focuses resources as needed, pays special attention to the experience of the students and builds relationships with alumni and the community/industry.

If you are planning on being an animator, know that this field is very competitive but also very gratifying. I would suggest to anyone seeking a career in animation that they develop strong, traditional, fine arts skills – then move into the digital realm. The computer is only a tool that you will use to apply the traditional skills of drawing, sculpting and painting at your job. It is important to have some talent for the arts before going into this field. Remember, the job is not glamorous, don’t do it for the bragging rights. Do it because you love to be creative. And certainly don’t do it for the money. Like most art-based careers, you can make a living but don’t plan on it making you wealthy. However, I have found when you do what you love and what you are good at, the rest works itself out.

Click here to learn more about Cogswell’s animation degree program.

- Bonnie Phelps, Dean of Institutional Advancement