3D Animation
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  • NYFA LA Announces New 3D Animation Chairs

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    3D Animation

    The New York Film Academy is pleased to announce that Juniko Moody and Mark Sawicki are now Co-Chairs of the 3D Animation Department at the Los Angeles Campus.

    Juniko Moody was a production 3D lighting/compositor for Disney Feature Animation and Sony Imageworks. She was also a 2D compositor for Kodak Cinesite and Warner Digital. Juniko transitioned into teaching through corporate 2D and 3D digital training for Dreamworks Feature Animation and other training facilities. Juniko holds a BA from USC Cinema and an MA from CSULA in Industrial Technology with an emphasis in instruction and has taught 3D animation, digital modeling, lighting, adult instructional presentations/course writng and was involved in curriculum design at CSULA, UCLA Extension, College of the Canyons, Westwood College and DeVry University.

    Mark Sawicki is a veteran visual effects cameraman with a large body of work including The Terminator, X-Men and The Dark Knight Rises. He has taught for NYFA and UCLA Extension for several years and is a contributing faculty member of the Stan Winston School of Character Arts. Mark is the author of “Animating with Stop Motion Pro” and “Filming the Fantastic” first and second edition, both published by Focal Press.

    In addition to co-chairing the 3-D Animation Department, Juniko and Mark will continue to teach animation and visual effects classes in various departments. Juniko and Mark are located at 100 East Tujunga Avenue (Brick Building).

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    January 22, 2014 • 3D Animation • Views: 4007

  • Does an Animation Student Have to be Great at Drawing?

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    Computer animation attracts a wide variety of personalities and incorporates a variety of interests; a glance at the credits of any CG or visual effects-heavy film will show just how many different roles and people are incorporated. Not only are there the artists, character designers, and modelers; there are people in charge of dynamic simulations (i.e. cloth, crumbling buildings, explosions) and developing and maintaining the pipeline (i.e. streamlining the interaction of various departments through programming and scripting). Not everyone has to be da Vinci — or, on the flip side, a computer genius like Pixar’s Ed Catmull — to find a niche in CG.

    Students with skill in drawing (or, again, other areas such as programming) will definitely be able to exploit those skills. Students who have not done much drawing (or programming, etc.) will get the chance to develop and subsequently flex those muscles thanks to the instruction offered, for instance character design, storyboarding and life drawing classes which are all part of the NYFA animation curriculum.

    New York Film Academy’s 3D Animation programs are generalist programs, meaning they will touch on all these aspects, and give students a chance to find the areas which interest them most.

    -Robert Appleton, Chair of NYFA Animation Department

     

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    November 20, 2013 • 3D Animation • Views: 708

  • What Software Does NYFA’s Animation School Teach?

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    robert appleton

    Animation Chair Robert Appleton

    The New York Film Academy is bringing its hands-on intensive Animation School to the brand new Battery Park campus. Headed up by Chair Robert Appleton, NYFA’s Animation School is one of the premier facilities to learn the art of 3D Animation.

    The curriculum provides lessons which incorporate widely used, industry-standard software. During the first semester, the primary program used is Autodesk Maya which focuses on 3D modeling and animation. Although, students also work with Adobe Photoshop and After Effects.

    In the second semester, students begin using Pixologic’s ZBrush for high-poly (extremely detailed) modeling. Working with ZBrush is like working with digital clay, and is often very intuitive for fine artists. Students also learn how to composite using The Foundry’s Nuke industry standard software. Compositing is “putting the pieces together” for a shot. This includes working with green screen footage so live actors can be relocated to CG environments, and in our case culminate in the student integrating a CG character into live action footage. Something we take for granted these days on the big screen. Furthermore, this character will be animated using motion capture, so the students even get a chance to go to a Mo-cap studio and hop around on a stage, getting in touch with their inner actor.

    In addition, the animation program introduces students to scripting— programming specialized for use with CG — using the languages MEL script (a proprietary Maya scripting language) and Python, which is widely used for all sorts of applications.

    NYFA’s classroom computers are fully loaded with the software needed; however, students can frequently benefit from educational discounts that can be found for many programs when working outside of the school. In fact, Autodesk makes most of its programs available in educational, yet fully-functional versions free of cost. After completion of the course, the student will graduate quite the software polyglot and be well prepared for the professional world of animation!

     

     

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    October 29, 2013 • 3D Animation • Views: 5472

  • Congrats to NYFA Instructors Barbara Multer-Wellin & Al Hallack

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    YTTC_hrpeete

    New York Film Academy History of Documentary Instructor Barbara Multer-Wellin recently won an EMMY or Best Public Service /Informational Programming for Your Turn To Care,  a 4-part documentary multi-platform news series and companion website produced by KCET.

    Your Turn to Care explores the challenges facing America’s growing generation of baby boomers who are taking care of ailing or aging loved ones. In addition, the program highlights personal care-giving stories from well-respected actors, television personalities, and journalists including: Patricia Richardson (Home Improvement), Monica Potter (Parenthood), Hector Elizondo (Last Man Standing), Robert David Hall (CSI Crime Scene Investigation), Sandra Tsing Loh (NPR’s Morning Edition, KPCC) and Steve Lopez (Los Angeles Times columnist)
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    Meanwhile, Animation Instructor Al Hallack was recently honored by Burbank Mayor Emily Gabel-Luddy and Burbank Chamber of Commerce Ambassador Bob Frutos for opening his new production facility, Al Hallack Pictures, in Burbank. Al also received commendations from Supervisor Mike Antonavich and the California State Assembly for creating jobs and industry in Burbank.
    Congratulations to both NYFA Instructors!
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    September 13, 2013 • 3D Animation, Academic Programs, Documentary Filmmaking • Views: 4771

  • New York Film Academy Opens in Battery Park

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    Screen Shot 2013-07-03 at 12.32.35 PM

    New York Film Academy Battery Park

    The New York Film Academy has opened the doors to its brand new campus, located at 17 Battery Place. The modern facility occupies 72,000 square feet on two full floors and offers breathtaking views of Battery Park and The Statue of Liberty. Each classroom was uniquely designed from scratch to meet the specific needs of the hands-on programs, including state-of-the-art production studios and sound stages.

    Summer Camp programs and Adult Musical Theatre programs have already begun, while Acting, Musical Theatre, Screenwriting, Producing, Photography, Journalism, and 3D Animation will kick off in the Fall. NYFA cannot be more thrilled to provide this wonderful new environment to its students, and is looking forward to meeting a whole new crop of talent!

    Screen Shot 2013-07-03 at 12.37.14 PM

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  • Classic Art in Video Games

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    Chris Solarski in New York Film Academy

    This Thursday the New York Film Academy‘s Game Design and 3D Animation program welcomed guest lecturer, Chris Solarski. Chris is an artist game designer and author of Drawing Basics and Video Game Art: Classic to Cutting Edge Art Techniques for Winning Video Game Design. With a Bachelor’s in computer animation, Chris began working as a 3D character and environment artist for Sony Computer Entertainment in London. Later, he enrolled in art classes at the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts, where his interest in applying classical art techniques to video games began. It was after a lecture by visual artist, Andrew Jones, that Chris found his true calling. “I was so impressed with his ability to create something out of nothing,” recalled Chris. “I knew I needed more training. I had catching up to do.”

    The students were treated to an hour lecture that was truly fascinating and well thought out. Chris’ lecture focused on the connection between classic art and modern video games. Yes, that’s correct. While it may not be obvious at first glance, Chris was able to dissect classic works of art to validate his points. Using comparisons from the work of artists like Degas and Boticelli, Chris was able to show the influences these artists have on modern gaming. Much like an intricate painting or drawing, a crucial element in game design is emotion. Emotion can be conveyed through composition, contrast, and the structure of images. These elements are essential in the development of any art, and Game Design and 3D Animation are no different. “The composition and contrasting elements have a very strong impact on emotion.”

    One of Chris’ most recent games that he enjoys the most is Journey, mainly due to the composition and emotion of the experience. “It is important to know the emotional experience from the outset and use composition to create the player experience.”

    Chris currently develops his own video games under Solarski Studio, with the aim of exploring new forms of player interaction and creating more expressive and varied emotional experiences in games. “My job is to validate video games.”

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    October 5, 2012 • 3D Animation, Acting, Game Design, Guest Speakers • Views: 4230

  • Life After Animation School

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    It’s been five years since Scott Cullen graduated from New York Film Academy‘s Animation School, and he’s now working at a major animation and visual effects house in Los Angeles, Rythm and Hues. With some of the world’s top creative talents and best technologies, Rhythm & Hues delivers outstanding, award-winning visual effects and animation. Their projects include the upcoming 300 sequel, The Hunger Games, The Bourne Legacy, Snow White and the Huntsmen, and many more features and commercials.
    Scott began his career working as a 3D generalist, which is a common stepping stone out of school. He was responsible for multiple stages of the  production “pipeline,” such as modeling, texturing, animating and lighting.
    It is much easier to find work for a versatile artist, especially in the commercial industry. “Knowing all of the stages of the pipeline, such as rigging, modeling, and lighting, is always a huge plus. There are other programs out there in which you are limited to learning only animation. What makes NYFA a little different than studying at a traditional 4 year college, is that you are learning right up until you graduate. You really need to work hard after graduation, and put together your own work to show to companies who are looking to hire. It’s also a lot of learning in a short amount of time, so you really need to work hard.”
    As a Camera Layout TD, Scott is currently in production on the films, Life of Pi and R.I.P.D. Scott works a typical 9 to 6 day, but unlike a lot of professionals in other industries, he’s never bitter about waking up for work. “I enjoy waking up everyday and not dreading going to work. It can be a little stressful at times, especially during tight deadlines, but it’s a good feeling to get paid for something you really enjoy doing.”
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    July 24, 2012 • 3D Animation, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 4060

  • Pixar’s Rules for Great Storytelling

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    Pixar Animation

    Thanks to department chair Eric Conner of the screenwriting program for this great tip! A story artist at Pixar Animation Studios had been tweeting a series of “story basics” which illustrates the kind of talent that exists at Pixar. Their overwhelming success is easily demonstrated by the numbers. 7 out of 12 Pixar films were nominated for Best Screenplay at the Oscars and the company won the Animated Feature Academy Award 6 times. They have 13 consecutive box-office toppers and 2 Best Picture nominations. If that’s not proof of their genius, then we don’t know what is. Steve Jobs purchased the studio in 1986 for $10 million. It was originally a hardware company with only one animator on its staff. Now it’s widely reputed to be one of the best film studios on the planet. Here’s a quote on Deadline from the producer of the latest Pixar hit Brave, which debuted at number 1 at the Box Office this weekend. They attribute their phenomenal success to the basic wisdom that story trumps all.

    It was not easy. The biggest challenges at Pixar are always the stories. We want really original stories that come from the hearts and minds of our filmmakers. We take years in crafting the story and improving it and changing it; throwing things out that aren’t working and adding things that do work. All of that  is just the jumping off point for the technology and how we are going to make this happen.

    Without further ado, here are 22 pointers from Pixar’s story artists for creating a compelling story and building a mega-successful franchise. Don’t forget to learn more about our animation curriculum and become a top-notch animator for Pixar. Click here to request more information on the program!

    1. You admire a character for trying more than for their successes.

    2. You gotta keep in mind what’s interesting to you as an audience, not what’s fun to do as a writer. They can be very different.

    3. Trying for theme is important, but you won’t see what the story is actually about til you’re at the end of it. Now rewrite.
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    June 25, 2012 • 3D Animation, Film School, Screenwriting • Views: 3476