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  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) 3D Animation & VFX Alum Joins Paradox Interactive

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    Hanna Johansson, an alum of the Fall 2016 1-Year 3D Animation & Visual Effects conservatory at New York Film Academy (NYFA), has been hired as a character animator for Paradox Interactive.Hanna Johansson

    Paradox Interactive AB is a video game publisher based out of Stockholm, Sweden, and was founded in 1999. They are best known for their historically-themed strategy games, as well as role-playing games and management simulators.

    They are perhaps best known for their games Prison Architect and Cities: Skylines. The latter was released in 2015 as a competitor to SimCity, and has sold over six million copies.

    At NYFA’s Los Angeles campus, Johansson learned the craft from an award-winning faculty of professional animators and visual effects artists. In addition to working as a Teachers Assistant in NYFA’s Animation department, Johansson has worked as a freelance 3D animator since graduation. She has been working with Paradox Interactive’s Arctic Studio as a character animator since June 2019.

    New York Film Academy congratulates 3D Animation & Visual Effects alum Hanna Johansson on her position and looks forward to her future work as an animator!

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    September 15, 2019 • 3D Animation, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 47

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Hosts Creators Society Panel on Animation Careers

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    Last month, New York Film Academy (NYFA) hosted the Creators Society monthly meeting and panel discussion. The Creators Society is a group of passionate, like-minded members of the animation community who work in the fields of film, TV, commercials, visual effects, VR/AR, and gaming. The topic for August’s panel was “Freelance Vs. Big Studios: Navigating a Career in Animation.”

    Artists, producers, and animators from DreamWorks, Warner Brothers, Disney, and more came to NYFA to mingle and share their advice with Creator Society members and students of the NYFA 3D & Visual Effects Animation department. 

    Creators Society Panel Sept 2019

    The panelists included:

    Melody Severns: Severns started her career interning at Film Roman and moved into the role of layout artist on The Simpsons (both the show and movie). She’s worked in production management on Monster High, Transformers: Robots in Disguise, and DC Superhero Girls. She is also the founder and head of Girls Drawin’ Girls, an art organization dedicated to promoting the work female artists in the animation industry.

    Daniel “Hashi” Hashimoto: Hashi worked for DreamWorks Animation’s visual development team. Since 2014, Hashi has been using his VFX skills to turn the playtime of his young son, James, into the viral webseries Action Movie Kid, which has over a million followers across social media. He’s partnered with Disney, LucasFilm, Warner Brothers, Target, and Toys ‘R’ Us in commercial campaigns, and is now a Senior Content Creator at Red Giant, creating their series Cheap Tricks. Hashi still consults for animation studios on upcoming feature film projects and is developing new and fun ideas with his writing partners.

    Liz Climo: Climo has worked in animation as a writer, storyboard artist, layout artist, and animator on shows like The Simpsons and Harvey Beaks, as well as The Simpsons Movie. She is also the writer and illustrator of the Rory the Dinosaur series of children’s books, as well as You Don’t Want A Unicorn, Lobster is the Best Medicine, and other titles.

    Creators Society Panel Sept 2019

    Students and alumni attending the event had a wonderful time listening to the panelists. Here are just some of the responses from the attendees:

    “My first Creator Society event was an extremely pleasant, eye-opening experience. To have the chance to mingle with artists in the industry, make connections, and listen to their stories and experiences is invaluable.

    “One of the things I took from this event was that as an artist, you don’t have to be good at everything. Most of the people I spoke with—along with the event’s speakers—weren’t jack-of-all-trades types but were instead exceptionally good at something that made them artistically unique, which (along with luck and the right connections) is what helps you get a job in the industry.”

    -Hilmar Loftsson, BFA 3D & VFX Animation Student

    “They talked about how to stand out as a woman in the animation industry—to which they talked about making yourself be seen and occupying space. Like not sitting in a corner where no one sees you, but instead take your space and make yourself be noticed and not be overshadowed by the men. Which, in a way, I think it can be applied to recent hires in the sense of voicing their opinions and not being afraid to give suggestions that might help the overall project.”
    -Juan Gordillo, BFA 3D & VFX Animation Student

    “The event with the Creator Society was the first of its kind for NYFA, and a successful one at it. The panel was divided between professionals who work at bigger companies and ones that are self-employed and work as freelance. It was very interesting and helpful to hear the collected thoughts of these brilliant panelists, on the differences between working at a studio for others and being your own boss. 

    “They talked about what traits artists should have when working at bigger studios, what to expect, and the division between creativity and technicality at these two different settings. The four professional panelists were also very fun to listen to. They were serious with their answers and opinions, yet in a joking and funny way that made the event more casual and fun than a boring Q&A session. Students and visitors responded positively to the event, and many wanted to talk to the panelists afterwards.”
    -Gayatri Ankam, 1-Year 3D & VFX Animation Alumni

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    September 5, 2019 • 3D Animation, Guest Speakers • Views: 467

  • New York Film Academy Partners with Giornate degli Autori at Venice Film Festival

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    New York Film Academy (NYFA) has partnered with Giornate degli Autori at the Venice Film Festival to hold an all-day event on September 4, 2019.

    Giornata degli Autori, a parallel section of the Venice Film Festival, is modeled on “Directors’ Fortnight” at Cannes Film Festival and aims to present high quality cinema that features innovation, research, originality, and independence.

    The event will feature two Master Classes taught by Craig Caton (E.T., Ghostbusters, Jurassic Park), Chair of NYFA’s 3D Animation & Visual Effects department, the first of which will be exclusive to the jurors of Giornate degli Autori while the second will be open to festival-goers and the press. Craig will present the basics of motion capture technology and a real-time interactive facial recognition demonstration with volunteers from the audience. Following the second Master Class, NYFA will screen three selected student shorts: Scout by Alex Cvetkov (Slovenia, Italy), 8 by Gabriele Fabbro (United States, Italy), and Two Weeks in Laredo by Adrianne Lundy (United States).  These films by NYFA’s most recent crop of students are representative of the quality that NYFA students produce throughout the course of their studies:

    Giornate degli Autori logoOf the upcoming event New York Film Academy Florence Director Diana Santi said, “On behalf of NYFA, I can say that we are excited to present our educational method and a selection of student shorts to the audience of Giornata degli Autori at the Venice Film Festival 2019. Our mission has always been to train students to be industry-ready through our hands-on, learn-by-doing philosophy that gives students access to cutting-edge equipment and internationally acclaimed instructors such as Craig Caton. We also offer students the support to take the first steps in the industry as professionals.”

    On partnering with NYFA, Giorgio Gosetti, Giornata degli Autori Director, shared, “Inside the huge Hollywood machine, there are skills that give form to ideas that would otherwise be impossible to portray on screen. We wanted to highlight this aspect of filmmaking to reveal the authorship that goes beyond the script, and the place where inspiration and technique meet, the result being those film classics we all adore. Inviting Craig Caton means creating a space for film education, in the form of an entertaining, dynamic class on spaceships, dinosaurs and imaginary creatures turned real, with Caton as our guide.”

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    August 30, 2019 • 3D Animation, Film Festivals, Film School, Filmmaking • Views: 10

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) 3D Animation & Visual Effects Alumni Bring to Life Superhero Films, ‘Game of Thrones’, ‘Star Trek’ and More

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    Students who graduate from the 3D Animation & Visual Effects programs at New York Film Academy (NYFA) have gone on to work on numerous high-profile, visually stunning films, games, and television series, including Game of Thrones, Shazam!, The Orville, and more.

    It’s no surprise NYFA 3D Animation & VFX alumni have found success after graduation—they learned their craft from a professional faculty of working, award-winning animators and visual artists who shared their own industry secrets and practical knowledge to prepare students for careers in a competitive and rewarding industry. 

    NYFA offers workshops, conservatories, camps, and BFA and MFA in 3D Animation programs where students will use state-of-the-art software and equipment and learn the various skills necessary for successful careers in the industry—including storyboarding, modeling, particle dynamics, advanced rigging, and much, much more.

    Take a closer look at some esteemed alumni of the NYFA 3D Animation & Visual Effects programs and see where their studies have taken them so far. Click each image for a detailed, fullscreen look at these graduates’ achievements!

    You can find more information on the programs offered by the New York Film Academy 3D Animation & Visual Effects department here!

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    July 22, 2019 • 3D Animation, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 806

  • Meet the Faculty of the New York Film Academy (NYFA) 3D Animation & Visual Effects Department

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    Part of what makes the 3D Animation & Visual Effects department at New York Film Academy (NYFA) one of the best animation schools in the world is its experienced, professional, award-winning faculty. 

    These working animators and visual artists are the perfect instructors to NYFA Animation student, able to share a wealth of industry secrets and practical knowledge to prepare students for professional careers in a competitive industry after graduation. By showing students first-hand how they’ve applied their skills on well-known projects like Star Wars and The Last of Us, these exceptional instructors help embody NYFA’s mission to teach the practical, technical and artistic skills necessary for a career in the visual arts.

    Here is a closer look at some of the esteemed faculty of the NYFA 3D Animation & Visual Effects department. Click each image for a detailed, fullscreen look at each faculty member’s achievements!

    You can find more information on the programs offered by the New York Film Academy 3D Animation & Visual Effects department here!

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    July 9, 2019 • 3D Animation, Faculty Highlights • Views: 621

  • A Peek Behind The VFX of “Avengers: Infinity War” with New York Film Academy Alum Francesco Panzieri

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    Francesco Infinity War

    A shot from The Avengers: Infinity War

    Francesco Panzieri is no stranger to big hits, both in television and film. Panzieri’s name has been included in the credits for Spider-Man: Homecoming, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Mad Men, True Detective, Westworld, and many others.

    Still, the New York Film Academy alum’s most recent work on Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War may be the biggest film he has worked on to date. The superhero blockbuster raked in $630 million on its opening weekend, which is the biggest opening of all time.

    The digital effects compositor sat down with us to discuss Avengers, his upcoming projects, and how his time at NYFA helped prepare him for career.

    NYFA: How did your experience on Infinity War compare to the other Marvel films you’ve worked on?
    Francesco Panzieri: On my first Marvel movie, Spider-Man: Homecoming, I was actually working in-house within Marvel Studios, where I was tasked with 2D live-action visual effects. As such, my work scope was compositing actors from green screen onto photographed backgrounds, monitor insert, wire removal, plate re-timing, re-positioning, scale-up and split-screen.

    On Thor: Ragnarok and eventually Avengers: Infinity War, the team at Digital Domain had to deal with some intricate compositing of CG characters onto live-action plates. I came aboard late in the game on Thor, yet I was still lucky to get some cool looking shots, including the composite of a blue-screen take of Chris Hemsworth over a fully-CG environment in the Sakaar chase sequence, where Thor smashes the engine of a spaceship barehanded.

    On Avengers, stakes got higher. Almost every one of our shots in the sequence featured Thanos versus an Avenger; I was very lucky to get him in each of my five shots and by getting to work on one of the trailer shots released to the public two months before the movie came out. Captain America and Thor were the other two characters in my shots, so I also focused on locking down their hands onto Thanos’ gauntlet and head, to make sure that the audience would really perceive that rock solid hold as the Avengers attempt to save half the universe.

    DD had developed a technique to color-grade Thanos in a photo-realistic yet nonhuman way while adding some splash of purple on selected areas of his face and body. We also made a great use of the subsurface scattering render-layer to fine-tune his color and deep ID’s for his stubble and hair. Thanos was fully rendered in VRay with many proprietary skin shaders that DD has been continually refining for years; all the compositing was done in Nuke.

    NYFA: Was it harder to deal with mo-cap and completely CG characters like Thanos, Groot, and Rocket, or easier to incorporate VFX in their scenes?
    Francesco: The photo-realism that Digital Domain was trying to achieve on this feature definitely pushed the CG characters to be the most-challenging part. The team really cared about giving them a perfect fitting in the scene under every point of view. We made sure that black levels matched accurately to the live-action plate and brainstormed every possible interactive light from the environment onto the characters and vice versa.

    Ultimately, during every session of dailies, the supervisors kept asking, “How can we make the shot look spectacular?” or ‘What is this shot missing from looking memorable?” For Thanos, we had some great rigging work done to enhance all the muscle tension from Josh Brolin’s performance onto his digital character to help perceive the struggle during the fight scenes, as well as the weight he is bringing in the game to fight the Avengers.

    All of the Thanos work you see in the movie, with the exception of the sequence on Titan, belongs to the tireless work of the artists at Digital Domain.

    NYFA: How much direction, or conversely, freedom, are you given by the directors when crafting VFX?
    Francesco: It can vary. As previously mentioned, with Marvel, if you’re tasked with something that has already been done in their previous movies, you can rest assured that they will ask you to stay on that same beaten path. Of course, your work might exceed their expectations in terms of presentation and integration, but they really care about keeping the continuity with their previous movies as the MCU is a big shared playground.

    On another note, if you’re being asked to introduce something new to the visual story, you can really push the limit of your creativity and submit different versions for their review, as long as you also keep in mind what your VFX supervisor asks you to do and that your work must look coherent with the storytelling.

    Infinity War Francesco

    A shot from The Avengers: Infinity War

    NYFA: Was it easier creating VFX taking place in NYC and the real world or easier creating them in the totally made-up space fantasy worlds?
    Francesco: It is always easier to work with a photographed plate as a reference for compositing anything over it. Trying to create a fully CG environment without any real photographic reference can really make things unfriendly, unless you know precisely what you’re aiming at and what you want it to look like. The flexibility that comes with it can very well be a double-edged weapon if you’re on a tight deadline, however it also gives you plenty of creative freedom to fully express the storytelling.

    NYFA: How did NYFA prepare you for this particular job?
    Francesco: NYFA trained me to work very hard and for long hours. I was able to grasp a solid knowledge of 2D and 3D during my time there, thanks to a very organic and inclusive approach to the art of filmmaking and storytelling. I was able to develop technical and artistic skills that could help me find a job once I graduated, and I had a fantastic time during my studies.

    NYFA is excited Francesco’s upcoming work following the tremendous success of Avengers: Infinity War. You can learn more about him and his credits on his website.

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    May 17, 2018 • 3D Animation, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 2043

  • The Simpsons Director Mike Polcino Shares Special Master Class at New York Film Academy

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    The New York Film Academy (NYFA) 3D Animation & VFX and Filmmaking students packed the Riverside Theater at NYFA’s Los Angeles campus for a storyboarding master class from veteran The Simpsons director, Mike Polcino.

    The Simpsons just surpassed Gunsmoke to become the longest-running scripted show in television history, and Mike Polcino has been with the Simpsons from the very beginning, directing 31 episodes in addition to episodes from the first season of Family Guy.

    Polcino started his career in animation doing all of the tedious work that goes into a massive production such as The Simpsons, such as animation timing and quality control.

    “Occasionally, we’d get the final animations back and Bart’s eyes would be looking in two different directions,” Polcino reminisced. “You’d be surprised what people miss.”

    His talent was unmistakable and, after a few short years, he moved up to become a director. Since then, Polcino has been a staple at Fox Television Animation, whose office is next door to the New York Film Academy’s Los Angeles campus in Burbank, California.

    Polcino took the students through his process of breaking down an Emmy-winning script to put it on screen. Episode #593, Fland Canyon featured some of The Simpsons most cinematic sequences, such as great sweeping shots of the Grand Canyon. Polcino took the enraptured audience through a visualization process to find the key shots.

    “Part of the fun,” he said, “is coming up with shots that would be impossible without the animation.”

    He then melded the material for both the Animation and Filmmaking students by sharing his process for storyboarding The Simpsons and how it is more directing than animating. The students loved the class, asking for autographs and even taking selfies with the Homer Simpson drawing Polcino left on the whiteboard.

    The New York Film Academy would like to thank Mike Polcino for taking time out of his busy schedule to speak with our students.

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  • Celebrating Craig Caton-Largent’s 1st Anniversary as Chair of 3D Animation & VFX at New York Film Academy Los Angeles

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    Craig Caton-Largent has just marked his first anniversary as Chair of 3D Animation & VFX at the New York Film Academy (NYFA) Los Angeles Campus. Caton is renowned in the film industry for his groundbreaking VFX work on beloved blockbusters including Jurassic Park, Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles, Big Trouble in Little China, Edward Scissorhands,  Apollo 13, Tangled, and more.

    To celebrate Craig’s anniversary, we’re sharing some highlights from his first year as chair of the Animation School at NYFA Los Angeles. Here’s looking forward to another great year!

    Building Community

    At Home

    This year, the NYFA Los Angeles 3D Animation School created an art wall and added a display cabinet to show off student work. The wall was a wonderful encouragement and inspiration for 3D Animation & VFX students as they worked on their showcase projects, creating a great talking point in the community and sharing their work with others. It was a great to share all their hard work with the rest of the NYFA community!

    Numbers

    It’s been a big year at the NYfA Los Angeles Animation School — this year we’ve seen a 283% increase in student enrollment in our 3D Animation & VFX programs!

    On Social

    The NYFA Los Angeles 3D Animation & VFX School also joined Instagram this year! Follow “nyfa_animation_gaming” and join the conversation!

    Alumni News & Credits

    It’s been a great year for our NYFA Los Angeles 3D Animation &VFX alumni! Here are some inspiring stories:

    • BFA grad Jessica Chung is the Winner of the LA Livescore Film Festival for Best Original Score for her animation short, Sushi Man.
    • 1-Year Conservatory grad Alex LoRusso isurrently working as an FX Artist at Scanline. Her 2017 major film credits Include Justice League, Pirates 5, & Alien Covenant. She also recently worked on Suicide Squad and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
    • 1-Year Conservatory grad Soraia Malaquias is working as a 3D Generalist at TNF Visual Effects. Her impressive list of 2017 film credits Include: American Gods and Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
    • 1-Year Conservatory grad Gabriel Fernandez currently works as a Production Assistant at Eight VFX.
    • 1-Year Conservatory alum Ujala Saini is a VFX/Post Production at Electric Theatre Collective.

    Events

    There have been a lot of special events to celebrate this year!

    Monsterpalooza

    Chair Craig Caton’s new animation software Animservo was announced, and NYFA conducted the test phase. The announcement was broadcast live, then received over 20K views in the first hour.

    Siggraph

    SIGGRAPH is the world’s largest, most influential annual conference and exhibition in computer graphics and interactive techniques. Chair Craig Caton gave demonstrations during the course of the convention at the Faceware Technologies booth.

    Motion capture data from Faceware’s Analyzer and Retargeter software was output to an animatronic goblin using Caton’s new animation software, AnimServo.

    Media Lab

    This year also saw NYFA Los Angeles’ launch of the the Media Lab, to create opportunities for students and instructors to collaborate on research projects.

    The first project was testing Chair Craig Caton’s animation software Animservo. With testing successfully completed, Animservo has now be become available at animservo.com.  

    Matt Sheehan has been given directorship of the Media Lab and there is an exciting list of topics coming up … stay tuned!

    Industry Guests

    The New York Film Academy’s Guest Speaker Series saw a number of incredible animation and visual effects artists visit to share their insights with NYFA Los Angeles Animation School students.

    Amy Lawson Smeed, lead character animator of Disney’s Moana, came for a special screening and talk with Chair Craig Caton. That’s not all — NYFA alum Hanna Johansson then had a chance to meet with Amy personally to discuss her reel!

    Amy Lawson Smeed

    Byron Bashforth, character shading lead of Disney’s Coco, revealed more Disney magic in an intimate Q&A with Chair Craig Caton.

    Byron Bashforth answers questions about Disney's Coco at NYFA LA

    Byron Bashforth

    Head of Research and Development of DreamWorks Animation, Jeff Wike, was another honored guest, who treated Animation School students to a remarkable industry insider perspective on the innovation and inspiration behind much of today’s most cutting-edge animation.

    Jeff Wike atNew York Film Academy Los Angeles

    Chair Craig Caton-Largent and Jeff Wikes at NYFA Los Angeles

    Jason Liles, the Lead Actor in Netflix’s DeathNote, gave Animation School students an inside perspective of what it’s like for the actors working on the other side of motion capture technology.

    There are many exciting projects as we move into Chair Craig Caton’s second year of leadership — stay tuned for more. Congratulations, Craig, on a remarkable 1st anniversary!

     

     

     

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  • NYFA 3D Animation Instructor Craig Caton Creates Animservo for Maya

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    New York Film Academy Instructor Craig Caton has created a new plug-in on Autodesk Maya that may revolutionize the way digital puppetry in both independent productions and major motion pictures.

    The new software is called Animservo. It is non-real time facial recognition software that allows a single puppeteer to craft and save a performance before ever arriving on set. The software records a performer using a go pro. Facial recognition software captures the performance, and it is then uploaded into the puppet. With Animservo, the nuances of facial recognition performance by the puppeteer are recorded and then uploaded to Maya. The performance is refined and then downloaded into the puppet.

    Utilizing a GoPro and marker-less facial recognition software, the puppeteer does not even have to be in the same state as the production. A recent test allowed a puppeteer to give a performance in Texas for a puppet in Los Angeles.

    Usually, crafting a performance with a puppet requires quite a few performers. For example, the T-Rex in “Jurassic Park” utilized five union performers: one controlled the eyebrows, another the mouth, a third the neck, and so on.

    Animservo can save productions a ton of money on performers and allows directors to have a picture-ready performance with less rehearsal time. If a director changes his or her mind about the way a performance looks it will take the puppeteer just a few minutes to make adjustments and the puppet will be ready for the next take.

    As great as this invention is both financially and on a time crunch Caton says he has “something even better on the horizon.” In the mean time, Caton will be previewing Animservo at SIGGRAPH, or the Special Interest Group on Computer GRAPHics and Interactive Techniques in Los Angeles.

    In order to get this new plug-in sign up for the training class here. The software comes free with the class.

     

     

     

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  • Lessons From Storyboard Revisionist for DreamWorks Animation

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    This past week New York Film Academy Animation students were given an opportunity to meet with Diana Ling, storyboard revisionist for Hasbro’s Transformers. Ling has worked in advertising, storyboarding commercials and on animation projects including Transformers.

    diana ling

    Ling began her career by drawing ten hours a day. She drew over and over until she could sketch at a lighting pace. “Fast is fifteen to twenty clean sketches a day,” said Ling. “So, I decided to go back to school…to specifically learn how to draw, because I still didn’t know what it is I wanted to do. I built up my drawing chops. You sit there for five hours drawing and then you go home and you draw for another ten hours for each class. It’s a lot of mileage.”

    “I took this storyboarding class because I thought, ‘Well, I know how to draw.’ That means I can probably apply it to a practical skill. I used the portfolio that I had, the work that I had for that class, and decided to try advertising boards.”

    She would get a call asking if she could be at the studio in an hour. She’d meet with the commercial director. They’d talk about the look and story. By the end of the day, Ling produced a series of sketches that made up the entire advertisement.

    “In advertising boards you have to be able to draw relatively realistically,” said Ling. “A lot of it’s photobashing if you want it to be. But, for me, I just did everything hand drawn. You also need to know how to draw cars and environments. Your perspective has to be pretty good. And you have to learn to draw really fast too, because the turn around in advertising is one to two days.”

    542A9878

    “The agent will call you and say, ‘Are you available today at 1:00 PM to come and work at the studio? They need boards for a pitch.’ I would meet with the director, one on one in a coffee shop or a Starbucks. We’d go over the boards and what he wants. I’d do little sketches. It was a really good experience because it introduced me to a lot of different people. It introduced me to what a director’s life is like. Where you just go from job to job. And it introduced me to the advertising world. In the process of doing that I learned to draw, really, really fast.”

    After some time, Ling began to have a crisis. She realized that she wasn’t fulfilled doing promotional work. So, she quit. She took some time to consider what she wanted and decided she wanted to tell stories. This is how she ended up at DreamWorks Animation working on Transformers.

    “In advertising you make a lot of money, but if it’s not fulfilling you artistically then you haven’t really succeeded. So I think my advice would be sit down, go to the beach, relax and think about what it is you want to do. I would write it down. It doesn’t have to be really specific, but if you keep thinking about that thing that’s on the tip of your tongue. If you just keep trying to kneed that dough than it’ll come in to fruition and it’ll be beautiful. And you’ll like it. You won’t be doing things that you don’t like to do.”

    “When I graduated in 2012, I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do, but I knew that I really wanted to draw for a living and so I tried finding work as an artist. I realized that it was really difficult. I was kind of just getting these one to two day jobs for about a year or so. It was like one a month. It was very, very little.”

    diana ling

    Ling continued, “I realized, like some people, all they want to do is draw and enjoy themselves doing that. But I realized that I kind of wanted to create something for myself. I wanted to create a name. In the past year I had been starting to think, ‘What kind of mark do I want to put on the world?’”

    Ling then looked over the students’ reels and sketches. She gave them advice and encouragement in applying themselves in the future:

    “A job is really just a job and as an artist you really need to think a little more entrepreneurially because there’s so many great artists in the world. Anyone can pick up a camera nowadays. Anyone can create a film on YouTube. Anyone can draw. There are lots of people who can draw very, very well. I used to be really worried about beating the competition. But now I’m not worried about that anymore. Your career is not really about beating other people. It’s about fulfilling what you want to do in your own life.”
    “If you want to become a master draftsman than you go do that and then the jobs kind of come. So you’re thinking more like an artist, rather than trying to progress your career. I think it’s more important to focus on your internal growth rather than begging for jobs.”
    “I believe the road to mediocrity is conformity. Trying to do what everyone else is doing and just trying to fit in to what all the people at Disney are doing. Rather, if you want to be successful you have to think about your own voice and be a non-conformist and trust that your voice and your skills will take you in the direction you want to go. You want to get job that you want. You don’t want to get jobs that you’re not interested in. You want people to be like, ‘Oh, Diana Ling she does that kind of stuff. We want that.’ They recognize your work and they associate your name with your work, because it’s not like anyone else’s.”

    New York Film Academy would like to thank Ms. Ling for taking the time to come speak with students. You can find Diana Ling’s work here.

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    August 2, 2016 • 3D Animation • Views: 7714