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  • A Closer Look at NYFA’s Graphic Design Program

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    New York Film Academy’s Graphic Design program utilizes contemporary design thinking within the context of the school’s film program. This unique curriculum offers special focus on areas of design practice relating to communication, narrative structure, storytelling, motion graphics, and the integration of design and film. Emphasis is placed on acquiring design fundamentals, understanding client design briefs, generating ideas, sketching, refining, prototyping, and production. Guided by a world-class faculty of respected and active professional graphic designers, 1-Year students develop a diverse design portfolio, professional fluency in industry standard software, and in-depth knowledge of graphic design.

    Graphic Design Student Work

    Graphic Design Student Work

    The Graphic Design Program at NYFA, located in New York City — the epicenter of all things design — afforded the recently graduated students many opportunities to visit museums, attend lectures, participate in design discussions with world famous graphic designers, and attend design show openings. Students got to see first hand how design studios run, what design work environments are like, and to hear how the vision and design philosophy of the studios is conveyed through the work. A few notable events, museums and lectures include:

    • Studio visit and discussion with Milton Glaser
    • Studio visit and discussion with Mirko Ilic
    • Studio visit and discussion with the Creative Director of Penguin Books, Paul Buckley
    • Design Opening: The Type Directors Club/TCD63/The World’s Best Typography
    • AIGA/American Institute for Graphic Arts/The Hillary for America Design Team
    • Posters and Patriotism and Propaganda by Design/The Museum of the City of New York/Lecture and exhibition
    • Art Deco Walking Tour of Lower Manhattan with NYFA Design Historian Keith Godard
    Type Directors Club Event

    Type Directors Club Event

    Student Success Stories

    Elle Hasanli uses her art as a tool for social justice. The self-proclaimed human rights activist is inspired by abstract patterns in everyday life and uses many of these elements in her design work. The Graphic Design alum has already landed an internship with Mirko Ilić Corp., an internationally recognized designer in NYC. “The mentors at NYFA made sure to provide us with practical skills so that we could enter the world of design,” Hasanli said. “In 8.5 months, I learned how to use InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator and After Effects.” Because these programs are essential skills to get work, Hasanli felt more than equipped to enter the job market and learning them has clearly already paid off for her. She sums up the program as such: “I needed the basic skills and I needed the inspiration. I got both of them. The course promised to be very intensive and it was just what it promised. The program taught me how to communicate my ideas effectively through graphic design.”

    Baskerville Book Couple

    Baskerville Book Couple

    Graphic Design includes numerous feature projects including Motion Graphics: Personal Visual Identity, which involves a personal visual identity that reflects aspects of the student designer (i.e. Kevin Zhang’s love of music and dance). The Design for Interaction: Cross Platform Publication also deals with students’ personal areas of interest. For example, Elle Hasanli chose to focus on the symbiotic relationship between art and fashion, both past and present. Madrid Light City: Poster Competition (pictured below) invited all graphic designers to take part in an open poster exhibition supported by the Business Forum for Madrid, DIMAD, and the Madrid City Council.

    Madrid Light City

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    November 14, 2017 • Academic Programs, Graphic Design • Views: 1037

  • Making Magic at NYFA

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    virtual stage

    Director of Photography Yan Rymsha composes the shot of Sawicki playing the giant.

    The students in my Cine 810 class in visual effects cinematography outdid themselves recently by shooting a mock Solar Power commercial complete with miniatures and size scaled performers. Originally, the plan was to have the concept take place during the day but director of photography student Yan Rymsha suggested that it take place at night with mysterious film noir lighting.

    I loved the idea and modified the script just before the shoot. The principal photography took place on a green screen stage in Hollywood and is an example of a poor man’s virtual set. The miniature and myself (playing the giant) was set up at one end of the stage and was shot with a Red Epic A camera. Colin Meyer, playing the solar panel owner, was shot in the same room simultaneously with a Red Epic B camera, using the same focal length lens as the A camera. This enabled the performances and camera angles to be synchronized very easily.

    To “pre viz” the shots a Panasonic AS50S switcher was used to do a rough video composite between the two cameras to make sure the critical alignment was spot on. The crew also used an Atomos Ninja recorder to record the output of the switcher for editing purposes. The giant coin prop was created by sticking a blow up photo of a coin on a film can and having Colin pick it up off of a C-stand. Animation of the giant’s hand holding the coin was then executed in After Effects to link up with the prop coin that Colin picked up at just the right frame. The shoot took all of a fun filled eight hour day. Post compositing was executed in After Effects and saved in our database of real world exercises. The students and I had a lot of fun shooting the project and we look forward to developing more virtual stage projects here at NYFA Los Angeles.

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    July 25, 2014 • 3D Animation, Cinematography • Views: 3634

  • Space Effects Seminar at NYFA LA

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    Mark Sawicki

    Co-chair NYFA LA Animation, Mark Sawicki

    To celebrate the Oscar winning work of the ground breaking film Gravity, Co-Chair of the Animation Department at NYFA Los Angeles, Mark Sawicki was invited to give a lecture on Space Effects used throughout cinema history. Mark started with a fond look back at a 1950’s Ray Harryhausen picture 20 million Miles to Earth and outlined rear projection methodology. The next exploration were effects techniques used in the classic film 2001: A Space Odyssey that is still an undisputed milestone in space recreation. Made in the 60s, Kubrick’s masterpiece made clever use of sets, wire work, mirrors and miniatures, along with pioneering motion control techniques. From here Mark skipped forward to Apollo 13, where actual weightlessness was filmed, and then on to  From the Earth to the Moon where Mark himself had a roll as Co-Effects Supervisor. Mark outlined how Earth to Moon made use of both miniatures and computer graphics. In conclusion, Mark explained how the amazing effects used in Gravity were based on the tried and true techniques of the past, but executed with current digital precision.

    As a special treat, Mark put the students in the drivers seat on the second day by walking them through the step by step process of how one can take clip art from the Internet and create a realistic animation using the same ideas executed in 2001, except with the ease and access of Photoshop and After Effects.

    A grand time was had by all!

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    April 8, 2014 • 3D Animation • Views: 3477

  • 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: 4993