Summer Animation Course with DreamWorks


What summer vacation?  During the summer sessions,  The Viz Lab is full of MS and MFA students participating in an industry-animation-course. Every year, for the past twelve years, the Department of Visualization has collaborated with a leading animation studio to give the students a condensed “real-world” production experience. This year, under the direction of faculty member Ann McNamara and teaching-assistant Jared Wright, students taking the Summer Industry Course (VIZA 627) worked with artists and CG professionals from DreamWorks Animation to produce four animated shorts. Each team of students had to develop a storyline around a simple concept (involving an insect and a research lab) and then produce a thirty-second short. Guest artists and technical-leads from DreamWorks included Jon Shih, Gilbert Zimmerman, Robert O'Neill, Kevin Andrus, Wesley Burian, Brett Miller and Former-Vizzer, Dave Walvoord.  Students covered every aspect of the CG production pipeline including pre-viz, rigging, animation, surfacing, effects, lighting and rendering. Our summer course has always been a great experience for the students and this year was no exception.  Working toward a strict deadline, every team completed their project and then had the honor of their work being showcased at the international computer-graphics conference known as SIGGRAPH.  Most of the students traveled to Los Angeles to present their work at SIGGRAPH and then celebrate a job well done at a reception held at DreamWorks Studios. 

posted August 23, 2012