Lecture and Video Presentation to Sheridan College Animation Students
On Wednesday, April 11th, 2012 I had the pleasure of giving a lecture and video presentation to the 1st and 2nd Year Animation Students at the World-Famous Sheridan Animation College, in Oakville, Ontario.
I was right where they were, a first year student 20 years ago. It's hard to believe it's been that long. So, as a Sheridan Alumni, it felt quite surreal to be back... and see how much it has changed.
Sheridan is very high-tech now... as you'd expect. They are all still learning the basics of traditional paper and pencil animation as well, which is important... but they also have over 200 "Cintiq" tablet Screens and Modern Editing Facilities there, which I only could have dreamed of having when I was a student. We were still shooting every frame on traditional film cameras, and viewing our developed film a day or so later on "movieolas", and steinbeck editing tables.
The College Coordinators asked me to give a lecture on my career in mulitple mediums of Animation... with a focus on my work in Flash Animation over the past 11 years. Since I started in traditional Hand-Drawn Feature Films, moved into 3D Graphic Video Games, then Freelance and Flash Animation, I was able to show the students the wide a range of options they have, while also making sure they know they aren't limited to just animation. There are many ways to apply drawing and animation skills, in many different career paths, and it helps to be proactive and create opportunities for yourself.
By using examples in my own career, I showed them how sending one simple email to another professional Animator, turned into some unique work on animated shorts, that were selected to be shown at the biggest computer animation festival and continue on to win awards... which lead to 3 years of working freelance with a studio in Vancouver on some very fun TV shows... which gave me all the animation footage to be hired and continue my career on "Stoked", as part of the core production team, and on 52 episodes of the show.
I walked the students through the process of how some of the complex scenes in the surfing show, "Stoked" were produced. I talked about my part in compositing all the elements, created by myself and other animators, to make effects-heavy storm scenes and realistic surfing footage.
I gave them an overall feeling for what it's like on a TV production, and optimism for the future of Flash Animation Production.
I had a good turnout from the students... considering they were in their last 2 weeks of school and trying to finish all their projects in time. The lecture was very well received... and I covered a lot in an hour. I showed them footage from all the productions I've been proud to work on. Afterwards, we had a Question and Answer period for about 20 minutes.
I've been asked to do this again with the classes in the new school year, and possibly some Flash Work-shops as well. I'm looking forward to it all.
Thanks for reading!