Wednesday, October 13, 2010

After Effects Camp CS5

After Effects Camp CS5 is a full-day event featuring top industry professionals from the Dallas/Fort Worth area showcasing new features from Adobe After Effects CS5. If you have never used After Effects before or you are an old pro, these sessions are geared to get you up and running and learn a trick or two. There will be plenty of giveaways and lunch. Proceeds from the event go to the Texas Motion Picture Alliance and UT Arlington Student Film & Video Organization.

Sat. October 16, 2010
All-day event from 9am-5:30pm

UT Arlington
Art & Art History Dept - Room FA148
502 South Cooper Street
Arlington, TX 76019

PRICING (Includes Lunch):
$35 Students - $45 Non-Students

1...2...3...GO!!! Getting Started in After Effects!
Invigorate your work using Illustrator and Invigorator in AE CS5
Animating in AE CS5
Efficiency with AE CS5
Getting the most out of Mocha and matchmoves with AE CS5
Creating Advertising That Pops; Steroscopic 3D Workflow in AE CS5

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

You're Invited...

Indie Game Challenge

Have you created a game? Would you like to win $100,000? If you answered YES to both of these questions, then read on...

Don’t miss the chance to win $100,000 and get your game in front of the world’s top publishers by entering the Indie Game Challenge (IGC)!

IGC is a game design competition sponsored by the Academy of Interactive Arts and Science, The Guildhall at SMU and GameStop which supports the independent games movement by providing aspiring developers with the opportunity to showcase their skills, break into the business and take their careers to the next level.

Finalists will receive national exposure and be eligible for additional prize monies by having their pitch videos posted on and GameStop TV for People’s Choice Award voting.

Deadline for entries is Oct. 1, 2010. All games developed or published by a student or independent team are eligible for entry. Games that have previously been entered into, or even won, game competitions are also eligible.

If you have questions or need more information about the competition, please email

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Austin Game Developers Conference

If you are interested in working in the Game Industry, then the Austin Game Developers Conference is a MUST! This the perfect opportunity to network with hundreds of industry professionals and also to get your resume and work seen by the best in the industry.

Austin Game Developers Conference
October 5-8, 2010
Austin Convention Center
Austin, TX

Visit the website for more information.

QuakeCon 2010

QuakeCon 2010
August 12-15, 2010
Hilton Anatole in Dallas

QuakeCon is a FREE convention held yearly in the Dallas area. Thousands of computer gamers from all around the world make the pilgrimage to play with their friends on a giant gaming network, see the latest cool technology, and compete in world-class tournaments. Almost entirely run by volunteers, QuakeCon is a huge party for every sort of computer gamer, from the hobbyist to the hardcore.

Drink & Draw DFW

Drink & Draw DFW

Our goal is to unite professional artists from all over the metroplex to socialize, draw, and unite under the common interest of art.

Artists from all fields are welcome to join us - comic book artists, tatoo artists, concept artists, video artists, graffitti artists, muralists, pop artists, fine artists, fashion artists and others. We do not discriminate.

Next Meeting:
Flyer Saucer in Dallas
Sunday, August 8, 2010

The No. 1 rule in Drink & Draw is to have fun!

The Sketchbook Project

It's like a concert tour but with sketchbooks...

Thousands of sketchbooks will be exhibited at galleries and museums as they make their way on tour across the country (including Austin, TX). After the tour, all sketchbooks will enter into the permanent collection of The Brooklyn Art Library, where they will be barcoded and available for the public to view.

Anyone can be a part of the project. The cost is $25 to participate and receive a sketchbook that will go on tour. Simply visit the website, register, and pick a theme for your sketchbook.

Dates to remember:
Must sign up by October 31, 2010
Completed sketchbook postmarked by January 15, 2011
Tour begins March 2011

The Sketchbook Project is not only something to add to your resume, but it's a great and inexpensive way to get your work viewed by thousands of people!

If enough people are interested, there is a group discount. Please contact Ashley Olvera if you would like to participate: or

Friday, July 2, 2010

Chelsea Edwards Featured on Privateer Press

June 2010 Media Arts & Animation graduate, Chelsea Edwards, was recently featured on In the article, Chelsea describes the process she went through to create her 3D model of Doomshaper. Congratulations Chelsea!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Industry Giants - THIS WEEKEND!

If you want to work in the animation industry, then DO NOT miss the Industry Giants conference! You will learn from the best and network with the best!

Visit the Industry Giants website to get registration information, a full schedule, bios on the speakers, etc.

See you there!

IGDA Webinar July 8th

IGDA (International Game Developers Association) is hosting a Webinar on July 8th about how to get a job and manage your career in the industry.

You must be a member in order to participate. Membership is $48 for the year.

Visit the IGDA website for more information.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Student Animation Festival 2010

In association with ASIFA, the International Animated Film Society, ASIFA-Hollywood’s Animation Educator's Forum (AEF) is hosting its second Student Animation Film Festival. This event provides an opportunity for students who are enrolled in accredited academic programs to be recognized for their work by the Hollywood animation community. Student filmmakers will be judged in the company of their peers, without the pressure of competing against experienced animation veterans. The AEF has designed this event with the objective that participating in a worldwide student animation festival will enhance each entrant’s filmmaking experience and further their ability to transition into the competitive professional entertainment industry.
The festival will showcase the best of student filmmaking across multiple animation disciplines, including but not limited to: traditional, computer generated, stop-motion and motion-graphic animation. For more information visit the Animation Educator's Forum.

CORRECTION: Industry Giants Student Competition 2010

Industry Giants is NOT at Collin County Community College this year. The event will be held at SMU Hughes Trigg Student Center, 3140 Dyer Street, Dallas, TX 75205.
See previous post for details on how to enter.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Extreme Makeover Home Edition - Watch Claymation

Watch last Sunday's Extreme Makeover Home Edition showcasing the claymation done by our Animation faculty and students. (If you don't want to watch the entire show, the claymation clip is shown around the 21 minute mark.)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

AiDallas - Extreme Makeover Home Edition

Tune in Sunday night, May 2nd, as the Ai Dallas student animation project is featured on ABC’s Extreme Makeover Home Edition. The 90-second claymation segment that was produced by faculty and students at Ai Dallas has already starting airing as part of the promo for Sunday nights show that will air at 7pm central on ABC.

Special thanks to David Tart who lead the student team and Chas Naylor and Stephen Steinbach who assisted with the project.

The team is currently working on a documentary around how the segment was produced as a follow-up piece that may air on the ABC website.

Stephen Steinbach


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Industry Giants 2010 Student Competition

I can't believe it's that time again already! Last year, The Art Institute of Dallas was all over the Industry Giants event! We had several student volunteers working the event AND we also had 4 winners in the student competition (more than any other school). Let's make it an even bigger and better representation this year! Click here for more information on the student competition. Deadline to apply is June 1st.

Industry Giants is hosted by A Bunch of Short Guys and held at Collin County Community College, Spring Creek Campus.

Tour of Janimation Studios - May 15th

A Bunch of Short Guys has organized a tour of Janimation Studios on Saturday, May 15th. Go to their website for more information.

Monday, April 19, 2010

10 Job-Search Mistakes of New College Grads
People entering the job market (and all job seekers) should avoid these common errors.
By Charles Purdy

Although this year's college graduates are facing a tough job market (and the smart ones are facing it now, rather than waiting until after graduation), they have an advantage over other job seekers, according to Andy Chan, vice president of career development at Wake Forest University: they are among the age group most likely to be hired in coming months.
"Organizations are very interested in hiring young people because they have a lot of energy and are willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done," Chan says.

But no matter how well-positioned these young people are, they--and all job seekers--will have a better chance of success if they avoid these common job-hunting mistakes of new college grads:

1. Not being proactive enough
Emily Bennington, the author of "Effective Immediately: How to Fit In, Stand Out, and Move Up at Your First Real Job," says, "This isn't the time to sit back and be casual in your approach. Create a hit list of five to ten target companies, and really utilize your network to locate an 'in' at each."

2. Relying solely on the Internet
In a recent Yahoo! HotJobs poll, 57% of respondents said networking was a factor in landing their current or most recent job. Brad Karsh, president of JobBound, says, "When thousands of candidates are applying to the same jobs online and posting their resume to the same job boards, candidates need to stand out by making connections and networking their way into a company." Job boards are an important tool, but Karsh says new grads also need to focus energy on networking.

3. Not creating wide networks
Career expert Liz Ryan agrees: "Use your parents', grandparents', and friends' networks to help you in your post-graduation job search," she says. "Don't be shy--reach out to any long-ago Scoutmaster, choir director, or babysitting or leaf-raking boss. ... There's no statute of limitations on networking."

4. Not creating customized resumes
Ryan says, "Don't send out any resumes that simply list your courses, the degree you've earned, and your part-time and summer jobs--use this opportunity to make a stronger statement about what you want to do with your adult life." And according to Jay Block, the author of "101 Best Ways to Land a Job in Troubled Times," younger job seekers often haven't thought about what they have to offer an employer (as opposed to what they want to get from one). With this mindset, they create resumes that are "boring biographies" instead of effective marketing tools.

5. Misusing the Internet
Tory Johnson, CEO of Women For Hire and the author of "Fired to Hired," says, "New grads don't use LinkedIn--it's not sexy like Facebook or Twitter. But it's the best resource for getting names and building a professional identity. Don't overlook it."

6. Failing to follow up
Johnson says, "It's not enough to send resumes and pray the phone rings." She cautions that job seekers can't expect a resume to be discovered in that "big black online hole." "Hustle to follow up," she says.

7. Setting expectations too high
Johnson says new graduates too often focus on looking for the perfect job, instead of a first job: "Especially in this economy, the first job should be about finding a position where you'll learn a great deal, you'll be super busy, and you'll be surrounded by lots of people."

8. Appearing unprofessional
Make sure you're ready for employers' scrutiny, says Tim McIntyre, president and CEO of The Executive Search Group. That means you should "sanitize your MySpace page--right now. It will be checked," he says. He notes that many college students will need to change off-color voicemail greetings. Ryan adds, "Don't assume that Facebook's privacy settings will keep your youthful antics away from curious eyes. Rid your profile page of any photos of the 'three Bs' (beer, bongs, and bikinis)."

9. Not taking the job interview seriously
Even when you're applying for an unpaid internship, you need to adhere to common standards of professionalism. McIntyre says those standards include demonstrating you've done your research on the company and dressing appropriately. Block adds that new grads are often unprepared for tough (but standard) interview questions, such as "Where do you see yourself in three years?" and "What are your weaknesses?"

10. Not using the college's career office
"A career office can help [students] identify networking contacts, learn important job-search skills, and significantly improve their resume and cover letter," says Wake Forest University's Chan. Ryan agrees, but adds that this is just a first step. The career office's job is to "to prepare you for your job search, not to conduct it for you," she says. "Use LinkedIn, reach out to everyone you can, and begin researching employers who'd be likely targets for your job-search."

Friday, April 9, 2010

Slaves to the Art Club - PRESIDENT NEEDED

It is with regret that I announce the resignation of the Slaves to the Art President, Shawn Jones. Shawn started the club about a year ago and did a great job of leading the group, but has decided that he needs to focus on his studies at this point.

This now leaves that position open. If anyone is interested in leading the club, please email Amy Young at . You must be in good academic, financial, and disciplinary standing with the school.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Career Services Week: April 19 - April 22

Career Services Week:

re·su·mé lab
Develop a great account of your educational and employment history!
Monday, April 19 Noon to 1:00pm Room 320

Job-a-palooza job fair
Find a job to pay the bills or Join a student organization!
Tuesday, April 20 11:00am to 1:00pm 8th floor

Learn to build and use a professional network within your field!
Wednesday, April 21 Noon to 1:00pm Room216

free·lance 101
Start your freelance career the right way!
Thursday, April 22 Noon to 1:00pm Room 216

*Light snacks provided*

Slaves to the Art - Spring Quarter


Mark your calendar! Spring quarter meetings begin Friday, April 16th!

Meetings will be held once a week, every Friday, from 12pm-1pm, in room 213.

Plans for this quarter include a trip to the Dallas Zoo, visiting a studio or having an industry professional visit the meeting, plus much more!

Everyone is welcome! See you there!

Questions? Contact Amy Young at .

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

QuakeCon 2010: Save the Date

WHAT: QuakeCon® is a free convention held yearly in Dallas, Texas brought to you by id Software, Bethesda Softworks and their parent company ZeniMax Media Inc. Thousands of gamers gather in one location to play with their friends on a giant gaming network, see the latest in cool technology, hear about upcoming games and compete in world-class tournaments.

WHO: You. The event is FREE to all attendees thanks to the support of id and Bethesda as well as the QuakeCon volunteer staff and the 2010 event sponsors and exhibitors.

WHEN: August 12-15, 2010

WHERE: Hilton Anatole Hotel - Dallas, Texas

WHY: Play in world-class tournaments, meet and interact with game developers, be the first to learn new information about upcoming computer and videogames and have the opportunity to frag with friends on QuakeCon's massive Bring Your Own Computer network.

More details about QuakeCon 2010 will be revealed in the next few weeks. We hope you can join us!

Interested in volunteering?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

In His Own Words: Trent Armstrong, After Effects Guru

Trent Armstrong, Founder of the Dallas After Effects User Group, was kind enough to answer some questions about the industry and provide some valuable advice to young artists. Here is what Trent had to say...

Tell us about your career:
In 1994 (shortly after graduating college), I became Media Director at First Baptist Church, Tuscaloosa, AL while in school at The University of Alabama. I also did video for the football team as an undergraduate. I got my feet wet with Lightwave 3D back then and began to learn the craft of video editing.

I worked as a video producer and graphics designer in New Orleans doing legal video. It wasn't glamorous but I learned a lot about gear and got my first experience with non-linear editing.

After moving to Dallas in 1997 I started working in After Effects and found it hard to stop. After a few years into my job at BlueFishTV, I began creating video series graphics packages and DVD menus.

I'm now employed at Igniter Media and am still doing the things I love: directing, shooting, editing, and motion graphics.

In 2008, I founded the Dallas After Effects User Group

Given your expertise with After Effects, what advice can you give to students and graduates about understanding and using this program?
Experiment! Go down the list of effects and play with the controls. Start combining them and see what happens. If you only rely on what you already know, you won't grow.

And get involved with a community! That community could be your fellow students or a few people you admire in the business, but you need to have someone else to bounce ideas back and forth and show off your stuff. The Dallas After Effects User Group is a great place for that. I have been using AE for over 10 years and still am able to learn new techniques from our group members.

Finally, ask for honest criticism and don't be afraid of getting it.

What is a reasonable expectation of a career path for a newly graduated Media Arts & Animation student?
It's not typical to get the exact job you want right out of school. It does happen, but not often. Be willing to take a job that can grow with you. Then take that job seriously and blow people away with what you create. Be willing to learn new things like shooting and editing to make yourself more marketable.

What challenges have you seen in the industry in the past 2 years?
The industry seems to be saturated lately so it's difficult to get the exact position you would like.

What are some of the biggest mistakes you see young artists make?
With the explosion of great video tutorials by Video Copilot and Grayscale Gorilla, a lot of demo reels are starting to look the same. Artists are taking the tutorials and just changing text or colors instead of learning new techniques and making the effect "their own". Being inspired by someone else's work is part of being an artist. However, using someone's work with a few tweaks and calling it your own is not honest or creative.

What is your best advice for students pursuing their Media Arts & Animation degree?
Find a mentor. Connect with someone you admire and learn from them. Then use your skills to become a mentor for someone else. Part of being a mentor could involve creating your own tutorials.

What project are you most proud of and why?
I love what I do so it's hard to pick one project. If I had to settle on just one, it would be SMART created for Igniter Media. I combined a number of simple and complex techniques in After Effects including 3D rendered elements, advanced masking, and expressions.

Visit Trent's online tutorials:

Dallas After Effects User Group:

Contact Trent:

Monday, February 22, 2010

Slaves to the Art - Bring a Friend!

If you attend the next Slaves to the Art meeting on Friday, Feb. 26th and bring a friend, you will automatically be entered into a drawing for a fabulous prize (courtesy of Career Services)!

The more friends you bring, the more times you are entered into the drawing. Your friend will also be entered into the drawing. Increase your chances by bringing several of your friends. (Friends must be in the Media Arts & Animation program.)
See you there!

What: Slaves to the Art - Media Arts & Animation Club
When: Friday, Feb. 26th
Time: 12pm-1pm
Where: Rm 211

Have you heard about MeetUp?

It is a great online resource to find groups, organizations, happy hours, etc. with people in your industry! MeetUp today!

Disney Internships

Disney Professional Internships: Apply Now!

We wanted to make you aware of some exciting news! The recruiting season has officially begun for Disney Professional Internships and you can start applying for internships in which you are interested today!

Disney Professional Internships are available at the Walt Disney World® Resort, Disneyland® Resort and Walt Disney Imagineering. Each of these unique areas of our global company offers students the ability to apply classroom learnings while networking with Disney professionals, gaining valuable experience from a Fortune™ 100 Company and having fun!
Internships are offered in a wide range of areas, including but not limited to:

Disney's Animal Programs
Art and Graphics
Human Resources
Information Technology
Labor Operations
Operations/Guest Relations
Sales and Marketing

Visit for more information and to apply!

Disney Professional Recruiting:

Friday, February 19, 2010

Dallas After Effects User Group

Interested in learning more about After Effects? The Dallas After Effects User Group is the place to be!

The group is open to all skill levels - beginners all the way up to advanced users. Meetings are held every 4th Thursday of the month.

There are many great reasons to get involved, but 2 of the best reasons are: IT'S FREE and there are GIVEAWAYS at every meeting!

A Bunch of Short Guys Meeting

What: A Bunch of Short Guys Meeting
Topic: Terminal Reality and the Making of Ghostbusters The Video Game
When: Saturday February 20th, 2010
Where: Collin County College room c104
Time: 10 AM till noon

Meet the artists that helped to create the video game, including AiDallas graduate, Thomas Gonzalez.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Chris Belcher - Intern at Nickelodeon

Chris Belcher, MAA June 2009 graduate, talks about how he got his new job as a Production Assistant Intern on "Penguins of Madagascar" for Nickelodeon. He also talks about his future goals and offers advice to graduates and students about pursuing a career in Media Arts & Animation.

Your Name: Chris Belcher
Job Title: Production Assistant Intern on "Penguins of Madagascar"
Employer: Nickelodeon Animation Studio

What was the application and interview process like at Nickelodeon?
I applied for the internship online. A couple of days later, I received a call from Nickelodeon's Human Resources department. I did a brief interview with H.R. over the phone, then he told me he would send my resume and portfolio to one of the animation departments for review. The next day I received a call from Vladimir, the Sr. Production Coordinator on Penguins of Madagascar. We set up a date and time for my phone interview which he and two other crew members were part of. A couple of days after the interview, I received a call from Vladimir telling me that I had been selected to intern on the Penguins crew. I jumped at the chance to go to Burbank, CA to work at the studio. What makes the icing on the cake is that Nickelodeon's internship program hasrecently been awarded one of the top 10 internships in the country. Once in California, I started at Nickelodeon and have loved my experience.

What does a day-in-the-life look like at Nickelodeon?
Very busy. Nickelodeon gives it's employees and artists the best. There is breakfast provided, and a wide range of amenities, including: a basketball court, ping pong tables, foosball, and the studio offers other activities to relieve the stress from the job. They provide interns with a class every week, taught by artists in the studio. Interns are from all over the country and from many art schools, so networking is a must. As an intern, I do not have the work load that full time positions have, but I am expected to finish any work I receive in a timely matter. Nickelodeon is a television studio, and deadlines are extremely important, so every person on the crew is expected to give 110%.

What are your favorite job duties?
One of the most important jobs I have been given, so far, is I receive a stack of storyboards and have to rename them into correct scene # and sequence #. There can be hundreds of storyboard panels, and each one has to be organized and numbered correctly to be shipped overseas, or to go to the next department. We also have an organized system of jpegs for all of the props and character models that are in the series. We go through these, placing key words for each model, so if needed, they can be pulled up quickly. Mostly, the job is day to day. Something I did today is not necessarily what I will do tomorrow, so learning and accepting challenges is part of the job.

What are the most difficult aspects of your job?
One of the more difficult jobs is creating DVD animatic presentations, that are not only viewed by directing animators at Nickelodeon, but also viewed by Dreamworks Animation Chairman, Jeffery Katzenberg. Penguins of Madagascar is a partnership between Nickelodeon and Dreamworks. These animatic presentations are created for storyboards, layout and blocking animation, and for final animation. We have a certain DVD menu that is used, parameters that are used, and even a certain way that every DVD is labeled. We check each presentation very carefully and make multiple copies. This ensures that, when in meetings, there are no mistakes or costly time taking issues.

What are your future goals?
My future goal is to be an animator for a major studio. Being here at Nickelodeon is giving me the opportunity of networking with artists, animators, producers, and other important people in the animation industry. Being in Burbank also gives me the opportunity of networking with other studios such as Dreamworks, Disney Animation Studios,and Warner Bros. There are many other animation companies that reside here, and many other opportunities, other than animation, in the entertainment industry. With any luck, perhaps too I will have the opportunity of working, as an animator, in a major animation studio.

What is your advice to other new grads and students pursuing careers in Animation?
Work extremely hard, and never give up. For recent grads, apply everywhere and for every position that you are qualified for. For current students, listen to the faculty and ask them as many questions as you can. They have great experience, and they all know what they are talking about. Animation is about networking, and you want to start in school. Work as a member of a team, NOT an individual. There is not one studio where you do not work as part of a team. Learn everything you can about the animation pipeline. Concentrate on one area and specialize in it, but be a hybrid. Be able to do other jobs. You may want to be an animator, but so does everyone else in the studio. Jobs are scarce, so if you can get in as a storyboard artist, modeler, or texture artist, then you got your foot in the door. If and when a position does open up where you want to work, then you can apply and test for that position. If you want to be an artist in the industry, draw, draw, and draw more. These studios don't necessarily care how many software applications you know, though it does help. They want to see that you know how to design, and that you can do the job efficently. Never fall in love with your work. It can always be better. Every part of an animated production goes through numerous changes, so get used to it. It will receive notes and will be changed over and over again. When it works, it works great. Animation is tedious work, but the magic that it creates puts the biggest smile on your face, and you realize that all the hard work was worth it.

What Nickelodeon character can you most identify with and why?
Good question. There are many great characters that Nick has created over the years, but I will go with one from "Penguins", Maurice the Lemur. He is not in charge, but is loyal, hardworking, and believes in his cause. He is also short and rounded, like me. LOL.

Game Developers Conference - Discount Code

The Art Institutes International has negotiated with the Game Developers Conference to offer Expo Passes to our students for $100 each. These passes are normally $250 each. This allows access to the floor for all conference days. There are currently 50 passes available, if they run out there is a possibility of more, but there are no guarantees. You MUST have a valid student ID. This offer expires on 3/3/10.

Register online and enter the Promo Code: G10AIEXPO

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Game Developers Conference

The #1 way to get a job in the industry is through networking!

It's not too late to be put on the waiting list as a volunteer for the Game Developers Conference on March 9-13 in San Francisco. If you are accepted as a volunteer, you will receive a free 'all access' pass and reduced hotel costs.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

SIGGRAPH Student Volunteers Needed

Interested in attending SIGGRAPH, but don't have the money? Volunteer to work the event and have access to the entire conference for free! You may even qualify for travel assistance. APPLY NOW! Application deadline is February 15, 2010.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Slaves to the Art Meetings

Below is the schedule for the Winter quarter Slaves to the Art Meetings (all are Friday meetings):

Feb. 5th
Room 211
BYOL (bring your own lunch)
Topic: Forum etiquette and communicating with technology

Feb. 19th
Room 205
Meet & Greet
Director of Media Arts & Animation, Stephen Steinbach will speak
Food provided

Feb. 26th
Room 211
Topic: TBA (to be announced)

March 5th
Room 211
Topic: TBA

March 12th
Room 211
Topic: TBA

March 19th
Room 211
Topic: TBA

March 26th
Room 211
Topic: TBA

Click here to become a fan on Facebook!

Questions? Contact Shawn Jones at or Amy Young at .

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

G.I.R.L. Game Design Competition Scholarship Program

Applications are now being accepted for the 2010 G.I.R.L. (Gamers In Real Life) Scholarship to help educate and recruit more women into the field of video game production and design. Sponsored by Sony Online Entertainment LLC (SOE), a global leader in online gaming, and administered by Scholarship America®, a leading non-profit educational support program. Applications and official rules are available at .

One winner will be selected to receive:
A $10,000 scholarship award to be applied toward tuition, room and board and other education-related expenses at the postsecondary school at which the winner is enrolled; and

An internship of up to ten (10) weeks at SOE's headquarters in San Diego, California or at one of SOE's studio locations (located in Austin, Seattle, or Denver.) Location of internship to be decided by SOE.

Applications must be submitted electronically by February 15, 2010.
Only the first 3,000 applications will be considered.

Monday, January 25, 2010


Come out to La Duni at North Park Mall for GeekMeet and enjoy another great networking event with professionals in the technology industry.

January 28th Happy Hour information:

La Duni is providing several drink specials - $5 mojitos and margaritas, $3 import beer and $5 house wine selections. We will also have a few munchies available. See you there!

Date: Thursday, January 28, 2010
Time: 6pm-9pm
Address:La Duni, North Park Mall, Dallas, TX
Cost: $10 cash per person at the door

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Rhythm & Hues Recruitment Presentation

Notes from Rhythm and Hues Recruitment Presentation in Denver (12.4.09)
with Barbara McCullough – Recruiter for R&H
(Notes by: Keleigh Asbury, Career Services Advisor, AiColorado – Denver)

One of the big things that Barbara emphasized was that the Animation/VFX industry “is” freelance. When you work for R&H or any of the other studios (Sony, DreamWorks, Digital Domain, Double Negative) you are working “for” the industry at large. In fact, your performance at any one of these studios can determine whether you get hired on by any of the others.

22 years ago John Hues started Rhythm and Hues.

They have an office in Los Angeles (USA), Mumbai/Hyberdad (India), Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia);
LA office only hires for the LA office and so on…

The studios expand and contract based on project needs. Recruiting is a little different for the Asian offices as the stronger mix of talent is in the US, so training issues are always important. Eventually, those artists will be as good (it’s required of the studio) as the talent in the US.

R&H is know for its 3d character animation and VFX – talking animals especially and blending live action characters into a 3d environment. But they also do print, design and web work for clients and projects.

Past projects that were shown in the demo reel at the presentation: The Hulk, The Golden Compass, Happy Feet, Alvin and the Chipmunks, The Chronicles of Narnia, Superman Returns, A Night at the Museum, The Fast and the Furious, The Mummy, Garfield.

Upcoming projects they mentioned: The A-Team, Cabin in the Woods, Little Fockers, Marmaduke, Percy Jackson and the Olympiacs.
Depending on the volume of work in a project, there is usually one main studio that works on a major project/film and then there are other studios hired as well based on their specialty.

R&H received an Oscar for VFX achievement for “The Golden Compass” in 2008. It had 64 CG characters created for the film. In 1995, they won for “Babe”.

Directors and producers usually come to R&H to hire them to do the CGI for their films and TV commercials. Only sometimes does R&H actually get handed a script or even a storyboard for a project. (R&H doesn’t create the project), often the client does not know what it wants. Project is established through discussions with the VFX supervisor/digital supervisor, and department representatives from modeling, animation, effects, compositing, and production management.

Mentioned hiring disciplines at R&H (not limited to):
- Art and Design – concept, character design, matte painting (concept and character design are NEVER junior positions)
- Animation – match movers/trackers, character rigging, technical animation
- Modeling, Texturing, Lighting, Effects
- Technical Support
- Production Personnel – (not artistic), production assistants - mostly junior level

Software Used at R&H: Mostly proprietary, Maya, ZBrush, Photoshop, Bodypaint 3d, and Houdini

Education: Usually 2-4 weeks are dedicated to getting the new hire up to speed on software and pipeline work. You don’t have to have a B.A., but the most successful hires at the studio have a degree. Ongoing training is provided as needed. There is a “wiki”-based learning environment at R&H. It allows all employees and the studio to contribute to the knowledge pool.

What does R&H look for in their applicants?
- People skills!! – If you’ve had a customer service job, they want to know about it. They want to know that you can work with people. It’s absolutely a team-oriented environment in the studio. Must be able to get along with people.
- Critical thinkers, problem solvers, trouble shooters, good communication skills
- Able to work independently and in teams
- Able to deal with deadlines – this is a business!!
- Honesty, integrity, respect for others and the work environment
- Ability to embrace the concept of life-long learning
- Bachelors or masters degree preferred, or significant amount of professional experience
- Highly specialized demo reel or focus due to the volume of work (R&H wants to know what your passion is?
- The ability to cross-train, but not necessarily

Barbara mentioned that it is important to “mold your own career”. Take responsibility of your finances and career goals. The ability to make it as a freelancer is crucial.

Hiring season? Coincides with summer release dates and/or holidays.

Animation/VFX industry is 2/3 Freelance. R&H will try to roll you over to another project but it not guaranteed. Most contracts are for 6 months. The recruiting department at R&H stays in contact with other company departments to let them know when projects are over and there may be a flood of people in the market for a job. (There is actually a very small pool of the same people doing the work.) Often they offer offsite recruiting events for each studio. VFX industry is largely composed of project hours.

It’s important to know as an artist that the person sitting next to you at your current job may be a resource for your next job.

How to apply to Rhythm & Hues:
- Cover letter – state what you want to do
- Resume – indicate if you have worked with the public (good people skills)
- Demo reel with shot break down and what software was used
- Mail everything to them (no emails or online portfolios) and sent in a nice package.

How do they decide?
- Hires are decided by a panel of managers, not recruiting department
- If you don’t hear from them, your skills are not what they are looking for right now

Hints for job hunting:
- Your first job may not be at a big studio – maybe a boutique studio instead.
- Social networking resources are very important: VFX World, CG Talk, Linked In, Creative Heads, AWN
- Attend industry events: Siggraph, software demos
- Think about continuing education to develop your skills and make yourself more competitive
- Think about other positions and other markets or companies

Rhythm & Hues Apprentice Program:
- They have had very good results with this program. It gives them the ability to groom the industry for the people that they need.
- You have to finish school – they won’t pick you up if you drop out
- Concentrations: Animation, texture painting, tacking, effects. They don’t always know when they will have them.
- Recruiting department has an “academic friends list”. They let the industry know when they have students graduating for employment opportunities.
- They will pay for relocation to California.
- Work completed during the apprenticeship cannot go on your demo reel until the project is released. 98% of the apprentices get hired on a contract. This enables you to work internationally.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Mark Your Calendar! Job Fair on January 26th


Attention March 2010 Graduates!

Are Video Game Jobs on the Rise?

According to one article, they are! Game jobs are on the rise due to mainstream demand. Michael Gallagher, CEO for the ESA (Entertainment Software Association) says "The U.S. is the No. 1 video game market in the world, so here at home we have a very strong market for employment in video games." Read article.