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3D Animation

Pursuing His Dream

March 11, 2009 March 11, 2009 When I graduated from The University of Massachusetts Amherst, I knew that I needed additional education in Computer Graphics. At that time, Computer Graphic programs were starting to appear throughout the U.S. I did an extensive search and realized that there was a program in Massachusetts that was teaching small, personal classes on the subjects I wanted to specialize in. Upon an orientation and a visit to the school, I learned that the Center for Digital Imaging Arts at Boston University (CDIA) had experienced instructors, cutting edge technology, and knowledgeable courses. In May 2005, I started to attend CDIA. I graduated with a certificate in Digital Animation in January 2006 and was prepared with a demo reel and real world practice. Some of the most important foundation lessons I learned came from CDIA. One of my instructors, Pete Anderson, taught me to pay close attention to artistic detail, and that if I wanted to be employed as a 3D Artist I would have to be willing to listen to critiques, adapt my art, and always remember that it’s not the computer tools, but the artist who makes the true art. After graduating I worked on my demo reel while also building up a 2D portfolio. I constructed my demo reel to appeal to video game art because my true dream was to work as a 3D Environment Artist. I sent out my work to a dozen companies, ranging from video game companies to ad agencies. I slowly heard back from companies and was quickly realizing that I did not have the experience they were looking for. Many of the entry level jobs wanted 1-3 years experience and a shipped title. I kept applying to places, while working on my demo reel and refining my 2D skills. Finally, I received a call from a small company in New Jersey, n-Fusion Interactive. They were working for Midway Games, using Unreal Engine 3 and were making a WWII game, ‘Hour of Victory’, for the Xbox 360 and PC. This was my big break, working on a AAA title as an Environment Artist. I took the job in May 2006 and committed myself to the project. For the next year and a half, I learned as much as I could from the other artists, level designers and programmers around me. After the game released, I moved to Plano, TX to work at Gearbox Software, as an Environment Artist. I worked on Ubisoft’s ‘Brothers in Arms: Hell’s Highway’ for the Xbox 360, PS3, and PC. I specialized in Environment Art, but I also took on any task I could, including weapons, UI art, and creating destructible objects. The game shipped and I wanted to move back to the Boston-area to get closer to my family and friends. Bruce, my career counselor from CDIA, helped me as a valuable connection in this process. He guided me through the interview process and recommended experienced insight. Three years later and two shipped AAA games, I was back in Massachusetts working my dream job as an Environment Artist at 2K Boston. With my education, connections, and dedication to my dream, I was able to move back to Massachusetts.


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