Monthly Archives: March 2014

Artist Adventures – Olivia Huynh

Getting started as an artist can be a big adventure. Learn how to be ready for emergencies big and small.

Direction/Animation: Olivia HUYNH
Produced by: CERF+ ( , )
Funding from: Joan Mitchell Foundation, Nathan Cummings Foundation, Windgate Charitable Foundation


These past few weeks, I am sure some of you may have noticed that the animation department has been getting quite a few frequent visits from one of our favorite alumni, Olivia Huynh (BFA Animation ’13). She had been working on this short for the last few months and as her part of her process, she came in to ask students in Max Porter’s Production class and also came into our AMP meetings to ask AMP mentors for feedback and critique. And in return we learned a lot about freelance life after MICA and the current industry. We also got some amazing crits on our current work.


It’s a great animation for a great cause.  Congrats Olivia on another successful project!

Pass it along and be sure to check out CERF+.

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Henning Sanden – Modeling Demo Reel


Henning Sanden created a really nice 3D modeling demo reel.  So what’s neat about it?

1) He labels all his projects in the lower left hand corner.

2) Model turntables. He does full 360 rotations of his models.

3) Lighting. He uses really nice area lights (or something similar) that is diffused like a soft box, so its wide enough that it isn’t too harsh or pinpointed and at the same time, it allows me to see what kind of specularity/reflection/refraction/incandescence he has on his textures. Pretty much, they not only show of his modeling skills, but also his texturing skills. For the models where he is just showing off his modeling skills, he uses a red light on one side of it. This really adds some depth and dimension.

4) Wireframes. Occasionally, he will show off his wireframe, which is really neat to see because its so clean.

5) He varies things up. Based on each project, things change. He picks and chooses which project to show off the model, wireframe, finished renders, textures, etc. He’s also selective about what he says for each project. Most projects, he just wrote the name of the project, but for the last project, he mentioned his process, which is really important just for that one project.

6) The description. Instead of putting all the information right there  in the demo reel, he chose to leave some of it for the description, which reads:

“This is my modeling reel for 2014.

Primary tools – modo and Maya
Sculpting – ZBrush
Texturing – Mari
Rendering -Vray and modo
Photoscanning – Agisoft Photoscan
Compositing – Nuke
You can see more of my work on my website –”

What’s great about that is that when I watch his demo reel, I can just enjoy it without having to worry so much about reading all the text in time before it changes to the next clip.


Anyways, check out Henning Sanden’s work. It is seriously some amazing stuff. Website is .

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10 Minute Talks: Cinema 4D (Wed. @ 2:30pm. BR205)


Wednesday at 2:30 PM

Brown 205

Really cute stop motion

Short stop motion created by Patrick Boivin.For something like this, most people take a CG route, it was really cool to see someone go in a different direction using stop motion and physical puppeteering.

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The Animation behind Oscar-noimated feature – Ernest and Celestine

Ernest & Celestine’s director Benjamin Renner gives a look into the computer animation techniques he used to give his Oscar-nominated feature its hand-drawn, minimalist aesthetic. Find out how drawing tablets, watercolor effects and Flash software brought the pages of Gabriel Vincent’s celebrated children’s picture book to life.

Opening March 14th in NYC and LA, followed by nationwide release.

Read more:

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A Spring Break Challenge


Character Artist at Blizzard Entertainment, Tyson Murphy, did a neat little exercise where he took a scene from a movie and painted over it and he ended up with a really awesome result. Give it a shot.




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Leviathan – Intern


Located in Chicago.


If you’re in school about to graduate but feel you have what it takes to start working now, let’s put that theory to the test:  apply to be an intern at Leviathan. We’re looking for top-notch designers, animators, programmers and even producers to help us out in an apprentice capacity. So if you’re handy with the Adobe Suite or an Arduino board, or whether you animate characters or composite them, send us your portfolio and when you’re looking to hook up…maybe you’re one of us.

Current students or recent graduates only:

  • Versatile designers and animators:  illustration, type, graphic design, motion graphics, characters
  • Versatile 3D artists:  modelers, animators, lighters (Maya preferred, Cinema 4D considered)
  • Versatile compositors:  handy with Nuke and After Effects
  • Creative Engineers:  feel comfy with Touch Designer, C++, OpenGL, Maya scripting, Arduino boards
  • Producer assistants:  well-written, well-spoken, organized folks who have experience with production & post-production



Screen Novelties – Internship Stop Motion

Screen Novelties was formed in 2003 by Mark Caballero, Seamus Walsh, and Christopher Finnegan with the goal of bringing the whimsy and dynamism of classic cartoons into the realm of stop motion animation. We have a studio in Los Angeles full of fabric, feathers, foam, and glitter. Screen Novelties is also home to a talented circle of freelance animators, sculptors, designers, photographers, and digital artists.

Past and current clients include Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, Disney, Nike, Hallmark, FOX, and Paramount.


Thanks for taking an interest in Screen Novelties! We occasionally have job openings and internships. Frequent needs include Stop-motion Animators, After Effects Artists, and Puppet and Set Fabricators. If you would like to apply please email the following to:

  • Brief introduction describing your interests and goals. What are your influences? Why are you drawn to our studio?
  • Resume/CV detailing education, work experience, and specific skills.
  • Work Samples such as: demo reel; short films; works in progress; sketches and illustrations; photos of dimensional work. In the case of collaborative work, please describe your contribution. Your submissions don’t have to be slick or polished—rough work is OK.

Digital files and web links are preferred to hard copies.

We try to respond to everyone, but don’t always have time. If you wish to follow-up on a submission, email is preferred to phone calls. Because our needs change from month to month, applicants are invited to periodically submit updated resumes and materials.


Interesting Character Demo Reel – Stefan Mayr


I came across this demo reel a few months ago and thought it was really interesting how he created his demo reel. It was put together pretty well and here are just a few things that he does really well:

1) He shows what programs he uses in a very simple way. By adding the icons to the side whenever he presents a new project.
Really simple and nicely done and also not distracting. Its not like 5 different colors or anything, just simple and clean.

2) He started with his strongest work. I loved that character in the beginning and immediately wanted to watch the rest of it.

3) He put his name and contact info in the beginning. Well most people do it right from the start, but he chose to show a clip from his work first, get the audience’s interest, and then put his contact info. Interesting move and in this case it worked well.

4) Character Rotations. Those character rotations are just beautiful. Steady and clean, well lit, and doesn’t have a distracting background. And he also shows off the wireframe.

5) The framing. From 1:20 – 1:30 , I cannot stress enough how smart it was to frame it like that. It lets us see the whole character and just focus on that, and then slowly brings in the rest of the character from head to toe really large.

6) Shot Breakdown. 1:30 – 1:50, a really nice shot breakdown where we can see the final scene, the wireframe, etc.

7) Overlaying Rigs. 1:52 – 2:00, he overlaid the rig on top of the character, fading it in and out, so we can actually see how well it was done.


Of course all of these things are not required in a demo reel. You don’t need to show shot breakdowns or do character rotations, or list all the programs you use. It all varies with the kind of work you do, what/who you are making the demo reel for, and what you want to show off. But if you want to present yourself as a character animator/modeler, this is a nice demo reel to inspire you.


Reel FX Internships

Main Website:

More info on internship:


The Reel FX Apprenticeship Program, known as Reel FX University (RFXU),
offers selected participants the chance of a lifetime:
the opportunity to gain insight and real-world experience in their chosen career paths by working hands-on for a respected, award-winning studio. Reel FX University’s Apprenticeship Programs are six-month long, paid Apprenticeships that are available twice each year (summer/winter).
•Summer/Winter term Apprenticeships are full-time commitments (40 hours per week) for six months working on-site at either Reel FX Santa Monica or Reel FX Dallas.
•While this is a paid Apprenticeship, RFXU Apprentices are responsible for their own housing and transportation.
•Apprentices are provided with access to the facility and are given a login, workspace, and email account. Apprentices will be provided with a computer workstation and access to all applicable production tools and software.
•Each Apprentice experiences real-time, hands-on opportunities to interact with ReelFX creative and production professionals across all levels and disciplines within the company.
•Apprentices get a first-hand experience of the production pipeline and the processes of digital animation and effects for live-action and CG features, commercials, special attractions and interactive work.
•Reel FX matches the skills and interests of the Apprentice with the best-suited activities in the studio, structuring an appropriate Apprenticeship for each individual.
•Every effort will be made to answer questions from our Apprentices and to help them pursue their goals. With the understanding that we are in production, Reel FX is eager to maximize the RFXU Apprenticeship experience.
Q:Are these paid Apprenticeships?
Q:In what areas does RFXU offer Apprenticeships?
A:RFXU offers Apprenticeships in all areas of the creative process, depending on
the needs of our project teams, as well as Apprenticeships in other important
areas of the studio, including Information Technology, Operations and
Production Management.
Q:What are the qualifications needed in order to be considered for an RFXU
-A major in computer animation, digital arts, fine arts, computer science or
related field.
-Proof of eligibility to work in the United States.
-A passion for creativity, hard work and making a di
We do not provide internship opportunities for high school students.
Q: How many Apprentices do you accept every year?
A: The number varies. It is based on the number of projects in-house at the beginning of each Apprenticeship program and the need for artists
each project demands. On average, Reel FX brings in ten Apprentices for the fall and summer programs, totaling approximately 20 Apprentices each year.
Q: Do you provide housing or transportation for Apprentices?
A: No, you’ll need to find a place to live and to secure transportation to/from the studio while you are working at Reel FX.
Q: If I do a great job as an Apprentice, does that mean you will offer me a job when the program is over?
A: While we would like to hire all of our outstanding RFXU Apprentices, we are not always able to do so. With that said, a number of our past Apprentices have joined Reel FX as either run-of-project freelancers or as permanent staff hires.

The Making of: Mighty Antlers

If you are a huge fan of Backwater Gospel (and I am sure all of you are), then you are going to love Mighty Antlers. This 3D animation made to look 2D is absolutely amazing.

Just take a look and check out the making of video as well. The making video features storyboards, animatics, character design, layer order, etc. It’s really neat to just take a look at.

Animation Department – Open Forum on March 12 2:30pm BR 205 !!!

On March 12, 2:30 PM in Brown 205, AMP will be hosting an OPEN FORUM. If you have concerns, suggestions, or questions, stop by and speak up!! Or just stop by to listen and learn more about the department.

Mentors from AMP and SVA Reps will be there to hear you out!!

If you can’t make it but would like to have some questions answered or make a suggestion or comment, fill out a form in the FORMS tab above or talk/email any of your SVA Reps, Clara Hickman, Juliana Chen, Paulene Phouybanhdyt, Bhakti Patel, sLuke Martin, and Drew Shields.



TENDRIL – Toronto, CA

Tendril is a studio where directors, designers, and artists from diverse backgrounds create powerful visual storytelling experiences, employing a wide range of styles and techniques. We devour film, art, and design at a frightening rate. We ask questions, listen, sketch, and create. We dare to be naive and see every new client and brief as an opportunity to create our best work. We are full of ideas and untold stories. We are passionate and precise. Our vision is to rediscover the everyday through the filter of our imaginations. To inspire and be inspired.


Tendril is always excited to welcome new interns who are keen on learning and putting their skills to use.
All interns have the opportunity to work closely with and shadow our creative team and producers on a regular basis. They learn to work with the information, materials, and programmes that are vital to our animation and design process.
Our ideal candidates have a strong interest in animation/design/art/illustration, a flourishing portfolio, a keen eye for detail and an enthusiasm to learn.
We can work with the schedule of the selected applicant, but ideally you interns are available at least 2 full days a week, for at least 2 months.


Brand New School (BNS) – Internship in LA and NYC

bns. is the award-winning design and animation division of Brand New School. Our talents span the creative spectrum from design, motion graphics, and visual identity design to CG animation and visual effects.

We believe in the power of design and visual thinking fused with a highly collaborative creative process. Our staff is an ambitious group of creative directors, designers, animators, art directors, and visual effects artists; passionate about creating new visual languages and solving complex problems.

Brand New School is a creative community devoted to creating new forms of visual communication. Our company has produced award-winning commercials, integrated digital campaigns, interactive installations, web and mobile applications, games, art installations, brand identities and print communications.

Brand New School consists of three interconnected divisions; bns.(design & animation), bns.labs (interactive media), and bns.films (film/content production). This multidisciplinary alchemy enables us to create thoughtful solutions for clients across platforms and without boundaries.

Our process prizes collaboration, research, experimentation, failure, discovery, and laughter. We’ve been practicing these principles from our studios in New York and Los Angeles since 2000.

We are always looking for tomorrow’s brightest minds in all shapes, sizes and stages of development. If you think you have something to contribute and aren’t afraid of failure, please email us at


Hurry up, download this special test and fill it out as fast as you can. Then wait. Well suited practice for a future in advertising.APPLY NOW


Q&A Session with Kit Ho and Jeff Turley of Disney

Q&A Session with Kit Ho and Jeff Turley

If you missed the Q&A session on Friday, no worries. Juliana Chen was kind enough to take a few notes.

Check it out:

On making connections:

Kit made her connections that landed her first gig by going and meeting the same representative at Siggraph for 3 years. He remembered her, and when he remembered she was graduating, he sent her an offer. (not immediately after Kit graduated though.)

Jeff made his connection to Disney by participating in the Talent Development Program, which was a very rigorous and challenging experience. (he really emphasized how tough it was.)

What really matters is getting your foot in the door, because afterward getting a job will be easier.

Have networking etiquette: don’t be creepy, meet a representative for an honest critique of your work and ask how you can improve, and you only need to meet that representative about the job one time. Any more may be spilling over into the creepy zone.

Be a person people  would like to work with.

On their job:

As a Production Assistant at Disney, Kit has to work in each department at least once.

As an art director, Jeff…directs the art.

Job advice:

Apply everywhere.

Your portfolio should feel personal, like a reviewer can tell what kind of person you are by looking through your portfolio. Aka don’t fill it up purely with classwork.

Sometimes you just have to be at the right place at the right time.

Also, set yourself boundaries, takes breaks.

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