Animation Program Growing
September 20, 2010
The Animation and Visual Effects Program has multiplied overnight. Now in its third year, AVEP has grown the number of students enrolled each semester and that number and that growth is expected to continue. With seven courses being offered this fall and four talented faculty members, students are learning 3D animation, advanced digital compositing and Digital media production techniques, advanced 3D modeling and many other tools and skills for a career in animation and visual effects. The people behind this program combine high-caliber instruction, advanced degrees and many years of industry experience.
"We have one of the Cadillac programs on campus right now," said John Miralles, director of AVEP at LSUS. According to Miralles, the overall desire of AVEP was to create a program that could develop the region's talented students into a base of digital artists and technicians for work in their field.
The AVE facility is rapidly growing as well. It started with one Macintosh classroom; now it has grown into having a dedicated student lab during building hours, graduate research lab and a new PC classroom. This fall we are adding a unique digital media stage that combines motion capture and a full green screen stage.
Animation and Visual Effects is a mixture of the arts with computer science allowing the program to be a concentration within the Fine Arts and Computer Science curriculum.
Several students in the program are currently assisting with a production at a local studio, and the programs industry ties continue to grow as workforce demands grow. The program is currently working to develop a high quality certificate program to fast track people into the industry."We are training a workforce here," said Miralles. "We are training people to work in animation, visual effects, computer gaming, computer-based modeling and manufacturing techniques - all great paying jobs." Miralles said these jobs are not directly related to live-action film productions and students can take the experience they gain here at LSUS, work anywhere in the world and have a high-paying, very satisfying career.
"If students want to get this kind of training with this level of instruction and caliber of equipment, they would have to go to New York or Los Angeles and it would cost four times as much."
The AVE program is made up of a diverse group of students. There are students from Arkansas, south Louisiana and even as far away as New Jersey.
In addition to the academic program on campus, community members and younger students are welcome to participate in the Animation Workshop offered through the Continuing Education division at LSUS. The workshop introduces students with little or no prior experience to entertainment computer graphics. Other programs include the summer Animation & Visual Effects Academy with LaPREP, the summer math and enrichment program for middle school and early high school students, and the AVE Cyber Discovery Camp, Supported by the Cyber Innovation Center in Bossier City, La and Louisiana Tech of Ruston.