Vizzers Create Visual Masterpieces
During the last 18 years, Texas A&M’s Department of Visualization has hosted a 10-week summer industry workshop that tests and strengthens the skills of its graduate visualization students, nicknamed “Vizzers.”
Last summer, visiting artists and former Aggies from Disney’s Pixar Animated Studios mentored four teams of Vizzers as they attempted to create animated short films that addressed the provided theme: two robots in a kitchen who experience an emotional change.
The course confronts students head-on with the competitive, fast-paced environment of the entertainment industry. Working in teams of four or five, students create a story, build a detailed digital environment, model their characters, and add special effects, details, lighting and music, all while animating the short. Participants leave with proficient technical skills, insight into the animation industry, a network of potential employers and an exemplary addition to their video reel.
The workshop’s results were better than ever. “In several decades of teaching, I have not seen a group of students who were as collectively relentless in their pursuit of quality in these projects,” said Richard Davison, a professor in the Department of Visualization. “The finished films were comparable to animation shorts being produced anywhere.”