by Rich Smith
Professor Max Hulburt explains the animation students’ senior projects and how individual projects will allow the students to create impressive portfolios.
“The goal of the new senior project structure is not to produce short films, but to develop quality portfolios,” says Professor Hulburt. “The animated short film format hinders students’ ability to fill out a portfolio that fully displays their talents and ultimately puts them at a disadvantage when applying for jobs after graduation.”
Prof. Hulburt continued, “The animation pipeline is often referred to as a waterfall, meaning one job has to be completed before the next can begin, before the next can begin, before the next can begin, and so on.”
“If a student wants to be a 3D animator, his/her reel should demonstrate 3D animation ability. In the short film process, an artist must design a character (hopefully well), based on the design another artist must model the character (hopefully well), another artist takes the model and rigs it (hopefully well), and then the animator can finally begin working. That might be two quarters later! And, if any of the steps along the way isn’t done well, the character can’t create a performance that lives up to the animator’s skills.”
“The new structure frees students to create whatever work they believe will most benefit them upon graduation, with guidance of course,” Prof. Hulburt added. “Rather than grouping together and trying to produce an animated film, each student is working on an individual senior project. Modelers model, storyboard artists storyboard, animators animate. For three whole quarters, students are creating the content that will fill their portfolio. If students want to create a short film, and can convince me that it is feasible and that it will significantly benefit their portfolios, great! I’m not here to get in the way of solid ideas.”
Animation students can submit ideas to Prof. Hulburt for short films via e-mail or in person.