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Interview with iAnimate Games

By Emma Handley

Web: http://www.iAnimate.net (will open in new window)
Email: ten.etaminai@divad

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Date Added: 15th August 2012

Can you describe to our readers what you feel are the strengths of online education over other, more traditional, options?

Personally, I would say that traditional schools cannot compete with the talented staff we have or possess the kind of experience or "know-how" our instructors have to offer. Online schools have no limitations and can have the best instructors from any country and any studio. Unlike many others, iAnimate instructors are true veterans and continue working at top studios on AAA projects. We are focused and connected directly to the industry, giving our students every advantage and opportunity to start their career as animators.

What do your students feel they gain from their experience with iAnimate Games?

We sent a survey just a few weeks ago to all our students, asking them to objectively tell us everything they liked and disliked about their experience, and the feedback was spectacular. Amongst other things, many of them were surprised by how much their animation skills evolved week after week. Our game workshops are pretty aggressive; we're talking one assignment a week and each time our instructors are brutally honest about the students' results and what they need to do exactly to make it better. This feeling of constantly being on the edge made them realize the potential they have. They were also surprised with the different techniques and workflow shown; some of our students even called them "crazy" at time, but they realized that it actually helped them to be much more effective in their work.

We received some very constructive criticism as well and we are making all the adjustments needed to address the issues raised. This is another advantage of not being accredited as a traditional school. We can fix and update our workshops on the spot without all the bureaucratic pain usually involved with those changes.

Students acquire true experience that game studios are looking for and they get the chance to animate in front of those who are decision makers. The thing that is very important to us is to create that personal bond between students and instructors. We make our students work hard, but we want to make sure that everyone is having a great time, because we deeply believe that the journey is as important as the destination!

Can anyone study with iAnimate Games?

Our animation workshops are advanced, so our students require basic knowledge of Maya and character animation. They also need to be able to communicate in English. But other than that, anyone from any country can study with us. As long as you're motivated, driven and willing to put that motivation and love for animation into the program, you will definitely have much to gain. There's no age requirement, yet we do encourage students to be 16 and older.

Do you have any new workshops either currently available or coming soon?

Answering a growing demand, we have announced our new rigging program that begins this September. Daniel Belair, our specialized instructor, will be teaching how to build a rig from scratch and have them integrate this rig into the Unreal engine.

We have also received many requests to run 3ds Max and Motion Builder classes and we are

currently figuring out how we will incorporate these extra workshops to our existing Maya classes. In addition, we have other specialized workshops in development, but it's a little too early to publicly announce them.

Are there any partnerships you have that benefit the students?

We have studios that we are working with here on the west coast of the US and in Canada. Their influence could have a major factor on where our students might end up or receive their first job offer from. Those relationships will most likely influence our programs to better adapt to their needs. I would also like to add that even if some headhunters have offered their services, we have decided to work directly with the studios due to the needs of the partnerships we are building.

What are iAnimate Games's future plans for both the company and its students?

All our efforts and everything we do are for the benefit of our students. We are the bridge between talented artists and the industry, so we are listening to both of them to adapt our existing workshops and create new ones to cover specific needs. We have also established privileged relations with many great artists including the very talented Cédric Séaut. One of his creations, Brick, is the latest additions to the iAnimate character family and our students can expect many more top quality characters and rigs to work with in the near future.

Our team has been brainstorming on our very own IP, which students will have the chance to participate in. We have also been approached to help in the production of other games. These are all at a very early stage, but we are very inspired by the opportunities they could bring our students. In addition, we have a great lineup of guest speakers for special lecture sessions exclusive to iAnimate Games students. That's something we have been working on for a while and we'll start to announce those special events during the next semester.

As you can see, we are not resting on the success of our first workshop, and there are many great announcements and surprises coming up for our students and followers so stay tuned!

Finally, why should people choose to study at iAnimate?

We've got some fantastic connections with major studios, amazing instructors, a dynamic community
of artists that inspire each other and a very dedicated team that wants to see all our students thrive and succeed. Our gaming workshops have been created for anyone who wants to bring their animation knowledge and quality to the next level, strengthen their body mechanics skills, learn new workflows and techniques that might not be taught by other online schools or simply get a chance to demonstrate their talents to those who are in leadership positions.

We'll give you all the tools needed to succeed, put you in contact with studios looking for capable animators and do everything we can to make that journey enjoyable. What else can you ask for?

For more information please visit our website: ianimate.net/iAnimate-games

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