“After I graduated, I didn’t really stop and take a break. Sure, 2 years of my life were spent doing long, stressful things and making a HUGELY overwhelming demo reel/short film, but they were 2 of my best years and I had some of the most fun in my life so far. Beyond that, I kept talking with potential employers. I started by going to SIGGRAPH; attempting to make an impression that would remain with the studios that were there. Aside from that, PDP [Professional Development Program] 500 gave me enough confidence in myself and the knowledge/skills I obtained throughout the class; which in turn prepared me for public presentation in front of some huge contacts in the industry. From that experience, I connected with two people from Bardel Entertainment Inc. They kept me on their radar and I constantly followed up with them regarding contracts and work for me. Another year later, and I got my current contract as a Junior 3D Animator.
The 3D Animation courses gave me the tools and place to develop my skills and hone my creativity. Beyond that, PDP was actually my most valued course I can think of. The last year of my program also gave a strong feeling of what a real studio environment would function as, which I very much liked and put me at an advantage.
I love the animation industry! The studio environment, the technology that is utilized to create the work and deliverables, and the people. SO much creativity is pumped into this industry and the amount of work needed to bring it to life is staggering. I love the dedication people have, and the amount of fun I have while doing it myself makes me excited to work in my field.
My advice to future students: everyone and everything you connect with at the school and in your program are your best resources to ensure you make the most out of your passion and talent. From the students to the instructors, they are critical to your growth and learning. Also, find a medium that you love the most and choose one thing to focus on; a generalist isn’t valued as much as someone who is very good at one discipline. “
– Devin James Watterston, 3D Animation Alumni