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Education & Inspiration make Magic

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Our focus at Switch VFX & Animation is on exceptional service work, inspiring co-production and the advancement of education. The latter is a passion we support to ensure the strength and viability of an industry that we love. We strive to spark the interest of the young – they are our future.

 

 

On May 29th U of T Schools will hold their Girls in Tech Conference, an annual event of exciting workshops and panels to inspire girls in grades 6 – 8 to consider diverse careers in STEM (Science/Technology/Engineering/Math). Switch Animation sponsors a session each year to build interest in the inventive digital art of Animation. A passion for this craft can begin here at the elementary age level through exposure to something like Girls in Tech and be encouraged through high school.

 

In high school students can begin to build their animation fundamentals in electives and regular classes:

 

1)     Aspiring animators should always consider an Animation elective if it is offered but these are rare. XOTO Schools in Toronto have been working with our partners at The Animation Lounge to make these more available in school. Many Animation Lounge workshops are online and available to anyone. In one introductory session, attendees will learn the basics and come away with a piece of work for their portfolio.

 

 

2)     Art courses are usually offered and are beneficial as they teach basic art principles and can be a creative outlet for beginners, intermediate artists and those who can work at an advanced level, all building art portfolios for post secondary.

 

3)     Computer based technology, such as 3D animation software and motion capture, to depict subjects are critical now in the field of animation. Animators entering the industry today will need to have strong computer skills and taking a Computer Science class in high school can give them much of that basic understanding.

 

4)     Each year of high school English courses read and analyze a few of the most important literary works in history. This teaches future creative professionals the basic elements of telling a story and telling it well.

 

5)     Biology is useful for animators because they need to be acutely aware of how living creatures look, move and behave.

 

Any kind of Film Production or Video Game Development elective can also be taken to gain background information that can only help students as they move toward the post-secondary level.

 

Ontario is home to some of the best post-secondary school animation programs in the world. The Switch VFX & Animation Scholarship Program offers financial investment in students at Sheridan College, Seneca College, St. Clair College and Algonquin College. Some of the training received addresses the computer technology that is standard in the animation industry, such as 3d animation and rendering software plus students learn about traditional visual art, including color theory, composition and drawing, as well as filmmaking techniques.

 

We encourage all our studio colleagues to get involved in building our industries future.

 

Click HERE to learn more about The Animation Lounge

Click HERE to learn about Girls in Tech Conference

Click HERE to see the reels of Switch VFX & Animation Scholarship Winners

Click HERE to learn more about Switch VFX & Animation

 

This article originally appeared on LinkedIn.  Click HERE to view

Passion: The Perfect Project

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Years ago, I decided that some of the work of my animation studio would be dedicated to something bigger, a cause that needed highlighting, an important issue, a story that I felt must be told. These opportunities rarely come in a massive commercial entertainment production – they are usually created for a smaller, underserved audience where interest is limited and financing unavailable. These gems become our altruistic, passion projects – they energize our artist creativity and evoke goodwill.

 

I was introduced to the book The Perfect Project by esteemed author Dr. Tracey Packiam Alloway and saw an opportunity to create a short film that could help improve understanding of children on the autism spectrum. Our newest passion project was born.

 

 

The Perfect Project, An Animated Short Film About Autism was produced to celebrate the superpowers of children on the autism spectrum.  It tells the heartwarming tale of how Charlie, a young boy with autism and his classmates learn to collaborate on their science fair project. The story showcases recognizable areas of this developmental disability like difficulty with social interaction, expression of emotion and sensory overload while also focusing on a powerful memory for facts and events often seen in those on the spectrum. An autistic voice actor was cast in the lead role and animators on the spectrum were included in part of the production. I am most proud of how the film expresses to children what autism is, in a simple, direct and honest way with sensitivity and gentle humor highlighting the underlying universal themes of understanding and acceptance.

 

 

The Perfect Project, An Animated Short Film About Autism has been positively received by Autism Speaks Canada and has been featured at international animation film festivals. A recent report from the Children’s Media Lab at Ryerson University that examined children’s animated content in Canada re-ignited our passion for sharing The Perfect Project since the report discovered no main character in Canadian animation was neurodiverse. The motivation now is to continue Charlie’s story, building him into a spectrum superhero, to share knowledge, engage empathy and use the platform of animation to positively impact the perception and reception of autism.

 

This production comes at a cost so we are looking for partners, investors and ideas to further this passion project. Please reach out – there is so much more work to be done – [email protected]

 

See the short film trailer here: The Perfect Project Trailer on Vimeo

 

This article was originally published on LinkedIn. Click HERE to view

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