Class helps students visualize new careers

It’s obvious that the world of animation is getting bigger, as almost everything that is seen on television, in movies and in games was edited or made digitally in some way. For students looking to break into this industry, the animation graphics class is a way to get started.

“We look at all types of motion graphics,” animation graphics teacher Brian Magouirk said. “Whether it’s 2-D for web design animation, .GIFs, 3-D, or whether you’re modeling for medical or movie production. I try to focus mainly on 3-D because we have nice equipment for it and it’s more fun.”

The purpose of the class is to help students further their knowledge of how to develop animated graphics. The students also learn and use new skills on computers to make use of what they know.
“I’ve learned how to design, 3-D modeling, animations, and create different kinds of graphics and effects,” senior Casey Burgos said.

The class offers students a chance to use a new medium to express themselves creatively.

“It gives them a chance to take their art to a new place. A lot of the students I get are art people that either love it or they’ve had a lot of training through our classes here, and Animation Graphics gives them a different outlet,” Magouirk said. “Plus, if they’re thinking of careers that involve visualization, like architecture or even medicine, there’s many ways you can take it and a lot of things that you can do.”

The software that the class utilizes is on level with industry standard equipment used by professionals.

“Right now we have a Dell system with dual monitors. It’s Windows-based and the main software that we have is a package called Autodesk Animation Academy,” Magouirk said. “This includes 3-D Studio Max, by Autodesk, which is the main software all Halo worlds are created with. We also have Maya, which is another 3-D package, and both of those are professional grade.”

The class pushes students to raise their creativity to higher levels by giving them the resources to produce their visions.

“It’s helped me really use my creativity and think outside the box,” Burgos said.

Allowing students the opportunity to use advanced equipment helps prepare them for future careers in the animation field.

“If they’re planning on a career in web graphics, in visualization or in 3-D animation for things like television or movies, this would give them a pretty good taste of what they’re going to see,” Magouirk said. “[Students] have a good basis for going into the collegiate level and the professional level.”

Some students are already looking to make use of their knowledge in any careers they plan to fulfill in the future.

“It’s a whole lot of fun and I could really do a lot with it; I want to do something with digital design and it helps a lot with that,” Burgos said.

Students must be classified as a junior or senior to enroll in the class and are encouraged to have completed a computer graphics class or art class prior to enrollment.