Computer Graphics World

Edition 2 2020

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e d i t i o n 2 , 2 0 2 0 c g w 5 9 they're spending the majority of their time alone in front of their computers. The school also stresses the importance of deadlines and following the mentor's (director's) instructions. More than just learning the art of animation and other artistic subjects, the school also teaches students good work ethics and habits. "We want students to be prepared for the studio environment, and having a strong work ethic is a big part of that," says Beck. The core teaching model at Animation Mentor has remained the same over the years – generally a small class size to each mentor, so that students get more indi- vidualized attention. The curriculum and technology, however, are always evolving. The school is constantly looking at how its classes are performing, and make routine adjustments to the curriculum to ensure the best learning experience. Furthermore, the school is constantly evolving its technology and platform, creating custom-developed tools to help support its teaching model. This includes feedback tools where mentors (and any other community members) can directly draw over and com- ment on student work. Animation Mentor also built a Web-based pipeline for students so that they can begin learning studio work- flows while in class, as well as gaining a host of other useful features from that system. The core teaching model at Animation Mentor typically involves some pre-recorded material that covers the key learning goals for the week. That's followed by a live Web meeting between the mentor and students. Students get an assignment to complete by the end of the weekend, and then the mentor will record a video critique of the assignment, noting what's working and what could be im- proved. This continues each week as student learning and growth continue. Animation Mentor offers four terms per year – Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall – and all of the courses and workshops start at the beginning of each term. Since the stay-at-home orders began in March, Animation Mentor has seen an increase in enrollment, something it attributes to the fact that people are at home with additional time to focus on animation. Will this trend toward remote education and even remote working continue across the industry? Beck believes so. "Firstly, it's been interesting to see the animation indus- try go from a very low percentage of remote workers to 100 percent remote workers in record time. It's something we've always believed in, as it gives artists the opportunity to have more balance and gives the industry the opportunity to tap into talent that they may have had to pass on previously due to visa restrictions," he says. As far as Animation Mentor is concerned, it has seen an increase in the student body over the last six months. "People are giving online learning a real chance, and they want to see if it really is 'as good' as their brick- and-mortar school. We hope that people are pleasantly surprised. It's not something we had to piece together overnight," Beck points out. Karen Moltenbrey is the chief editor of CGW. Work by Antonio Vieira, from the 2019 Animation Mentor showcase. Work from Daniel Vargas, from that showcase as well. Work from Cinthia Mussi, also from the same showcase.

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