This is the first in a series of profiles on DMA courses and instructors. Our first profile focuses on the art of animation. Digital Media Academy offers a wide range of courses in animation. From beginning cartooning to 3D animation with Maya, DMA offers professional instruction in digital arts and brings students face to face with today’s most vibrant art form, digital media.
Instructor: Geoffrey Beatty
Education: University of the Arts; Philadelphia, PA (Major: Animation)
Professional Portrait: A freelance animator and designer of world-class expertise, Geoffrey Beatty began his career at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s cutting-edge Media Lab, developing animation for MIT research projects into AI and robotics. Founder and coordinator of the Animation program at Philadelphia University (where he still teaches), Geoffrey has also lent his talents to creating powerful interactive museum exhibits, as well as character-based web-interactive projects and web-to-TV convergence properties. He also leads workshops on 3D animation for instructors, media professionals and kids – and remains one of only a handful of Autodesk-Certified Instructors in Maya, the leading 3D animation software program.
“This could very well be the most exciting time to be learning animation.”
Geoffrey Beatty, Animation Instructor, at Digital Media Academy’s Computer & Digital Arts Summer Camp ought to know. He remembers back when he was a college student majoring in Animation, before technology triggered a revolution in animation. Back then, he and his classmates had to hand-render designs and shoot them on 16mm film, which was then carefully hand-cut with razor blades and assembled with splicing tape, with the final, edited product loaded onto reels. In other words, lots of slow and tedious work.
Fast-forward to today, and not only are computers everywhere, but the same animation software used by professionals is available to students at reduced cost, or sometimes even through a free Internet link. Not only that, but now you have the ability to instantly share your creation with the world, either through a YouTube video clip or downloadable game mod. So access to animation software is easier to obtain and there are more ways to get your creative vision across to a mass audience. So now the question becomes: How do you sift through all these choices without growing totally overwhelmed? And how will you learn to really harness the power of this complex software?
That’s where DMA’s Animation program comes to the rescue. DMA instructors such as Geoffrey Beatty know not only the latest versions of the leading software that’s involved in creating great animation, but they also bring real-world professional experience to class sessions. As artists themselves, they understand what’s involved in taking a unique creative vision and translating it into animated form. They know how to get the best efforts from students, by actively encouraging their growth as animators. “I love the intense, hands-on approach of both the Professional and the Teen DMA classes,” Geoffrey reports. “This allows me to work closely with the students to create the best possible work – work they can be proud to show their colleagues, families and friends.”
DMA’s Animation program is offered at the Kids Adventures, Teen and Professional levels. Beginning-to-intermediate students will learn basic animation principles, including character animation using pre-built rigs. Instruction for students at the Teen and Professional levels contains special emphasis on Autodesk Maya, the industry standard software for 3D animation. It’s an amazing tool that can unlock whole new worlds of imagination, and there are few instructors in the U.S. that can claim to have as much experience with the program as Geoffrey Beatty.
“I started using Maya more than ten years ago,” he recalls, “And since then I have used it to animate games, a television pilot, broadcast promos, museum exhibits and augmented reality graphics. I never would have imagined – back in school with the light tables and room-sized animation camera – that I would get the chance to create something as cool as this.”
Bring to life video game or comic book characters with animation. DMA offers computer and visual arts summer camps and courses in both traditional hand-drawn art as well as digital animation. Learn more or register for a summer camp by visiting Digital Media Academy.
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