Issue: SIGGRAPH 2008 - Day 3


LOS ANGELES – Here at the show, Sony Pictures Imageworks (, the studio behind the visual effects for The Polar Express, the Spider-Man films, Hancock and many others, has partnered with online animation school Animation Mentor ( which claims it places 78 percent of its graduates in industry jobs.
Starting in the winter of 2009, Imageworks’ education program, IPAX, will use Animation Mentor’s learning model and online technology on a three-month program that will take top students from 18 IPAX member schools from around the world. Top Imagworks and Sony Animation artists will provide individual online mentoring, training and guidance. Tools include live video conference question and answer sessions with mentors, video guest lectures with industry experts, and critique sessions where mentors provide video commentary while drawing directly on the student’s work to illustrate their concepts.
The critique process is something that Animation Mentor’s CEO/co-founder, Bobby Beck, calls “extremely important.” He also says students start animating from day one.
How will they decide on the 18 students? Their schools will initially recommend candidates who will ultimately be selected based on the quality of their work.