Last week, BYU President Cecil O. Samuelson approved a move for the Center for Animation from the Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology to the College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences.
This move will connect students more closely with the Computer Science Department. The program views the move as essential for continued quality.
Motion picture studios DreamWorks Animation SKG and Digital Domain are meeting with BYU animation professors this week as part of their regular mentoring, an exclusive service offered only to the BYU animation program. This week, the mentors will specifically advise BYU professors on current technology such as video conferencing, 3-D tools, and state-of-the-art audio/video delivery systems as the acclaimed BYU program continues to grow.
Professors will travel to Pixar in a couple of weeks for the same purpose. Both Pixar and DreamWorks, as well as other studios including Disney, Sony, Microsoft, Chair and General Motors heavily support the students in BYU’s animation program.
“As the animation industry continues to change how they make movies and games, it has become apparent that to maintain our successful status we needed to increase our interaction with computer science,” Professor Brent Adams said. “This move allows us to explore new ways to teach and prepare students for their future.” Adams is the director of the Center for Animation.
The Center for Animation will now be housed in the Talmage Building to focus on the computer science aspect of animation, while the major will still be directed by the College of Fine Arts.
“We have been overwhelmed over the years at the support from the Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology,” Adams said. “Without their support these past ten years, we never would have been able to create the animation major or the Center for Animation. The administration, staff and faculty in that college have been amazing in their sacrifices for these students.”
The animation major has grown rapidly with the help of superior faculty, and so has the program’s recognition. In 2011, the center won another College Television Award (Student Emmy) from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation, totaling eleven “Student Emmys” over eight years; when BYU News featured this accomplishment, it was the most viewed story of 2011. The students have additionally entered their films in several professional festivals and have continued on to work for large film studios around the world after graduation.
The Center for Animation will move to the Department of Computer Science in the College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences. As part of the move, a new lab and theater will be constructed in the Talmage Building. More information regarding the Center for Animation is available on the web at animation.byu.edu.