What education did you have before you took the Visual Effects for Film and Television course?
My name is Joseph Cheng Chen, I came from China after I finished university where I learned animation, included 2D traditional animation and 3D computer animation. I had no working experience before I joined this course.
Tell us a bit about your experience at the college.
I came to Seneca College in 2008 and started with some English classes. In 2009 I started to learn Visual Effects in the VFT program, I learned almost everything about Visual Effect, from history to technical, from concept to practice! It was super busy and a bit crazy at that time, very tight schedule with heavy homework. Sometimes we would have to stay up to finish the homework, but everything was worth it in the end.
How do you use the education you got at Seneca in your job today?
In my first job I was hired as a 3D generalist at Intelligent Creatures. I think the reason why I got hired is was my demo reel which I spent almost 3-4 months to finish. I got all the teachers' help, from modelling, texturing, rigging, lighting, and compositing. The teachers really know stuff we need. Today I am working as a Tracking/ layout artist at Mr.X. I am using different tracking software from school, but the concepts are the same, so I can learn the new software quickly. I really learned "tracking" at Seneca College.
What advice would you give potential students who are thinking of taking the course?
Please follow your teachers closely and try as hard as you can on your assignments. Even though most time you can only get B or C, but you should know the teachers (especially Joe) put the bar really high there, for professional quality reasons. So now I am working in this industry and looking back, I might just give myself a D or F for my assignments which I had thought were my "best". Also, as learning or working in this industry, you have to sit before computer all day long. You have to pick some time to work out for a healthy life! I lost 56 pounds from last year, and I feel so great! I think everyone who works in this industry should keep that in mind.
(Written in 2012)