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The Life of a MA Studio Assistant

Hello there, I'm Steve and I'm the Studio Assistant (or SA for short) to the MA in 3D Animation Course. The course begins with an intensive training program where students are put through their paces, receiving a barrage of tasks and exercises during the first 18 weeks. Being an Escapee myself, I've sat through our short course before, so I know what the students go through, and I'm on hand to help them get through it in one piece.

All students are different so I receive an array of questions and requests. A lot of time, it involves showing them which button to press (especially at the beginning when they're grappling with the tools). But later on, when it comes to their workflows, I prefer to explain things more conceptually as I've noticed this can sometimes help them to remember things better, or approach the problem they're solving from a different angle.

Learning 3D animation is a lot like drawing - you can achieve a lot intuitively with little knowledge and create playful childlike doodles that can appear to hold a lot of meaning. But to create a more complex image takes a lot of training and time to master. The students can often have highly imaginative ideas which means they find themselves in all manner of technical holes which I try my best to help them out of. Knowing how to balance their ambition with what is practical is one of the hardest lessons they learn. I always try to advise them to keep it simple at first.

Speaking of drawing, did you know that the SA's also run a Drawing Club? Twice a week we spend an hour doodling and sketching, so if you're currently studying with us, maybe I'll see you at a future session. Those that host the Drawing Club also make up the Student Experience design team. One item of my design work that you may come across is a Special Edition Charity Lanyard which can be purchased through our Student Experience website. I'm particularly proud of that one!

There's a seriously great amount one can absorb on the pathway to becoming a professional animator. If you're someone who thinks about bringing your ideas to life in animation then I'll leave you with a quote from Rembrandt, which also appears in the final pages of our go-to animation book The Animator's Survival Kit: "Start with the things that you know and things that are unknown will be revealed to you".


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