Emeryville, CA – June 21, 2011 — Animation Mentor (AnimationMentor.com), the state-of-the-art online animation school founded by animators for animators , today announces six new professional animators. The school's roster of mentors now totals over 90 professional animators.
How Would We Want to Learn?
The Animation Mentor founders saw a need in the market for industry-trained animators who were ready to step into production jobs because many of the traditionally trained art school graduates did not have the skills to work in a production environment. The big demand, as they saw it, was that too many art schools focused on teaching the software and neglected the art behind animation. Animation Mentor was founded with one core question in mind: "If we were to start over again how would we want to learn?" The answer: To build a school from the ground up with a philosophy that the best way to learn is through the time-tested practice of apprenticeship. Today, Animation Mentor combines this idea with a custom-built state-of-the-art online education program taught by real-world professionals, or "mentors." The school currently offers an 18-month Character Animation Program, as well as a six-month advanced Animals & Creatures: Master Class.
"Our mentors realize that it's a responsibility to pass along the knowledge," said Bobby Beck, CEO and cofounder of Animation Mentor. "The mentors bring such an energy and excitement from their own experiences straight to our online classroom. The students feed off our mentors and they're motivated and supported to do great work. Then when you see the reaction of our students when their work is up there for everyone to see — it's a magical moment!"
About the New Animation Mentors
Senior Character Animator
A native of Istanbul, Arslan Elver is a self-taught animator now working for Framestore in London. His main goal in animation has always been to create believable, fun characters and keep improving his skills. He will encourage his Animation Mentor students to have a similar goal. Elver's partial list of film credits includes Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, Clash of the Titans, The Golden Compass, The Chronicles of Narnia: Price Caspian and Underdog.
Pixar Animation Studios
Matt Strangio is an alumnus from Animation Mentor's first graduating class. Soon after graduation, he went to work for Electronic Arts/Maxis as a character animator for The Sims series. He then moved to Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) as a character animator where his game and film credits include The Force Unleashed, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End and Transformers. He later animated for The Spiderwick Chronicles and The Golden Compass while working for Tippett Studio. The Los Angeles native is now an animator for ILM and looks forward to sharing his animation experiences with Animation Mentor students.
Nate Wall grew up in Austin, Texas. In addition to live music and good barbecue, he has had a lifelong love affair with all things animation. He previously animated for Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs and Rio at Blue Sky Studios. Today, Wall serves as an animator for DreamWorks Animation in the San Francisco Bay Area. He looks forward to his upcoming mentor role and influencing the next generation of animators.
Animation Mentor alumnus Peer Lemmers started his animation career at Reel FX Creative Studios where he animated for the Transformers videogame. Lemmers continued his videogame animation on Viva Piñata 2 for Rare (a Microsoft company). He then started animating for feature films, including Kung Fu Panda: Secrets of the Furious Five for Reel FX and Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore for Tippett Studio. Today, Lemmers is a character animator for DreamWorks Animation, where he has worked on Kung Fu Panda 2, Megamind and Puss in Boots.
A Canadian native and former zoology student, Robyne Powell listened to her mother and tried her hand at art — and loved it. She continued her newfound passion and eventually studied animation in Vancouver … and her work is on display in Ice Age: The Meltdown , Horton Hears a Who!, Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, Megamind and Rio. Powell currently works as an animator at DreamWorks Animation.
Industrial Light & Magic
Travis Tohill is another Animation Mentor alumnus returning to campus. He has worked as an animator at Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) and Tippett Studio. His partial list of film credits includes Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, New Moon, Iron Man 2 and Rango. He is currently animating Cowboys & Aliens for ILM. As a former Animation Mentor student, Tohill brings a unique perspective to the classroom. He is excited to inform students of how the techniques and workflows he learned at Animation Mentor proved vital on his first day as a studio animator.
For a complete list of mentors, visit http://www.animationmentor.com/mentors/mentor-roster.html.
About Animation Mentor
Animation Mentor (AnimationMentor.com) is a state-of-the-art online animation school focused on teaching character animation skills in a real-world production environment. Designed and taught by top animators working in the industry, Animation Mentor programs allow students to bring their animation school home by receiving face-to-face instruction from mentors 24 hours a day, seven days a week from all over the world. Students collaborate, network and grow both personally and professionally with support in a thriving community. After graduation, Animation Mentor coaches and helps connect graduates to their dream jobs in animation. For more information, visit AnimationMentor.com.
Erica Garver, 971-570-3291 or Ericag@sundropmedia.com