If you love drawing, animation could be the perfect career for you. If you can dream it, we can teach you to bring it to life.
Film, TV and game industries have a huge demand for hands-on animators and visual effects artists, and that demand will only grow. Our graduates are bringing the screen to life at Warner Bros, Weta Digital, Disney and more.
"I love my job! I get to work alongside lots of other creative people and work with characters and drawing. I’m now starting to creep into the fine arts industry, with an interest in painting and murals."
- Nixon Garcia, 2D Animator
"I spend my days freelancing and working on personal projects to keep building my skills. I love the freedom freelancing gives me, and even though it sounds a bit cheesy, nothing beats doing something you love."
- Oliver Frew Freelance, 3D Generalist
He’s worked for the best VFX studios in the world, on the most legendary movie blockbusters of our time. From The Adventures of Tintin, District 9 and The Lovely Bones to The Hobbit, Ice Age 5 and Captain Marvel, when it comes to animation, Te Awamutu’s Jesse Lewis Evans is a force to be reckoned with.
Now based in LA as a supervisor at The Third Floor, this previs artist extraordinaire has spent the last 16 years creating epic work for epic people. Being a previs artist wasn’t always high on Jesse’s list. In fact, when he began his creative studies back in 2000, he’d set his sights on becoming your classic 'pencil and paper' cell animator.
“But in my final year of study, traditional animation pretty much collapsed. Disney, DreamWorks and Fox shut down their studios and the rest of the industry followed.”
Luckily, Jesse entered a TV2 short film competition with a couple of classmates, taking out first place. The prize included an internship at a company of his choice. Weta didn’t take interns and Jesse’s next pick was Oktober, a small but high-end post-production house in Auckland. His eight-week internship morphed into a full-time job and Jesse spent the next year sharpening his skills there.
“Not only did I learn more about 3D at Oktober, I learnt a strong work ethic. I learnt that to be successful in this industry, you have to commit and constantly be willing to learn. Getting a job can be incredibly hard, but I honestly think passion and a willingness to learn and work your butt off beats raw talent alone. I was an okay animator, but I wanted to succeed so badly I wouldn’t let myself fail.”
From Oktober, Jesse went to Weta Workshop, where he spent the first couple of years as an animator, before becoming a previs artist. Jesse was part of a small, talented team, creating sequences from scratch, getting into mocap suits and acting out sequences they dreamed up, taking them through from concept to final.
But then New York came calling… “I’d always wanted to live in New York, so I was pretty excited when I landed a job at Blue Sky. I’d spent six years at Weta, considered to be one of the best VFX houses in the world, so with that under my belt it was easy to find work internationally.”
Blue Sky was a whole new ballgame – Jesse would get storyboards and designs from different departments and have to find a way to marry the two to prove that the concepts could work, before passing them down the pipeline. While at Blue Sky Studios, Jesse worked on Ice age 4, Epic, Rio 2, Peanuts, Ferdinand and Ice Age 5. Time spent previs-ing some of the Scrat the Squirrel sequences in Ice Age 5 was among his biggest highlights
For close to a decade Jesse has been based offshore, spending six years in New York before heading west to the City of Angels, now based in LA as a supervisor at The Third Floor.