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iAnimate Game Student Spotlight - Sylvain Normandeau

How did you find iAnimate?
I originally found iAnimate when I was looking for a program that would teach me how to animate specifically for games.  I have always been a big fan of video games and this is the industry I was wanting to get into.  After doing a lot research online,  iAnimate's name kept appearing.  They had an impressive list of teachers and referrals from past students. Their Games Workshop Reel was stunning.  I knew this was the place for me.  It has been one of the best decisions to register for their workshops.  I since have completed all of the Games Workshop program and the Motion Capture workshops.

Why did you decided to enroll?
I decided to enroll at iAnimate after viewing their impressive Game Workshop Reel. I was hungry to learn more about animation and get into the gaming industry.  The quality of the student animation, their rigs and iAnimate's list of triple A studio teachers was what convinced me that these workshops were exactly what I was looking for.

Did you enjoy your time at iAnimate?
Since day one iAnimate has been an incredible experience.  With each workshop I felt I was learning not only about animation and  the industry but as to what I wanted for myself as a career in this industry.  Through teachings and discussions with these industry professionals I have grown as an animator and person.  I was eager to learn from the best and open to their honest criticism.  All instructors were professional and always inspiring.  The iAnimate community is also a great resource and students are supportive of each other.  I wouldn't trade my time at iAnimate for anything, it was a blast!

Did it help you evolve as an animator?
Prior to joining iAnimate, I had completed a one year animation program in a private school.   After the one year, everything was still fairly new and I was not confident in my skills.  After joining iAnimate and completing the entire Games Workshops and Motion Capture workshops, I know that I have learned and been mentored by the best.  I am now extremely confident in my skills as an animator and artist.  I have learned how to work efficiently using real life reference, gained a stronger understanding of body mechanics and developed an efficient workflow.

Who was/ were your instructor(s)? A word about him/them?
I had several instructors over my time with iAnimate.  My first instructor was Kevin Rucker from Blizzard and he was a superstar.  Kevin had a great way of breaking things down, explaining complex motions and simplifying what could otherwise seem overwhelming.  In Games Workshop 2 and 3, I had the honor of working with Richard Arroyo, an Animation Director.  Richard had an uncanny ability to push every single student to their highest potential.  He would give you the tools and inspiration to animate things you wouldn't even imagine trying.
During my time in Motion Capture 1, I had the privilege of working with Brent George.  Brent had the great ability to make you feel comfortable with complex new workflows, theories and software.  My last workshop was Motion Capture 2 with Maksym Zhuravlov.  Max was fantastic at pushing our motion capture techniques and workflows while always reminding us of the principles of animation in order to push the motion capture data to be better than real life.

What did they teach you?
Over the course of the iAnimate Workshops I was given the tools to effectively and efficiently break down reference, use what is essential and enhance areas that are necessary to make the animation better than real life. How to create responsive, appealing and interesting game animations that would work within a game. I have learned to always keep a keen eye on cinematography, leading the players eye and what makes an interesting composition.  I have learned to efficiently use Mocap Data and how to enhance it in order to get the most out of Mocap.   

And what about online education?
This was my first experience with online education.  I was a bit nervous that the quality wouldn't stand up to brick and mortar schools.  I would quickly discover that these online workshops would end up being my most valued educational experience.  iAnimate's ability to hand pick instructors from around the world that work within the best studios was instrumental in creating this amazing program.   iAnimate's online structure is exceptional!   The video quality of each class was astounding with virtually no lag.   Having access to all past classes is also a great resources to have.   

Anything else you want to add?
I want to thank iAnimate for giving me the tools and confidence to break into the gaming industry and be a key contributor to any studio.  Over the past two years I have made several good friends (teachers and students) who share in my passion and that I value as industry peers. Thanks iAnimate for your contributions in helping to develop and mentor future professionals.

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