“Improving Instruction and Staff Development by Building K-12/University Partnerships” by Zagury and Monahan

  • ©Rodney Zagury and Brian Monahan

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    Improving Instruction and Staff Development by Building K-12/University Partnerships

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    Artists have long been the voice of society and civilization. Whether creating art for the masses, for the select few or for themselves, they have kept a finger on the pulse of evolution. Computer animators bring life to the imagination with digital manipulation and personal observation from high up on the wave of the Zeitgeist, by producing art that has strong didactic and entertainment potential.

    As a computer animator working in three-dimensional graphics, one of us draws on personal experience to give clients an interpretation of the concept they have developed for a particular project, client, or design. As a teacher of computer animation, he gives his students a peek into a finite world that allows for an incalculable number of personal interpretations of any single idea or vision. Most of those students are seeking a Master of Arts degree in communication arts, specializing in computer graphics for advertising design and animation, or in television production. Many of them have little or no experience with computers; most are traditional artists. With those students, a good place to start is by having them tap into their own experiences and resources to develop a personalized approach to 3D graphics, without letting the complexity and technical demands of this medium discourage them from pursuing a career in animation. The most challenging aspect of the job is the varied levels of computer literacy and 3D theory encountered in those classes.

    What has made the job of college instructor easier is that the growing use of computer animation for education, science, business, medicine, law, and entertainment has widened the playing field for the animators of the future. People from all walks of life are likely to find something that will interest and occupy them in computer animation. Far from dehumanizing, the computer has the power to bring the individual closer to the life rhythms that fuel the artist’s vision.


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