Students and Faculty from Ex’presson College’s Animation Department Produces Educational Music Video for California Academy of Sciences

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Three faculty members and 12 students from Ex’pression College’s Animation Department have created an animated educational music video for the California Academy of Sciences (CAS) in San Francisco. The video, which adds colorful CGI visuals to “The Caecilian Cotillions Song” by musical artist The Wiggly Tendrils, will premiere at CAS in late June.

Three faculty members and 12 students from Ex’pression College’s Animation Department have created an animated educational music video for the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco.

The animation for the California Academy of Sciences is an excellent example of the kind of innovative work that Ex’pression’s students create for their studies and can also deliver for their future employers.

Three faculty members and 12 students from Ex’pression College’s Animation Department have created an animated educational music video for the California Academy of Sciences (CAS) in San Francisco. The video, which adds colorful CGI visuals to “The Caecilian Cotillions Song” by musical artist The Wiggly Tendrils, will premiere at CAS in late June.

“This project was the culmination of over a year of planning, three courses, countless extracurricular production hours, and the participation of a dozen students,” says Ex’pression’s Director of Digital Filmmaking and Director of Animation & Visual Effects Brian Andrews. “Pre-production began in August of 2014, with official production commencing in November in our Group Project class. The animation is an excellent example of the kind of innovative work that Ex’pression’s students create for their studies and can also deliver for their future employers.”

The Ex’pression Animation & Visual Effects program students who contributed their talents to the project – all of whom will be graduating in 2015 - include:

  •     Monique Hernandez
  •     Jazmine Moore
  •     Weston Bahr
  •     Veronica Haworth
  •     John McNamare
  •     Adriana Armstrong
  •     Leanne Cutler
  •     Gian Moreno
  •     Liz Weldon
  •     Amanda Beals
  •     Hannah Cantrell
  •     Nick Carvalho

Along with Brian Andrews, the Ex’pression faculty who were involved in the production were Animator Joe Daniels and Program Director/Fine Arts K.C. Murphy.

Maya was the primary CG animation platform that the students used for the video, along with Zbrush, Mudbox, Nuke, Photoshop, Premiere, and Aftereffects. The project was managed on Shotgun, and rendered using Qube on Ex’pression’s recently updated project render farm. The video was developed by the students, Daniels, and Andrews, and was directed by Daniels with Andrews acting as Producer and Editorial Director.

“The team at Ex'pression took a silly and nerdy song by The Wiggly Tendrils that we loved and brought it to life brilliantly,” says Shauna Lacoste, Production Coordinator at CAS. “The students and faculty worked closely with our Herpetology Curator, David Blackburn, to ensure appropriate representation of the many caecilian species that were featured in the project. The animation has a lot of humor and some great physicality and is quite impressive, considering that the subject matter had eyes that are barely there, and no limbs! We had a blast watching it all come together.”

“The Caecilian Cotillions Song” will debut at the California Academy of Sciences in late June ’15.

About Ex’pression
Ex’pression College is a digital arts college in California’s San Francisco Bay Area, offering Bachelor of Applied Science degrees in Sound Arts, Interactive Audio, Graphic Design & Motion, Digital Filmmaking, Animation & Visual Effects, and Game Art & Design. Ex’pression’s courses are accelerated, class sizes are limited, and the faculty is staffed with experienced industry professionals. At Ex’pression, students use professional-grade equipment and facilities, and receive a hands-on educational experience in working environments that emulate the industries they’d love to be a part of. Ex’pression College was acquired by SAE Institute in 2014.

About SAE
SAE Institute provides aspiring creative media professionals with a foundation of practical theory and valuable hands-on training in their chosen areas of concentration. Under the guidance of our faculty, which is comprised of working industry professionals, students gain the essential experience they need for entry-level jobs in the entertainment business. Our students are supported in their job searches by SAE’s international network of alumni, many of whom are leaders in the music, film, game arts, and live performance arenas. We offer programs in audio technology across our seven US campuses, along with a music business program at select locations, all fully accredited and focused on preparing students for employment when they graduate. Bachelor’s Degree programs in Animation, Audio, Film, Game Art & Graphic Design are available at the two locations of Ex’pression College, which is owned and operated by SAE Institute Group, Inc. SAE Institute Group, Inc. is a part of Navitas LTD. Learn more at USA.sae.edu.

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Jeffrey Baker
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