Sony Pictures Imageworks president Tim Sarnoff today announced the company’s second annual scholarship winners. From a record number of applicants, the selection committee chose four students who are currently enrolled full-time at academic institutions affiliated with IPAX, Imageworks and Sony Pictures Animation’s Professional Academic Excellence program. The scholarships will help them pursue professional careers in animation, visual effects or technology.
The IPAX scholarship top prize winner is Luis Rodrigo Huerta of Texas A&M. Through the IPAX scholarship fund, Rodrigo will receive tuition money for his master’s degree program in visualization at Texas A&M, as well as the online character animation courses he is taking through Animation Mentor.
The other scholarship recipients are Jorge Garcia, a talented character animator from Ringling College of Art & Design; Rogelio Olguin from The School of Visual Arts, who submitted outstanding examples of painting and lighting; and Christian Haniszewski, also from the School of Visual Arts, who demonstrated a keen aptitude for character modeling and rigging.
Scholarships are solely merit-based. The selection committee, consisting of Imageworks visual effects and animation supervisors, producers, executives and recruiters, carefully reviewed each essay, reel and portfolio, looking for the very best use of digital technology and a passion and understanding of visual effects and animation.
“The competition this year was amazing,’ says Imageworks’ Barry Weiss, senior VP of animation production and artist development. ‘The work submitted was truly outstanding and the winners represent the best of the best’these are students who we want to track and keep in touch with before, during and after graduation. Our intent is to see these talented students enter the exciting world of animation and visual effects and we hope these artists will want to work at Imageworks and Sony Pictures Animation.’
The IPAX program was created in 2005 under the leadership of Sande Scoredos, exec director of training and artist development at Imageworks. The professional development program is designed to share, extend and expand the Imageworks and Sony Pictures Animation knowledge base. In addition to providing IPAX member schools the opportunity to attend in-house training programs and experience a working production environment, and giving instructors valuable knowledge and skills to take back to the classroom, the program also provides a collaborative global knowledge exchange between member schools and faculty, their students and Imageworks. For more information, go to www.imageworks.com.