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Sony Establishes Visual Effects Program For U.S. Art and Design Schools

Sony Establishes Visual Effects Program For U.S. Art and Design Schools

By Ronald Roach

In an effort to cultivate Hollywood’s next generation of computer graphics and animation professionals, Sony Pictures Imageworks Inc., has established the Imageworks Professional Academic Excellence (IPAX) program.

Imageworks was recognized earlier this year with the Academy Award for Achievement in Visual Effects for “Spider-Man 2.” The company has created the IPAX program to educate faculty and develop curricula at leading academic institutions to groom the talent that will eventually take the reins of the visual effects industry.

“As a leader in this industry, we know that we have a responsibility to develop the next generation of talent,” says Tim Sarnoff, president of Imageworks. “We are very excited by the idea of working with educators to create specialized curriculum-based programs which will ensure that the heart of our industry — the future artists, designers and engineers — continues to grow, learn and prosper.”

After a rigorous application process, Imageworks announced that six schools have been admitted into the program: DePaul University Computer Graphics and Animation Program; Gnomon School of Visual Effects; Otis College of Art and Design; Pratt Institute School of Art and Design; Ringling School of Art and Design; and the University of Southern California School of Cinema-Television.

IPAX is a program designed to share, extend and expand the Imageworks knowledge base. By providing the faculty of IPAX member schools the opportunity to attend in-house training programs and experience a working production environment on-site at Imageworks, instructors can return valuable knowledge and skills to the classroom, say Imageworks officials.

“The art and science of computer graphics continues to evolve on a daily basis, so we are not alone in constantly facing challenges in attracting and retaining the best and the brightest from the top institutions,” says Mae Turner Moody, vice president of digital production and administration.

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