In FSBlog’s Just Launched feature, we talk to brand new Full Sail grads, right out the door from graduation, about what’s next for them as they head out into the workforce. This month’s Just Launched graduate is Matthew Lowe.
Name: Matthew Lowe
Degree Program: Computer Animation
Graduation Date: December 18, 2015
Early Inspiration: When I was in the 8th grade, I started messing around with a program called Blender, which is a free, open source 3D animation software. I was really into the technical side of how 3D works, because I thought it was cool that you could basically fake real life with nothing more than a computer and some software. So I stared out generally wanting to be involved in animation. Later, when I started at Full Sail, I realized rigging was more my forte.
First Job: Back in September, I took a position with Lani Pixels that required me to move to Dubai. I was able to finish my degree as a hybrid student.
How You Got Your Foot in the Door: I got the job at Lani Pixels by going through the gauntlet of handing out my resume. I applied to a bunch of places over the course of about six months, and I also went on a lot of interviews during that time. I made sure that my portfolio website was pleasing to the eye and well organized, so companies could easily browse through my content. With LaniPixels, I happened to be what they were looking for.
Short Term Goals: I’d like to have a credit on a feature film, which is what I’m currently doing with LaniPixels, though I can’t say what it is. I know a lot of people say they want to work for Pixar, but that’s kind of my end all be all, along with Naughty Dog. Really, I’d just like to work for various captains of industry and maybe eventually be one of those captains. Right now it’s all about gaining experience and building relationships.
Long Term Goals: I’m trying to be an innovator, a thinker in the realm of animation, computers, and software. I have a lot of ideas, but when it comes to computers and software, it’s all about user experience. That’s where a lot of innovation can happen, is taking something so complicated like computers and animation and making it more malleable for people who don’t have as much of a background in this stuff. That’s my eventual goal. It would be great to have a studio of my own that I could delegate, but at the same time, if I worked for a big studio, I would like to have a position where I would do the same kind of things. That said, I don’t plan on ever leaving software, so I would like to innovate software engineering whether it be how fast can we get the art through the pipeline to the engineers to make an end product? There’s a lot of time that could be crunched nowadays still even though it doesn’t take very long for games or movies to be made. But there’s still a lot of time that is spent wasted. I think a group of people led by somebody that has that kind of appeal, that can talk to an artist or a computer scientist and speak their language, and really marry the two.
What You Love About Your Job: That [rigging] kind of a hidden process. That it’s unseen to so many people, but the people who appreciate rigger’s work the most are the people that you work with, which can be pretty rewarding in and of itself. There’s a lot of responsibility in the job. For instance, you have a modeler, they can model as much anatomy in the model as they want, but when it comes down to it, the rigger is the one who really shows that anatomy off. It makes it functional. So just being able to call myself an engineer of sorts, there’s a bunch of different rewards I get out of it. I think that most of all I just love animation and that sort of entertainment and what it can give to people.
Advice to New Students: As I made my way through the program, I found myself asking a lot of questions. I wanted to get the most out of every lesson, and I think that served me well. Ask questions and try your best to connect ideas together.