Capstone Portfolio Assignment
This course will allow the student the opportunity to put together a job specific, studio presentation portfolio based on their cumulative works over the last few years and this semester.

Students will contact a minimum of 3 studio representatives and request job specific requirements for a portfolio application for their studio. From this information , the student is then to create a portfolio, resume and cover letter for their application.

The body of the portfolio will take three specific forms:

1) a hard copy portfolio, printed and bound,
2) a DVD presentation of both static and animated work which may include: character animation, effects animation, character modelling, set modelling, rigging, texturing, and/or lighting,
3) an optional web site based portfolio which includes all of the elements of the hard copy and DVD versions.

Each of these portfolios will be specific to the area tha the individual student will be proficient in and applying for.

Before you jump in here, you might want to read this about Portfolio Dos and Don'ts.

First Steps:

1) Determine the position you’re going to apply for.
Some of you will be better at certain things than others. You may be really good at character modelling but not very good at the initial character design stage, so obviously you're not going to apply for character design.

There are lots of options available within each studio. Here's a list I compiled from watching the end credits of a feature film:

This first section lists all the heads of the departments. These are the people who have been around for a while and have lots of experience, so you won't be applying for any of these positions. These are the positions you want to move up into after a while.

Executive Producer
Associate Producer
Story Supervisor
Film Editor (A.C.E.)
Supervising Technical Director
Supervising Animators
Director of Photography - Lighting
Director of Photography - Camera
Character Supervisor
Sets Art Designer
Sets Supervisor
Shading Art Director
Shading Supervisor
Global Technology Supervisor
Effects Supervisor
Simulation Supervisor
Groom Supervisor
Crowds Supervisor
Production Manager
Production Assistant
Sound Designer

Lighting Supervisor
Matte Supervisor
Rendering Supervisor

All the following positions can be grouped into four general categories:

1) Production Management
These are positions that are non-artistic in nature. A production manager is in charge of making sure that all the elements required to make the film are where they are supposed to be during the actual production. This may seem like an over simplification (and it is) but they do many other things as well.

2) Artistic
These are the people who actually draw with their hands... yes, it's true! People draw stuff even for computer animated cartoons, weird huh?

3) Computer Production
These are the people that produce the stuff in the computer (a vastly over-rated device).

4) Computer Technology
These are the computer geeks who write the programs that make things work. These people could be artistic, but it's highly unlikely.

Production Management
Executive Producer
Associate Producer
Production Manager
Production Assistant
Script Supervisor
Story Coordinator
Art Manager
Development Art Manager
Sets Layout Manager
Animation Manager
Lighting Managers

Supervising Animators
Character Supervisor
Sets Art Designer
Storyboard Artist
Animatic Artist
Production Designer
Character Designer
Environment Designer
Production Artist
Graphic Designer
Matte Painter
Layout Artist
Directing Animator
Animation Preproduction
Crowd Animator
Effects Animator
Effects Design Artist

Computer Production
Camera Operator
Layout Lead
Set Modeling
Set Technical Lead
Set Dressing
Directing Animator
Animation Preproduction
Crowd Animator
Effects Animator
Effects Design Artist
Model Scanner
Model Articulation
Shading Artist
Digital Painter
Fur/Hair Groom
Dynamics Software Lead
Rendering and Optimization ArtistTechnical Lighting Lead
Master Lighting Artists
Shot Lighting Artists

Technical Support
Technical Development
Production Engineering
Software Development

2) Decide which studio you’re going to apply to (any studio in the world).
You can begin locally or try any studio you want to. If you've always dreamed of working at Pixar or Dreamworks, now's your chance to find out if they have any positions available and if you can fill that position. Don't be afraid to aim high.

3) Find the contact information:
Call 411 for the information or look it up on the internet. Most studios have their own websites with current job availabilities and portfolio requirements. Here's the information you'll initially need to get:
- Studio address
- Phone #
- Contact person
- Extension #
- E-mail address

4) Get requirements for application portfolio.
Either phone the studio or contact them through their website. Some studios have the portfolio requirements on their websites. If they don't, all it takes is a simple phone call to see what they want (most studios want to see basically the same things and usually in the same formats).

If you call the studio, you'll get the receptionist on the phone first. They may be able to give you all the info you need. If they don't know, you'll need to ask to speak to the supervisor of the specific department you want to apply to. Don't expect to speak to them directly, you'll probably get their voice mail (unless you get lucky). Be prepared ahead of time with what you want to say. Have a mini script with the questions you want to ask written out. If you start babbling incoherently, you might end up annoying them.

Don't take up a lot of their time unless they volunteer it! Get the info you need and thank them for their time.

5) Put your portfolio together.

With the information you've got from the studio, start to put the portfolio together.

Remember to give them what they've asked for. Sometimes they'll be very specific i.e. on the animation reel; if they don't want a music track... don't put one on. If you deviate from the format they've requested, it will only tick them off and send the signal that you can't follow instructions.

Due Date Week 14

Planning, Scheduling and Time Management
As you now begin the process of putting the physical portfolio together, you need to do some planning first:

Here are a series of questions that you need to take some time to seriously ask yourself and come up with some concrete answers:

(Write each of these out on a piece of paper.)

Personal Assessment
- What Are Your Goals?
- Immediate
- Long Term

- What Do I Want to Do?

- What Am I Good At?

Now here's the tough part...
Rate Yourself:
Using the scale below, where would you place yourself?

0 - Nope, I can't do this if my life depended on it.
1 - O.K. - Can do the job with guidance. Make mistakes and am still learning.
2 - Not too bad - Still need a bit of guidance. Make the odd mistake.
3 - Passable - Need minor guidance. Make rare mistakes.
4 - Good - No guidance required. Novice level quality.
5 - Really Good - Strong work.
6 - Excellent - Consistantly professional quality.
7 - Amazing - Years of experience and it shows.

How long do you think it will take you to get to level 7?

What are you going to do to get to level 7? Be realistic and list some things you plan to do to get there.

Realistically, you need to be at least at level 4 in order to get a job in a studio, maybe a level 3 if they're really desperate.

- What Steps Are Needed to Achieve Your Goals?
- Thinking
- Writing
- Sorting (Prioritizing) What do I need to do?
- Research
- Scheduling

- Actions to Take to Meet Your Goals
- Selection of artwork
- Sorting into categories
- Assembly into portfolio format
- Assessment
- Revisions
- Final Packaging

Scheduling and Time Management
- How Much Time...
- Do you have?
- Do you need?

- Create a Realistic Schedule for Your Events
Figure out how much time you need then double it... really! Utilize your time outside classes wisely.

- Scheduling - How much time do I have?
Create a physical schedule that you can post up and follow.. Break it up into the following categories:

- Selection of artwork
- Sorting into categories
- Assembly into 3 specific portfolio formats
- Assessment
- Revisions
- Final Packaging


Grading for this class

Back to School Index