Thursday, April 30, 2009

Animation Students Learn From Two of Industry's Best

(SAN BERNARDINO, Calif.) Upper class animation students at The Art Institute of California – Inland Empire will learn from two of the animation industry’s most talented veterans during the term now taking place.

Brian Wells, lead animator at Rhythm and Hues, is teaching a weekly course, Portfolio Animation, during the winter term. And Jason Ryan a supervising animator at Dreamworks, will offer seniors Web-based critiques on a monthly basis.

“Wells came here as a visiting artist and agreed to teach her for a term to help our upper class students,” said Santosh Oommen, academic director for the Media Arts & Animation program. “He will be pushing the students to create quality animation.”

“Ryan’s monthly critiques of our students’ character animation projects will be Web-based,” Oommen explained. “While sitting at an Art Institute of California – Inland Empire computer specially equipped with a microphone, students will be able to upload their animated videos and receive the highest level of critique on them from Ryan.”

In addition, Ryan will share videos he has created with the students, and they will be able to save these videos for use outside of class, Oomen said.

Ryan was a supervising animator at Disney Feature Animation for 12 years. He graduated from the European School of Animation at Senior College in Ballyfermot, Ireland in 1993 as a Student of the Year. He started his career directly after college as a two-dimensional animator in London working on various German feature productions. After a brief stint in London working as an animator in computer games, he was hired by Disney Animation Studios. His first project was an animator on Fantasia 2000. Other projects included Dinosaur, Magic Lamp, Philarmagic, and Chicken Little (where he supervised the animation of the Chicken Little character). Currently he is a supervising animator on the movie Monsters Versus Aliens from Dreamworks Animation Studios.

Wells has worked in animation with Rhythm and Hues on The Golden Compass, Evan Almighthy, Garfield: Tale of Two Kitties, The Chronicles of Narnia (The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe), Ring Two, and Garfield. He has also worked on Charlotte's Web, Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed The Cat in the Hat, Daredevil, Stuart Little 2, Men in Black II, Scooby-Doo, The Sum of All Fears and Cats & Dogs.

The Art Institute of California – Inland Empire offers Bachelor of Science degrees in Game Art & Design, Graphic Design, Web Design & Interactive Media, Interior Design, Fashion & Retail Management, and Media Arts & Animation. It offers an Associate degree in Graphic Design, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Fashion Design.

The International Culinary School at The Art Institute of California – Inland Empire offers an Associate degree in Culinary Arts and a Bachelor of Science degree in Culinary Management. Each program is offered on a year-round basis, allowing students to work uninterrupted toward their degrees.

It’s not too late to start the new year at The Art Institute of California – Inland Empire. Courses begin Feb. 19 and classes are offered in the day, evening and on weekends for new and reentry students.

For more information or a free tour of The Art Institute of California – Inland Empire call (909) 915-2100 or go on line to

The Art Institute of California – Inland Empire is one of The Art Institutes (, with more than 40 educational institutions located throughout North America, providing an important source of design, media arts, fashion and culinary arts professionals.