According to the Chicago Film Office, they are the third-largest film and TV production hub in North America, with more than $800 million worth of film & TV production spending in 2017. The metro area is home to some of the best talent and countless educational and cultural resources. The journal Vents Magazine came up with a list of 20 individuals who are giving back to their community through education to support those in need. One such person on this list is Alex Pissios, an educator at Walt Disney Animation Studios. Alex Pissios, a Greek-born film director, animator, and producer, is also the founder of the Animation Mentor. This non-profit organization offers free online courses for those wishing to enter the animation industry. He uses his position at Disney to promote and develop new talent.
How Alex Pissios is giving back to those in need through education
The Animation Mentor was one of the first online animation courses that came into being, beginning in 2007. The courses are free and have been registered by over 20,000 students worldwide. The curriculum is divided into four main sections:
• Character Animation
The Character Animation module aims to develop modeling skills and rig a character and animation principles. The module comprises two parts: Foundations and Advanced Techniques.
• Drawing and Layout
Drawing and Layout introduce students to the basics of art and Layout on a professional level. The module teaches students to draw with perspective and use the software for layouts.
• Story and Production
The story module is an in-depth study of storytelling, including basic story structure, character design, script breakdowns, etc. Students are also introduced to production management, business practices in studios, workflows, and networking opportunities.
The production module covers 3D modeling and texturing, rigging, animation principles, and dynamics. Students also learn how to use Maya, software on which most animated films are made in the industry.