This morning Columbus College of Art & Design was officially declared a Center of Excellence by Toon Boom, a global leader in digital content and animation software. CCAD is the first college or university in the U. S. to receive such an honor.
The announcement was made, fittingly, in the college’s labs for Animation and Cinematic Arts. Toon Boom CEO and President Joan Vogelesang flew in from Montreal (where the company is based) to celebrate CCAD’s selection with faculty, staff, students, guests, and media including WCMH-NBC4, WBNS-10TV, and WSYX . As CCAD was honored, a moment was taken to give a special thanks Cinematic Arts Chair Ron Saks for his ongoing commitment to the industry
“CCAD has been a long-standing customer and supporter of Toon Boom. We are thrilled to see them become the first Center of Excellence in the U.S. and prepare students for the marketplace. CCAD will be highly recommended to all our customers as a prime source of talents for their productions,” Vogelesang said.
When asked why Columbus was chosen for the site of their first U.S. Center of Excellence, Vogelesang noted that in addition to Columbus having a solid reputation, CCAD was an early adopter of the technology. Toon Boom began changing how animation was produced 14 years ago. They not only sought to create paperless methods of production, but to utilize technology in a way that allowed for more creative flexibility. CCAD was among the first institutions to embrace these advances in the industry.
“Being a Center of Excellence provides CCAD students with the opportunity to test and use the latest versions of this industry-leading software and maximize their value among film and animation employers,” said Dennison Griffith, president of CCAD. “Employment opportunities in this field are growing significantly with the use of animation not just in the entertainment industry, but in the development of apps, software, and gaming technology.”
Rather than explain the value of Toon Boom software in Animation and Cinematic Arts work, CCAD chose to show how students work with the product. A team of three Animation students worked together to animat three local television anchors.
Juniors Andrea Rawson and Don Yoakam along with sophomore Emma Pennington turned Angela An (WBNS-10TV), Monica Day (WCHM-NBC4), and Dana Turtle (WSYX) into animated characters—which were shared to the delight of the gathered audience, which included An and Turtle.
The audience also viewed a live demonstration, thanks to senior Alan Backer, who showed how the software works through each phase of concepting and producing animation.
The audience was also shown a trailer for the student-made film Lumin, which utilized Toon Boom software in its production. Lumin has been submitted to more than 30 festivals internationally and nationally and it has already been accepted into several, including Chile Monos, Leeds Young Film Festival, Ohio Shorts, taafi Official Selection, and Sff International Film Festival.
To cap off the event, CCAD announced a storyboard contest for high school students with a prize worth nearly $3,000. Students are invited to create and submit a storyboard for a short film (not to exceed one minute of screen time). The winner will receive a full-ride scholarship to attend CCAD’s three-week residential summer program College PreView, where they will be able to focus on Animation and Cinematic Arts and work with Toon Boom production suite software. Details on the contest can be found here.
The choice of CCAD as the first American Center of Excellence follows Toon Boom’s selection as an official educational resource and curriculum to support development of 21st century skills among Canadian students by the Information and Communications Technology Council in Canada.
Becker is from Columbus, OH, and graduated from Dublin High School; Rawson is a from Buffalo, NY, and graduated from Williamsville East High School; Yoakam is from Delaware, OH, and graduated from Bishop Watterson High School; and Pennington is from Hilliard, OH, and graduated from Hilliard Bradley High School.
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News about Columbus College of Art & Design, including the accomplishments of CCAD alumni, faculty, staff, and students.