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Rene Flores | BCM 3D Animation and VFX | ANVE '17

When did you graduate from CMI?
I completed my studies at NMSU in the fall of 2017, after earning an Associates of Applied Science in Creative Media Technology from Doňa Ana Community College in 2015.

What was your area of emphasis at CMI?
I earned my Bachelor of Creative Media in Animation and Visual Effects specifically emphasizing in 3D animation.

Where are you and what are you doing now?
I work as a 3D Animator at Steamroller Studios, an animation studio based in Florida. Initially, I worked as a contractor for a year, followed by another year in-house in Florida. However, I was eventually given the chance to return to my hometown of Las Cruces while still working for Steamroller Studios remotely. I have been with the company for 2.5 years now and I hope to continue working with them for the foreseeable future.

What do you like most about what you’re doing?
As a 3D Animator, I enjoy the creative and artistic aspects of my work. I love the process of bringing characters and worlds to life through animation and collaborating with others to create compelling stories. Overall, I find great satisfaction in using my skills and creativity to produce engaging and meaningful content.

What are some projects/jobs that you’ve worked on since graduating?
I was fortunate to begin my career working on Fortnite, where I contributed to the creation of dances and emotes. After a year of honing my skills in body mechanics, I briefly joined the team working on Black Adam and learned a great deal from the experience. Shortly thereafter, I had the opportunity to work on Avatar The Way of Water, which allowed me to receive my first-ever Animation credit for a feature film.

What classes and learning experiences at CMI were the most valuable in building towards your current job?
It's essential to appreciate the value of every class you take as a 3D animator. Specializing in one particular area doesn't mean you won't require knowledge in other fields like rigging a simple object, creating basic prop models, or moving cameras for previsualization. Every class has its significance and can provide valuable knowledge and skills that you'll likely utilize in your future work.

What are you doing when you aren’t working?
When I'm not working, I like to watch movies and various forms of animation to gain inspiration from the work of other animators worldwide. However, taking breaks from screens is equally important. It's essential to decompress and spend time with friends, perhaps by trying out new food or enjoying a drink at a brewery. Allowing your eyes to rest is necessary to prevent strain and refresh your creativity.

What’s some advice you would give a CMI student (or maybe potential CMI student) about their time at CMI?
1. Build a strong portfolio: Create a portfolio that showcases your best work and demonstrates your range of skills and abilities. Make sure your portfolio is well-organized and easy to navigate, and that it highlights your unique style and strengths as an animator.

2. Study the basics: Make sure you have a strong understanding of the fundamental principles of animation, such as timing, spacing, and anticipation. These concepts will serve as the building blocks for more advanced techniques.

3. Embrace feedback: Don't be afraid to seek out feedback from peers, instructors, and professionals in the industry. Critique can be tough to hear, but it's an essential part of the learning process.

What’s next for you?
Advancing in the animation industry requires patience, commitment, and adiverse range of skills and experiences. My goal is to work towards a higher position where I can take on more responsibilities. I want to continue working on both video games and movies, and I look forward to exploring various animation styles to continue my learning journey.

Is there anything else you would like to say?
Embrace challenges, take creative risks, believe in your voice, keep pushing yourself to grow, and stay curious. Learn from setbacks and stay focused on your goals. With hard work and determination, your talent and creativity will take you far in the animation industry.

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