Animation Program Presented at Fairhope Film Festival


“Monsters don’t just show up from an alternate dimension and destroy a city,” Ludovick Michaud of NAD (École des arts numériques, de l’animation et du design) said of the animation and visual effects industry.

Faulkner State Community College has partnered with NAD (École des arts numériques, de l’animation et du design) to offer an exciting program in Animation, Interactive Technology, Visual Effects and Video Graphics.

NAD, which is located in Montreal, Canada, is highly involved in the animation industry, and the partnership will be most opportune for students seeking entrance in the program.  Students will have opportunities to bring their dreams to life in a field that thrives on creativity and vision.

“This Animation program has been in the works since 2009,” Faulkner State’s Dean of Workforce Development and Technology Patty Hughston said.  “Industry programs are coming to Alabama, film and animation being one of those.  This is an international phenomenon.”

On Saturday, November 9, Michaud presented at the Fairhope Film Festival to draw attention to the program and the growing industry in animation.

“Students will learn fast,” Michaud said.  “We teach them how to express themselves.”

While monsters, detailed landscapes and special effects may be for the big screen, Michaud said students will learn much more than just special effect for movie theaters.

Animation and visual effects are used for military and medical simulation, as well,” Michaud said.  “In medical simulation, you can visualize what drugs will do on the human body through CGI techniques.”

In this two-year certificate program, students take courses in Computer Graphic Imagery (CGI) composition, shading, lighting, modeling and simulation.

Faulkner State’s first class of students has completed six weeks of the program.  In that short time, they have created a UFO circling the Fairhope Campus, an iron robot peering into the skylight of the Borom Center, and even a bee fluttering about in an abandoned Fairhope house.

Sean Ryan composited this iron giant in the skylight of the Borom Center

“They took their cameras, phones and whatever they had to shoot footage,” Michaud said.  “Then, they created the 3D animation and placed it in the video.  Imagine what they can do after two years if this is after only six weeks.”

Alison Taylor's UFO sighting over the Borom Center

During the presentation, Michaud stressed the impact of this program.  He said students can explore and express themselves like never before.  With technology at their fingertips, students can envision, and animate, a world all their own.

“Students will learn to create the impossible to present it to viewers like you,” Michaud said.

Faulkner State President Gary Branch says this program “prepares students for a very unique field.”

“Ideally, this program will bring new opportunities to our students and new industries to our local communities,” Branch said.

Michaud said there are specific qualities that will help a student succeed in the program.

“Students should be creative, technically-minded, and eager to learn,” he said.  “They need to be prepared for a field that never stops.  Everyday I learn something new.”

Michaud, who has been in the industry for nearly 20 years, has top-of-the-line experience to bring to the classroom.  He has worked on more than 2,000 projects spanning from commercials, films, and game trailers, to web content and marketing proposals.  His most current work as Senior Technical Director and Pipeline Supervisor for Universal Studios’ Minion Mayhem Ride won both Annie and VES awards.  He also has supervised computer graphics for three independent feature films and contributed to numerous blockbuster films, including X-Men Origins – Wolverine.  He is also a proud graduate of the NAD film and television program.

Portfolios are currently being accepted for the Spring 2014 semester.  For information on the Animation program, students are encouraged to contact Ann Strickland at 251-580-2255.

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