From Rocket Scientist to Animator





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Published on Feb 18, 2014

Cogswell student, Robert Mariazeta, talks about the journey that brought him to Cogswell to major in animation and the projects he participated in.


Initially, I wanted to be an engineer. And I was sitting in my community college class when our rocket science teacher told us one day that "Everything I'm teaching you, you're not really gonna use, we kind of have calculators for that now." I just kind of sat back
at that moment said "Well what DO I like doing?"

"I like drawing, I like cartoons, why not?". "Let's give it a shot." I did my first animation and
it was this profile of a faceless head moving across the screen and then settling
in the hair. One ponytail just following behind it and then bumping into the head and settling
too. And I felt so good, and it felt so right, that I burst into tears.

Luckily no one was around! Haha.
I ran around the school saying
"Yes! This is this is what I want to do!" and from that moment on I said yeah I want to do animation.

This was an animation that me and my club made, not too long ago. It's just a story about a little girl and this big biker guy. He steals a cookie from her. This animation took about...
I think, a year to make. Although it's only 30 seconds long, it was an intense year.
We were not only working on this outside of class but between our classes too.

We had a full class load, each and every one of us. Quadruped animation is the animation of animals with four limbs. Quadru-ped. And what really makes a difference from
usual bipedal animation, or character animation as you would mostly see, which is human characters. You have to deal with essentially two sets of legs, at the same time, both
walking at different paces.

There are four strides, the walk, the trot, the canter, and the gallop. In our class we need to be able to learn how to do all of them. To make an animal convincingly walk across the screen. And then we put another layer on top of that where, now the animal has got to
act. What makes a generic horse a generic, and then what makes an actual
horse real.

I'm an early adopter of 3D animation. I went to the Disney Inspire Event at Walt Disney Animation Studios in Burbank and met with a lot of animators there during that day.
I was surprised to learn that a lot of them were traditional 2D animators which is a great thing I love 2D animation. But it's a hard transition to go from 2D to 3D and here at Cogswell,

I spent almost two to three years now animating in Maya and it's almost second nature to me. It's almost like drawing to me. The industry is leaning more and more towards.. "t-shaped" workers, employees, people who have a specialization but can also generalize
too. Being able to know that you can do one thing really well, but yet be flexible to learn and be good at other things, that's a hugely important skill. The most important pieces of work that you can put in, are some things outside classes.To test your skill to let your personality shine.

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