The San Francisco Bay Area-based Cañada College has received the green light from the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office to begin a new 3D Animation and Video Game Art program this fall that will help students gain entry to the Bay Area’s growing video game industry.
It is the only program of its kind in the region offered by a community college. It provides students a low-cost alternative to earning an education that can help them begin work in the animation and video game industry. A new state-of-the-art computer studio on the Redwood City campus will house the program. Classes will begin in August when the new fall semester begins.
“We’re very excited about this program,” said Jeannie Mecorney, professor of Multimedia at the college. “We worked closely with our partners in both the video game and animation industries to develop the curriculum so that our graduates will have the skills to succeed.”
Mecorney said program advisors from Bay Area video game design companies Electronic Arts, Popcap Games and contacts at PDI/Dreamworks were consulted from the beginning as plans for the new program took shape.
“We worked closely with industry experts to better understand the current technology used to develop 3D graphics and animations,” Mecorney said. “Our program will have cutting-edge technology and a carefully planned curriculum designed to train our students for entry level positions or transfer to four-year institutions.”
Dani Castillo, a multimedia professor at the college, has developed nine new courses for the program using Alias’ Maya software, the industry standard. Castillo began teaching five years ago after an extensive career in the video game industry.
“We’re very excited about this program because students want a career building video games and our local companies need skilled workers,” Castillo said. “Because we’re a community college, we can provide the same education as many of the for-profit schools at a fraction of the cost.”
The new program joins existing certificates in graphic design, web design and a newly developed digital photography certificate. The Cañada College Multimedia Program currently offers certificates in graphic design, web design and multimedia. Students can also earn an associates degree or earn credits to transfer to four-year universities.