Jess D’Ali says she’s been obsessed with animated films for as long as she can remember. Now she’s living the dream, learning digital animation skills at the UTS Animal Logic Academy, with mentors from the Australian studio that produced such hits as Happy Feet and The Lego Movie.
Growing up, Jess always watched the ‘Behind the Scenes’ sections of her favourite movies. “When I got to Year 9, there was an IT elective that had a small section on animation, so I jumped at the chance,” she says.
After school, Jess landed a place in UTS’s prestigious Bachelor of Information Technology (BIT) Co-operative Scholarship, where she spent two semesters interning in IT roles at Westpac and WiseTech Global. Then Jess heard about the partnership between UTS and Animal Logic to offer the industry-led Masters in Animation and Visualisation degree, and she knew it was her best chance to get into an industry she has always loved.
She learnt to code and soon realised these new skills were intrinsic to the digital animation industry. Now, she’s working with animation artists to develop content for emerging augmented reality and virtual reality platforms like the Oculus Rift and the new Apple ARKit. “I hope to continue on to work in the film industry in animation and eventually I’d like to get into one of the big studios in America,” she says.
The BIT scholarship is a flagship program attracting high-calibre students expecting an ATAR of 85+. Successful students receive $49,500 (2017) over the three-year program.
– Fran Molloy
Jessica’s journey to working in digital animation:
>> Bachelor of Information Technology Co-operative Scholarship, UTS
>> Internship at Westpac and WiseTech Global
>> Masters in Animation and Visualisation, UTS Animal Logic Academy
To check out Michael Quandt’s work on animation software at the UTS Animal Logic Academy, click here.