3D Animation Department
I have always had a fascination with art. Comic books, movies, role-playing and video games have always been the spark for the fire of imagination that lead me to a notebook filled with sketches and doodles by the end of math class. Much of my time in school was spent taking any and every course associated with 2D/3D animation to sculpture and life drawing in which I absorbed and implemented every little thing. From all that information I deciphered this; there is not any secret to creating art, except that it is just another alphabet to learn that represents what one is trying to recreate for people to read.
When I was young the world was filled with magic and many fascinating things. As time moved on fascination became knowledge, and knowledge just did not contain the magic I grew to love. I was a child of fantasy, not fact. This drove me to pursue a career in a field that could take fact and turn it in to fiction, which uses knowledge to bend reality and communicates deep meaning without using a single word. I earned my Bachelor of Applied Science in Animation & Visual Effects at Ex’pression College for the Digital Arts, where I immersed myself in the world of 3D animation and film. I learned the skills necessary to take a film from concept to completion under the instruction of industry professionals. I have been working as a freelance graphic artist for the past few years, and in the process I have discovered 3D is a limitless field. It is constantly changing and birthing new possibilities. It is the application of storytelling, science, mathematics, and art. It can create new worlds, render unimaginable beasts into existence, and tell stories that warm our hearts. In essence, the world of 3D is a world of magic.
I’ve always been fascinated by computers and was hooked since the first day I sat down at an Apple 2E. As I grew up, I also found a love for art, movies, video games, and anything computer. Through college I dabbled in Network Security, a couple programming languages, and several terms in recording arts hoping to find a career with a basis in the things I love, but I could never quite find a discipline that felt right and eventually I left college. After my first week at Laurus College I had found what I was looking for. 3D Animation was a career that brought all of my passions together into a perfect storm that just seemed to resonate with me. I now spend my time teaching the skills of the career I love to our students, as well as doing movie and commercial based VFX work for a local Arroyo Grande company.
Having had the privilege of working directly under and being mentored by some amazing animation veterans, who had worked for companies such as Sony Image, Disney, and CAT Media, I greatly appreciate the way they took the time to befriend and instruct me, well beyond what was just required. I believe that is why today, I greatly enjoy working closely with all my students, in order to uniquely equip and prepare them for their own professional careers in the 3d animation industry. My philosophy is that, while it is admirable to learn how to press a particular button in order to get a certain outcome, true greatness comes from ones’ own passion to fully understand and appreciate the engineering and hard work that it took to get there in the first place; then to expand on that and creatively pass it on to those who would come after. I would imagine that, ultimately this is what truly defines what it means to be a professional in any field or discipline.
I’ve been in and out of the video game industry since 2001. I’ve held various positions where I’ve gained a broad knowledge of the industry; including positions as a Production Assistant, Animator, and Technical Artist. I was initially inspired to do 3D by watching Jurassic Park. As I was exposed to 3D and interactive entertainment, I was fascinated by how art and animation could increase the immersion factor for the user. My mentors include animators from companies such as Pixar, Disney, and ILM as well as many colleagues that are currently in various game studios. There is so much creativity that is bottled up inside of us all. With enough enthusiasm, inspiration, and hard work, we can create amazing things when we let that creativity out. My goal is to help students learn tools that can help them express that creativity.
3D Animation Instructor
Teaching at Laurus since 2014
Fueled by a passion for video games, cartoons, sci-fi, comic books, and role playing games, Dean became a creative person at a young age and ultimately, pursued a career in 3D Animation. Over the years, Dean has worked on feature films, short films, commercials, television series, and video games. He’s found within each new experience an opportunity to refine his artwork and become the best artist he can possibly be. Whether it’s bringing one his own drawings to life, making changes to an already existing space, or creating an entire fantasy world where the laws of physics are greatly modified, Dean has always found that 3D Animation is the answer to realizing his visions. He approaches teaching in the same manner, helping students use the medium of 3D Animation to make their dreams and ideas come to life.