BYU’s Center for Animation is moving

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Nowhere else can “Puss in Boots,” “Kung Fu Panda” and “Sleeping Beauty” endlessly garnish the thoughts of students except the animation lab in the Crabtree Technology Building. This lab is filled with students surrounded by many inspiring posters. Soon, students and posters will filter into the Talmage Building as the Center for Animation changes colleges in Fall 2012.

BYU faculty in charge of the Center for Animation have chosen to reflect changes in the animation field by seeking a transition that will encourage more interaction with computer science students. The center includes both the animation major and emphasis housed in different departments. Faculty and students said they believe this move will improve the program and career prospects.

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The Center for Animation is changing colleges in Fall 2012.
Brent Adams, director of the Center for Animation, said every studio they consulted urged them to generate stronger ties between art, film and computer science. Adams said he is looking forward to the change and is grateful for the willingness of faculty and staff to vacate space in the Talmage Building for their program. He said he believes this will be a positive change for students as they build their relationship with computer science.

“Animation students intermingle with those that have overlapping interests and can now have a greater impact on each other with the change,” Adams said. “This will open up more opportunities for BYU students going into the entertainment industry.”

Their decision, approved by BYU last week, will transfer the center from the Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology to the College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences. A new lab and theater will also be constructed in the Talmage Building.

Lauren Taylor, an animation major from Bountiful, and producer of “Estefan,” the current short film for the senior class, has always had the lab in the Crabtree Technology Building but believes the changes for the center will be for the better.

“Part of the animation process is to learn to work as a group and this move will allow better collaboration with the Computer Science Department,” Taylor said. “We’re looking forward to the changes and are excited to see the program grow and become more centrally located.”

Ryan Stevens, a senior from Orem, also majoring in animation, said the move will be a different atmosphere and although he loved the lab in the basement of the Crabtree, the center will be more visible and should benefit the program.

“Change is always different but it’s for the better,” Stevens said. “We trust the leaders that they have the program’s best interests at heart and it should be, overall, a positive change.”

Adams also said their time working with the Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology has contributed to the center’s success with 11 Student Emmys and four Academy Awards in the last eight years.

“Without their support these past 10 years, we never would have been able to create the animation major or the Center for Animation,” Adams said. “The administration, staff and faculty in that college have been amazing in their sacrifices for these students.”

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