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Brown Bag Films CGI Technical Artist Apprenticeship Programme

Exciting news! Our Dublin studio has two apprentices starting with us, ready to learn all things CG, as part of a new TUD programme in conjunction with Animation Skillnet and Screen Skills Ireland. We caught up with Ruth McElhone, our Learning and Development Manager, to find out all about it!

Ruth: The CGI Technical Artist Apprenticeship programme was one of 26 new national apprenticeships launched by the Minister for Education and Skills in December 2017 as part of the expanded Apprenticeship Scheme.

This Apprenticeship is at level 8 on the National Framework of Qualifications and is being delivered via TUD in association with Animation Skillnet and Screen Skills Ireland. The curriculum was developed by the Animation Apprenticeship Consortium in consultation with members of the industry which included our very own CG Supervisor Matthew Lloyd.

Over the past 12 months, our L&D Manager Ruth McElhone and Recruiter Roisin McIntosh have also been involved in this process and committing to involving Brown Bag Films in this exciting new initiative.

This is the first creative apprenticeship in Ireland. As one of the biggest animation studios in Ireland, it’s important that Brown Bag Films is involved in this new initiative. We started the recruitment process in July and by the start of September we were able to announce that Veronica and Gary were our two successful applicants to receive a place on the programme.

Ruth (L&D Manager, Brown Bag Films), Caroline (Head of Creative Media,TUD), Veronica, Gary, Matthew (CG Supervisor, Brown Bag Films), Hugh McAtamney (Head of School of Media, TUD)

The aim is to upskill and teach the complete picture regarding some of the skills not traditionally taught in creative colleges. We are looking to create CG Technical Generalists that have creative CG skills, as well as a solid foundation in the technical knowledge needed to understand and problem solve in modern industry pipelines.

Alongside this, we are aiming to educate the artists in Production and how content gets produced. This will give them a more complete picture of how a studio runs day-to-day and how they fit into that pipeline.

Finally, we aim to give the apprentices some soft skills in how to communicate within a studio, taking on constructive feedback, how to prepare for meetings, etc. This is all very important so that they can fit in more smoothly within a professional environment.

Veronica and Gary will be taken on by the studio as full-time employees for the duration of the apprenticeship (2 years). Every Friday in the academic year they will have classes in TU Dublin.

During the first year, their classes will cover the following topics:

Computer Graphics Fundamentals

Art Direction/Cinematography/Layout

CG Maths and Coding

Lighting and FX - History and Theory

CG Production Skills

Production management - understanding how to produce

Communication Skills

Pipelines -Overview of different pipelines - Animation/Games/VRAR/VFX

Team building skills - working effectively as a team

CG Dept Skills

Modelling and sculpting - hard surface and organic

Texturing/Shading/Lighting - assets and shots

Rigging - asset rig basic‘s and fundamentals

CFX - grooming and simulation - both hair and cloth

FX - creating real and fantasy effects

Composite and Roto – animation and VFX basic’s – Real-world V Fantasy

Coding and Dept Tools - basic scripting and coding for dept tool and troubleshooting

Apprentices Veronica and Gary alongside Mentor CGI Supervisor Matthew Lloyd

During their time in the studio, the on-the-job learning will be supported by their mentor, Matthew Lloyd, who will monitor their progress in work.

They will also be assigned an academic mentor who the studio will be in direct contact with. The aim of this is to complement the teaching in class with what they are doing on a day-to-day basis and to add value to the studio where they are employed as an apprentice.

Once again we are really excited to welcome Veronica and Gary to the Brown Bag Films family!

If anyone has any questions about the apprenticeship programme, please contact Matthew Lloyd or Ruth McElhone.


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