Langara partners with ArtU for specialized digital arts courses

The new programs intend to give students an advantage when entering the workforce


Reported by Chelsea Liu

Correction March 13, 2019: The Voice erroneously stated that there are other post-secondary institutions in Vancouver that are partnering with ArtU. In fact, Langara is the only post-secondary institution that has partnered with ArtU to offer a digital arts program.  

A new partnership between Langara and San Francisco’s Academy of Art University will give students specialized training in digital arts, and the full tablet of technical skills that are often lacking in other programs.

The ArtU partnership will be an  addition to the existing creative digital arts programs in Vancouver. Courses will be held at the ArtU and Langara campus located at the South Flatz office building in False Creek.

The program is designed to give students a leg up over other digital arts graduates in Vancouver.

Other Vancouver post-secondary institutions are also partnered with ArtU, all with campuses located at the South Flatz offices. But the other schools often neglect refining student’s technical skills, while Langara’s new programs will focus on it, said Adrian Lipsett, program manager of creative and applied arts at Langara.

He said what makes Langara’s partnership with ArtU unique is that it starts its students off at a higher level.

“We make sure students graduate with confidence,” Lipsett said, adding that the two-year streams take students from the fundamentals to being fully trained to “capably” enter the industry.

New graduates need more

Carl Whiteside, executive producer at Waterproof Studios, another Vancouver digital arts studio,  said his company refrains from hiring new graduates because they often fall short of industry requirements.

Whiteside said he needs people with experience, given “the quality bar of work and timeline we’re on.”

Atomic Cartoons, a Vancouver-based animation studio, looks for people with strong creative skills and a visual eye, said human resources director Colin Beadle.

“Coming directly out of school, the most important thing to have is a strong demo reel,” he said.

Gareth Chan, a graduate of Vancouver Film School’s 3D animations program, said students often enter with a certain degree of knowledge but wishes the program provided more advanced training. He said that he felt the one-year program was rushed.

Chan said he was not taught Houdini, a high-end programming software used for creating effects and simulations.

“Companies expect us to be able to use Houdini, it’s not a software you can learn by yourself.”

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