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Dreaming To Create The Next Call of Duty or Lend Characters to a Movie, University of Central Florida Alumni Show It Can Become a Reality

UCF animation alumni worked behind the scenes on some of the biggest movies from the last decade.

Have you been scribbling cartoons on paper since you can remember? Was that sidewalk chalk art your neighborhood masterpiece? Maybe that colorful dragon will be gobbling up golden stars in your next video game. Deciding to take your dream into reality is a major step in life and not all dreams come to fruition. However, if doing what you love is truly your passion, then taking that leap of faith is one that you will never regret, no matter what happens. Because, if we do not take that chance, we will never know if our talent, determination and yes, luck, will ever reap its reward. That is the story of many University of Central Florida alumni.

closeup of someone hand drawing on a note pad

Some of the most critically acclaimed and beloved feature films of the last decade have been made possible through the work of UCF alumni who earned their degrees through the School of Visual Arts and Design (SVAD). Animation Career Review recently ranked the SVAD No. 2 among the nation’s top public animation schools and colleges in 2021.

UCF’s prestigious bachelor’s and master’s degree programs with a focus in animation include character animation, experimental animation, and animation and visual effects ­— resulting in a steady pipeline of exceptional talent to the industry.

Many graduates are working for major animation and gaming companies such as Walt Disney Animation Studios, PIXAR Animation Studios, Blue-Sky Animation Studios, Weta Digital, Framestore, MPC, Titmouse, Netflix, Genius Brands, Reel FX, Nickelodeon Animation Studios, Animal Logic, Blur Studios, Epic Games, Electronic Arts, Riot Games, Turtle Rock Studios, and Blizzard Entertainment or creating simulations for organizations including the U.S. Navy, NASA, DISTI, and Lockheed Martin.

From visual effects to animation to lighting, UCF grads have been proud to be part of the team responsible for bringing some of the following films. Here are those films and the students that helped create the magic:

Avatar 2; (anticipated release 2022); Caleb Hecht ’11

Old (2021): Lance Ranzer ’03

Avengers Infinity War (2018); Ivanelis Carrasquillo ’11, Scott Knapp ’11

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016): Annie Capps Wightman ’06

Frozen II (2019): Michael Anthony Navarro ’08

Moana (2016): Elissa Cordero Hansen ’09

“UCF gave me a really solid foundation for my career. It was great getting to learn different aspects of the pipeline like modeling and texturing as well because those skills have been helpful in getting jobs after school,” says Teresa Falcone ’14 who has worked as an animator on award-winning films including Smallfoot, CocoOnward and Soul.

The latest work from SVAD Emerging Media graduates  can be viewed virtually at Revival: BFA Exhibition II, SVAD 2021 Premieres and Graphic Design Senior Showcase.

We are so grateful and very honored to have the University of Central Florida as one of our HOPE sponsors of Magic Streamdom this year. With over 13 colleges that make up the UCF campus, their contribution not only in Central Florida but around the world and their participation in programs such as the Disney College Program, volunteer organizations, social causes and yes, helping raise awareness and money for Give Kids the World, make them a wonderful choice for those students looking to not only get a top notch education but also enjoy all there is of the world around them.

Visit svad.cah.ucf.edu to find out more about UCF’s School of Visual Arts and Design.

University of Central Florida; Spokesmayne