I enjoy visual effects and I really enjoy teaching. When I first started doing 3D computer graphics I thought it was too difficult for me, coming from an art background. But I wanted to make cool looking art. So I learned the technology to make the image.
I found out that for to learn, I had to teach myself a certain way. And I've found that the way I used to teach myself is useful for many others who come from a similar background.
I started working in Visual Effects in 1986 at Post Production Services in Cincinnati Ohio on broadcast advertising and station identifications. It was all new and exciting for all of us. But also stressful as the technology was new, super expensive and very slow.
I later did a lot of traveling and worked in the Los Angeles studios and in the Far East.
Some of my feature film credits include:
Digital Domain: "O Brother, Where Art Thou," "X-Men (2000)" and "The Time Machine," "Stealth," "The Day After Tomorrow," "Neighborhood Watch," and "Ender's Game."
Sony Pictures Imageworks: "Cast Away," "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" and "Beowulf".
Over the years I've lived and worked about twelve years in Asia, producing computer graphics for commercials for broadcast out of Hong Kong, Bangkok and Singapore.
Clients included Saatchi and Saatchi (Singapore), Grey Advertising (Hong Kong), The Ball Partnership (Hong Kong), J. Walter Thompson (Bangkok), ESPN Asia (Singapore), The Kantana Company Limited (Bangkok), 4MC Asia (Singapore), The Disney Channel Asia (Singapore).
Along with production, I have always been involved in teaching. Sometimes at various schools and as a production company training consultant.
And much of the teaching going on at work while in production, teaching the new hires the ropes.
In the early days of 3D, there were few universities and not much else to learn the craft. Most of the training happened on the job. But as 3D has grown more complex and specialized, so has the need and availability of training.
I have taught at the Savannah College of Art and Design, the University of Texas at Dallas, the Gnomon Workshop in Hollywood, Peking University, Mars Era School (Beijing) and VizyAcky.com
Many of my students have gone on to work at Digital Domain, Sony Pictures Imageworks, Pixar, DreamWorks, Weta, Rhythm and Hues, DNA Productions and Disney Feature Animation.
Of course these student have had a drive to learn and succeed. And they have had other great teachers besides myself. But I'm glad to help point them in the right direction and help them learn specific skills and working methods.
Teaching is more than just learning software skills. It's about how to work in a production with other people.
Like it or not, it's still a business and requires a business like attitude to be successful.
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Student Comments on Garman's Teaching Methods.