Comic-Con: Eisner Awards for SCAD alumni


More than 130,000 people attended the San Diego Comic-Con this year, but only a few walked away winners of the Eisner Awards, one of the top creative achievements in the comic books industry equivalent to the Academy Awards. Two of those winners were SCAD alumni Andrew Robinson (B.F.A., illustration, 1993) and Sean Murphy (B.F.A., sequential art, 2003).

Robinson won the Best Reality-Based Work award as the lead artist on “The Fifth Beatle: The Brian Epstein Story,” a Dark Horse graphic novel that reached number one on the New York Times bestseller list in 2013. It tells the life story of Brian Epstein, who is credited with discovering the Beatles when most major recording companies in London rejected the group. A screenplay based on the novel is in the works under “Ant-Man” director Peyton Reed.

Sean Murphy earned two awards for his work on “The Wake,” a horror series set on an Arctic oil rig that deals heavily with evolution and human origins. Murphy was awarded the Best Limited Series award, alongside writer Scott Snyder, and the Best Penciller/Inker award. The graphic novel is published through Vertigo, an imprint of DC Comics. Murphy was also nominated for Best Cover Artist.

Nick Dragotta (B.F.A., sequential art, 1997) was nominated for the Best Continuing Series award, alongside writer Jonathan Hickman, for his work on "East of West," a monthly dystopic western published through Image Comics.

We extend a well-deserved congratulations to our alumni for their hard work in the comics industry.

Next post
SCAD alumni unite at Elephant Parade in Hong Kong
Previous post
A career in…amusement: it's not just about the rides

Best of Animation 2014


Our students produce a tremendous amount of work each year. In animation, students learn 2-D and 3-D techniques to prepare them for whatever role they may choose in the industry once they graduate. We've assembled a few of the best works from the 2013-14 school year to share with you.

"Balloon Cat" by Michael Ceminara (M.F.A., animation, 2013).

"Bear and the Bird" by Matt Barrera (B.F.A., animation, 2013).

"Halcyon-17" by Colin Wheeler (M.F.A., animation), Jeff MacDonald (M.A., animation, 2013) and Jenna Zona (M.F.A., animation).

"How I Wonder" by Nora Graven (B.F.A., animation, 2014).

"I M Possible" by Prasad Narse (M.F.A., animation, 2014).

"The Leaping Place" by Michelle Ionescu (B.F.A., animation, 2014).

"Starlight" by Tamarind King (M.F.A., animation), Marisa Tontaveetong (M.F.A., animation), Shir Wen Sun (B.F.A., illustration) and Yu Ueda (M.F.A., animation).

Next post
The World Cup through the eyes of U.S. Soccer's lead designer
Previous post
A career in…amusement: it's not just about the rides

Fashion Week vs. student fashion show


For fashion students at Savannah College of Art and Design, the annual fashion show is both the culmination of their academic preparation and the precipice from which they will jump into the fashion world. Ninety student-made and designed looks graced the runway for the 2014 SCAD Fashion Show at the SCAD Museum of Art. Not only do the garments reflect intensive preparation in design, CAD work, draping and ideation, but an uncanny ‘oneness’ with what the industry showed at Fashion Week. The undergraduates and graduates, selected by jury to participate in the show, began working on their looks in September before they even laid eyes on what the runways of New York, London, Paris and Milan would see earlier this year.

Student designers watch their looks on the runway in SCAD's Poetter Gallery.

SCAD School of Fashion dean Michael Fink walked us through how in-step the student looks are with, or ahead of, some major trends in fashion.

Michael Fink: We saw a lot of pinky tones, lilac, light or nude colors in the Fall 2014 Ready-to-Wear collections, as well as white and off-white.

Ralph Lauren, Wes Gordon and Christopher Kane.

Our students have this color palette covered in a variety of different ways, from evening to day.

Collection by Haley Beyer (B.F.A., fashion).

Collection by Tingting Feng (B.F.A., fashion).

On the runways in New York, London, Paris and Milan you saw these architectural shapes.

Marc Jacobs, Balmain and Ashish.

This collection by Hannah Amundson (B.F.A., fashion) is very architectural. The story behind the garments is that her roommate moved out of their shared apartment and took the only mirror they had. Hannah realized how much she relied on the mirror. So her designs are all about being vain, and on the clothes there are inserts where it will say “vain” or “obsessed,” references to how we are so fixated on our own image.

Collection by Hannah Amundson (B.F.A., fashion).

Also, Yuxi Bi (B.F.A., fashion) goes to the stand and just drapes and experiments and creates architectural shapes without a pattern.

Collection by Yuxi Bi (B.F.A., fashion).

We saw this cobalt blue color on the runways and we have a collection that is just cobalt blue and gray. So this is definitely something we’ve seen out of our students in terms of color trend.

Mark Fast and Proenza Schouler.

Collection by Lin Han (B.F.A., fashion).

At Fashion Week you saw oversized patterns. Whether it’s one pattern, or a mixture of patterns, that was very big, especially in London, which speaks to our students’ mix and match sensibilities. Here you start to see a mix of materials and patterns challenging you where to look.

Marco de Vincenzo, Prada and Suno.

Like those mixed patterns, Madisen Matney's (B.F.A., fashion) collection is bold, in your face, and it’s in honor of her grandmother who has Alzheimer’s. She worked with a textiles student and on each piece there is a face peeking out from the layers.

Collection by Madison Matney (B.F.A., fashion).

These are fall collections, so you think about plaids anyway, but the students have been working a year ahead of the trend.

Delpozo and Yigal Azrouel.

We have seen some incredible plaid work out of the students. For example, in this collection by Katherine Absher (B.F.A., fashion) these are hand-foiled. She has taken the fabric and done a foiling process.

Collection by Katherine Absher (B.FA., fashion).

This color palette, various shades of coral and orange, was prevalent on the runways.

Narciso Rodriguez, Issa and Zac Posen.

We have one student collection that captures that beautifully and that’s really hard. It's difficult to make those colors sit well on the body.

Collection by Jiaren Du (B.F.A., fashion).

Jiaren Du (B.F.A., fashion) worked for a year on this, but we didn’t see the collection for what it was until we saw it on stage. It was so arresting.

Collection by Julia Patton (B.F.A., fashion).

When it comes to Fashion Week, each city is so different. This is Milan. It’s a bit more tailored. Here are these bright pops of color everywhere. We saw that in Paris, too. You see big patterns. They’re not subtle clothes. Paris, what strikes me here is this Valentino. Very graphic. And Dior, color blocking in a different way. You have bold color with a lighter companion, so you have these pops. That’s the color pop we’re talking about.

Fausto Puglisi, Valentino and Dior.

In terms of student work, you also see some really big pops of colors. Both of these, for example, are on a graffiti tangent. Each designer had artists develop prints for them. It’s color blocking, it’s print, it’s bright.

Collection by Renata Dabdoub (B.F.A., fashion).

Collection by Leah Smith (B.F.A., fashion).

This whole idea by Burberry was all hand-painted. Everything had the touch of hand on it and we certainly have many collections like that here at SCAD because we’re an art school.

Burberry Prorsum, Duckie Brown and Yohji Yamamoto.

These are Wenxiao Wang's (M.A., fashion, 2013) own illustrations that she had reprinted.

Collection by Wenxiao Wang (M.A., fashion).

Collection by Zenobia Duncan (M.A., fashion).

That’s just an overview of the student looks we saw on the runway at the SCAD Fashion Show and how they compare to what we saw at Fashion Week.


Next post
Emerging filmmakers 'see' their dreams come true
Previous post
A career in…amusement: it's not just about the rides

Video: Sidewalk Arts 2014 and the winners


Sidewalk Arts 2014 saw 1,000 Savannah College of Art and Design students, alumni and prospective students transform the pathways of Forsyth Park into a colorful carpet of inspired chalk art. This timelapse by photographer Andrew Forino (B.F.A., photography, 2014) captures the mellow frenzy of the day: artists drawing against the clock, their audience lured ahead by one brilliant illustration after another.

The winners include:

Best in Show: Madison Burger (B.F.A., illustration, 2010) and Katie Campbell (B.F.A., graphic design, 2004)

SCAD 35th Anniversary Award: Illustration students Jordyn Moss and Taylor McCaslin and animation students Grant Whitsitt and Abigail Slupecki

Graduate Student Award: Illustration student Sanaz Bagheraloloum Yazdani

Gray’s Reef Award: Animation student Jose Matheu and architecture student Ricardo Chiuz

Drawing Minor Award: Animation student Laurie Murray

Individual Student Award First Place: Illustration student Nguyen Tran

Group Student Award First Place: Illustration student Hyeonji Kim and fashion marketing and management student Soobin Lee

Alumni Award First Place: Cliff Lummus (B.F.A., graphic design, 2006; M.F.A., writing, 2011)

High School Competition First Place: Kari Hiner



Next post
Emerging filmmakers 'see' their dreams come true
Previous post
A career in…amusement: it's not just about the rides

What makes a college Emmy 'Possible'?


Tonight, Prasad Narse (M.F.A., animation, 2014) will learn whether he'll take home one of the most coveted prizes for film and television students: a College Television Award for his animated short "I M Possible." Watch the live webcast of the 35th annual awards tonight at 7:30 p.m. PDT. 

Since making the film at Savannah College of Art and Design, Prasad has garnered significant acclaim. In addition to the college Emmys, "I M Possible" won a Best of Festival award from the Speechless Film Festival and a Star of Festival award from the Grand Film Festival. In early May, Prasad will learn whether the short will be accepted by the Los Angeles Film Festival. The work Prasad did as a graduate student at SCAD continues to pay off, even as he works full-time as a CG animation intern at Laika in Portland, Ore.

Thread: Congrats on the success of your film. Why is it resonating with audiences?

Prasad Narse: Audiences relate to the trauma of the hero "Christopher" and his sheer grit in overcoming his weakness and making his weakness his strength. There are audiences who ‘never say die’ and this film confirms that outlook. Most of us struggle with something in life and this film must be encouraging audiences to keep going and not give up. I think the passion with which this movie was made comes across clearly to its audiences, as well.

Early character concept for Christopher, pencil and marker

T: You create such empathy for the main character. What is the secret to conveying such searing emotions through animation?

PN: Just like actors, an animator has to feel the emotions before driving his characters in a shot. Observation is the key. Certain poses or facial expressions tell us everything that is going through a character’s mind. In animation we tend to use these as story poses, which are often remembered by audiences even after the screening of the film. 

(Hopeless Night) Christopher's Court, digital paint

T: What inspired the film?

PN: My father is my inspiration. He taught me that everything is possible if you believe in yourself. He was a sportsman. Though he played cricket his entire life, he was passionate about all sports. Even after a tragic accident, which left his body paralyzed, his passion and love for sports didn’t diminish. Medically his condition was incurable, but he still had the grit to withstand it and wanted to make the impossible, possible. I sensed that it was his sportsman’s spirit that gave him the strength to withstand every adversity. This heartrending experience left me with the desire to make my thesis film “I M POSSIBLE”  while studying animation at SCAD and learning to convey emotions through fictional characters.

T: What was your father’s reaction?

PN: My father passed away twelve years ago. I know that he would have been extremely proud of me. The pride I wished to see in my father’s eyes is now reflected in my mother’s eyes. She is my strength, my friend, my guide, my mentor and my comforter and it is because of her and the vision she had of me today that ‘I am possible.’ I dedicate this film to my father, however, my I feel my future is going to be great because of my mother. I miss you, Dad, and hats off to you, Mom.

T: Tell us about your crew.

PN: We started in Summer 2012 as two students and eventually grew to 18. The entire crew is from SCAD except Brandon Clements, who is a student of Purdue University. The most interesting thing is that the crew members had never worked together and didn’t even know one another before the project. In the process of making this film, many of them graduated, however each one made a major contribution.

T: How did you prepare for your internship at Laika?

PN: The training, mentorship and dedication to quality at SCAD are par excellence. I learned all the nuances of animation there. The quality of work I did at SCAD was one of the major reasons that Laika decided to take me on as an intern. When I came to Laika, my supervisor told me that he enjoyed the performance of "Christopher" in my animation reel. In the last two and half months I have animated more than 15 shots for Laika’s commercials, like the M&M's "Bachelor" spots, and those for Shaw Cable and International Delight. Working on Laika’s short film is a big experience and it will be out soon.

T: What trends or technologies in animation are you watching?

PN: I am fascinated by the stop-motion animation technique, which uses a puppet animation. The hardest thing is to animate each and every frame. I think this is the most challenging way of animating, where an animator has to be prepared to redo the shot again and again. One shot of 450 frames may take up to 18 hours a day. I am also eager to jump into visual effects and animating for live action projects.

Christopher Expression Sheet, pencil and digital paint

T: What’s your advice for aspiring animators?

PN: Working on a personal project is different than working in the industry. I’ve learned from my internship that an animator must be able to change his shots according to the director’s vision. Nothing is fixed until the director approves it. While studying animation, follow your professors’ lead.  Plan your shots, collect references as much as possible, and don’t jump directly into 3D software. Try to take sufficient breaks while animating, animate in poses and then refine timing. Get enough of sleep, be alert and continue to take creative direction well.

Next post
Snapshots of SCAD alumni in the West and the Midwest
Previous post
A career in…amusement: it's not just about the rides

ADDY Awards bound: what makes a winning ad pop?


Every year, advertising faculty from Savannah College of Art and Design review work done by our students from fall quarter to fall quarter. The best work competes in the annual SCADDY Awards. This year, the awards were held entirely online. By featuring student work in a digital format, agencies, recruiters, and prospective students can now review the outstanding creative being produced at each of our different locations. Students competed for Gold, Silver, and Honorable Mention in nine different categories:

  1. Magazine Ad Single
  2. Magazine Ad Campaign
  3. Digital/Online Advertising
  4. Out-of-Home
  5. Non-traditional Advertising
  6. Advertising Copywriting
  7. Advertising Art Direction
  8. Advertising Typography
  9. Integrated Campaign (mixed media)

At the end of the judging, Best of Show was picked from one of the nine Gold medalists. Here are three winners that we'll submit to the professional ADDY Awards.

Ad: The Great Invisible
Category: Typography
Student: Luis Fabrega (M.F.A., advertising) from Panama City, Panama

The assignment was to do the entire marketing campaign for an indie movie about the BP oil spill. Luis did a great job on the entire campaign, but this poster was singled out for its excellent blend of typography and subject matter.

Ad: Advil Migraine
Category: Magazine Single Ad
Student: Sinping Ku (B.F.A., advertising) from Taipei, Taiwan

The draconian simplicity of this ad for Advil is extraordinary. No copy. No tag line. No nothing, just pure idea. Love how it requires the consumer to put two and two together to understand the ad.

Ad: Fitbit Force
Category: Digital/Interactive
Student: Pablo Isaza (B.F.A., advertising) from Baton Rouge, LA and Rushil Nadkarni (M.F.A. advertising) from Mumbai, India

It’s always a little hard to describe a fully integrated campaign in a small space such as this. But this campaign brought to life the benefits of the FitBit bracelet in a fluid and fully connected multi-media campaign. The faculty chose this entry for Best of Show because it was a good idea to start with. And then it was well-executed, well-written, made interactive and shareable, and it worked in all media.

After 30 years in the advertising business, Luke Sullivan is now chair of the advertising department at Savannah College of Art and Design. He’s also the author of the popular advertising book Hey Whipple, Squeeze This: A Guide to Creating Great Advertising and the blog His new book, Thirty Rooms To Hide In: Insanity, Addiction, and Rock ‘n’ Roll in the Shadow of the Mayo Clinic, comes to bookstores in September 2014. Follow him on Twitter @heywhipple.

Next post
Designing furniture for a micro-house on a micro-timeline
Previous post
A career in…amusement: it's not just about the rides

Video: SCAD-FOX Sports Super Bowl collaboration


We’re happy to bring you the final result of SCAD’s partnership with FOX Sports to design the opening animation for the Super Bowl. Originally scheduled to air at 6 p.m. on Super Bowl Sunday, FOX Sports moved the airtime up to 2 p.m., during the network’s pre-game broadcast. Enjoy the show and the buzz it created.

Next post
A letter to future television writers
Previous post
A career in…amusement: it's not just about the rides

How my class designed the Super Bowl open


Editor's note: The SCAD/FOX Sports collaboration ran at 2 p.m. during pregrame broadcast, earlier than originally scheduled by FOX Sports. Watch the final animation here:

How did a bunch of art students land one of the biggest jobs on television? As with most things, this dream job happened because of relationships. Many of our motion media design alumni work for FOX Sports. We got together and figured out that designing the 20-second opening title for the Super Bowl would be the perfect assignment for Motion Media 408, a class created to teach students about network branding. Here’s how they did it:


To come up with a unique concept for the Super Bowl open, the class first dug in to understanding the FOX Sports brand and researching its aesthetic. Any designer has to retain this kind of information so that their concept matches the brand’s style.

The students finally landed on three different options to pursue and presented them to FOX Sports. FOX Sports decided to focus on Concept Two: Cleatus racing through New York City to arrive at an activation chamber, where he’d place his football to trigger the start of Super Bowl XLVIII.

With a clearly defined vision, and a healthy dose of notes from FOX Sports, the class began pre-production on the stylized world and story that will draw fans from the nachos to the TV for kickoff. First came the written treatment and laying out the specifics of the animation sequence. Even more important were the style frames and motion tests, which conveyed the style and pacing of the animation to FOX Sports.

Animating a giant football player robot is complicated for anyone, but Motion Capture technology gave the team the perfect tool to work with. They recruited local high school football player Robert Heyward to model the moves that an animated Cleatus the Robot would make along his journey through New York City.

The motion tests gave FOX Sports an idea of how the students would move Cleatus and the cameras in 3D. The students took the animated data and turned them in to motion clips, blending the movements together, or animating Cleatus, at 60 fps, which means for every second they created 60 frames, or images, each with a different pose. The class then rendered each frame and compiled them to create a complete animation.

The team spent a lot of time fine tuning the concept and creating storyboards. These boards showcased the mood, style, specific shots and camera angles in the opening sequence, which gave FOX Sports a scene-by-scene layout to approve.

But the most time-consuming elements of this project were the final design boards, which required several designers and countless hours to produce.
With each style frame treated like its own piece of art, the complete design boards exhibited a few significant scenes from the storyboard. Expertly composited of 3D, 2D, texture and lighting elements, the design boards were made to simulate the refined look of the final animation that you’ll see on Super Bowl Sunday.

Austin Shaw is a motion media design professor at Savannah College of Art and Design. He has worked as a creative director, designer, and animator for companies such as Süperfad, Digital Kitchen, and Curious Pictures, creating original content for the broadcast and advertising industries. His credits include numerous Broadcast Design Award and Emmy-nominated projects.

Next post
A letter to future television writers
Previous post
A career in…amusement: it's not just about the rides

I'm going to Disneyland!


You may hear the famililar refrain of champions, "I'm going to Disneyland," ring out from your television on Sunday night after the big game. But four students from Savannah College of Art and Design programs in Interior Design, Animation, Illustration and Interactive Design and Game Development have the Super Bowl victors beat.

They’re in Disneyland this week visiting the headquarters of Walt Disney Imagineering. The dream field trip and their eight-week internship at Hong Kong Disneyland, slated for June, are prizes for their first place finish in the Disney ImagiNations Hong Kong contest for emerging designers.

Click here to read more about students who are working to create the world's leading theme parks of the future.

The winning 2013 Disney ImagiNation's Hong Kong team took us inside their winning concept "Second Star to the Right" and what it took to be the third team in a row from SCAD to take home the grand prize.

"Our team proposed to bring 'Neverland' to the Hong Kong audience. While famous as the setting for Peter Pan's adventures, we wanted Neverland to become a unique, personal experience for guests."

"Each aspect of the land is as immersive as it is diverse. It features interactive Pirate Bay and Mermaid Lagoon playgrounds, a fantastical Pixie Hollow restaurant, a thrilling gesture-activated dark ride in which guests help Peter save Tinkerbell, and a theater in the round showcasing the story of Peter's adventures with the Darling children through 360 degree projections."

"Throughout each area of the land, guests can also document their adventures through Magic Mirror photo booths and pixie-powered light drawings. Guests are then able to weave their personal Neverland experience together through the creation of their very own storybook."

"There were many iterations of the Neverland concept, but we always knew that the land had to offer an experience that was both immersive and interactive. We realized that the land's uniqueness rested primarily on the guests' ability to feel a personal connection to Neverland. Keeping that in mind, we focused on building a unique hook for guests to experience. We also narrowed the attractions down to the ones that made the greatest cohesive impact."

A lot of the technology we use in Neverland is derived from technology already available in the market.

"In our dark ride below, for example, guests use gestures to interact with the environment. This is very similar to the technology they use for the Kinect, where special cameras detect specific body or hand gestures and use them as cues to trigger events. In our Magic Mirrors, guests can take photos of themselves and apply backgrounds and images to their photos, similar to that of a Purikura Photo Booth. In our Indian Brave Camp, guests can draw onto the walls of a special tent using a totem, using technology that is very similar to the wiimote.

"In terms of conceptualizing and developing our ideas, we worked a lot with traditional sketches to flesh out our initial concepts. What's great is that the design process is iterative, and being able to quickly discuss things with your teammates and edit ideas on the fly is incredibly convenient. After everything had been figured out, we worked almost exclusively with Photoshop to create the final illustrations and slides you see above."


Next post
How my class designed the Super Bowl open
Previous post
A career in…amusement: it's not just about the rides