Alyce Tzue, Academy of Art University

tzue1Academy alumna, Alyce Tzue, is amassing awards as her MFA thesis project SOAR, a 3D animated short film, flies through the festival circuit.  Her accolades thus far include Palm Springs International Short Fest Winner, BAFTA Award Finalist, and Student Academy Award Nominee.  As writer and director of SOAR, Alyce managed the project from conception to conclusion, including storyboarding and designing the animatic and layout.  Alyce supervised a team of seven animators and also animated 22 of the shots herself.  “My primary responsibility was to come up with a clear vision, and then guide the team to execute that vision, ” she explained.

As Alyce took steps toward earning her MFA in 3D Animation, her idea took shape and transformed in unexpected ways.  Storyboarding and Pre-production classes, taught by Bob Steele and the Executive Director of the School of Animation and Visual Effects, Chris Armstrong, had the greatest impact on her during the initial phases. “The story always resurfaced at the end of those classes stronger than it’d been in the beginning. Those courses taught me to trust the process. Constant questioning and experimenting — especially at the very beginning — is not a bad thing” said Alyce.  As SOAR matured, Alyce began to produce the film under the guidance of Associate Director of Visual Effects, Derek Flood, whose Studio classes are designed for higher level students ready to apply their education in a fast-paced production studio similar to a professional studio environment.

“Don’t be afraid to let your project grow and evolve. It will not end up being exactly as you imagined, and it shouldn’t be, especially if you are taking in good feedback. But it might just turn out better than you expected.”
– Alyce Tzue

To create SOAR, Alyce leveraged the immense opportunities for artistic collaboration available in the Academy’s thriving artist’s community. “Over 100 people touched it and we were able to make something cohesive that doesn’t look like a student film” said Alyce.  “All the work that went on behind the scenes is part of movie magic.” With her compelling storyline and clear vision for SOAR, Alyce had no difficulty involving students, faculty, and professionals in the project. Team members contributed their specialized skills throughout the animation pipeline, including modeling, surfacing, texturing, and lighting.

Alyce is currently working as an animator at Oculus Rift Virtual Reality Story Studio, and is poised to lead the field on the cutting-edge of animation and cinema.

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