This iD Tech alum's visual effects journey took him from Electronic Arts to Ubisoft to Google!
Having always wondered "how'd they do that?" while watching special effects in movies, Bryan wanted to pursue a career in cinematic visual effects. He discovered that there are many opportunities to find your passion, and it’s not always the most obvious path.
For starters, Bryan never imagined working in the video game industry; it never even crossed his mind because he always wanted to work in film. “I was experimenting with visual effects on my own, but I had no direction. I began digging deeper and learning more about the smaller niche opportunities that make up the larger visual effects industry."
Bryan says it wasn't until he spent a week at iD Tech Camps held at Stanford that he learned about the many diverse fields making up the effects industry, which helped form his career path as he progressed through high school, and ultimately graduated college with a degree in visual effects.
“iD Tech has a lot of courses and offers a wide range of different career ideas. It’s important to expose students at an early age to all the possibilities they could pursue in tech,” Bryan says.
Bryan has turned those tech skills into a rewarding freelance career. One of his first positions was as an instructor with iD Tech; Bryan spent three summers teaching visual effects at Stanford University.
He then secured a job at one of the largest video game developers in the world, Electronic Arts (EA Games), gaining valuable experience producing graphics and animation for many titles, including the critically-acclaimed Dead Space 2. He then moved to another top video game developer, Ubisoft, as a Lead Motion Graphics Artist, where he was responsible for TV and web-based ads used to market the company’s AAA titles like Assassin's Creed, Ghost Recon, Far Cry, and Just Dance.
Bryan discovered there was a greater demand for creative talent in motion graphics—combining visual effects with 3D animation, editing, and graphic design. So he changed his career to meet the demand, using his knowledge to create a unique blend of experiences from two different industries.
“For students, I say this: don’t be afraid to try something different. Take different classes, and keep an open mind when working in technology. It spans many industries, and having a diverse set of skills opens up a lot more opportunities to build a satisfying career.”
Most recently, Bryan was hired by Google as a Motion Graphics Artist for their skunk works ATAP (Advanced Technology and Projects) division; a team focused on cutting-edge mobile technology. Among other projects, Bryan worked as the primary compositor for Google's Spotlight Stories interactive short "Duet," which was animated and directed by Disney animation veteran Glen Keane (The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Beauty and The Beast).
Spotlight Stories is an immersive, interactive 360 degree storytelling experience, where Bryan currently works as a supporting artist for the shows produced in-house, in addition to being a concept artist and graphic designer for the rest of the ATAP team.
“My career has been an incredible experience so far. It constantly evolves and I find myself in some of the most unique situations,” Bryan says. “Almost a decade into freelancing and I’m working at one of the most valuable companies in the world, doing graphic design and concepts for cutting-edge technology that will influence and advance mobile computing for years to come.”
He encourages students to broaden their STEM horizons and embrace their options. Their journey could take them places they’d never imagined.
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