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Brenda Chen

Brenda Chen

BA, Animation & Digital Arts '19

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1. What interests you the most about animation? My favorite thing about animation is its versatility. It can be used in films, games, VR experiences, projection mapping, etc. I think that’s what makes it so magical.
2. What originally led you to studying animation? I became interested in animation after attending CSSSA, a month-long summer animation program at Calarts after my junior year of high school. This program introduced me to styles and techniques beyond the mainstream Pixar films and sparked my initial fascination with experimental animation and media arts.
3. What advice do you have for prospective students looking to apply to SCA and the John C. Hench Division of Animation and Digital Arts? I think it’s important to develop your own art style and to stay true to what you want to create rather than follow the crowd. Everyone in my year is unique in their own way and I think this diversity is what makes our program special.
4. How has this program prepared you so far in your career in animation? We develop our technical skills through mandatory Maya classes. Many of us entered the program a bit afraid of 3D animation programs and software, but these classes really force us to confront and overcome these fears. I think this is important since 3D animation skills are a basic requirement for many animation jobs today.
5. What have been your biggest challenges at USC? I think my biggest challenge has been managing my time effectively. I’m a procrastinator and that doesn’t really fly well when you haven’t yet started a ten second animation that needs to be rendered by the next morning. I’ve pulled many all nighters at USC and it’s starting to take a toll on my body.
6. What are you involved in right now? Where can people find out more about your work? Last semester a few friends and I made a VR art installation, “Santiago” which we have
been exhibiting in the LA area and internationally Currently I’m working on another VR experience as part of the Oculus Launchpad Program and am a Unity developer at Wevr. Some of my other work can be found on my website:
7. Do you have any other interests in the entertainment industry, or outside of it? Right now I’m super interested in virtual and augmented reality, artificial intelligence, robotics, interactive installations, and projection mapping. I’m also passionate about finding and eating the best ramen in LA.