Friday, September 10, 2010

A Local Zach Repasky Goes to Pixar

pixar_01[1] Congratulations to Zach who will be interning at Pixar this January.  I can’t how much that just rocks.  It says a lot about you and your program at the DAC.  I know Zach and they made a awesome and well deserved choice.  Good luck and have fun at Pixar!!!  -- Cornell

Originally posted on the University of Colorado Denver Network Link Here 

Digital Animation student nets Pixar Internship

7/26/2010  Zach Repasky living his dream in 3D

Toy Story 1, 2 and 3, The Incredibles, Finding Nemo . . . all these movies represent progressive breakthroughs in digital animation. Zach Repasky, senior in the Digital Animation Center (DAC) in the College of Arts and Media, will get to learn from the creators of these and other blockbusters at Pixar.

Pixar Animation Studios is arguably the most coveted digital media internship opportunity across the globe. Repasky was chosen from thousands of applicants for a six-month internship as an effects technical director starting in January 2011. He will be located at Pixar's feature film division in Emeryville, Calif. It includes a stipend and housing. “Pixar has an amazing internship program,” Repasky says. “When I get there I get trained by Pixar University staff, their in-house school basically.”

After about three weeks and some training on proprietary Pixar software, Repasky will be assigned to a mentor and, from there, will be assigned to a manager. “You help work on whatever movie they are working on at the time as a production member; given a lot of responsibilities,” he says. “I will be in the effects department working on any natural phenomena, things breaking or blowing up, and potentially cloth and hair FX(special effects).”

Howard Cook, area head of the DAC, explains landing the internship is no small feat. “We all are pretty proud of Zach,” he says. “Getting an internship at Pixar is hard enough but to get one of the six-month internships is a spectacular accomplishment. It is a testament to Zach's ability as a 3D artist and a real benchmark as to how far our Digital Animation Center's program has come.”

The process of applying for the internship was stressful, Repasky says. “I had a pretty intense few weeks before the deadline to make sure everything was polished on my demo reel and to make sure all of my work looked good, but I got it all in!” he says.

The step toward a promising future in animation is a dream come true for Repasky. “I have been passionate about animation and visual effects since right before high school. I have always been interested in how things work and how all the pieces fit together,” he explains. “In this respect it was very natural for me to go from this to visual effects and animation where you are inventing things and observing how things work.”

Repasky played video games in the summers and became interested in how they worked. Then he started creating levels for a game he liked. “I realized I wanted to create and build new objects to put in those levels, so I transitioned to another 3D application called Maya. As I started to discover this program I realized that this is what I wanted to do and from there my journey into the amazing world of computer graphics began.”

Repasky chose UC Denver because it was close to his home in the mountains and because it was the only university in the region that offered a 3D animation program. “I visited a few times with the professors and decided that this was the place I would like to go,” he says.

“I really enjoy the DAC. The faculty in the program have a lot of fun with us and encourage us to do well. The industry is constantly changing and evolving and you have to stay current and enjoy doing so, and the professors definitely do this,” he says. “They have a wealth of knowledge but the biggest thing that has helped me is that this new knowledge always makes me more curious and I want to adventure into the area deeper. The professors encourage this thought and a lot of times journey into it with you as you explore the new areas together.”

Adds Cook, “Students like Zach have helped to put the university and the DAC in the minds and on the map of the biggest studios around.”

When he graduates, Repasky plans to continue his journey into the world of animation. “I have been given so many blessings and hope that I can help others fulfill their dreams as well,” he says.

Repasky already is living his dreams in 3D, and is truly an inspiration to those seeking theirs. “The thing I would like to say is to never give up on your dreams and for what you know deep in your heart. Keep fighting for that dream always and you will make it through.”