Bathroom Germs Spawn Award-Winning Animated Short

    Animation alum Hans Tsai’s short film, Knob, finds success on the festival circuit


    A scene from Hans Tsai’s award-winning animated short film, Knob. Photo courtesy of Hans Tsai.

    Most people don’t find public bathrooms particularly inspiring or appealing. But for Hans Tsai, these breeding grounds for germs sparked the idea for his award-winning 3-D animated short film, Knob. Before attending Academy of Art University to earn his M.F.A. in 3-D animation, Tsai was a registered nurse who worked in a hospital and spent a lot of time in the bathroom trying to keep his hands germ-free.

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    Graduate's 3-D Artist Career Is a Dream Come True


    Steve Hyunsuk Suh’s model for the telepresence box, a futuristic computing device featured on Fox TV’s Minority Report. Photo courtesy of Steve Hyunsuk Suh.

    Ever since he was a young boy growing up in South Korea, Academy of Art University alum Steve Hyunsuk Suh loved art. “Doodling was my favorite hobby because I could directly express what I wanted,” he said. 

    Suh was also a big fan of Disney animated films. And when Pixar came out with Toy Story in 1995, he was mesmerized by the hit movie’s sophisticated animation.

    “I’d never seen anything like it before,” he remarked. “I learned that Toy Story was made with 3-D computer graphics and dreamed of becoming an animation artist.”

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    Academy Students Get Rare Chance to Attend E3 for Free

    “A Disneyland for video game lovers,” the exclusive trade show showcases groundbreaking technologies, products and companies


    (L–R) Academy of Art Univeristy animation students Leo Cruz and Camille Sloan at this year’s E3 event, posing with a LEGO statue of Kylo Ren at the Warner Brothers Games booth. Photo courtesy of Camille Sloan.

    Each year, thousands of video game industry professionals from around the world flock to the Los Angeles Convention Center to attend E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo). The premier trade show for computer, mobile and video games connects attendees with others in the field while showcasing leading companies, groundbreaking technologies and exciting new products. 

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    School of Interior Architecture & Design Student Wins Prestigious Competition in Chicago

    Chia Chi “Nicole” Chang put her space planning and sketching skills to use at the IIDA Student Design Charette, as part of a team applauded for their uncluttered design layout and innovative thinking


    Nicole Chang poses next to her team’s IIDA Student Design Charette winning design. Photo courtesy of the School of Interior Architecture & Design.

    In 2011, Chia Chi “Nicole” Chang was a shy 19-year-old studying English in Seattle, far from her native Taiwan. But beneath that timid exterior, Chang is undeniably motivated, and during her time as a student at Academy of Art University, the interior architecture and design senior has developed a sense of confidence and professionalism that helped her team clinch the top prize at the International Interior Design Association’s Student Design Charette—a prestigious competition held in Chicago each year during NeoCon, the interior design industry’s preeminent U.S. exposition.

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    Spreading the Word

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    Leky Lin at WorldFest Houston. Photo courtesy of Leky Lin.

    At Academy of Art University, students don’t just produce beautiful, inspiring work, they also learn how to get their work out there in the industry. Teaching students about the importance of marketing and PR, but also taking initiative, is something that instructor Patricia J. Pawlak prides herself on, and it seems to be a recipe for success. Recently, MPTV student Leky Lin found out just how valuable this knowledge is as he started promoting his short film, The Lottery, which he produced alongside a crew of past and present Academy students, including screenwriter Raiza Centeno and director Hanrui Wang.

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    Waterhouse Gallery to Exhibit Alumni Work

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    Sung Eun Kim’s Tree Lining. Oil on linen, 30x40.

    For more than a decade, Ralph and Diane Waterhouse have attended Academy of Art University’s Spring Show and have expressed not only their enthusiasm in the exceptional quality of Fine Art – Painting and Printmaking that is exhibited, but they have also been extremely supportive by representing many of our current students and alumni at their prestigious gallery in Santa Barbara, California.

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