CG Spectrum offers $500,000 worth of VFX and game design scholarships

Curriculum Consultant Matt Rowland (League of Geeks) and Programming Head of Department Shell Osborne (MCV Pacific Woman in Games) at the launch of the Game Programming Course in August.

CG Spectrum College is offering $500,000 worth of scholarships in film and game subjects for its 2016-2017 intake.

Applicants can choose from six accredited online diplomas across animation, concept art, visual effects, programming, 3D modelling and compositing. Places will be linked to paid industry internships in local studios.

Game studio League of Geeks, creator of Armello, has already agreed to offer paid six-month internships for up to three of the best students from the scholarship intake. Talks are also underway with local VFX studios to do the same. 

“Independent studios are doing some of the most creative work in games at the moment,” said League of Geeks director and co-founder, Blake Mizzi.

“We want the next generation of game developers to be excited about making games in Australia, and to make sure we're growing our best talent with opportunities here.”

“There is a lot of abuse going on in the internship space at the moment, and we’re proud to partner with studios that actively go against that,” said co-founder and head of school Jeff Pepper.  

Fellow co-founder and Oscar-winning animator Nick Freedin agreed, noting that close studio ties were what made the school different.

“Teaching online allows us to enlist instructors directly from the industry, and many of our mentors teach while still working at studios like Disney, Iloura and Bioware,” he said. 

CG Spectrum first opened its doors in Australia in 2015, and several of its students have already secured internships before their January 2017 graduation dates.

Luma Pictures, who did VFX for Dr Strange, Deadpool and The Avengers recently chose CG student Subhaan Asif as one of just two Australians to fly to Fiji with their team for their internship program. 

“The quality of teaching and teachers at CG Spectrum is second to none,” said Asif. “I’m not only learning the essentials of VFX but also key networking tips from my mentor. In my opinion this is the closest to giving me actual industry experience, since I’m working alongside an industry vet whilst being taught the fundamentals of my trade.”

Iloura VFX offered paid internships through CG Spectrum as part of its 2015 scholarship run, but recently made the decision to forgo internships and hire students outright. 

Half of CG Spectrum’s scholarships will be reserved for women and those from underrepresented populations. Pepper said the school didn’t see this as token diversity. 

“We want to see those places filled, and we’re willing to tweak the programme to suit the needs of the communities who want to apply,” he said.

“Being online also means there’s a huge opportunity for rural candidates who may not always have the means to move to cities.”

Applications close December 14. A second round will open in mid-2017. 

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