Former hair stylist Alex Smeaton is living out his dream as an animator working in Germany thanks to his time at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU).
This radical change of career became a reality once Alex graduated from Animation BA (Hons) in 2016, landing various roles with Birmingham-based studios, as well as securing a stint as a guest lecturer at DMU.
Since August, the 27-year-old from Leicester has been working as an animator at Studio Soi in Ludwigsburg, supporting the team responsible for season six of Cartoon Network’s The Amazing World of Gumball.
Alex said: “The rough animation is done in London and then sent to the studio in Germany where I clean it up and add any lip-sync.
“I’m a fan of the show, so it’s such a great feeling to watch a finished episode and see the scenes I worked on for hours!”
Find at more about Animation at DMU at our next Open Day
DMU grad conquers space and time for Doctor Who Commission
Aye aye, Captain! DMU grad redesigns classic TV ad character
The opportunity came about when Alex heard that the company was hiring. He sent in a showreel of his work and was invited to do a timed test.
“They liked the test and offered me the job! It has been a big learning curve as this is the sixth season so they have a very particular ‘look’, which I’m still getting used to now,” he said.
“Working in Germany is amazing though. I had never worked in another country before and was quite nervous about moving, but I am so glad that I did.
“Luckily the show is in English so that’s a big help. But I am enjoying learning the language and soaking up the culture, it really is a wonderful country.”
Alex is grateful to his tutors at DMU who “made the whole process of learning incredibly smooth”.
He said: “The course teaches you all of the basics first, from the fundamental elements of drawing, to editing video footage together and to understanding audio in a completely different way.
“The experience I gained can’t be underestimated, and I found it in places I didn’t expect. I found a new appreciation for the industry and the patience and skill that goes into it in all the different forms, from 3D to 2D and VFX.
“You get the chance to try your hand many forms of animation, which definitely helped me decide to pursue the 2D animation industry.
“DMU has given me the chance to work in an incredible industry - I truly love that I actually get to draw for a living! And that will stay with me for the rest of my life.”
Posted on Thursday 11th January 2018