August 13, 2008

Sony's IPAX Education Program Taps Animation Mentor Innovations

Sony Pictures Imageworks’ and Sony Pictures Animation’s IPAX education program has launched its new online mentor program, which will begin in the winter of 2009 and will leverage Animation Mentor’s unique learning model and online technology. The three-month program will pair top students from 18 IPAX member schools from around the world with top Sony Pictures Imageworks and Sony Pictures Animation artists who will provide individual online mentoring, training, and guidance. Animation Mentor’s mentor/apprentice teaching model and online learning platform will enable Sony mentors to work with students to help them develop their skills and grow their craft. Tools include live video conference question-and-answer sessions with mentors, video guest lectures with industry experts, and eCritiques where mentors can provide video commentary while drawing directly on the student’s work to illustrate their concepts.

IPAX, Sony Pictures Imageworks’ and Sony Pictures Animation’s professional education development program was created in 2004 to connect faculty from leading academic institutions with industry professionals.

“We continue to lead the way in working with top schools to bring new solutions to the industry,” says Barry Weiss, senior vice president of animation and artist development and chair of the IPAX collaboration initiative.  “We’re very excited about this opportunity to showcase how IPAX schools can work together to develop cooperative and collaborative programs that will propel aspiring digital artists forward in their career. Animation Mentor’s innovative technology and teaching methodology is the ideal medium for our new mentorship program.”

“We are honored to extend our interactive student experience to the IPAX education program and be the first to support IPAX in creating this exciting new knowledge center for the digital arts industry,” says Bobby Beck, chief executive officer and cofounder of Animation Mentor. “There is nothing more valuable than the guidance a professional can give a budding animator who is honing their craft. This partnership really validates the unique teaching model Animation Mentor embodies and the powerful technology we’ve created to support an incredible learning experience -- no matter where you are on the planet.”

Top students from the 18 IPAX member schools will be selected through an application process where student work is reviewed by Sony artists and matched with an appropriate Sony artist/ mentor. The program is designed specifically for advanced students who are working on a range of special projects, including short films, animation, or visual effects. Sony mentors will give students individual input and feedback to help guide their work and perfect their skills over the course of the program.

The program is limited to students from IPAX member schools.  Their respective faculty will initially recommend candidates who will ultimately be selected based on the quality of their work. F
or more information about IPAX and member schools, visit