Graduate Success

Daniel Copeland

Post Viz Animator, Pukeko Pictures

“When I first started at ACG Yoobee I was intent on focussing on character animation, but the valuable lesson I learnt during my studies was that diversifying my skill set and having a broad knowledge of multiple software packages and work flows was far more important than focussing on one specialisation.  This helped me cast a wider net when looking for work once I’d graduated, and opened up avenues for me with VFX, lighting and rendering pipelines, which I would not have considered pursuing otherwise.

“During my studies the opportunity arose to work on an upcoming mobile game called Bernie the Bus, for a New Zealand developer MindGameMedia.  We also collaborated with Bryan Field on the animated intro to his video game King of the Streets 2, which saw us working with AUT’s Motion Capture Studio.  Both projects are currently ongoing.

“Last year I was part of the group which won the ACG Yoobee Excellence Award with our short film ‘Papa Taniwha’.  I was also one of the animators for the film EGG, which was directed by classmate Steven McNicholl and won Best Animated Film at 2015 Tropfest.  I think that was the highlight of my ACG Yoobee studies!  The skills we learnt whilst working on this project – integrating and incorporating CG elements into live action footage – were beyond what we had been taught in previous years.  Considering the times we live in, where CGI in film is reaching photorealism, being able to have the knowledge and skill set to work within that pipeline is as valuable as it gets.

“Last month I moved down to Wellington to take up a job as a Post Viz Animator at Pukeko Pictures.  I get to work on one of the most recognisable and beloved children’s franchises from the 1960’s, alongside people whom I love working with.  My sleeping pattern has been reduced to zero, my commute to work is quite long – but I wake up every morning excited about what the day will bring.

“As for the future?  I’ve always wanted to move to Warsaw in Poland and try my luck working at CD Projekt Red, who are known for creating RPGs based off the novels by Andrzej Sapkowski called ‘The Witcher’.  If not, working with Weta Digital is fine too!” 



Daniel Studied