Graduate Success

Robert Riddell

Employed at Weta Digital

“I love the diversity of ACG Yoobee courses. You gain exposure to a number of different professions, so you can figure out what direction you want to head in. Unlike many other design schools and universities, classes are very hands-on rather than theoretical. I found this very enticing – in fact it was the first time I’d actually enjoyed learning!

“When I first started at ACG Yoobee I didn’t have a clear idea of what I wanted to do, so the Diploma in Animation and Digital Video was the perfect choice. It covered a wide variety of topics that fit into a number of different professions in the film and VFX industries. Everything we covered was extremely valuable as it’s applicable no matter what area you eventually chose to specialise in.

“From there I went into the Animation Advanced course to further specialise in the CG/VFX side of the film industry. This was a fantastic experience. It took my skills to the next level and I started working on proper projects in a team environment. For my final year of study I did the Advanced 3D Graphics course. This enabled me to take on ever higher quality projects at industry standard, or higher in some cases. Thanks to the monumental efforts of my class, we won Best Animated Film at Tropfest 2015. On top of that I gained valuable industry experience and further honed my skills. Without a doubt this has helped me become the artist I am today.

“ACG Yoobee taught me it’s not just important what you work on, but also who you work for and who you work with. I learned how to network – debatably one of the most important things in this industry. I also learned how to learn. The CG industry is constantly evolving, with new tools and techniques coming out all the time. On top of this, many studios have their own proprietary software which you will need to learn. It’s important to always be open to learning and actively look for ways to increase your knowledge.

“During my ACG Yoobee studies I got the opportunity to do work experience at Yukfoo, a small but acclaimed studio in Auckland. It took me out of my comfort zone and enabled me to experience the daily duties of a texture artist in a professional environment. This helped demystify the industry for me and made me realise that even the professionals are humans like me!

“After graduating I spent a few months looking for jobs, waiting for the right opportunity to arise, and further developing my showreel and skill set. Then out of the blue the opportunity to train at Weta Digital appeared. Working at Weta was definitely my long-term goal so when my tutor told me there was a junior position going there I tentatively applied. I didn’t have any real hopes it would come to anything, so it was a bit of a shock when a few days later they emailed me to organise a phone interview. It was one of the most nerve-racking phone calls of my life! But it went really well and they offered me a contract as a trainee Assistant Technical Director. Within two weeks I’d moved down to Wellington!”

Robert Riddeell Linkedin

Robert Studied