Academy of Entertainment & Technology/2D Animation/Online Studies

Kaitlin Callahan

“The Academy is very, very good technically. We have really experienced professors, and it’s all definitely the most bang for your buck.”

Apps. Games so frightening or fun that they almost overwhelm you. And feature films? Even though you’re in a theater, you may have to pinch yourself and repeat the mantra: ‘This is not real!’ They all have in common a nexus where dreams collide and collude with computers. Kaitlin Callahan is one who is becoming quite facile in the realms of SMC’s Academy of Entertainment & Technology. And her explanation of what the world of visuals is hurtling toward becoming is a concise primer for the rest of us—who just watch it all in amazement.

“2D animation is more of a classical form, where you draw the action frame by frame. It relies on pencils or programs like Flash,” explains Kaitlin. “3D—or CGI animation—is all done with computers. You create a model, and then you manipulate that model to move around. In 2D, you draw. In 3D, you render—with the power of the digital world.”

Kaitlin’s arrival at SMC took some twists and turns along the way. But she reports that she’s now very pleased with her new situation. “I went to another arts college, but it just didn’t work out. I just wasn’t feeling very good about myself when I came here. But now I feel very accepted and comfortable at SMC, and have made lots of very good friends. And the city itself is a really fun place, with so many cool things to do, and I’m never at a loss for finding some new adventure.” Kaitlin reports that “online classes have really helped me to adjust my schedule around, because I commute from Agoura Hills. But I’ll make that trip any time to study with professors like Jim Keeshen, who guides us in how to get a good ‘performance’ from our animation. And at SMC,” Kaitlin continues, “I’ve become so much more responsible, mature, and ready for the real world.” OK, Kaitlin. Can’t wait to see what kinds of ‘real worlds’ you’ll create!

Read more stories from present and past years in the SMC Student Spotlight Archive.​