Vancouver Film School ups its Maya and MotionBuilder instruction

World-renowned 3D animation and visual effects program at Vancouver Film School to increase its use of Maya® by 200 per cent and Alias® MotionBuilder® by 100 per cent

Toronto, ON and Vancouver, B.C. - October 13, 2005 - Alias and the Vancouver Film School (VFS) have recently strengthened their relationship as VFS prepares to make a shift by early next year to focus its 3D animation and visual effects program on teaching the fundamentals of animation using Maya and MotionBuilder software, and ensuring that all of its students graduate knowing both packages fluently.

"VFS sends a constant stream of graduates into the industry, and having them trained in Maya and MotionBuilder makes good sense for our students and for the studios where they end up working," says Marty Hasselbach, managing director, VFS. "This is a partnership that is a win-win for Alias, for the students, as well as the production houses."

Over the next three months, the program - which combines theatrical and technological training, and graduates award-winning students every year who land jobs at top production studios - will increase its use of Maya threefold to 180 seats, double its use of Alias MotionBuilder to 60 seats and employ a minimum of six Maya-certified fulltime instructors.

"Alias and its global education partners are working together to graduate students who not only have the technical talent, but also the skills the industry demands," says David Della-Rocca, Alias' global industry manager for education. "Our increased partnership with a world-class facility such as The Vancouver Film School is one example of how Alias is collaborating to further develop and encourage students' 3D skills and talents."

"In 3D animation you need to have a big toolbox, and Maya is the biggest and most extensive 3D package out there," says Larry Bafia, head of 3D animation and visual effects, VFS. The more you can navigate Maya, the more valuable you can be and the more opportunities you will create for yourself."

Rhythm & Hues, a Los Angeles-based special effects company, has recognized a number of VFS students over the years with The Computer Graphics Scholarship, which was created by the company to encourage and reward excellence among emerging 3D artists. One of those scholarship winners was Adam Yaniv, who remains at Rhythm & Hues working on Disney's The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, and whose inspiration to pursue animation was Maya.

"Before I even thought of becoming an animator, the endless possibilities with Maya, its ease of use and fluid workflow directed me towards discovering what it is I really love to do - move things around and give them life," says Yaniv. At VFS - where he had already created a classical hand-drawn animation short titled Downhill - Yaniv used Maya to create his 3D short, Ketchup, and "rediscovered its power and was stunned by how intuitive it was for me to model, rig and animate quickly and effortlessly," says Yaniv.

When asked if he thinks the closer partnership between VFS and Alias will be good for animation students, Yaniv said, "I think the partnership will be tremendous for students because Maya is the absolute, undisputed industry-standard in 3D animation software. Even if students are going to work in another package, Maya is the best one to learn because its user interface is imitated by many."

"Knowing Maya helped me, without a doubt, reach my goal of becoming a character animator in feature films," added Yaniv. "I use Maya every day and I'm still surprised at how simple and powerful it is."

About Alias
As the world's leading innovator of 3D graphics technology, Alias develops award-winning software, custom development and training solutions for the film and video, games, web, interactive media, automotive, industrial design, education and visualization markets. On March 1, 2003, for the awards year 2002, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences awarded Alias|WavefrontT an Oscar® for scientific and technical achievement for the development of Maya software, the professional 3D animation and effects package. Alias also offers a powerful range of services for new to advanced users in the most demanding environments. Learning Tools and training, support, and professional services help meet rigorous production deadlines.

Entertainment customers include: CNN, Digital Domain, Disney, Electronic Arts, Industrial Light & Magic, Factor 5 LLC, Midway Games, Nintendo, Pacific Data Images (PDI)/DreamWorks SKG, Sega, Sony Pictures Imageworks, Square Enix Co., Ltd., Warner Feature Animation and Weta Ltd. Design customers include AT&T, BMW, Boeing, Fiat, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Italdesign, Kodak, Kwikset, Mattel, Price Pfister, Renault, Rollerblade, Sharp, Trek Bicycle, Teague and Timex.

Alias is headquartered in Toronto with a Custom Development Center in Santa Barbara and offices worldwide. Please visit the Alias website at or call 1-800-447-2542 in North America. International contact numbers include: Northern Europe, Middle East and Africa, +44 (0) 1494 441273; Germany, East & Southeast Europe, 0049 89 31 70 20; France, Spain and Portugal, +33 1 44 92 81 60; Italy, 39 039 6340011; Japan and other parts of Asia Pacific, 81 3 5797 3500 and Latin America, 770 393 1881.

About VFS
Vancouver Film School offers one-year production programs in Film, Animation, and the entertainment arts. Our 3D Animation program is ranked among the best in the world, and routinely produces award-winning students who go on to work throughout the animation industry. For examples of our outstanding student work visit:


© Copyright 2005. Alias Systems Corp. All Rights Reserved. Alias, the swirl logo, MotionBuilder and Maya are registered trademarks of Alias Systems Corp. in the United States and/or other countries. Oscar is a trademark of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. All other trademarks mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners. Alias, 210 King Street East, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M5A 1J7, Tel: 416-362-9181, Fax: 416-369-6140.

Alias Press Contacts:

Christine Maloney
Communications Manager, Entertainment
Tel: +1 416-874-8254
Email Contact

Cheryl Kitson
Tel: +1 604-631-3063
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Editor's note: Supporting images will soon be available at

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