Graduates pictured at DMI’s 2023 commencement ceremony include Hannah Roark, in the front row.
BRF’s Digital Media Institute (DMI) graduates are finding a pathway to employment in digital media locally at the visual effects (VFX) department of Troubled Muse Studios. Troubled Muse Studios, launched in 2022, has hired five full-time employees who graduated from DMI’s Digital Animation and Visual Effects one-year certificate program. Located in Bossier City, Louisiana, Troubled Muse Studios creates TV and feature films, specializing in motion capture, visual effects and animation.
Troubled Muse Studios CEO R. Andru Davies said, “Troubled Muse Studios is expanding. We’ve already expanded twice and we’re in the middle of our third expansion.” DMI graduates filled new positions created through the studio’s expansion. Hannah Roark, a recent DMI graduate, was hired in 2023 as a VFX Generalist. Since her start at Troubled Muse, Roark has been working on a sci-fi TV show where she and her team create 3D models and assets for everything that populates a universe: ships, buildings, characters and much more.
Roark graduated in the summer of 2023 from DMI’s Digital Animation and Visual Effects program. This graduating class was the largest in DMI’s history, introducing over 30 specialists to the workforce. By successfully completing DMI’s certificate program, Roark proved her proficiency in animation, 3D modeling, compositing and many other digital skills.
Hannah Roark, recent DMI graduate, works on an assignment at DMI.
“I found the software that we learned at DMI to be shockingly powerful and the program was extremely well-crafted to give me the tools to master the software and applications that we used. I just had a great time learning and trying new things and creating different types of art,” said Roark.
At Troubled Muse Studios, Roark is regularly applying the knowledge she gained. In DMI’s Digital Animation and Visual Effects progam, students are taught software programs that are actually used in the industry, like MAYA, NUKE, the Unreal Engine and Substance Painter. As a VFX Generalist, Roark uses all of these software programs.
“I’m really glad that I learned how to handle cameras in NUKE and Unreal at DMI, because doing camera sequences has been a big part of my work. Substance Painter was a big one, too; it’s a tool we use for work that’s a whole section at DMI. Learning it was pretty intense, but I’m so glad I have that skill now because it’s amazingly powerful,” said Roark.
“The Digital Media Institute’s mission is to deliver high-caliber training taught by industry professionals in a state-of-the-art environment and enhance workforce development in the area of digital media,” said Greg Nelson, Academic Director of DMI. “DMI is a nationally accredited institution that offers in-person and online course options.”
DMI students who completed their program in 2022 had an 82 percent job placement rate. Graduates work in fields that utilize the highly adaptable skills they learned while attending DMI, such as visual effects, medical augmented reality, visual forestry, software engineering and software development to name a few.
“Many DMI graduates are able to kickstart their careers at businesses in Northwest Louisiana, which is becoming more common as companies like Troubled Muse open their doors,” said Elizabeth Boitnott, Operations Director of DMI.
The Digital Animation and Visual Effects program is enrolling now for the spring 2024 term that starts Jan. 16. Completion of this certificate program prepares students for entry into the digital media industry and teaches skills of digital animation, compositing, 3D modeling and other specialized topics. DMI also offers a two-year associate degree program in Digital Marketing and Design, which prepares students for a career in modern digital marketing and graphic design.
DMI has a new way to get introduced to Digital Animation and Visual Effects through a free, introductory class. Get a casual peek behind the curtain of how its programs function by visiting https://inquire.dmi.edu/digital-animation-vfx-1/