Monday, December 3, 2012

Nickelodeon: Spring internships still open!

If you're considering applying for an internship, please talk with me (Jason) and also consult your faculty and the Career Services Department in the south building.

We want to help you prepare so that you and your work looks as desirable as possible! 

This info is straight from Mia Burgess, Manager, Digital Strategic Staffing - Nickelodeon Games Group:

Just wanted to send a quick note to let you know that there are still Spring 2013 internships open at Nickelodeon Games in Glendale, CA. to apply.

or students can send me their resumes/portfolios/code samples directly to me at

Happy Holidays!


Friday, October 19, 2012

Volunteers needed Oct 28-30 for LA Animation Convention

If they're still looking for volunteers I would say you have a pretty good shot at this gig!

Write a nice, professional email to .Mention your involvement in school, school activities, Comic-Con, CTN, or any other experience you have.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

SDAFF Animation Festival Wed Nov 7 5:30pm

Our annual trip is happening! As usual, Sam Chen has assembled a great international collection of the best animated short films. Sam says it's the best ever.

I have 33 tickets available for students, alumni, and faculty. Meet outside the UltraStar Hazard Center box office by 5pm on Wednesday November 7th. I will give out free tickets until they are all gone.
You can take a look at the entire program here.

Caricatures workshop: 2 dates

This free workshop will be offered twice. Come learn from Harry!

Illustrating workshop: 2 upcoming dates

Harry Hamernik will be hosting two of these workshops.


All majors, all levels of experience.

alumni visit: Jimmy Gordon - Rhythm & Hues

Jimmy was a student of mine many years ago. Since graduation he's been at Rhythm & Hues. check out his impressive IMDB profile:

He will talk about breaking into the industry and critique portfolios.

Plan to attend!

Drawing workshop Saturday 10/20 1-5pm

free to Ai students and alumni. Come learn Dr. Xu's methods. Students have gotten great results!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Scholarship Available!

its time for the EDMC Foundation scholarship!
You have TWO WEEKS from today to submit your completed application. (it's due by October 19th)
Pick one up at my office (room 233) or email me and I will send you the application.
Do not delay! Students have a very good chance of winning a cash award!

Good luck,

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Warner Bros Studio Tour Thu Sept 27th 1pm

Deb Miller has invited you to join her on a behind-the-scenes tour of the Studio Lot. You will see where TV shows and films are shot, costuming, props, soundstages, and more!

The tour is $30 and you need to provide your own transportation to the Warner Bros building in front of the Bugs Bunny statue.

If you're interested, contact Deb Miller to RSVP at . The deadline to RSVP is Monday the 24th. Space is limited to 25 attendees so reserve your spot right away.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

freelance gig: need FX animator and web designers

3rd quarter student Curtis Jefferson asked me to post these opportunities. You can contact him directly.  -Jason

We are launching a professional esports team here in San Diego. Our goal is to obviously to have a professional esports team here in the United States but of course recognized all over the world.  Our launch date is less then 35 days away.

I am excited to assist in the program by connecting students with professional quality opportunities that will of course enhance their portfolio and also offer some exciting incentives as well. I have several positions immediately available:

I need a really good web designer or web designers right away. I immediately need to contract a web designer to assist in launching of the page. Monthly salary is available upon negotiation. Here is a link of what I would like the page to look like: also

Also I need a really good fx animator. I want to create a welcome/splash page for the site. It will just be a very attractive intro that will act as something that the users can view until the web page is ready.  This is potentially a contracted position as well I just would like to meet and discuss obviously if the person is right for the job.

I am not selecting outside help in this for the simple fact that that I know how companies are set up and would like to give AI the opportunity first. I really need to fill these positions immediately.

619*366*0892 is my phone number, any graduate or student interested please feel free at any time to contact me. My email is . My main concern is to fill these positions.


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Environment Art Workshop Saturday August 25th 1-5pm

Naughty Dog artist and alum Anthony Vaccaro will trek southward to San Diego to host a workshop on what it means to be a professional environment artist in the video game industry.

$20 payable at the accounting window. The workshop is in room 310. Open to the public!


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Concepting Workshop Friday September 7th 7-10pm

Here comes Nafisah Tung for her second workshop! This time she will be tackling techniques for concepting. She will also critique student work from the first workshop.

Handpainting Textures workshop Friday August 24th 7-10pm

Join us as alumna Nafisah Tung, Character Artist on SOE's "Free Realms", shares her wisdom and expertise on creating hand-painted textures. Free!

Drawing Workshop Sept. 8 1-5pm room 286

Dr. Wei Xu will host a free workshop, showing all attendees some techniques which are perhaps different than you have learned in the past. He helps artists and non-artists acheive some tremendous results. Come check it out!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Hand-painted texture workshops

Justin Marcus has arranged these workshops:

Nafisah Tung is an AiCA-SD Game Art graduate from 2011. She's currently working at Sony Online Entertainment on Free Realms as a Character Artist.

The first workshop is Friday, August 24th, at 7pm. Room will be determined at a later date. The topic of this workshop will be Hand Painted Texturing.
The second workshop is Friday, September 7th, at 7pm. Again, the room will be determined at a later date. We will continue with hand painted texturing topics (including a critique of people's hand-painted assets), as well as concepting for 3D (particularly combining various photo reference into a cohesive concept).
Nafisah's website:
If there are any particular topics relating to hand-painted texturing that you would like covered please let me (Justin)  know and I'll see if we can work it into the workshop.

screening of student works: GAD, VGP, MAA

12-1pm each day in room 145-146
Wednesday 8/22, Thu 8/23, Fri 8/24.
Bring a lunch, arrive when you can, leave when you need to.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

See Floyd Bishop's GDC Europe talk: In advance!

Thursday August 9th
room 275

Floyd Bishop will present his talk on "You Want How Many Animations When? Getting large amounts of high quality animation quickly"

This is the topic of his talk at the upcoming GDC Europe conference in Cologne, Germany the following week.

Be a good audience and help him to work out the kinks on his presentation. Open to students and alumni!


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

workshop schedule

Here are the workshops for this quarter. Always free!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

free Siggraph Expo Pass

The SIGGraph conference is in LA this year, from August 7-9. It's always worthwhile, offering the latest in tools, techniques, technology for all things 3D.

Here's your chance to attend for free!

The link is down at the bottom of the page.


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Learning Lab Schedule SU12

Refer to this handy matrix of when the tutors are doing their thing, down in room 172. Always Free. No appointment needed. If you need academic help you can get it here.
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First alumni reunion: Sunday August 26th 2-5pm

it's happening on Sunday August 26th from 2-5pm at the Stone Brewing Company in Escondido. The departments' faculty and A.D.'s are looking to re-connect with alumni over the past ten years. Bring your business cards & industry tales and be prepared to share what's been going on in your life since you graduated! Hope to see you there!
-Jason Katsoff

Monday, July 9, 2012

Guest Speaker - Stephen Silver - Character Designer Wed. July 11, 11am - 1pm room 146-147

Please come to Steve Silver's presentation this Wednesday. Silver is an inspiring artist and character designer who, much like you, had a dream and followed it. Free to all Ai students. If you have class until noon on Wednesday you may quietly enter the room after class.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

need more volunteers for Comic-Con

The word is out! You students are volunteering at the Ai booth, the CTN booth, and now the Stuart Ng Bookstore booth. Here is the description of the volunteer position, straight from Stuart Ng. Please send me an email if you'd like to be on the list of potential volunteers.

My bookstore (the physical store as well as the online store) is highly regarded in the animation, gaming, and comic book industries for our unique stock of books on Illustration, Animation & Comic Art. One-third of our stock is artists' self-published sketchbooks and art collections; and another third is art books and graphic novels imported from France and other parts of Europe. Over 90% of our clientele are professional artists. We have been exhibiting at SDCC since 1998.

At my Comic-Con booth (booths 5012-5020 next to Tina Price's CTN booth), I have two staffers stationed at the entrance to greet customers as they enter the booth, check-in and hold their bags/backpacks while they shop in the booth, and retrieve and return their bags/backpacks when they leave the booth.

I would like to use your student volunteers to staff the second position at bag-check. I will have a bag-check supervisor (or a booth manager) in the first position working alongside the volunteers at all times.

The individuals should be neat, organized and personable. They will be interacting with a lot of big-name professionals and must be able to act appropriately. Matt Groening, Chris Sanders, John Musker, Tony Baxter, Tony DiTerlizzi, Gainax artists, etc. always come to the booth.

Ideally I would like to staff the second bag-check position entirely with your student volunteers.

The shifts will be:

Wed 6-9
Thur 9-2 and 2-7
Fri 9-2 and 2-7
Sat 9-2 and 2-7

Sun 9-1 and 1-5

If you can supply volunteers to perform this function for the duration of the convention, I can supply two badges for the duration of the convention. If your students can handle the badge exchanges themselves, they can use the badges for the night-time activities as well.

My thinking was for a 10-hour exhibit hall day, a volunteer would work a 5 hour shift and then switch off with another volunteer, so each has 5 uninterrupted hours to roam the convention. (With the size of the exhibit hall and the crowds, I find it can take 1-2 hours just to get to the other end of the hall.)

For the position, it is better to have longer uninterrupted blocks, so the same person that checks the bag also returns the bag.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

seeking Comic-Con volunteers

I'm organizing the Art Institute's booth at Comic-Con this year. The event happens during week 1 of the summe quarter. If you are interested in representing your school and your department please contact me to be added to the "interest list". I'll be creating a schedule soon. In exchange for 3 or so hours of service you'll be able to cruise around the "Con for a couple hours.

If interested, please email me and include your cellphone number. You cannot work the booth during the hours that you have class. Thursday - Sunday July 12-15 are the days I need volunteers.


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Alumni Guest Speaker: This Friday afternoon

Claire Lenth graduated from AiCA-SD with a degree in Media Arts & Animation in spring 2007. Since then, her work experience has primarily been with Cartoon Network Studios, along with some freelance from Warner Bros and Hasbro.

2007 – 2008 Freelance then Full Time Color Stylist on Transformers Animated

2009 – 2011 Color Stylist on Generator Rex
2010 Freelance Color Stylist on GI Joe Resolute
2011 – 2012 Freelance Color Stylist (Ink and Paint) for DC Nation (Teen Titans, Vibe, Doom Patrol and Amethyst)
2011 – Present Background Painter on Ben 10 Omniverse

She will visit on Friday afternoon and bring a pdf of her portfolio for a quick run through. Mainly though, she'd like to focus on giving students information on the industry, internships and the general work environment up in Los Angeles, along with answering any particular questions they might have.
We will have limited seats in Harry Hamernik's Character & Object Design class in room 165 at 1pm and then Eric Van Hamersveld's class in room 134 around 2:30 or 3pm.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Pro Workshop with Character Artist Danny Williams. Saturday May 19th 1-5pm. $20

Danny says:
"In this four-hour lecture/demo, I will cover the thought process of designing characters and creatures in three dimensions.  Using tools like Zbrush, you can design and realize your characters in three dimensions prior to committing to a shape for production. We will look at the various pipelines and design techniques related to creating compelling three dimensional concept art."

My work experience:
"I began as a kid who loved to draw (and I still am today).

I am currently a CG generalist at Dreamworks animation.  I am responsible for the visual development of assets using a wide range of tools and techniques.  Prior to that, I was a modeler at Dreamworks on Puss N' Boots, and the upcoming film Turbo.

Before joining the Dreamworks team,  I worked as a character artist at ArenaNet, making a game called Guild Wars 2.  

Prior to that I worked at Blue Sky Studios for 12 years where I worked on Ice Age, Robots, Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who! and several commercial and television projects. "

 The workshop will be on Saturday May 19th 1-5pm in the NORTH building (7650 Mission Valley Road, SD,  92108). The cost is $20, payable at the Accounting Window (2nd floor, AiCA-SD) or at the door if space is available.  Besides students, alumni and the public are welcome to attend.
   For any questions contact me, Jason Katsoff, at 858-598-1495.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Movie Screening On Sunday 4/28 12:15pm

It's been awhile, huh? We're going to see "The Pirates! Band of Misfits" at the UltraStar movie theater in Hazard Center. It's Aardman Animation's latest stop motion film. Just show up outside the box office and I'll hand you a ticket (*while supplies last). Hope you can join us!  BTW we'll be seeing the 3D screening of the film.

Tutoring & Learning Lab Schedule SP12

The schedule below shows the student tutors' schedule as well as the faculty who are in the Learning Lab. Remember that you don't need an appointment and the services are free. Take a look at the topics that each tutor specializes in. Take advantage of this if you need help!

(click to view larger)

Open Labs SP12

If you're looking for an open lab, take a look at the grid below. Hope this helps! Keep in mind that you can use any open computer even if a class is in session. Just be quiet and courteous.

(click to view larger)
click image to view larger

Monday, March 12, 2012

Penguin Animation Contest

Great idea! Students should enter!

The Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach will be opening its first ever penguin exhibit this year on May 17, 2012. As part of the festivities, we are hosting a contest to create an animated video that highlights penguins in celebration of the Aquarium’s opening of its new penguin habitat.

  • All entries must be received by 12:00 a.m. on Tues. 5/1/2012, include mention of the Aquarium of the Pacific and the opening of the new June Keyes Penguin Habitat.
  • All entries must be family friendly, highlight penguins in a positive manner, and not exceed three minutes.
  • The top five entries that are chosen as the “most creative penguin animations” will be posted on Facebook no later than 6:00 p.m. on Fri. 5/4/12 and the winner will be determined by whichever video receives the most YouTube and Facebook “likes” by Tuesday 5/15/2012. Please note that the only Facebook likes counted will be on the Aquarium’s official posts.
  • The grand prize winner will be awarded a $500 cash prize along with a penguin encounter experience for two people at the Aquarium. Please note you must be 10 years or older to participate in the penguin encounter. If the grand prize winner is under 10 years old, he/she will receive the $500 cash prize and four Aquarium admission tickets (instead of the penguin encounter).
  • The winner and four runner-ups will have their videos featured on the Aquarium’s YouTube channel and Facebook page
  • To enter, upload the link to your video on YouTube

Monday, March 5, 2012

Zynga internship available

Zynga Carlsbad is looking for an intern artist for the spring quarter. It's a paid position, too. If you're good with 2D vector art, like to work in Flash and Maya, have a 3.0+ GPA and are in your last four quarters of school please come see me to discuss!


Thursday, March 1, 2012

new internship available!

Students in MAA, GAD & VGP:
If you're good with Zbrush and are interested in interning at Disguise Costumes, come see me! They are located in Poway and are looking for a Zbrush modeler to sculpt masks. 


Tuesday, February 7, 2012