Leah Walsh in the Animation Studio
Leah Walsh in the Animation Studio

Leah Walsh shares insight on what it is like to be a 3D animation major at MCAD.

What inspired you to pursue animation?

Leah: In high school, I was really into art, but I was also into math and physics, so for me 3D animation was like the perfect in-between of those two fields. Growing up with video games like the Legend of Zelda were a huge inspiration. Now that I am in the field, I’m surrounded by artists who are doing amazing things within the medium.
Leah Walsh's zelda piece

Leah Walsh's animation of Link from the Legend of Zelda

Did you have a favorite project or class?

Leah: Experimental animation with Tom Schroeder was a great class because it gave me the opportunity to experiment with all different kinds of technical skills in animation. It was a great way to jump into trying a wide variety of stuff in 3D animation without having to worry too much about the end product.

What are you currently working on?

Leah: Right now, I’m working on my senior project with a group of four other students. We are working on a short film about two kids who are going to a carnival and one of the kids is showing major signs of anxiety. I’m working on animating and creating the hair for our characters in the film.

Leah Walsh's character animation

Leah Walsh's character Alex for her senior project

What do you do most of the time as a 3D animator?

Leah: I have a range of stuff I do from modeling and rigging, which is what allows the character to move around in the space. I also do the hair and clothing on the characters and character animation.

Leah Walsh's scene animation

Will running through the circus

Do you have a favorite part about animation?

Leah: To me, one of the best things about animation is the range of the medium since feels like there is no end to the possibilities you can create. There is always something new to learn and to improve on.

leah walsh's lizard animation

Leah Walsh's rendering of a lizard

What's your dream project?

Leah: It would be great to be able to lead my own project on a video game that aims at mental health. I’ve done a lot of research on how we interact with video games and how they affect our brains while playing and all the different ways you can use video games to help. Through games, you can obviously build cognitive skills but there are also games that focus on coping mechanism from anxiety to alcoholism. I would love to make larger story-based games that would be able to help people in their lives.

What do you consider the hardest part of 3D animation?

Leah: There are times where you have to get the project out and look nice but if one setting is off then it’s all messed up. Hair is definitely one of the hardest parts since you have to groom it on the computer and the programming behind it isn’t the easiest to work with. It’s a lot of bug fixes and the coding tends to break a lot.

Leah Walsh's character animation

Leah Walsh's character Will