I am Aldric Lopez, I finished as the runner-up in the Feature Animation category in the Rookie Awards 2018.

Aldric Lopez - 2018 Runner-up Feature Animation

Where do you work now?

I am currently working as an animator at MPC in Montreal.

How’s life where you work now?

This is my first time working in an animation studio and I am loving it.

I get to work doing animation all day long alongside a room full of other animators as passionate as me.

The rigs and tools here are all amazing and everybody here is very friendly and nice to work with. I’m very thankful to my fellow animators who are always willing to help me out getting used to everything in the beginning.

How was your experience with The Rookies?

The Rookies was a wonderful experience for me, not only did it give me a chance to show my animation skills but it also let me see what other students are doing. There was a lot of very good student projects and I really enjoyed going through all of them. I was very excited when I learned I was selected for The Draft and then as a Finalist.

Only select the work that best represents what you are good at and what you want to do

After that I was very nervous and excited. I started sharing my accomplishments with everyone on my social media and I really got into the competition by trying to win the People's Choice Award. It was a very close competition and in the end I didn't win so I then tried to win the Rookie of the Year award. When the results day came I was so excited about being runner-up I had to share it with all my family, friends and school.

Everyone congratulated me and AnimSchool even published it in their monthly newsletter. What's more, during The Rookies SIGGRAPH party (SIGGIES), they showed all of my animations which was awesome and gave me the opportunity to network and meet a lot of fellow Animators.

After a while, I received an email from MPC saying they liked my work and wanted to interview me. This was thanks to Zeina Masri, who was one of the judges from The Rookies competition. The rest is history, and I am now finally starting my career in animation.

Any advice for entering The Rookies?

For anyone interested in entering the Rookie Awards I would advice you to choose very carefully what pieces of work you submit. First of all, read very clearly the different categories and make sure you are in the correct one according to what your best skills are.

Then make sure you only select the work that best represents what you are good at and what you want to do, for me its animation, and although I have done work in other areas of 3D such as modelling, lighting, etc; my main focus is animation, so that's what I focused on.

Finally, make sure it is only your best work, if you think one of your pieces is not as good as others then polish it or take it out, you are only as strong as your worst piece. And finally have fun with it, don't feel to stressed about what rank you get just try to show your best work and keep improving every time you participate, and always remember to have fun doing what you love.

Aldric with Rookies Judge Zeina Masri at MPC, Montreal

Is there anybody you’d like to thank?

I would like to thank a lot of people that have helped me and supported me. Just like with any award, I will try to keep the list short before the music cuts me off. First I want to thank my family, my parents (Ivan and Irina) who were there always supporting my crazy ideas of learning animation, and my sister and brother (Tanit and Derek) who were the ones who first told me it was worth it to pursue this dream.

I would like to thank also my AnimSchool teachers, (Kevan, Rahul, Jean Luc, Mitch, Hans, Manuel, Luke, Tony, Kent and Matt) because every week they were there to teach me something new, patiently give me feedback and answer all my questions no matter how silly they were.

I want to thank my friends from Vancouver (Juliana, Tiago, Helena, Karina, Jaci, Abraham, Luis, Mia, Mario, Javier, Hugo, and the rest of 3D133) you guys are the best and were with me during the best and worse times, through all of the competition and eventually my move to Montreal.

Finally thanks to Zeina Masri and Alwyn Hunt for The Rookies and for helping me get this first step in the Animation industry.

Zeina Masri - Judges Statement:

I'd like to congratulate Aldric Lopez again for all his accomplishments during the Rookie Awards 2018.

Aldric's passion for animation was very clear in his demo reel. I could see that he mastered the basics then started to experiment and have fun. I really liked that he wasn't afraid to hold on appealing poses and show off silhouettes, all while maintaining a high level of polish and detail to his shots.

After meeting Aldric I found him to be humble and dedicated; I couldn't be prouder to welcome him to the MPC Animation team.

Good luck to all the future Rookie Awards contestants!

PHOTO CREDITS: Ned Mansour, Beautifoto.com @beautifotomtl