CG Chatter 031: Founder & Director of the Pixels and Polygons School, Anthony Marquette


Welcome to the CG Chatter Podcast episode #31! In this episode I chat with Anthony Marquette, Founder & Director of the Pixels and Polygons School of 3D Art and Animation.

Anthony has worked for many years as a 3D program director (including at the school where I got my own 3D education), and recently launched the Pixels and Polygons school. He’s also a talented CG artist who has worked with clients such as SyFy and Reebok, and has additionally created lots of cool projects on the side as examples for students and entries into competitions.

Topics from the interview include the challenges and joys of teaching, what led Anthony to start his own school, how he’s used competitions as motivation to tackle new projects, and also some helpful tips for assembling your own PC, optimized for CG.

Episode Guide:

  • 2:11 – Anthony gives a quick overview of Pixels and Polygons, the school he founded and directs
  • 3:07 – His love of computer graphics started with videogames
  • 4:22 – He fondly remembers playing with Microsoft 3D Movie Maker in the 90s
  • 5:23 – Anthony’s “unconventional tour through the education system”
  • 6:32 – He initially dabbled more with graphic design than animation
  • 6:54 – What led him to enrolling in CDIA’s 3D Animation program
  • 7:40 – Anthony’s unique path through high school
  • 10:16 – He originally thought animation would be his favorite area of 3D, but that changed over time
  • 11:33 – After graduating CDIA, he was invited back as a TA, then progressed from part-time teacher, to associate director, to director of the 3D program
  • 12:53 – Directing the 3D program was the most intimidating job Anthony had held up to that point
  • 13:23 – Every day he pushed himself to keep on top of the material, and the intimidation and pressure drove him to work as hard as he could
  • 14:35 – “For most schools, it’s a constant balance of trying to give a good experience while making ends meet.”
  • 16:15 – Anthony’s DaVinci Resolve tutorial (see link below)
  • 18:05 – Anthony’s BlendShapes handout (see image below)
  • 19:03 – Anthony’s Zoetrope tutorial (see link below)
  • 21:40 – Anthony’s work on “Han Solo Frozen in Carbonite” (see image below)
  • 23:05 – He’s had a great experience working with Sketchfab
  • 24:07 – Anthony’s work on “Hobbit Hole” (see image below)
  • 24:37 He describes what “alpha cards” are and when you would want to use them
  • 26:23 – Anthony’s work on “Kielbasa” (see video below)
  • 29:36 – Competitions can provide great motivation to complete personal projects
  • 30:09 – Anthony’s work on Mystique (see image below)
  • 31:58 – Anthony talks more in-depth about his new school, Pixels and Polygons
  • 40:25 – He discusses his thoughts on work/life balance
  • 44:40 – Anthony and his students spend a lot of time discussing the notion of professionalism
  • 45:48 – If you want to get into this industry, be prepared to work hard
  • 47:43 – Meetup groups are a fantastic resource to take advantage of
  • 49:08 – Anthony offers advice on choosing/customizing a computer for computer graphics work
  • 53:04 – He’s been having a great time lately creating fabric with Marvelous Designer
  • 53:55 – His program has been looking at all the new features in Maya 2017 (including Arnold renderer and the motion graphics updates) and Nuke

Episode links:

Featured Work from the Episode:

DaVinci Resolve Tutorial for The Pixels and Polygons School
Created 2016 – 2017 by Anthony Marquette

Essential Blendshapes Handout for The Pixels and Polygons School
Created by Anthony Marquette 2016 – 2017

Zoetrope Tutorial for The Pixels and Polygons School
Created 2016 – 2017 by Anthony Marquette

Han Solo Frozen in Carbonite
Submitted to Sketchfab “Lights, Camera, Immersion” competition. October 27, 2016
All 3D art created by Anthony Marquette

Hobbit Hole
Created as example environment design for students. Completed April 2016.
All 3D Art created by Anthony Marquette

Submitted to the Overlapping Action Film Festival, November 2015.
Anthony’s Role: Director, Voice Over, Modeling, Texturing, Rigging, Animation, Lighting, Rendering.

Created as example character design for students. Completed September 2016.
All 3D Art created by Anthony Marquette

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  • Anthony Marquette

    It was a pleasure being interviewed for CGChatter, Eric. Thank you so much for all of your support and of course for inviting me on the podcast! Keep up the good work!

    • Thanks so much, Anthony! It was an honor having you on the show!