Alumni Stories

William Buerkel

Visual Effects & Motion Graphics

Head of Animation & Motion Graphics, Tomahawk Visual Effects LLC
The Art Institute of Phoenix

William Buerkel AiPhoenix Graduate

My education taught me discipline on deadlines. I also gained extremely valuable networking opportunities. William Buerkel , Head of Animation & Motion Graphics, Tomahawk Visual Effects LLC Bachelor of Science in Visual Effects & Motion Graphics, 2017 , The Art Institute of Phoenix
Creates Animation for Clients, Learns from Each Project

William Buerkel is the head of animation & motion graphics for Tomahawk Visual Effects LLC. He’s responsible for pre-visualizing rough animation in 3D from storyboards. After a client approves of the rough animation, he cleans it up and prepares the animation for full render. “I take it back once the render is done and add typography and any additional 2D animation required for the spot,” he says.

He explains that some projects are especially challenging. “I was given a project that was more towards the corporate side of things than the creative. Trying to make it look interesting while meeting corporate standards was tough.” The project also was rendering very slowly, making it difficult to complete. “At the end of it, I found out what was causing the slow renders, and now if something is slow I go and troubleshoot first thing. Every project I work on, I learn more and figure out how to do similar tasks quicker and better. Looking back a year ago, the work I can do now is leaps ahead.”

While the work days can be long, William enjoys the creative environment. “Work is very free form. I can wear jeans and T-shirts. Being very open with everyone is great and our office is set up to be easy to collaborate with each other. We constantly have tunes playing at full blast with a Spotify playlist that anyone can add to throughout the day.” He’s excited to mention that a project that he worked on won a southwest region EMMY Awards in October 2016.

William, who in 2017 earned a Bachelor of Arts in Visual Effects & Motion Graphics from The Art Institute of Phoenix, says that his education taught him to be disciplined with deadlines. “I also gained extremely valuable networking opportunities. I was often encouraged to go beyond the work required of me.” He tells current students to take advantage of the resources in school. “Remember, the instructors are there to help you. Don't think of them like the teachers in high school, but more as resources of information and help. They want you to succeed. Any work they throw at you that seems overwhelming will help you to build work ethic that really helps out in the working world.”

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