2022 Wētā FX MDT Scholarship winner announced

Bachelor of Design Innovation double major in Animation and Visual Effects (ANFX) and Media Design student Jim Guo is the recipient of the 2022 Wētā FX MDT Scholarship. The $15,000 scholarship will support Jim to study a Master of Design Technology (MDT) and will see him gain experience in real-world projects and develop skills in compositing, 3D animation, lighting, and FX simulation.

The Master of Design Technology (MDT) - Compositing and motion graphics teaches professional approaches to previsualisation, production planning, and coordination using The Foundry's Nuke software.

Jim’s passion for animation and visual effects began while he was studying Fina Arts in China and was given the opportunity to undertake a Bachelor of Animation at South China Agricultural University.

After graduating in 2008, he worked for nine years as a photojournalist and videographer. In 2017, he decided to make the move to New Zealand to pursue his goal of working in the digital animation industry.

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington’s Bachelor of Design Innovation majors in Animation and Visual Effects and Media Design gave Jim the perfect opportunity to continue studying animation and visual effects. His 2021 summer research scholarship as Miramar Creative Centre director and senior lecturer Kevin Romond’s research assistant gave him valuable hands-on experience at the Miramar Creative Centre on motion capture and creating CG characters on Tiktok.

One of Jim’s key influences at the University was Kevin Romond, who has been a huge support, especially with Jim’s Amination and Visual Effects Capstone project which focuses on professional development and engaging with the industry through a combination of guest lectures, brief development, and critiques.

“Kevin really helped me refine my Capstone project, teaching me how to take great shots and create engaging stories as well as helping me solve technical software issues, so his support was invaluable to me throughout the course.”

Bachelor of Design Innovation (BDI) - Jim tries out a motion capture suit for the first time as part of his Animation and Visual Effects Capstone. 

Keen to continue his studies in animation, Jim was attracted to the Master of Design Technology for a variety of reasons: “The MDT is the only one of its kind in New Zealand and is mainly focused on Computer Generated (CG) content and visual effects. It also gives you the opportunity to learn from leading industry experts at Wētā FX and work alongside them on visual effects orders from Hollywood studios which is amazing.”

Receiving the scholarship has made a huge difference financially for Jim and the support he received from Wētā FX was equally important. “I really appreciate receiving the MDT Scholarship as it means I can cover my living expenses and costs, but I also want to acknowledge how much encouragement and motivation Wētā FX have given me. It has reinforced that I made the right decision in pursuing a career in animation and visual effects.”

After Jim completes his Master’s he is looking forward to working in the screen industry as an Assistant Technical Director where he hopes to specialise in lighting, rendering, and the simulation of natural elements.