The holiday season often makes people reflect on what is really important in life. In keeping with the spirit of the season, we thought this would be the perfect time to start our new blog series that shows off something we’re very thankful for: our awesome staff! To start things off, we sat down with Deborah Anderson, one of our QA inspectors, to learn more about her endeavors in and outside of TurboSquid.
What does your day typically consist of?
My day consists of looking at 3D models. Sometimes I fix them up, and sometimes I convert them to other programs. My troubleshooting skills as far as 3D is concerned have definitely increased because of my day to day work.
How did you get into 3D modeling?
I’ve been drawing since I was little. My mom got us these Disney books and we had VHS tapes; so I would draw the characters from those, and people always thought I traced it. I’ve always wanted to have an occupation that was art-related. I went from Architect to Industrial Designer, and landed on Electric Engineering because I always loved math in school also. I did dual-enrollment when I was in high school, so I took some classes at Schoolcraft College in Livonia, MI. My last class that I took before I graduated high school was a 3ds Max class, and I had finally found what I had been looking for. I applied to RIT’s Film/Video/Animation program and was accepted. The spring quarter of my freshman year, I took my first modeling course and fell in love. I suck at rigging. For animation, I try to create grandiose animation curves, but it always ends up falling flat. I enjoyed my lighting and rendering courses, so I hope to expand my knowledge in regard to those subjects, but modeling is my thing. I used to take Play-Doh and sculpt faces out of it, so it’s a good fit. When I was working in Korea, I would find pleasure in finishing a project/model that I thought was going to be impossible to do, but I pushed through and produced.
Your deskmate, John McGrail, also spent time abroad before coming to TurboSquid. How did you wind up in Korea?
My decision to go to South Korea was very abrupt. Someone who I went to college with was posting pictures of all her ventures in Korea, so that’s when I first found out about teaching English overseas. Then I found out that the qualifications were to have a Bachelor’s degree in anything and be a native English speaker from the select few countries they approved. I decided in June 2009 to start applying in July if I didn’t land an animation-related job, and was in Korea by the end of August—which apparently is a feat since I didn’t realize that the ideal time to apply for the fall is March/April. I was hired, fired, and placed somewhere in that month also. I worked at an all-girls high school, Songwon High School, and an all-girls middle school, Dong-A Middle School, in Gwangju (Jeollanamdo), South Korea. It was a great experience, but also challenging since I was teaching my students conversational English and Koreans tend to be self-conscious about grammar and worry about messing up. Combine that with shyness and just not being interested in talking in a foreign language, and it makes for some interesting classes. Thank goodness for class clowns, because in Korea, even though they are trying to get attention, they also tend to answer the questions.
You also got your first job in animation there, didn’t you?
Digital eMation. It was my first official job in animation, and my name has already been in the credits for TV and movies (straight to DVD movies). I got to work on Family Guy, The Cleveland Show, Scooby Doo, Batman: The Brave and the Bold, and The Lebrons as a CG Artist modeling/texturing vehicles, backgrounds, and props. It made me realize that, yes, I picked the right path. I look forward to continue production work at some point.
Outside of work, I am a member the Urban League of Greater New Orleans Young Professionals (ULGNOYP), where I’m on the Professional Development Committee. I’m a part of the Young Leadership Council (YLC), where I participate in one of their projects, Recreate. It provides kids who are 5-14 who live in the Harmony Oaks neighborhood with an outlet, whether it be sports or learning about culture. TurboSquid also recently participated in YLC’s Power Ties culminating event, the job site visit. Five 8th graders from Langston Hughes Academy came in to learn more about our company. They also got a chance to make something in 3D. I play kickball in PlayNOLA for ULGNOYP’s team. I also volunteer at my church and am on the prison ministry, graphics team, and audio/visual team. One day, I’ll be teaching at Delgado Community College once they get me enough students who want to learn Maya. Yeah, that’s about it.
Coming from an experienced modeler like yourself, what’s your favorite 3D model on TurboSquid?
I remember inspecting this model and being pleased with how realistic it looked. It looked realistic, but I wasn’t disgusted by it being a cockroach.
Like what you see so far? Check back with us later this week to meet John McGrail, one of TurboSquid’s Product Analysts; and if these bios are making you wish you were a part of our team, be sure to check out our current job openings!