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Academy Graduate Animates American Idol

Academy Graduate Animates American IdolAs American Idol continues to search for its next superstar, Academy of Art University graduate Marc Secher has proven his talent by designing the multiple animated "looks" or images that were displayed behind the performers while they competed for a chance to claim the title in front of a nationwide audience this last Idol 11 season. The Web Design &New Media graduate also implemented original animation concepts for American Idol finalists’ group song, "For the Longest Time" by Billy Joel during the Top Ten Results show.

“What inspired me most about this American Idol project was that I was able to use music to create visuals that go with it, which was kind of like dancing with images. This worked for me since I can't dance or play a musical instrument. Sometimes I wish I could,” Marc said. The Web Design &New Media grad was hired by American Idol through Creative Circle to work along side Vello Virkhaus and team at V Squared Labs, originally for a Jr. Position. It was this first contract that led him to his current contact in the New Media field, all while continuing to complete his studies at Academy of Art University.

Marc sought the Web Design & New Media program at Academy of Art University because he desired to be ahead of the curve in this emerging field. His goal from the beginning was to become an animator of sorts, combining the newest software trends with traditional techniques throughout his work. Rapidly changing technology, along with witnessing the accomplishments of his older sister who had received her master’s in Digital Media, spurred even more interest in this growing field. “From a young age she convinced me to switch to Mac computers and tinker with Illustrator, Photoshop and After Effects,” said Marc. And that sisterly advice has paid off.

Academy Graduate animates American Idol Currently, Marc is excited to be working on a personal project, a time-lapse production company called Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane. The Academy graduate is also putting the finishing touches on another 3D UV Mapping project for the music festival Coachella.

Every instructor that Marc has had at the Academy has influenced him, but he recalls School of Animation instructor Colin Sebestyen as someone who helped him achieve with his New Media and Animation dreams. “When I took his 499 Motion Graphics 2 class with the Animation department, it really opened my eyes to the possibilities of really pushing a concept to its limits with motion graphics and 3D,” Marc said. Learning these invaluable concepts in a collaborative environment is what makes Sebestyen’s class stand out.

Although Marc acknowledges that no one wants to be told what to do, he believes the only way to find success is to stay true to yourself and have fun. “Also, start looking for jobs while you’re still in school to see what really interests you and try to work on those skills on your free time. If you're not good at something now it doesn't mean you can’t improve with dedication and practice. I have a whole lot to learn myself so I think I will be taking my own advice as well,” Marc said.



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