Insider's Guide - ArtFX

Insider's Guide - ArtFX

The 3D Animation program is really underestimated. When the FX artists and matte painters decide to work on an animated film, the result is of industry quality. The school even opened a 2D Animation/Stop motion program last year and students are in love with it.

Whether you’re already at school, looking to find a new school or even considering moving overseas to study, nothing beats hearing from the students themselves! We speak to Elise Bourgeois, a 3D Animation student, about the ins and outs of studying at ArtFX in Montpellier, France.

The Specifics

What’s the name of your school?

I am studying at ArtFX.

What’s the name of the neighbourhood?

The school is located in Montpellier, France.

Closest train station or public transport option?

Usually, people use the line 1 of the tram and get out at Malbosc station, and then walk for 5-10 minutes. There are some buses as well. I personally use my own car, it is easy to park in the area.

How long have you been there?

I started ArtFX in 3rd year so I’ve here for 2 years now.

Why did you choose to study here?

After a 3D generalist bachelor, I wanted to specialise in 3D animation and I was really inspired by the quality of the short film produced by the school. I remember looking at ​Street Credibility, a​nd being really impressed by the level of animation and the beauty of the renders.

The Scene

The first thing you see when you walk outside your school?

We see the building of the National School of Chemistry. ArtFX is surrounded by a lot of schools and student housing. Montpellier is an amazing place for students with a lot of cultural activities and entertainment.

The closest shop to outside your school is:

There is a bakery down the street where students go to buy lunch. You can have sandwiches and a lot of french desserts.

Your school is great, but you would t mind a bit less:

Students everywhere. With the opening of the new 2D Animation course and the improvement of the Video Game course, the school became so popular that the number of students exploded in the last year. We were 400 students when I joined last year and this year we are now 600 students which is a lot. Hopefully ArtFX is opening a new Campus in Lille and a small one in Paris so we will have more space again next year.

The unofficial uniform of your school is:

The hoodies provided by the student association which are very comfortable and have the logo of the school on the back.

A mandatory stop for anyone new to your city:

I think everyone coming to Montpellier should go at least one time in the old city center where you can see the old opera house on the Comédie square. There are a lot of small restaurants were you can eat the local tapas, it’s really good !

A common myth about your school is:

That our school is only good at doing visual effects. The 3D Animation program is really underestimated. When the FX artists and matte painters decide to work on an animated film, the result looks like ​Instinct,​ and it is really convincing. The school even opened a 2D Animation/Stop motion program last year and students are in love with it.

A massive night out for students at your school is likely to be:

The student association is regularly organising parties for special events like Halloween, Valentine’s day or Integration day. For Integration day, students are gathered in families where you learn to know new people of different classes by playing games together.

The Superlatives

You won’t find a better place to eat than at:

I really enjoy going to ​Pirates Paradise​ because you can eat delicious food literally inside a pirate boat. You have regular shows with automated figures and people wearing costumes. That’s really fun to watch.

The strangest thing you’ve ever seen at your school is:

Animators class doing weird karate/dance/fight moves trying to shoot references for the next workshop, but I was part of it so I guess that's ok. The CG people really started to question our course at that moment. It is very common to see animators trying to mimic elephants or being a ballerina in the corridors.

One thing you’d never change about your school is:

I really like the flexibility of the school and the fact that they really listen and understand us if we have any concern. They are really open to changes regarding the courses and the organisation of the workshops.

But one thing you wouldn’t mind seeing changed is:

I’d like to see more cooperative workshops between the cinema course and the video game course. Last year I had the opportunity to help the 5th year graduation video games by doing animations for them and I really enjoyed it. Last year I also did a Game Jam called “​Ma Thèse en Jeu Video​” were the animators for cinema had to do a cinematic in two days for the games created during the Jam. I would really love to see more projects like this to reinforce the bridge between these two courses.

Someone gives you $1M to pimp out your school. You use it to:

I would use it to add more classrooms in the main building so we can have more computers for the renderfarm and people who want to work at school even if they don’t have class at that moment. That being said, ArtFX is building a student housing right next to the main building which will include a cinema and a student lounge with computers, and I am really excited about this.

Author: Elise Bourgeois, a 3D Animation student at ArtFX who loves watching singing Disney princesses, playing video games and eating pizza.

You can find Elise Bourgeois on LinkedIn and Vimeo.