Loyola Marymount University will outfit its new Animation Lab with state-of-the-art digital equipment and technology, thanks to a $540,000 grant from the Walter Lantz Foundation to the university’s School of Film and Television.

The grant is one of the largest gifts by the foundation to a university animation program and will allow LMU students to use the same kind of computers, software and equipment that professional animators use in Hollywood, LMU officials said.

“Animation has transformed from simple cartoons into a medium, language, and mode of thought that crosses multiple disciplines in the art of filmmaking,” said Stephen G. Ujlaki, dean of the School of Film and Television. “This grant from the Walter Lantz Foundation will help our students bring the traditions of animation into the 21st century and beyond.”

LMU is the only film school in Los Angeles to provide university-level courses in pre-visualization and virtual cinematography, which is the use of computer-generated worlds and characters to achieve shots and camera angles that would be highly unlikely with traditional moviemaking tools, school officials said.

“We’re proud to be able to support the work of LMU’s School of Film and Television,” said Edward Landry of the Walter Lantz Foundation. “There’s no better tribute to Walter Lantz’s memory than helping to train the next generation of animators.”

The equipment supported by the grant also includes computers for LMU’s newly created motion capture stage, a 3D scanner, lighting for stop-motion animation, and upgraded and networked computer workstations that will allow students to collaborate with ease.

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