Shawn Woods: From goalie to game artisan
January 1, 0001
When Shawn Woods aged out of Manitoba Major Junior Hockey in 2001, it was time for the star goaltender to get serious about his other passion-animation. Having already completed a few college courses in graphic design and spent some time working for local interactive multimedia company Big Red Truck Productions, the multitalented Stonewall, MB native began researching dedicated animation programs. Not only did he look into schools across the country, but also flew to Toronto and Vancouver to visit them in person. "I wanted to make sure," he says.
In the end, Shawn says it was a conversation with Capilano University animation instructor Craig Simmons that sealed the deal. The stunning North Vancouver campus might have helped a little too. "Coming from the prairies, it was quite something," he remembers. "Just standing in the parking lot and looking out into the city was an amazing experience."
In Shawn's Capilano days, the animation classes were still held in the Library building, the sleek Nat and Flora Bosa Centre for Film and Animation still only rumour in the air. After completing a summer program in Animation Fundamentals, he moved on to the Digital Animation certificate (now called the 3D Animation for Film and Games diploma) and later found employment at the Vancouver-based Relic Entertainment where he had a hand in the popular Warhammer 40K series. Shawn has since built a successful career in video game art, working with small startup companies, where he designed casual web and mobile games like Fit Brains (which was later acquired by Rosetta Stone), as well as giants like Microsoft Games where he oversaw many internal and external projects as art director. Today, Shawn can be found in yet another gorgeous corner of Canada, as co-owner of the Nova Scotia-based boutique studio, Alpha Dog Games, where he is creative director.
Read the complete blog post on Your Daily Cap.