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Silos to studio: local animation company relocates to former grain elevator

Oklahoma Christian University students can intern at one of Oklahoma City’s most innovative workplaces, thanks to a local high-tech company relocating to one of the city’s oldest structures.

SkyLine Ink will make the short move from their current studio to a century-old, recently restored grain elevator Oct. 27. They will occupy the top two floors of the three-story structure, located directly south of Bricktown. The second floor will house an open-air, collaborative workspace with individual offices lining the exterior. A virtual reality lab and motion capture studio will be located in the third floor penthouse.

According to SkyLine Ink Marketing Lead Liz Cobb, job and internship opportunities for students in Oklahoma Christian University’s Gaming and Animation program may be available. Since the company was founded in 2000, a few Oklahoma Christian alumni and students have worked at the company as employees and interns, Cobb said.

Last year, high school students attending Oklahoma Christian’s Honors Summer Academy toured the soon-to-be-vacant SkyLine studio.

“We have had one or two past employees who are Oklahoma Christian alumni,” Cobb said. “We also offer internships and try to maintain a relationship with the gaming and animation department.”

Chair of Oklahoma Christian’s Gaming and Animation Program Jeff Price said three students from the program have interned at SkyLine in the past. According to Price, the tools needed to learn 3D visualization, the type of animation done at SkyLine, are available to students in the gaming and animation program.

“SkyLine primarily focuses on environmental visualization, which is basically creating buildings,” Price said. “Students who want to go in that direction will mostly be game designers. They’ll work on things like game engine technology, virtual reality and augmented reality. They’ll take some interior design classes for design history. In order to succeed, they have to be good 3D modelers and good texture artists.”

Price said the Oklahoma City, OK area has become an emerging market for talented students searching for internships and jobs in the field of 3D visualization.

“There are a lot of companies like SkyLine rising out of Oklahoma City, which has been fortunate for us as we’ve been getting into the area of visualization,” Price said. “In the past, students mostly wanted to work for a game company or an animation studio. Now, visualization is an entirely new option available.”

In addition to its ideal location, Oklahoma Christian’s gaming and animation program has a positive, national reputation. A 2015 poll conducted by The Princeton Review found Oklahoma Christian to be among the top 30 game design programs in the United States.

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