At ARC Academy, we strive to enrich our curriculum every year. We are in constant dialogue with game studios and the film industry and are expanding our horizons.
Starting next academic year, students in the art programs – 3D Art, Concept Art, and VFX & Animation – will be able to take three new elective classes – Background Design, Traditional Animation, and Storyboarding. Classes will be taught by professionals who have extensive experience in the field. This is possible thanks to Studio Zmei joining our community of partners.
Studio Zmei is an animation studio specializing in 2D animation, founded in Sofia in 2015. One of its main goals is to contribute to the development of the animation industry in Bulgaria by working on large international projects and applying the accumulated experience in its own productions.
In a lecture to the students of ARC Academy, the founder and creative director of Studio Zmei, Dimitar Petrov, told more about the dynamics in the studio and the projects they are working on.
The team consists of about 45 people from Bulgaria and abroad, some of them are freelancers. Zmei deals with the production and animation of digital 2D series, design, and visual development for animation. Dimitar specified that the term visual development in animated films is something like concept art in video games – building the animation style film – character design and set design.
For seven years, Zmei’s portfolio has included a number of interesting projects.
The Golden Apple is the flagship of the studio – an animated action-adventure series developed 100% in-house. The Crunchers is an animated sitcom, a co-production with French studios, which will also be broadcast on BNT when it is finished. Elvis Riboldi is a 52-episode series on which the studio worked for a year and a half and created over 100 minutes of animation. Mila and Marko is a children’s animated comedy series in which the main character experiences a culture shock when her parents decide to return from Paris to their native Gabrovo.
The studio also has experience outside the field of animated films – they created commercials as well as an online platform for the French university EDHEC Business School, where students worked together during the lockdowns due to COVID-19.
Yana Milosheva, head of communications and operations at the studio, encouraged ARC Academy students to submit their portfolios, even if there is currently no job opening at Zmei. She noted that the studio maintains a database where it collects people and, when a suitable project comes up, contacts them. When asked by the students what they expect as a portfolio, Yana and Dimitar indicated that Artstation is a good platform for the purpose.
Dimitar pointed out that in addition to talent, an artist who wants to work in animation should be disciplined and organized in order to advance in the industry.
We believe that our partnership with Studio Zmei will lead to a number of new opportunities for ARC Academy students. More news coming soon!