Brew reader Michael Losure is a graduate student at the Texas A&M Viz lab who recently finished work on a couple of projects worth a look.

The first is a 3 minute CG short, just finished, named Goobees. It’s a darkly comic film about the inner workings of a vending machine, with a senario that’s a cross between Braveheart and Candyland. Losure and his partners — Seth Freeman, Tony Piedra, Patrick O’Brien — spent 18 months making the CG short inbetween taking classes and dealing with other college obligations.

The second is a stop-motion music video for the band Motion City Soundtrack. A fellow A&M lab student, Lauren Simpson, won an mtvU contest to direct a music video. Losure became the lead animator and editor. The resulting video, It Had To Be You, is a lot of fun – and a pretty good song. Losure adds:

I’m sending the films to you because I’m proud of them as films, not because I think the actual character animation itself necessarily meets Cartoon Brew standards. I have a strong interest in animation, but my schooling and job (I’ll start an FX position at Dreamworks this summer) are more technical. The viz lab specializes in the technical side of computer graphics – and on merging artistic skills with the technical – but there is no specific coursework in animation. I don’t think we’re very well known in the animation industry as a whole (probably because we don’t usually produce animators or shorts), but a lot of our graduates end up in various TD positions at the big animation companies (Seth and Tony are now at Pixar doing rigging and matte painting, and Patrick, Lauren and I are signed with Dreamworks for lighting and FX).

Pretty good for student work at a school that doesn’t teach animation per se. Pixar and Dreamworks are lucky to get you.