Student in Focus - Samberly Reyes

Student in Focus - Samberly Reyes

Student in Focus - Samberly Reyes


Samberly Reyes is a second year AIE student studying the Advanced diploma of Screen & Media in 3D animation and VFX for film.

We caught up with Samberly recently to ask her a few questions about her recent Internship with production company Collider, and her journey to AIE.

How did you come to AIE, what was your personal journey to AIE like?

It was recommend to me by a friend that was a programmer and was told it was a great place to study. I was about to start year 11 and was considering other opportunities, I thought about it some more and then applied to AIE. When I got accepted – I was flabbergasted. 

Being 17 and younger than everyone else in my class and year group hasn't made much of an impact on the work dynamics - I felt we all had equal footing when it came to learning and implementing our skills to our project work.

At first I thought it was going to be hard to settle into AIE - because besides Photoshop I had never touched any other 3D programs. I had only had a traditional art portfolio with me, but I was assured that it was good to have a traditional art foundation before I attempted the 3D course. As I was fairly new at  creating in 3D, at first it was kind of like a trial by fire – it was like trying to learn to walk for the first time, but as soon as we got used to it and how the programs work it was amazing to realize what we could create from inside a computer.

I was really excited about the AIE course and film has always been one of my passions. I love creating things and I have a theater background where I have done some work acting. 

What has your experience been like at AIE and how has it helped you in your career?

It’s been very heavy and challenging, but it surprises you how much you grow from year one and into year two - you really do advance your skills in such a short amount of time. I will admit there here have been a lot of late nights - but in the end the result you get from it is definitely worth it; for example our current project now, "a fairy-tale ending" we started from a different look than to what we currently have now. The result we now have at the end of the process is progressively much better than we thought it would be.

AIE overall has opened a lot of doors for me that I didn't even realize actually existed. It has opened my eyes to careers that I would have never seen my self doing previously – for example – lighting and rendering, they correlate very closely, and I never thought I would enjoy the rendering side of things.

You've recently done some intern work at Collider (design studio & Post VFX). Can you describe your experience?

Recently, Collider approached AIE and asked for students interested in being an intern for a week. Alan (Screen teacher), offered the opportunity to a select group of students - fortunately I was chosen.
The week there overall was very informative, I got first hand experience working very closely with producers, directors, and technical leads. I was able to see how things are done in the industry in an actual work setting, and it was very insightful into what I should be expecting for my future career and of myself.

What would you say your strengths or key skills are?

I’m generally an animator, a lighter, and a story-boarder.

Where do you see yourself in say, ten years?

Hopefully in a studio like Dreamworks or Pixar - doing what I enjoy and being able to collaborate with other many talented artists. Hopefully I’ll have enough experience so I could potentially one day come back to AIE and give back my personal experience to the future students to come.

If I could give one piece of advise to students, it  would be to practice, practice, practice, and really learn to hold onto that passion and try not give up. In the end its what you love best and its always a good thing to stick to what you enjoy because chances are you’ll probably go further than you think. See below some of Sams lighting and rendering work on her end of year major project.