Throughout his time at Mohawk, Lávio Ribeiro Fidélis Neto ‘21 was focused on one goal, to win an annual industry competition that would help him secure a job in his field.
By Meaghan Drury ‘12
Many people who grew up playing video games have dreams of a career in the lucrative field of animation. Lávio Ribeiro Fidélis Neto, a 2021 graduate of the Animation 3D program, was one of them.
“I always knew that I wanted to be an animator,” he says.
Prior to attending Mohawk College, Lávio had some experience training for the field from his home in Santa Rita de Cassia, Bahia, Brazil, but as he started his studies in Canada there was plenty he still didn’t know. “Before studying at Mohawk, I didn’t know anything about drawing. My drawing skills were stick men,” he says laughing. “Mohawk taught me how to draw, considering things like perspective and the principals of drawing and design.”
Lávio took any opportunity he could get to expand his knowledge and network. During summer breaks, he freelanced on a tv series in his home country of Brazil. At Mohawk he was a peer tutor, dedicated to helping other students in his program. He was also part of the Game Development Club on campus, connecting with students from a variety of programs.
Typically, students in the Animation 3D program spend their three years building a portfolio to show potential employers upon graduation. Lávio had another way to secure employment in mind.
Annually, the Ubisoft Toronto NEXT Challenge welcomes college students from across the province to compete in six categories for the chance to win an internship at Ubisoft Toronto, a video game developer company. From his first semester, Lávio had his sights set on winning one of those internships.
He says, “I tried my first year; I didn’t get it. I tried my second year; I didn’t get it. Then, the third year I got the internship.”
In 2021, Lávio and eleven other students made the transition from student to game developer at Ubisoft Toronto through this program. After completing his internship in summer 2021, Lávio was hired fulltime as a gameplay animator at Ubisoft.
While at Mohawk, Lavio was determined to build his skills in the field to set himself up for success upon graduation. “Of course, I had a lot of fun with animation, but I took my time in college to focus on the things I didn’t like, and I know now that it has helped me to achieve a better animation quality,” he says.
At first, Lávio was unsure if his schooling trained him for his role, but those fears were quickly eased. Now nearly a year into his career, he shares, “I understand that the things I learned in college helped prepare me for my work."
His advice to anyone considering the animation field is to know that creating animation is not the same as playing video games. Lávio says, “I like to play video games but working on animation is completely different. When you see a video game on screen there have been so many people involved in that process. It’s fun, but it’s a lot of work.”
Excited for the future, Lávio hopes to continue to grow in his career at Ubisoft.