08/08/23 • News & Happenings

The Lightbulb Moment

with Amy Byrne!

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Amy Byrne, Compositor at Lighthouse Studios

College open-day events can be eye-opening. Sometimes they validate an idea that’s been growing for a while, sometimes they plant completely new seeds. For Amy Byrne, a conversation with some students set off a chain reaction of events that led to her following a new course entirely.

Here’s Amy Byrne’s Lightbulb Moment.

I always knew I wanted to work in the creative industries, but I never dreamt that animation could be an option for me. I loved writing stories, and I loved drawing, but I always thought I would study fine art and become an illustrator. It wasn’t until I got to my first college open day that I saw what fine art would mean for me, and I was devastated. I had no idea what I was going to do, because up till then I had only been considering fine art or graphic design. My dad persuaded me to stick around, look at the other courses offered by the college and speak with the students. I got chatting with some animation students, realised I actually knew a lot about animation, and knew right then that this was the route for me. I’d always loved animation, but I had no idea about Ireland’s animation industry or the opportunities there were for me until that day.

A cel from She-Ra which Amy received as a birthday present

After that moment I researched as much as I could online, bought every animation book I could get my hands on, watched YouTube videos explaining the animation pipeline and eventually applied for animation at Colaiste Dhulaigh in Coolock.

I’d grown up watching all kinds of animation, from Disney movies to anime. Once I started studying animation, I started to look at the medium in a completely different light. I didn’t just watch for entertainment anymore. Now I was watching trying to figure out how the animators might have created that scene, taking note of the camera angles, the lighting and the composition.

Looking back, it was probably the shows like She Ra, Precure and Tokyo Mew Mew that had the biggest impact on me. I loved the transformation sequences and the beautiful FX and lighting on these shows, so it makes a lot of sense that I’d end up compositing when my favourite scenes in shows were heavily lit and filled with FX and particles. I loved watching shows with beautiful and dramatic designs and scenes. I also loved the big transformation sequences and would just be in awe of all the details. I think all of this is reflected in my work today and my desire to work on scenes that have lots of dramatic lighting and changing colours.

Amy Byrne works at Lighthouse Studios as a Compositor on our Rick and Morty team. After graduating from Colaiste Dhulaigh’s HND course, she completed her BA in Animation at University of Wolverhampton. Since then, Amy has worked as a freelance illustrator for Dundalk Tidy Towns, and a Compositor for Boulder Media and Treehouse Republic.

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