MTSU Media Arts unlocks students’ digital animatio...

MTSU Media Arts unlocks students’ digital animation skills with in-house production on ‘Out of the Blue’ [+VIDEO]

Rodrigo Gomez, associate professor of media arts and creator of MT IMAGINE Animation Studio at Middle Tennessee State University, was featured on the September episode of MTSU’s “Out of the Blue” television show to discuss how the program prepares students to compete the modern media market in the state and beyond. (MTSU graphic illustration by Joseph Poe)

Rodrigo Gomez, Middle Tennessee State University associate professor of media arts, spoke on this month’s episode of the “Out of the Blue” television magazine program about the university’s Media Arts Program and the in-house MT IMAGINE Animation Studio

Dr. Rodrigo Gomez
Dr. Rodrigo Gomez

The Animation Program, including MT IMAGINE, prepares students to enter the modern media market because it is a “generalist program” that exposes them to all the different components of the industry, said Gomez, who launched the animation studio within the College of Media and Entertainment.

“Today’s technology and the world of media is so advanced, and we are so surrounded by a lot of different things that we see in everyday video games, movies, television, virtual reality, artificial intelligence now,” he said. “We have a program that provides opportunities to tackle all of those things and give our students the opportunity to get a job in any of those fields.”

You can view the segment below:

Gomez said this exploration of everything from traditional 2D animation to motion capture and 3D virtual reality animation allows students to discover their passions in the classroom and even beyond. Through the campus animation studio, students work on projects for real-world, paying clients, Gomez told Andrew Oppmann, program host and the university’s vice president for marketing and communications.

Andrew Oppmann

“I come from the professional world,” Gomez said. “Most of the jobs have requirement of experience. And when they graduate and they don’t have that experience, it’s harder to compete. So, we’re trying to build a space that starts giving them the opportunity to really work on things that they can put on their portfolio. That they can say, ‘I worked for a client.’ And of course, they get paid for the work they do, which is phenomenal.” 

Gomez wrapped up by sharing about one of the clients the studio and students have worked for so far.

“Out of the Blue” is available anytime on the university’s YouTube channel, the True Blue TV channel, Roku, Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV. It also airs on Murfreesboro cable Channel 9 daily at 6 a.m., 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.; NewsChannel5+ at 3:30 p.m. Sundays and on other cable outlets in Middle Tennessee, so check local listings. 

It is also available as a podcast on iTunes and Google Play and as individual interview segments on Spotify at

Watch previous episodes of “Out of the Blue” at 

— Stephanie Wagner (