3D Animation Alumna Find Success on Netflix and Her Own Endeavors

The Netflix series “Lost in Space” features a unique UIW connection. Caitlin Inzinna graduated from UIW’s 3D Animation and Game Design program in 2015 before entering the world of 3D animation and design. Inzinna’s relationship to UIW helped her get the opportunity to work on the Netflix show.

3-D animation UIW graduate Caitlin Inzinna
3-D animation UIW graduate Caitlin Inzinna

“I was contacted by someone from when I was at UIW, Troy Davis [then adjunct 3D Animation professor], who connected me with ‘Lost in Space’,” Inzinna said. Davis had seen Inzinna’s work at the Project Slam, where students showcase their short films and video games. One of Inzinna’s favorite UIW experiences, she recalls how rewarding it was to see how people reacted to the student’s short films and playing their video game levels.

Since those early days, Inzinna has worked professionally on a number of exciting projects. The Emmy Award-nominated “Lost in Space” series has released two seasons, and Inzinna worked with pre-visual and post-visual production animation on the show. “Lost in Space” is a reboot of the original 1965 series in which a family is selected as part of a group of Americans sent to colonize the Alpha Centauri System, but are confronted by alien robots before they reach their destination. The show includes various non-human and computer-generated elements requiring the work of 3D animation. If a scene included a computer-generated element, Inzinna was involved in developing the look of the visual effects.

Her time as an undergrad at UIW helped prepare her for professional work in the industries of TV and film. She said the professors and community within the program provided an environment for success.

“It was a tight-knit group of people in the department and everyone looked out for each other,” Inzinna said. “I felt like all the professors were very passionate and knowledgeable about the field.”

She said she remembers two professors specifically who made a big impact on her at UIW.

“Most of my classes I had Adam Watkins, and I thought he knew a lot about the industry,” she said.

Watkins has been teaching 3D animation and game design techniques for over 20 years serving in several high-ranking positions in the business. He currently serves as the department coordinator for 3D Animation and Game Design. Another animation professor, Matt Tovar, not only helped her with animation during her senior year but also supported and guided her after graduation.

Image of a scene from Flight of the Soul, animated short by Caitlin Izinna.
Scene from Flight of the Soul, animated short by Caitlin Izinna.

Inzinna wasn’t always sure she wanted to work with TV animation. Inzinna said her experience in the 3D animation program exposed her to a variety of different areas of expertise in video game and TV animation. She said that during her time in the undergraduate program she worked on video game animations as well as a short film. In 2014 Inzinna wrote and directed her own short film entitled “Flight of the Soul”. She used the opportunity to try different avenues before ultimately going into TV animation.

“At first I was more interested in video game animation, but I ended up liking TV and animation which is what I’m in now. The first few years of the program kind of gave me different experiences with a short film and video game animation,” she said. “When I worked on the short film it was cool to see a project from the beginning to the end.

Inzinna now works for The Third Floor, a visual effects studio based in California. The Third Floor is heavily involved in visualization of TV shows and movies as well as video games. Inzinna said she hasn’t forgotten her experiences at UIW and what they’ve taught her.