As a multimedia designer and 3D artist for CBS New York, Sorraya Brashear-Evans ’16 creates the graphics that promote and enliven news stories for one of the largest network affiliates in the country. The future she envisions is heavy with cutting-edge visual technology — say, a medical segment featuring a 3D model of the human body showing in augmented reality (digital images superimposed over real footage) how a certain type of cancer spreads. “This is the wave of the future,” she says.
Hired during a transitional period for the station’s design team, Brashear-Evans says she quickly found herself designing graphics that usually went to more senior designers, like the station’s holiday IDs — the short, animated greetings that air between the newscast and commercials. Another early assignment: She designed the graphic for the obituary of actress Carrie Fisher, most famous for her role in the Star Wars series. “That was one of my favorite graphics,” says the self-professed sci-fi geek. “I was honored to give her the send-off she deserved. I even snuck in an Easter egg by fading out the planet Alderaan in the corner, because only a true nerd would include Princess Leia’s home planet on a news graphic.”
Brashear-Evans says her “insatiable curiosity for new technologies” and interest in AR helped land her the job at CBS, which was looking to update its studio. “When it comes to implementing more 3D, or AR and virtual reality, I’m the person who can do that. I’m helping to make that a reality.”
Initially a biology major, she says she “stumbled upon” the interactive multimedia major. “I taught myself 3D animation in my dorm room,” she says, “and then decided to try out an animation course.” It was a fortuitous stumble, combining aspects of journalism and digital design that made it feel like a perfect fit for her. An internship at BBC America helped her get a toe in the industry; when CBS called three weeks after she graduated, she leapt at the offer.
Working in midtown Manhattan and living in Brooklyn, Brashear-Evans says she loves the pace and energy of city life. But she’s open to relocating someday, specifically to that slightly more laid-back big city on the opposite coast. Her dream gig? Hollywood special effects artist. It’s hardly a stretch — she works with the same software at CBS that studio artists use to create a typical blockbuster. “If I had my way,” she says, “I’d make the news as cinematic as a Marvel movie.”