As part of Edge Hill University’s ‘Festival in a Day’, animator Susan Young came to talk to animation and media students on Wednesday morning about her work, experiences and journey as an animator.
Susan Young is a BAFTA-nominated animation director based in London. Commissioned films include The Doomsday Clock, a film about multilateral disarmament for the United Nations, Beleza Tropical for musician David Byrne, and Jimi Hendrix: Fire, for producer Alan Douglas. Susan’s film, titles, promos and commercials have been screened worldwide and she has served on several international animation festival juries (including Annecy Animation Festival).
Susan has recently returned to drawn animation and the making of Dead Reckoning (2016), is in collaboration with director Paul Wenninger.
Students last week had the chance to work with scriptwriter Andrew Burrell. Andrew has recently written for Matt Groening’s new Netflix show ‘Disenchantment’ and CBBC’s Football drama ‘Jamie Johnson’. Previously he’s done stuff for Disney and Nickelodeon and was lead writer of ‘Danger Mouse’ for CBBC. On Tuesday of last week during class, third year Edge Hill Animation students had the opportunity to discuss their final year project ideas, scripts and development with Andrew.
Internationally acclaimed, OSCAR and BAFTA nominated Animation Director Barry JC Purves worked with the 3rd Year Animation students on their final year projects. Barry is passionate about the art of film-making and spent time last Tuesday discussing cinematography and structure with the 3rd year students.
Mike McCartney younger brother to Paul and known as Mike McGear and a key member of the famous Liverpool band ‘The Scaffold’ as well as being a prolific photographer. Has come to Edge Hill Animation in order to bring to life his ‘Weirdo’ series of sketches. Animation alumni Peter Miller has been drafted in as the perfect 2D animator to bring Mike’s ‘Weirdo’ sketches to life.
Mike seen here recording the voices for his ‘Weirdo’ series of sketches in Edge Hill’s Media Department sound studios.
Starting next week Edge Hill animation alumni Peter Miller, as seen here with Mike, will be bringing Mr McCartney’s drawings to life in the form of a series of short animations. More to come…
To see more about Mike’s ‘The Weirdos’ take a look at his Facebook page.The Weirdos
To see Peter Miller’s final year work see the following link.
The start of October saw the first and second year Animation students going on the annual trip to Wales staying in Llandudno and this year we went to Betws y Coed where the students got into drawing and capturing audio.
Last week we had 6 students come onto our annual Summer School Animation Residential which lasted three days. The students were given the task of producing in groups of three a stop-motion animation with the aim to achieve a completed animated film to be screened by the end of the residential.
See below for images of some of the great production work undertaken by the students as well as the screening of their finished animations.
2nd year Digital SFX Animation and Motion Graphics students enjoyed the VFX FESTIVAL 2017 @ The Rich Mix Cinema, London. The festival hosted a fantastic array of Visual Effects, Animation and Motion Graphics companies from the UK. Major companies talking about production work included ‘Industrial Light and Magic’ talking about ‘Star Wars:Rogue One’, Framestore talking about ‘Fantastic Creatures’, MPC talking about ‘Jungle Book’ as well as a host of other production studios including The Mill, MOMOCO, Glassworks, Axis VFX, etc.
As well as a host of presentations, screenings and panel discussions, the students had a chance to spend time in the technology hub set up by the festival organisers on the fourth floor of the Rich Mix Cinema in London. Where they could get to see and experience the latest in interactive software and hardware including a lot of VR. With technology in the hub with HP, SideFX and The Mill demonstrating some of the tools that fuel innovation across the VFX industry.
Also on the fourth floor opposite the Technology Hub was a room of stalls including an array of the top UK VFX, animation, AND Motion Graphics companies where the students could talk directly about careers, getting into the industry, showreels, employability, etc.
Students on the the 3rd year module ‘Showreel and Enterprise’ module visited Liverpool to have a look at the studios/offices of the design and innovation company Uniform in Liverpool.
I think it safe to say that everyone who went on this visit was mightily impressed with Uniform in terms of the work they do, the people who work there and in terms of the space itself. The students whilst there were given a studio tour that included being shown the work that Uniform undertakes in terms of research and development including 3D product design that relates to innovation including Virtual Reality and Artificial Intelligence. Also we had a presentation that directly related to Uniform’s animation and short promo video’s work for client’s. The students from the visit students gained an invaluable insights into the Creative Industry and employability.
Former Edge Hill Animation student David Chambers is an In-Game Animator for BAFTA award winning game LEGO Dimensions.
David graduated from Edge Hill in 2013 with a degree in Animation, which he has put to good use in his current role with Traveller’s Tales Games (TT Games) as a full time In-Game Animator. TT Games are part of Warner Bros and have sold over 180 million games.
The latest project David has worked on is LEGO Dimensions, a toys-to-life, action-adventure video game, which has been awarded the 2016 British Academy Children’s Award for Best Game. Different minifigures from different worlds can be played together in one video game, for example you can play as Jake from Adventure Time and play through the Fantastic Beasts level.
As an In-Game Animator, David was responsible for creating the in-game animations for ET, Newt Scamander (Fantastic Beasts) and Jillian Holtzmann (Ghostbusters). He created all of the movements that are seen during gameplay including movements such as running, jumping, falling, fight combinations and special attacks.
“It’s important to keep the character in mind when animating as no two characters move in the same way,” said David. “We live test animations through the in-house game engine to see how the character feels. Is this a natural way for this character to move? The idea is, if you transfer a run cycle from one character to another then it should look totally out of character. Are they too fast? Is the weight right? If the character is big and heavy but moves really quickly then people will instinctively recognise that the weight isn’t right.
“It’s a great feeling to be involved in a BAFTA-winning game, and I’m really proud of the work the team has done on LEGO Dimensions. I’m glad that people are getting a lot of enjoyment out of the game and it’s testament to the hard work put in by the team at TT Games.”
David still receives support from Edge Hill and he has returned to speak to students.
“Alex Jukes, Senior Lecturer in Animation, is always on hand for a catch up or a word of advice. He has kindly invited me back on a couple of occasions to talk to students about my experiences in the industry. I still feel very much part of the Edge Hill family.”
Animation Staff from Edge Hill, along with some of the current Animation students undertook a performance event at ‘TATE Liverpool’ on Saturday 26th November, called ‘Martial Arts’ which was part of the ‘TATE EXCHANGE’ programme and related to the Yves Klein exhibition that is currently on at TATE Liverpool (until 5th March). The idea of the event was to look to see how Judo influenced movement and colour inspired by Yves Klein’s work could be used to create live-animation by way of capturing the movement of Judo experts by way of filming their movements to explore the use of movement, balance and colour.
In the main gallery of TATE Liverpool the ‘Wirral Judo Club’ performed their martial art and their moves were filmed and this footage was then relayed to a group of 2nd & 3rd year Edge Hill University Animation students in the adjacent Clore Studio at TATE Liverpool. The students turned the footage into quick frame by frame short animations which were then compiled into a longer animation which was relayed back into the TATE Gallery onto the gallery wall by way of a projector. This projected animation could be seen beside where the judo club were practising. Thereby setting up a loop within the performance and combining the movement of everyone doing judo to the animation students undertaking the creation of the animation.
The whole event was inspired by the Yves Klein Exhibition at the TATE Liverpool. Klein was a master in Judo, and was an artist who did performance by way of staging events the ‘Martial Arts’ event looked to combine all of these aspects.
The event helped to launch TATE EXCHANGE Liverpool which is an open experiment; a space for an ongoing programme of events developed by artists, practitioners, and associates from Tate and beyond. It is a place where everyone is invited to collaborate, test ideas and discover new perspectives on life, through art.