Thursday, January 17, 2019

FAO CAA Yr 1: Contexts '1000 Word Written Assignment' Assessment Proformas @ Your UCA Email Account Now

Your assessment proformas for your Term 1 1000 word written assignment are available now at your UCA email accounts.  If yours isn't there, let me know and I'll investigate.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

CAA Careers: BFX Competition - Exciting opportunities!

BFX is a student competition designed to give you direct exposure to cutting-edge practices and showcase your skills to some of the best supervisors, producers and artists in the VFX and animation industry.

The Brief

‘We ask teams of 5 people to submit an application form and showreels (unlike previous years, an animatic or treatment is not required at this stage). The teams with the strongest set of skills and showreels are then shortlisted and 8 final teams chosen to take part in the competition. Each team is given a charity brief selected for them by the BFX team. They will then have approx. 2 months to create storyboards, animatics and character designs for the charity. The charity review the treatment and provide further feedback before the residential competition starts in July.
As a team of five people, you will be tasked with creating a stunning 2D or 3D visual effects or animation sequence for 4 charities that is based on one of 8 supplied screenplays. The 7-week residential competition is based in Bournemouth over the summer from July to August (all accommodation is free and the team members are given a stipend to help with their cost of living expenses). In 2017 and 2018, teams were mentored and judged by experts from Framestore, Double Negative, MPC, Animal Logic, Hibbert Ralph Animation, ILM London, ToonBoom, Outpost VFX, Jellyfish Pictures and Blue Zoo.’

In the first instance, we are organising a group Skype meeting with the competition director, Sofronis Efstathiou, who will be able to give you further details and answer any questions you may have.  
Please can you leave a comment by MONDAY 21st JANUARY if you feel this is something you might be interested in taking part in, and we will then organise a suitable time for the meeting. 

More details of the competition, and examples of previous entries can be seen HERE.

FAO CAA Year 3: The National Student Survey 2019

It's time to complete the National Student Survey 2019

Okay - so what does the survey entail? Most of you will have completed surveys very similar to the NSS during your time with us, so you'll know the format: 27 core questions relating to the following aspects of the student learning experience:

  • Teaching on my Course
  • Assessment and Feedback
  • Academic Support
  • Organisation and Management
  • Learning Resources
  • Learning Opportunities
  • Personal Development
  • Student Voice
  • Student Union
  • Overall Satisfaction

The survey doesn't take long, but it is important you consider your responses carefully. It may feel like just another box-ticking exercise - it isn't. The NSS survey is crucial to our understanding of what you think about us, and UCA more broadly. Your views on what we do become part of formal monitoring processes within the University.  In short - data derived from the NSS - from you - is taken very seriously.

The survey is asking you to reflect on your experience of the course as a complete experience, so the sum total of your time with us - Years 1, 2 & 3.  You'll want to think about who you were when you first arrived on Computer Animation Arts and what you think about yourselves now in relation to the course, your experiences, what you've learned and how you've changed.

Accessing the survey is very straightforward - visit and then follow the instructions. You'll need your student ID number handy: that's the number on your UCA identity card. 

When you've completed the survey, could you leave a 'Done it' comment on this post, or email me to confirm.  Much appreciated.

Improving motivation

Today, a few hints to get (and keep) you motivated in this post-festive season...

1. Acknowledge your resistance and difficult feelings with motivation. It may be helpful to write these feelings or thoughts down and then leave these on the side so you can then study.

2. Do not run away. Avoiding work can make you feel deflated. This is emotionally more draining than having to go through the process of starting your work.

3. Do not blame yourself for procrastinating now and then. Try to become aware of the  habit and gently make yourself to go back to the task sooner rather than later. 

4. Try to understand your studying style better. What will make it easier for you to work? We all prefer pleasant experiences and it is natural that we tend to avoid uncomfortable situations, boring chores and duties.  So try to make your study experience as interesting as possible.

5. Don’t question your abilities. Don’t put yourself down by comparing yourself to others.

6. Visualise yourself starting. Make yourself sit down and work even if this is for just 20 minutes. See starting as a parallel process like a plane on a runway. You may start slow but you will still take off! 

7. Focus on the task at hand and prioritise the most important tasks. Avoid multitasking.

8. Communicate to others any difficulties and/or what you intend to do. This can help you engage with the process and identify the important tasks. Communication / externalisation can help you to commit with immediate goals and you could also find out others’ points of view and tips. 

9. Take a time limited approach in which you schedule your tasks.  Ask yourself  ‘how much can I achieve in the next 2 hours?’ instead of ‘Can I complete all tasks?’ In this way you do not get as easily overwhelmed by the volume of work you need to do.  

10. Remember that studying can be challenging and take you out of your comfort zone. Think about the hiking of  Mountain Kilimanjaro; it is not easy and can even be uncomfortable but the pleasure comes when you begin to see the view from height, feel the fresh air and when you reach the destination you get a sense of achievement and satisfaction. Focus on the outcome and not the struggle to get there!

Adapted from -

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

FAO CAA Year 2: Bring Your Jetpack Jones Model to Thursday's Maya Class.

Year 2: Toolkit 2 Maya Class. 

Please bring your Jetpack Jones model with you to the Toolkit 2 Maya class on Thursday 17th.

CAA Careers: Online mentoring...broken link fixed!

Thank you Graeme, for pointing out the non-existent link on my earlier post... hopefully that is it sorted now!