Incredibly, that's it. We're done, dusted. The fat lady has sung. After thirty weeks of briefings, lectures, interim crits, final crits, personal tutorials, seminars, film screenings, life-drawing, digital painting classes, character workshops, animation workshops, presentations, pitches, Maya tutorials, After Effects sessions, work placements, and group projects, the CGAA year is over.
A veritable confetti of 'Don't touch - Rendering!' notices now litter the carpets of the computer rooms and silence has settled eerily about the place as the whine of oven-hot hardware powers down. The ambient temperature of the CGAA baseroom has dropped from 'sauna' to normal, and the colour is at last returning to the faces of our students and soon-to-be graduates who have slept at last, their systems purged of the twin toxins of taurine and Pot Noodle...
The end is nigh - but not quite yet. For some of our graduates, it's New Designers 2012 in a short matter of weeks, the UK's premiere graduate showcase of fresh new design talent. The next edition of the Post With The Most will be a New Designers special - so watch this space.
Until then, it's time to showcase some of the highlights from this year's final projects, but before we get to the eye-candy, a bit of context. The third year projects featured here were all created in a period of fifteen weeks. That's fifteen weeks from the very first thumbnail sketch to the very last render. Students will now return to their work in order to improve and polish it for demo reels and online portfolios etc., as they explore opportunities for internships and employment. Constructive feedback from our network of blog-watching professionals is always appreciated!
On the subject of industry feedback, the CGAA community would like to thank Mark Davis @ Nexus Productions, Robin Konieczny @ Double Negative and Kristian Turner @ Recom Farmhouse who took time out from their busy schedules to stop by the previous PWTM and offer their insight and advice. Ta very much! :)
And so - onto the work! If you like what you see, you can find out more about each project and its pipeline by going to the student's individual blog - links to which you'll find by clicking their name.
Ethan Clements - The Witch's HQ (Environment)
Sam Hayes - The Time Machine (Environment)
Jordan Buckner - The Minor Key (Animated Short)
Ethan Shilling - The Place Where Lost Things Go
Jolanta Jasiulionyte - The Baltic Pixie*
For the duration of their five week work placement, our Year 2 students have been operating rather covertly, with mysterious abbreviations appearing on their blogs - and not much else. Justin Easton, who has just completed 5 weeks at Nexus has only been able to allude in the sketchiest terms to what he's been working on for the company, and the baker's dozen of CGAA students working for another company have been sworn similarly to secrecy in terms of what they can say and show in regard to their five week experience. In simple terms this means I'm unable to accurately convey just how busy they've all been or even showcase much of what they've produced - at least for now. What follows then is but the tip of a creative iceberg, but what I can say is that the content that follows was created for an exclusive party with a flamboyant theme...
On Friday 25th May, our CGAA year one students submitted their debut CG animations. In the space of just five weeks, they pre-produced, produced and post-produced short animations commissioned by Dr Peter Klappa, bioscientist at the University of Kent and Spectacular Science collaborator. Dr Klappa's brief was simple; take a given bioscientific scenario and present it engagingly for new audiences. The resulting animations represent a summation of CGAA year one and its emphasis on design-led cgi. It's worth pointing out that very few of our first years arrive with any prior experience of 3D modelling software or After Effects (or even Photoshop in some instances), which makes their achievements even more striking. The overall standard of work was impressive, and Dr Klappa particularly enjoyed the student films showcased below:
Steven Payne - Innerspace Adventures Through The Human Body!
Nat Urwin - The Cell Cycle (App demo)
Emma Foster - The Cell Cycle
Samantha Butler - Leukaemia: A Journey Into The Body
Tom Farrington - The Human Machine
Alice Druzga - Cell Cycle
Our first years deserve a bit of a rest after the rigors of their commission unit, but I predict it won't be long until they're bored of all the down time and want to get back in the saddle. Fortunately, their summer project has already been briefed, which saw them allocated a randomised musical excerpt from which they're challenged to evolve an original cg response. The PWTM will be following their activity over the course of the summer and we're looking forward to seeing some brand new work on their course blogs soon.
In other news...
Nanomation is the new animation studio comprising eight of our soon-to-be-third years, who have chosen to work together over the summer break to create an original animated short. It's early days, but Justin, Andriana, Alex, Sam, Dayle, Domantas, Kayleigh, & Ryan are all revved up and keen to make a start. The PWTM will be profiling their progress as the project develops, and you can follow their studio blog here.
Congratulations to third year Jolanta, who is off to Hollywood after seeing off hundreds of other applicants to win her place as a volunteer at Siggraph 2012. I think we can look forward to some behind-the-scenes insights as JJ mingles with the great and the good from the world of animation and visual effects technologies. Watch this space!
Congratulations too to third year student, Simon Watts, who recently undertook an internship at Recom Farmhouse.
Meanwhile, CGAA alumnus and Spectacular Science participant Tom Beg has passed successfully the interim stage of his Masters degree in Design for Performance and Events, marked by a recent exhibition and private view featuring an anthology of his works produced so far. Well done, Tom - and many thanks for all your support over the last year as our loyal GTA - much appreciated.
And finally, between the 4th and the 7th July, graduates from CG Arts & Animation will be exhibiting their work at New Designers 2012. There's loads to do between then and now, but it's always an exciting time and the hard work is always worth it. Onwards!
The Final Word...