Wednesday, February 28, 2018

FAO Everyone: Aladdin Is Postponed Due To Snow - Rescheduled for Thursday May 17th!


You've probably been expecting this... Yes, the snow has officially scuppered our plans to see Aladdin tomorrow.  However, after much negotiation behind the scenes with the box office, we have rescheduled our tickets for the matinee performance on Thursday May 17th!  It's a like-for-like swap, so same seats, same people - different day!  Please make a note of this in your respective diaries, and also please ensure everyone has seen this. I'm going to do my best to get it out as far and as wide as possible, but please put it in your group chats and get the message out.  Many thanks!


CAA Careers: Work opportunities...A chance to enhance your C.V.


Introducing Leda Entertainment, an up-and-coming Games Development studio! 

Leda Entertainment are looking for 3D artists and animators to work as 'interns' on their latest game, 'Bullion - The Curse of the Cut-Throat Cattle'.  These are initially unpaid roles that can be worked on alongside any other committments that you may have, but that have the potential to earn, should the game be successful!  What the roles WILL do, is give you valuable work experience, and enhance your C.V.s no end...

Here's what Leda say about themselves and the roles...

"Here at Leda Entertainment, we have been making games since our student days, and now operate side projects on our own time in tandem with our day jobs. 

We have launched several titles - primarily for mobile - over the last seven years. During this time, we have come into contact with a number of people, primarily new and recent graduates, who are looking to get a job in the games industry, but are stuck in the catch-22 situation of requiring a published title and/or experience. 

Since we are not looking to fund our livelihoods through our games, we decided to look at how we could use our love of making games and the experience and contacts we had gained, into something that could potentially help these people. From this grew the idea of C.V. Incubation - we work with teams of these young job-seekers to create games on the understanding that the primary objective of the exercise is to give them the "published title" to list on their C.V.s; monetary gain is a secondary consideration, but should a game prove successful, profits will be split accordingly. In many ways, it can be considered similar to an internship, albeit unofficial, and working around any other commitments (eg: day jobs, family responsibilities) the team members have. 

Currently, the process is in a pilot phase, in which we are focusing on a single game ("Bullion - The Curse of the Cut-Throat Cattle"), and taking a very hands-on role as programmers as well as project 

coordination. We have already taken a demo version of this game to a number of exhibitions, and gained considerable interest, all of which we hope will help further the futures of the young job-seekers working with us, and we are looking to add more 3D artist/animators as we start moving towards a preview version and eventually a commercial release for the game. 

Should this project prove successful (ie: increase employer interest in those working with us, or one or more then progressing into a paid role in the game development industry), we are then looking at potentially expanding the process to involve young programmers as well; in this situation, we envisage bringing together and then mentoring and coordinating a number of small teams working on their own games, which will ultimately be released under the Leda Entertainment studio banner, giving the team members their "published title".

We are currently looking for more 3D artists and animators to work on Bullion - if this is something your students (especially those approaching graduation) might be interested in, please feel free to pass on our contact details. More information on Bullion can be found on the game's website - www.bulliongame.com - including examples of the art style."

If you are interested in this exciting opportunity, you can contact Leda HERE - choose the 'C.V. Incubation' option... Good luck!


Tuesday, February 27, 2018

FAO CAA Year 1: Story / Soundscapes - Blog Submission Criteria 13/03/2018 @ 1pm


This is a reminder that you're submitting your Soundscape project to your blog only on Tuesday 13th March by 1pm.  Your submission post should be labelled accordingly: Blog submission - Soundscape.  

Your submission post should only include the following:

Your Soundscapes x 3

Your 'Sonic Concept' documentation (i.e. choose a method by which you can best articulate the ideas driving the design of each soundscape as a response to the image that inspired it; it might be a short written statement of intent, a 'word cloud' or text combined with supporting influence maps... Be imaginative and communicative).

For your reference - the requirements of the brief: 

You are asked to produce 3 x 30 second soundscapes in response to the images allocated to you at the briefing, which should demonstrate clearly your understanding of the principles of sound design and the ways in which its careful consideration can enrich time-based narrative structures effectively. 

Important: No pre-recorded SFX or music to be used in the creation of your soundscapes.

You are asked to produce a comprehensive blog archiving and annotating your creative development during the duration of the project. You should use the blog to reflect critically upon your own creative practice and the wider cultural and thematic context of the unit.

Your blog must include:

1) Your three 30 second soundscapes.

2) All original SFX + description.

3) All post-produced SFX + description.

4) Your ‘Sonic Concept’ publication (as Scribd Presentation)

5) Your Sound Designer Profile (as Scribd Presentation)

6) All Adobe Audition exercises.

7) Your final submission must include a short reflective statement. A reflective statement is a statement in which the student considers their experience of a project. Reflective statements are used to understand past events, learn lessons and identify best practice.

Please organise your project work by adding a 'Soundscape' label to all relevant blog posts. This will ensure I'm able to group and segregate your Soundscape submission for purposes of assessment.

Go here to take another look at previous examples of student work.

Remember - I am actively looking for evidence you've 'gone beyond the four walls of your room' in regards to your harvesting of sound effects.  The challenge of this project asks you to embrace your role as 'explorers of sound' and as 'magical listeners'.  Don't disappoint!


This needs to be you!


Please use your social networks to ensure your classmates have seen this information.  Many thanks.

Monday, February 26, 2018

CAA Careers: Introducing DreamingFish Productions





Today CAA Careers is introducing DreamingFish Productions, an award-winning production and animation company based in Woking, in Surrey.


Here, Animation Manager Luke Brown talks about how he came to be where he is now, and gives some advice on showreels, employability, and the importance of promoting yourself on social media...






Over to you, Luke!  

How have you ended up where you are now?


I actually ended up in this industry in a pretty roundabout way! I studied contemporary music at University and ended up as a music tutor for about a year or so after graduating until I realised that it wasn’t for me. One of my close friends was working at a local studio as a camera operator and wangled me a job at the studio as a production assistant. I was doing all the low-end jobs like picking up event edits and getting voiceovers recorded. I very quickly got very interested in the animations the studio where creating and spent hours in my spare time watching tutorials and fudging my way around After Effects. Several years later, and several online and evening short courses later, I now head up the animation department for a studio called DreamingFish. My role is being the primary in house resource for all animations as well as managing a network of freelancers and a junior artist in house. I now produce motion design and animated projects from kinetic type infographics right through to photoreal 3D renders for cinema adverts! 

Is working in a studio or working independently more fulfilling?

I only have experience of working in a studio but have many friends who freelance. I would say there are pros and cons to both. As someone just starting out I would highly recommend working in a studio to learn and understand more about how to deal with clients/the running of the business in a safe environment. Also being able to collaborate with other talented artists working on the same project is a huge bonus of working in a studio that is hard to come by as a freelancer.
I think as you start to hone your craft and understand, in more detail, about how to deal with revisions, managing client expectations and charging accurately as well as being able to come up with a compelling creative solution to your clients problems then working independently does become more attractive, if that’s what you’re after.

I personal really enjoy bouncing ideas off other people, being able to learn from other people from their specialist skillset and the comradery of being part of a single unit in a studio. This is something you don’t get by working independently.

What insipres you?

Working as part of a team does inspire me, especially when everyone is passionate about a project. Other people’s passions keep you moving forward even if you don’t feel like it yourself some days. I personally get inspiration from a lot of things and find it very helpful to look outside our industry to help break the mould of regurgitating what everyone else is doing. I find inspiration in film, photograph, architecture, art and nature – especially for character animation! I think anything that gets you thinking and anything that takes you away from the screen for a while will help to inspire you and come at something with fresh eyes.

What makes a good showreel, and is it important?

A good showreel is absolutely vital! No one looks at CV’s in this industry you are completely judged on the quality of your reel. I would say keep it to an absolute maximum of 60 seconds, there is considerable drop off in views for showreels and any online video past the 60 second mark. Make sure ONLY your best stuff is in there, if there’s one project you’re not sure whether to put in your reel and are only putting it in as filler, take it out. One single bad shot in a showreel can tarnish the whole piece.
Keep it short, snappy and the viewer wanting more! (Also make sure your contact details are on the end!)
Try and do some creative editing to your chosen music track too. If you’re not an editor then get an editor to help you. A good edit of a showreel is just as important as the content.

 How important is it to keep learning?

There is always the next best thing to learn and it’s a constant struggle to keep on top of software in the industry but I would say that having a strong understanding on how to make good animation is more important than learning the latest plugin or software. Software will only get you so far whereas a great idea, even if done in the most rudimentary software, will come out on top.
Having said that, for pretty much any motion design job now you need to have a solid understanding of After Effects, Photoshop and Illustrator and at least some knowledge of Cinema 4D or other 3D programme.

How important is it to promote yourself on social media? 

Super important! Especially on sites like Instagram, Behance and Dribbble. I would say that quality of work is more important than quantity but having an active feed is almost a must now. It’s a great way to get your name out there as well as staying a part of the community. Also a lot of people are picked up for jobs trough sites like Instagram and Behance.

 In your opinion, what makes a good employee?

Being a nice person, who is willing to learn and admit they don’t know everything will get you a job. If you’re arrogant or rude and not willing to learn you won’t get anywhere. I know so many people who are OK as a motion designer/animator but get booked constantly because it’s such a joy to work with them. And they will always get booked over the person who is great at motion design/animation but is a pain to work with.
Having strong design and animation skills as well as technical knowledge is important and a certain level is obviously required to work within the industry but personality conquers skillset.

Check out the DreamingFish showreel here! 

Sunday, February 25, 2018

FAO CAA Yr 1 & 2 / The Internal Student Survey 2018 Is Go!



Today is launch day for the Internal Student Survey 2018.  The short version is the ISS is the opportunity for year 1 and 2 students to feedback to the University about their experience at UCA so far.  Your feedback is valued very highly by the University.

You can access the survey here.  

Your login details for the survey have been emailed to your UCA email accounts - please check! 

Okay - so what does the survey entail? 30 core questions relating to the following aspects of the student learning experience:

  • Teaching on my Course (Are you learning stuff and is it challenging?)
  • Assessment and Feedback (i.e. blogs/tutorials/OGRs/crits/proformas etc)
  • Academic Support  (feedback/availability of help etc.)
  • Organisation and Management (timetables & communication between staff & students etc.)
  • Learning Resources 
  • Personal Development (i.e. core skills/greater confidence presenting/writing/drawing/doing etc).
  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Students' Union

The survey doesn't take long, but it is important you consider your responses carefully. It may feel like just another box-ticking exercise - but it isn't. The ISS survey is crucial to our understanding of what you think about us, and UCA more broadly. You're telling us about the things we're doing well and where stuff needs improving. You're highlighting the weaknesses and safe-guarding the good bits. You can help your course team make things better. Your feedback is used to improve the experience for future students, so be honest, but be constructive. Your views on what we do become part of formal monitoring processes within the University, which promotes discussion and debate. In short - data derived from the ISS - from you - is taken very seriously!  Rest assured, the findings of the survey are anonymous!

If, when you've completed the survey, could you leave a 'Done it' comment on this post that would be helpful, as it means I can stop badgering you!  Much appreciated.

If you have any queries regarding the ISS - for example, should you experience difficulty logging in or accessing the survey, please email sss@uca.ac.uk

Many thanks!


FAO CAA Yr 3: Minor Tutorials - Monday 5th March


I'm off to Lyon, France, for another live screening of Red & The Kingdom Of Sound on Saturday, March 3rd and I'm now returning on Monday 5th, March - which means I won't be available for third year tutorials.  Apologies for the short notice - but what I suggest is you pay me a visit tomorrow morning instead (Monday 26th February) - before the Alumni talk.   Alternatively, we can agree some time on the morning of Tuesday 6th March.  I think it would be good for us to catch-up together sooner-rather-than-later to ensure the wheels of your projects are turning, so how about you email me to arrange a time either tomorrow morning or on the morning of Tuesday 6th and then I'll know to expect you. The other thing I'd like you to do is update your blogs with your progress-to-date (if you're not doing so already) so I can have a good nose around and feel suitably reassured.

Again - apologies for the disruption - blame Red and his popularity with concert-going audiences!

FAO CAA Yr 2 / Perspectives / Tutorials Group A / Timetable Change



This is a message for those Year 2 students who are scheduled to have individual Perspective tutorials with me on Monday 5th March;  I'm off to Lyon, France, for another live screening of Red & The Kingdom Of Sound on Saturday 3rd March and I'm now scheduled to return on the Monday, not the Sunday.  This means I won't be where you need me to be for your individual tutorials - apologies! - so I'm going to suggest we re-schedule your tutorials for Friday 9th March - see below for your respective time-slots.  If this causes any of you an issue, let me know and we'll sort something.

Jen @ 9.30

Jess @ 9.50 

Laura @ 10.10 

Michael @ 10.30 

Ruth @ 10.50 

Michaela @ 11.10

Alex C @ 11.30

Rhia @ 11.50

Graeme @ 12.10

Noah @ 12.30 

Polly @ 12.50

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

CAA Careers: Grants available! BFI Animation 2018




DEADLINE TO GET APPLICATIONS IN - 12TH MARCH 2018

In 2018, BBC Four, BFI and cinemas across the UK are celebrating British animation. Grants will be awarded to fund, or partly fund, up to 12 emerging filmmakers working in animation, to realise their first broadcast project. 
If successful, you will be awarded a grant of between £2,000 and £10,000 towards the creation or completion of your original film, the opportunity to have your film screened at BFI Southbank and the chance for it to be broadcast on BBC Four in late 2018 !

What are they looking for? This is what they say -


'Bold and original projects which aim to innovate, including voices and visions that might otherwise go unseen or unheard.



Animations that promise a distinctive and unexpected tone of voice - whether that’s arresting, disruptive, spiky, warm or witty, we’re looking for a confident, fresh and contemporary approach.



Your film might focus on a topical issue of national importance, be a novel take on a timeless theme or it might even take inspiration in style or subject from a work of animation from the past.



We welcome a wide range of animation genres from documentary to fiction, pure fantasy to comedy and your film can run anywhere between 2 and 10 minutes.



We’re keen to receive ideas for animations in a variety of styles and techniques and from all nations and regions of the UK.'



Are you eligible to apply?

To be eligible to apply you and if applying as a team, all team members, must be:

1.  A UK resident aged 18 or over at 23:59 on 12 March 2018.
2.  Either a student, or a new/emerging filmmaker. You are unable to apply if you’ve received a key creative credit on a broadcast TV programme, a feature length film, or more than three professional short films.

Submission guidelines can be found HERE

CAA Careers: Internship advice from Studio AKA




Who are Studio AKA?

Studio AKA is a London-based animation studio producing television commercials, TV programmes and short films, most notably the BAFTA kids' award winning 'Hey Duggee'.



They describe themselves as '... a close knit team that include, directors, designers, animators, writers, technical artists & producers who create & consult on projects with a strong emphasis on Story, Design & Character ...'


Studio AKA take on interns, and have provided some advice on how to best approach them for a position;


1.  Send a SHORT introductory email, outlining what you are looking for.
2.  Put something relevant in the subject field so we can find your email later.
3.  We go straight to the work so long emails are going to get skimmed over.
4.  We don't need your life story yet - we can find that out later.
5.  We only look at CV's if we already love your work ...
6.  Send NO ATTACHMENTS via emails, they can get caught up in firewalls.
7.  However, we MUST see some work! An email asking for employment or an internship, without a link to your work, is an instant no.
8.  Just send us a VIMEO link to your reel (don’t use YouTube as we get distracted by the cat videos in the sidebar).
9.  An Online portfolio, Tumbler or weblink is also better than an PDF.
10.  Only show us your very best work. Even if that’s just a single shot. We can always look at longer films & clips once we’re hooked on you..
11. As with all applications, please note that due to the high volume of applications we receive on a daily basis, we are unable to give any immediate feedback. We do look at everything we receive and you will receive an acknowledgement of your mail. We will only respond further if and where appropriate to follow up.

Check out the Studio AKA showreel HERE


CAA Careers: 8 ultra-useful Maya tips for beginners - in under 4 minutes!



Ok, so I know that none of you are strictly Maya beginners anymore, but here is a useful little video produced by David Mattock, of Full Rotation Design and Animation, that covers some of the basics - here's what is featured!

TIP 01:  Focus the camera on one area   | Video timecode: 0.05

TIP 02:  Snapping like a pro    | Video timecode: 0.22

TIP 03:  Move multiple keyframes   | Video timecode: 0.54

TIP 04:  Move the pivot point    | Video timecode: 1.15

TIP 05:  Soft selection   | Video timecode: 1.36

TIP 06:  Duplicate special    | Video timecode: 1.53

TIP 07:  Texture to polys    | Video timecode: 2.24

TIP 08:  Combine two objects & Bridging     | Video timecode: 2.58

Watch the video HERE

You can find out more about Full Rotation HERE

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

RePost / FAO Everyone: Monday February 26th / Visiting Speaker / Leo Tsang / Blue Zoo Animation



A date for your diaries!  On Monday February 26th (that's Reading Week btw), Leo Tsang is coming to speak with us about his role as Leading Lighting, Rendering and Compositing Director at the award-winning Blue Zoo Animation studio.  Leo graduated from Computer Animation Arts back in 2012.   Leo's talk will begin at 2pm in the CAA Baseroom and we've given him a 3 hour slot, so plenty of time for lots of show and tell - and lots of Q&A from you too.

This promises to be a very well attended talk - not least because we're being joined by 26 prospective students from a local college!  The baseroom will likely be packed - standing room only - so make sure you arrive in good time.

I've asked Leo to show you work he produced during his time on the course - films from his year one, year two and year three project briefs, as well as talk honestly about his experiences of job-hunting immediately after he graduated.  I'm certain Leo's story of hard work, determination, patience and creativity will both inspire and comfort you.  I shouldn't have to say this, but yes, your attendance is mandatory.  You won't want to miss this.


Blue Zoo's Leo Tsang @ 2pm / CAA Baseroom / Monday 26th February






FAO Everyone: Aladdin / March 1st / You're Making You're Own Way There!


So, we're off to the Prince Edward Theatre for the 2.30pm matinee performance of Aladdin on Thursday 1st March!  How jolly exciting!  We're all making our own way there and back again (as a number of you are already in London or planning on doing something else afterwards etc), so you'll have to get yourselves organised!  I've got your theatre tickets and you'll need to collect them from me before the show begins.  Knowing you lot as I do, I'm asking you to be at the Prince Edward Theatre by 2pm at the latest.  I don't know this to be sure, but it's likely they won't admit late-comers into the theatre after the show has started, so please don't cut it fine, because if you miss the show (or indeed half of it!) there'll be nothing anyone can do!

So - 2pm @ the Prince Edward Theatre.

Go here for directions/nearest tube/Google maps!

If you're travelling up from Rochester, I suggest you clump together and arrive en-masse.
Co-ordinate your watches, people! 





FAO CAA Yr 2 & 3 : Watch This Space



As most of you will know by now, sad and unforeseen events mean the cancellation of Alan's timetabled classes with you for this week.  Next week is reading week, but some ongoing disruption to your week 9/10 timetable is likely.  I'm asking students now refrain from contacting Alan via email or Blogger.  Email myself or Simon Holland and we'll sort stuff accordingly.  Thanks for your understanding and together, we'll watch this space.

Monday, February 19, 2018

CAA Careers: Crafting the perfect showreel


In this feature, written for 3D World and previously published in a different form in that magazine, you’ll find tips direct from the people who see reels at a range of animation, VFX, games and architecture studios. There will also be general tips on how you should craft a reel tailored to a specific job.

Eddie Leon is the President and CEO of US architecture visualisation studio Spine3D. His idea of the perfect reel is one that is diverse and eye-catching. “It should show a range of talent regardless of the position you are applying for,” says Leon. “Everything from the choice of fonts and colours in the titling to the pace of the music and editing must be chosen carefully. This helps to determine whether or not the artist has a good eye. Technical skills can be taught on the job, but a good sense of colour and composition is hard to teach. It is something that is almost natural to some artists."  

He says that another point to consider is that most 3D companies are small. “So an artist might seem to have a higher value if they can show skills beyond their core expertise,” he advises. “As the economy worsens many companies are forced to diversify and look for new projects in different industries. Their ability to adapt will help them survive. Artists that are willing and able to learn new skills can also help guarantee that they will not become redundant.”


Friday, February 16, 2018

CAA Careers: Make sure your blog is presentable!


FAO Everyone!!

I am currently in the process of talking to several animation studios, and many of them have started to look at student blogs, to get a feel for what CAA is all about... just a heads up; potential employers are out there, and they're watching, so make sure that you double-check for typos (especially in headings and titles!) and make sure that you promoting all your hard work in the best possible light!

Thursday, February 15, 2018

FAO CAA Yr 1 / Contexts / Kath Follows Up!



A message from Kath following today's screening of Blade Runner 2049:



Hi All,

Hope you enjoyed the screening this week of the new Blade Runner film. As promised here is my email. Please message me with your essay title/ideas that you are working on and I will reply. kath.abiker@canterbury.ac.uk

Some info on the films - the original and the new version - as well as a good quality source on the film and its relationship to postmodernism.

Happy watching and reading.

Kath

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

FAO CAA Year 1: 'From Script To Screen' Submission Checklist & Final Crit Requirements 23/02/2018


What follows are instructions for your crit presentations and reminders of what you need to present and submit. Please use your social networks to ensure everyone has seen this information and understood it. Any queries, please leave a comment and I'll clarify where necessary.

In response to the three story components given you at the time of briefing, you are asked to pre-produce an original two minute animation. 

Your pre-production is to be submitted in 2 parts;

1) Pre-Viz, to include:

a) 2d animatic with soundtrack & transitions.
b) Maya pre-viz with soundtrack & transitions


2) An ‘Art Of’ publication, to include:

a) concept art : environment design
b) concept art : character design
c) concept art : prop design
d) Final environment designs
e) Final prop designs
f) Final character designs (character sheets)
g) Final presentation storyboards
h) Final script


You are asked to produce a comprehensive blog archiving and annotating your creative development during the duration of the unit.  You should use the blog to reflect critically upon your own creative practice and the wider cultural and thematic context of the unit.

Important! Your blog must include:

1) Your final CG Pre-Viz.
2) Your final Animatic.
3) Your ‘Art Of’ publication (as Scribd Presentation)
4) Final storyboards.
5) Final script.
6) Draft scripts/story development – to include:


a) The Development 
b) The Treatment
c) The Step Outline
d) The Premise
e) The Logline
f) Character Biographies


7) Preparatory storyboards.
8) Final concept art for character/environment/props.
9) Supporting artwork for character/environment/props.
10) Supporting research for character/environment/props.
11) Influence maps for character/environment/props.
12) Your film reviews for the ‘Cutting Edge’ film series. 
13) Your ‘like-for-like’ storyboard segment.
14) All exercises/outcomes from your Character Workshops with Justin Wyatt
15) Your final submission must include a short reflective statement. A reflective statement is a statement in which the student considers their experience of a project. Reflective statements are used to understand past events, learn lessons and identify best practice.

You will present on crit day from a single presentation blog post comprising your 'Art Of' publication, animatic and Maya pre-viz. Your presentation should follow this order: 
  1. Art Of 
  2. Animatic 
  3. Maya Pre-viz.
Important: please note, your From Script To Screen crit starts at 10am sharp - at which point the doors will close.  The order in which you'll be presenting your work will be randomised, which means any one of you may be presenting first!

Please note - the crit venue is to be confirmed; more details to follow.

If circumstances beyond your control* prevent you from attending on time, you must contact Hazel Searles before 10am. Students should seek to arrive in advance of the start time to ensure they are prepared. Your project management and professionalism count. Please prepare for your crit as you would for an interview or pitch. For some 'Rough Guide' style advice re. the stuff of engaging crit presentations, please go here.
  
And finally...

This is you. You're going to be amazing!

*But not issues in regard to last-minute technical problems that reflect poor project management. Thursday is your deadline, not Friday.

Please use your social networks to ensure everyone has seen this information. Many thanks.

CAA Year 2 Thursdays Premise Screening: Ethel and Ernest















Ethel & Ernest (2016) by Raymond Briggs 
Directed by Roger Mainwood
"The life and times of two ordinary Londoners living through extraordinary events."

Raymond Briggs other works include:
The Snowman (1982), Fungus the Bogeyman (1977/2015), Father Christmas (1991), & When the Wind Blows (1986).

FAO CAA Year 2: Premise Interim Critique / Timetable change




Please note due to teaching commitments the interim critique for Premise will be split over two days in week 7. These are Tuesday morning and Thursday afternoon (details below). You are asked to attend both sessions regardless of whether you are presenting or not. It is important at this stage that you see each others progress and ideas. As a result of the change there will be no Toolkit 2 class on Thursday. For those of you who now have an extra day please use that time wisely and for those of you who don't we'll take that into consideration in our feedback.

Group 1: Presenting Tuesday 20th Feb @ 9.30am - 1pm*

Aureo, Jess, Krissy, Michael, Ruth, Michaela, Rhia, Graeme, Greta, Anabel, Alex, Anastajia, Joe.

All students are asked to attend.

Group 2: Presenting Thursday 22nd Feb @ 2pm - 5.30pm*

Jen, Laura, Almu, Noah, Polly, Paris, Ellie, Jack, Douy, Sandra, Karolina, Racheal, Alexis.

All students are asked to attend.

A further reminder: 

Title credits (Infographic) submission: 25th Feb / Posted on your blogs.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

FAO CAA Yr 1 & 2: The 2018 Internal Student Survey - Launching Soon!



You'll soon be invited to complete the Internal Student Survey (ISS). 

The ISS asks students for a rating of their satisfaction via multiple choice questions for the following areas: 

1) Teaching
2)  Assessment and Feedback
3)  Academic Support
4)  Organisation & management
5)  Learning Resources
6)  Personal Development
7)  Overall satisfaction with the quality of your course
8)  Students’ Union


There are also free-text questions which ask you to feedback on your course and university experience.

Improving the student experience is a key strategy to our development as a University. The survey is crucial to our understanding of what you think about us. It informs us of the things we're doing well and where they need improving. Your feedback is used to improve the student experience. Results become part of formal monitoring processes within the University.  Put simply, UCA takes your feedback via this survey very seriously, so be honest, be constructive, and consider your responses carefully.

Watch this space for more information - in the meantime, please share this notification widely via your social networks.  Many thanks.

Monday, February 12, 2018

FAO CAA Yr 1: Friday Maya Classes Postponed - Simon's Gone full GEEK!


According to your timetable, you're down for Maya Classes with Simon on Friday 16th in addition to your animation classes with Nat.   Actually, there are no Maya classes as Simon is guesting at the GEEK Festival, Dreamland, Margate, doing a digital painting demonstration for all the visitors there. This was only confirmed recently, hence the short notice - apologies.   I'm going to be at GEEK on both Saturday and Sunday, manning the UCA stand etc. so come and find us if you fancy a trip to the seaside - and lots of gaming, and cosplay antics too I suspect (on the Saturday at least!).

FAO CAA Yr 2: Perspectives: Example OGR (For Andrew's Feedback)




Just a reminder to complete your 'Cone Of Cogency' and upload a suitably high-res & readable image of your Thesis plan to your blog.  I'll leave feedback over the course of the week.  Add an @Phil to your post and I'll try not to miss anyone.



Here's a reminder too of the structure for next Monday's OGR.  You need to have your Thesis presentation on your blog by 5pm on Monday 19th.  I'll then send the urls to Andrew and he'll leave feedback over the course of that week.  Also included here for your reference is Dee's OGR presentation from this time last year.  Note the Research Proforma entries at the end (well in excess of 6 entries and you should be seeking to be similarly ambitious) and bibliography.  Remember, you're producing these presentations for someone else - so please ensure your spelling, grammar, and formatting are all suitably professionalised and really importantly, you've actually given this exercise the time, attention and reflection it requires of you.  It won't be long until you're actually writing up your structures for your summative hand-in, so keep the long-term goal in mind - a thesis dissertation that is fit-for-purpose, that will save you valuable time, and will deliver the grade you want. 




FAO Year 2: Tuesday tutorials clarification



Year 2 Tutorials: Tuesday 13th Feb

To clarify: Tuesday's tutorials are 'drop in' tutorials. The title on the timetable is 'individual tutorials' and underneath it details the type 'drop in'. This means there are no scheduled tutorial times, however you can 'drop-in' if you wish get any further advice ahead of your interim critique.

FAO everyone - new lanyard policy

Just to remind everyone that as of today, UCA has introduced a new colour-coded lanyard system.  HE students such as yourselves should be wearing an orange lanyard, which can be collected from Reception, the Gateway or Campus Registry. 

You should have your ID card visible at all times!

CAA Careers: Introducing Kilogramme Animation Studio



As promised, I have made some contact with animation and design studios up and down the country and today I would like to introduce an award winning animation studio in Manchester -


Here is what they have to say about themselves...



'Kilogramme is an award winning animation production company based in Manchester's Northern Quarter. Established since 2005, we produce a wide range of design led multi media animation from interstitials, shorts and adverts for broadcast and online... We cover all aspects of production, from initial concept and design right through to final post production.'


I put some questions to Director, Jon Turner -

Is working in a studio or working independently more fulfilling?

I prefer a studio as you have more people to develop ideas with and learn from. Working from home can be a little lonely. Having said that some people prefer to work that way.

How does working as part of team help you?

Working as part of a team can improve your work immeasurably. It's very rare for one person to do everything well. Teamwork allows you to bounce ideas off of people, until they become fully formed. If you have to do everything you'll probably spread yourself too thinly.

What are the best skills to have for employability? What do you as a company seek in a potential employee?

Work out what you want to do and do it well. If you want to animate, show you can give a character life. If you want to design, show you have a strong hand and have found your own style. We look for someone who can do the job, or that we can work with to get them to the right level.

How important is branding and being active/promoting yourself on social media?

It's a good way to keep you in people's thoughts, without being too pushy.

What is the best way to prioritise things that you want to learn such as a new program if there are so many things that you want to learn at once?

Choose one thing and do it well. It's always quality over quantity. If you do that one thing well, you'll actually have more time to learn the other things afterwards.

Check out the Kilogramme showreel here!

CAA Careers: Festivus on Facebook


I recently asked Jamie Denham, of London-based Sliced Bread Animation, how important he thought it was  to promote yourself on social media... he said that although this is an important aspect, it is just as important to network with peers and studios.  He has suggested a Facebook group, called Festivus, which highlights festivals and presents job opportunities... join the group today!

Saturday, February 10, 2018

FAO CAA Yr 1: Contexts / A Timetabling Change


I've got a couple of changes to announce regarding your Thursday Contexts classes with Kath Abiker.  Due to unforeseen circumstances, Kath is now unavailable to work with you on Thursday 22nd February, which means it's self-directed study all the way on that day.  However, on Thursday 15th March, Kath will be working with us for the full day - seeing you for individual tutorials in the morning, and her usual lecture with everyone in the afternoon.  We'll give you more information regarding those individual tutorials nearer the time.  In the meantime, please make a note of these changes and amend your personal timetables accordingly. Many thanks.

Friday, February 09, 2018

CAA Careers: Call for entries...Fest Anča


Fest Anča International Animation Festival 

Registration open until February 25th 2018.


Competition Awards


– Anča Award (800 EUR) for the best short film of the festival

– Anča Student Award (400 EUR) for the best student short film

– Anča Music Video Award (400 EUR) for the best music video

– Anča Kids´ Award (400 EUR) for the best short film for children

– Anča Slovak Award (600 EUR) for the best Slovak short film

– D Award (distribution prize) for a Slovak short film

Only short animated films – completed after January 1, 2016 and submitted with English subtitles – are accepted into the Festival’s competition program.

Festival film submissions are free of charge.

See here for details! 


CAA Careers: Advice on working freelance



An interesting article in The Guardian by journalist Abby Young-Powell, on taking the plunge and going freelance.




Thursday, February 08, 2018