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Pupils plug the creativity gap

Academics working to plug the gap in the UK's animation skills market are training a team of school children to make a 3D film

Posted by Rebecca Paddick | July 29, 2014 | Secondary

Animation specialist Peter Kemp from the University of Roehampton is among a team who is showing the group the hands-on techniques used to make film smashes like Avatar in the sessions entitled 3Dami. They will learn everything from designing story boards to using advanced software in state-of-the-art labs to create special effects and dramatic scenes. The sessions started yesterday and run until Friday 1 August when the films will be premiered in front on family and friends. 

Mr Kemp said as well as opening up potential career options for school pupils, animation provided the perfect practical way for teachers to teach much-needed skills in science, technology engineering and maths. Animation itself has been recognised by Government as among the most needed skill-sets in the country. 

One hundred young people applied for the course, including 30 girls, a high number in this field, the organisers say. At the end of the seven days, the successful team of 26 students, around half of whom are from London, will have created their own film from scratch. 

They will also be interviewed for Google sponsored research aimed at finding the type of people most interested in becoming professional animators. The aim is to find actions which can be taken across the education sector to bring more people into the field, and encourage teaching related skills in schools. 

Mr Kemp said: “The UK has one of the largest digital arts and games industries in the world, thanks to successes like Framestore and Double Negative Soho. What’s lacking is a variety of formal pre-university education, and limited awareness of how to break into the industry. At 3Dami we’re going to give young people a real understanding of how animated films are created, which will fire their interest, and potentially make them more employable in future. 

“Between creating the film and our research we’ll produce information showing teachers how they can use the skills needed to be a successful animator to teach science, engineering, technology subjects and maths. By creating greater understanding in the classroom over the next decade more and more graduates should join this growing industry.” 

The London-based 3Dami project is one of only two projects known to be taking place in the UK, and it is supported by the industry, meaning as well as creating their film, the pupils will visit existing production houses to learn from the experts. 

For more information, visit http://www.3dami.org.uk/

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