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University of Wales, Newport - Are all schools like this?

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University of Wales, Newport - Are all schools like this?

I have been advised to remove my comments from this website..

Should anyone like to discuss with me any points or issues raised within this conversation in the context of private e-mails, please feel free to PM me on this forum.

Captain Ham, the university is assessed by the external body known as ‘Skillset’ which in turn is advised by a panel of industry representatives. The whole idea that the University of Wales is a Skillset accredited course means that it is fulfilling all the criteria that skillset require from an animation course, and what they require for an animation course is governed by the industry and what they tell skillset their needs are. If you want to learn flying flags, run cycles and all that crap, go ahead, but the course at Newport aims to look at the bigger picture of the industry, not to teach you skills for a job that in all likelihood won’t exist in 2 years when you graduate, but to teach you skills that will be a basis for an entire career in the world of animation.

I don’t know of any graduates that are working in compositing, apart from myself. E.g. Matt Walker, Felix, Garth, Ginny, Johnny Luu, Tony Mines, Nick R, Matt Tempest, etc. etc. etc. are all working in Animator and Director roles. So in that respect you are mistaken.

“And it's the director of T.O.M. that teaches us in our After Effects sucks...”
The 2D second year option has been a 2D digital option for at least the last 5 years, previously taught by Stan, this year a project was introduced to accompany the workshops so Students could apply what they had been taught to a short 30 second piece. I was there to teach you industry techniques that you could employ in your practice, and raise the level of production values for 2D students. Scanning in pictures and bucketfilling the background green so you can colour key it out in AfterEffects just doesn’t cut it for Student work anymore. And as you only came to 3 out of the 12 sessions, you can hardly pass complete judgment.

You will fall into that 99% of unemployable simply because of your mind-set. Go and do a degree in History and see how much that impresses anyone in animation as they leave your CV unread on their desk and pop your showreel straight into the DVD player. If you were to fail, it would not be because you didn’t learn flapping flag cycles at University, it will be because of your attitude.
There is no point in finishing your 2nd year with that attitude towards your work, you may as well leave the students that want to be there, and enjoy being there, to it.

Also, I have to wonder whether it is the judges of Annecy 2007, and the judges of the other 23 festivals and award bodies that have given us awards, the 50+ selection committee’s of various animation and film festivals throughout the world where t.o.m. has been screened, and folks from Companies such as Aardman, Dreamworks and Psyop that have invited us to their studios for a tour and a chat, or you that have the wrong impression of our film.

Ken, you are managing to rile little Sam into a frenzy. Oh and you can’t keep legal action against a University quiet when you are talking about it on a public forum, especially the awn forum.

Ru, Matt Walkers ‘Astronauts’ is available at and you can watch t.o.m. at under the directors ‘Holbrooks’

Welcome to the AWN Forums Dan Gray and Tom Brown. It's good to get the other side of the story.

I've never heard of the University of Wales, Newport, but I'm thinking if shorts coming from this school are winning at Annecy, the program can't be all bad.

the Ape

...we must all face a choice, between what is right... and what is easy."

wow @ this topic

Thanks for the welcome Animated Ape :)
The course is a good one but, like most things in life, it just doesn't suit everyone. Luckily there are other courses which specialise in other facets of that especially broad field we call animation.
One mans poison it another mans degree and all that.

just stumbled across this thread after some months of stress...

For what its worth, I found both "Astronauts" and "T.O.M." inspiring, well-done animations. Congratulations to the makers!
@Captain Ham... one very important part of any film project and of your education in general is setting goals and communicating them. If your goal is a specific type of story, or a specific aspect of the animation process, then that's important information - it will help you work towards that goal. Directing or telling stories is a complicated and specific skillset and you would be insufficiently schooled with something like 'Animation Mentors'. If you are interested in learning character animation, then you will be wonderfully served there.
Keep heading towards your goals and keep in mind that there are mentalities and goals that differ from your own. If you don't know what your goals are, then your first priority is to find that out.

I do know I'd have never said the film was 'just' made to be funny, to be honest I'm surprised when people do find some of it funny. I'd be happy to talk to you about the reasonings and the mechanics of the film. The question of wether 'tom' is autistic or has Aspergers; it's something we avoided defining as the film isn't about what disability 'tom' has or has not, we didn't want to tag on an unresearched and improper condition onto something that was otherwise very considered, he is a little eccentric and probably has an autistic spectrum disorder but we're not diagnosing him :) . The actual story is equally about the delivery of narrative and the trojan horsing of subversion through design, as it is a collection of anecdotes of school years and the desire to miss them. It's easier to talk about with specific questions if you want to ask.

aw man

id love to have read the original now deleted text
for more movies and downloads

the fastest polygon in the west!


Hi there, I'm also studying animation in college, at IADT, Dublin, Ireland, and just thought I'd let you know how our course is broken down.

Its an extremely intensive course. We have animation principles, which is classical animation, the jumping sack was one of our first projects (though we just inbetweened it), im just starting my second semester now, and so far we've done the bouncing ball project, a bouncing ball + bowling ball + balloon project and a bouncing head project.

We are currently working on the man, boat wave project.

Principles of animation are the meat of the course, however we also have life drawing classes, layout/storyboarding/design class, experimental animation (cutout/single level/sand), flash animation (and premiere), and also a stop motion project. On top of that we study history of animation and cultural studies, and have 4 essays throughout the year.

By the end of the year we will have completed a one minute+ animation to be graded.

That's what our course is like, it seems to differ greatly from yours, and to be honest i don't tink id flourish as well as an animator if it wasnt for the sheer pressure we're put under to complete our projects.

Hope I helped some.

Captain Ham--

You are being ripped off.
Your school is a scam and should actually be reported as such.

What the programme, staff and school are saying to you with that course is that they do not have the competent staff, experience and expertise to teach you the skills that you assumed were going to be covered.
Basically they've decided to offer a "pseudo-animation" programme to sucker you in the door and take your money, and offer you jackshit in terms of usuable education.

Its boils down to this: if the school, staff and programme are NOT teaching you HOW to do this stuff (assuming to a professional standard) then get the fuck out of the programme.


For your life.

They are stealing your money and feigning that they are offering value in return. Has any alumni come out of that programme and gained steady work in the industry, and if so, in what capacity?

If the programme and instructors cannot teach you about life-drawing, background design/perspective, design to advanced levels including characters AND props, model sheets animation basics--up to and including walk cycles, character animation, effects animation, layouts, colour theory, storyboarding, slugging/sheeting timing/exposure sheets, film theory and camera work, rudimentary acting, voice work, computer basics such as Maya, 3D Studio, Lightwave, FLASH etc. Editing, compositing, builds and rigging, portfolio assembly, game design principles, web-animations, marketing concepts, Animation business and working insights, studio set-ups....

If it cannot teach you the above, then its junk and you are wasting your time there.

So, to answer your question: no, not all schools are like the one you've mentioned. Only the bad ones are.

"We all grow older, we do not have to grow up"--Archie Goodwin ( 1937-1998)