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Animation, XSI and Maya

3D computer animation using Softimage XSI at Bournemouth University (National Centre for Computer Animation) in 2007.

In 2005 I was driving a van for a living. A couple of weeks in from starting that I decided that I didn't want to be doing that for more than a year. I wasn't. From the roller coaster ride of the country's motorways I went to the extreme endurance experience of studying for a Masters in computer animation and managed to stagger out with a merit. The learning curve was more like a vortex as I hadn't even heard of XSI before starting the course.

I had been avoiding animation for most of my life even though it was what inspired my interest in art initially. I had learnt what a tedious process it was as well as being expensive. It involved film. Back when I was first a student there wasn't even video so immediate feed back was not possible. I made a short stop frame film for one the modules but didn't even consider entering into the field because as far as I knew there wasn't one in this country.

Somehow the animation bug started tugging at me in 2005. I had written Gurkin Trifle and wondered what to do with it or what it would lead on to. A random surf on the net found the Bristol 3 Month animation Course which I applied for and did. I had perhaps the happiest 3 months of my life to date there.

Another more constructive search found the Bournemouth course 6 months later though at that point I had no intention of doing it. I was resistant to 3D computer animation but went to look at the Masters courses with my son in the summer and was suitably impressed with what could be done. I was told that there were still places and so I applied. Had to stop van driving before I killed myself or got banned! Got an interview on 31 Aug. Got acceptance letter on 5 Sept and the course started on 5 Oct.

After the MA and some illness I decided to learn Maya at Escape Studios where the focus was on modelling and texturing. The emphasis was on realism and I modelled a local pub.

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Jenny Linn-Cole
Page last modified: 02 March 2008