February 25, 2019

Alys and her work

I came to Wales from Northern Ireland looking to continue my studies in film. The chance to become a part of what was then a completely new course within the university was an exciting prospect, and I was eager to see what opportunities it would present.

Animation is an amazing course which provides its students with a wide range of skills, not just moving objects and taking photographs. We have had the chance to learn digital animation on industry standard software, like TV Paint, Moho and more, all while enjoying the learning process.

Alys Drawing
I’ve learned so much since the course began.

But one of the most interesting parts of the course has been collaborating with students all around the university to make amazing and original pieces of work.

In second year we worked with students from the School of Sport and Health Sciences at Cyncoed campus. Our brief was to make a selection of digital idents, stings and a title sequence for the Cardiff Met Sport TV show Up The Archer which is shot and hosted by sports students.

This project was completed just like it would have been if we were a studio hired by a client. Our tutors played the part of producers, giving us deadlines so we understood how to manage our own time.

Storyboarding was an important part of the process.

While meeting with our clients we found out that they wanted us to use the university’s crest, rather than the current Archer logo, as this could potentially change, so we had to adjust our original ideas around this.  

I started with mood boards, finding the colours and styles I wanted to use. I had recently looked at a trailer for the X-Files that resembled the style of Saul Bass.

I found drawing more detailed pieces difficult, so block colours made it easier to work. This made the process quicker, which meant I had more time to work on the other half of the project – the graphics.

I kept within the sports theme of the show, reviewing the main sports that Up The Archer covered. Through meetings we’d learned that the clients wanted to address the fact they provided sport experiences for anyone and everyone. This was where I came up with the idea of incorporating wheelchair basketball.

After storyboarding I found that with block colours I could investigate the ideas of empty space and more random shapes, such as Saul Bass did with Anatomy of a Murder. I also used the idea of a bouncing ball to keep the motion of the animation going.

I used the theme of a bouncing ball was used to keep the sequence moving forward.

This idea became a challenge while I was working on the wheelchair basketball section, but the limited colour palette and space gave me an interesting fix to the problem.

It was a great experience to be working with other students within the university, especially ones without experience of working with animation. This helped us learn how to work in a professional manner with proper clients, and to consider how the work would be presented on multiple platforms such as YouTube and Facebook.

This project taught me a lot about my field of study, and the way I needed to conduct myself with clients. It was a very valuable experience for me and I hope that I’ll be able to apply what I have learned from the project to my career after university.