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Health and Safety

The majority of the projects I have done have been completed on a computer. Though there is not much safety to worry about whilst working at a computer, there are some elements of health to consider.

When working at a computer, it is advisable to:

  • Have good posture to protect your back, spine neck and wrists, as described by this diagram:
  • Take breaks before the onset of fatigue, not in order to recuperate. The timing of the break is more important than its length.
  • Working at a screen for a long time without a break can have effects similar to reading or writing uninterruptedly, and may make your eyes feel ‘tired’ or sore. You might find that it helps to look away from the screen from time to time and focus your eyes on a distant object.

Bournemouth University - Interview and Offer

The Bournemouth interview was my last and most involved interview. All applicants had to take three tests

  1. Life drawing
  2. Maths
  3. Logic

The results of these (I assume) influences whether or not we get a place. I attained 88% in the Maths test and 90% in the logic test. I was not informed of the results of my life drawing test, though my interviewer did give me some feedback.

Once we had taken our tests, there was a brief talk from the leading lecturer of the program, who talked about what each of the three interconnected courses entailed and a bit about the origins of the course. We were then called out one at a time for one-to-one interviews. Whilst we waited for our interviews, some third year students showed us around the computer labs and we got to talk to some students and see their work. This was really interesting and a nice break from the intense testing.

My interview was taken by one of the lecturers of the Computer Animation Arts course. She asked me to pick out my three favourite/most relevant pieces of work rather than show her my whole portfolio. This was a little bit stressful as I wasn’t expecting to be asked this and I didn’t know what to choose. I decided to show my final Kilve animation, my Kilve sketchbook (this also ended up being my V&A sketchbook too, so I showed her the start of that project too) and my creature design sketchbook.

The feedback on my life drawing was: that whilst they were good I needed to look more at gesture in the figures than detailed tone. I should also experiment with silhouette when creating poses so that the posing and movement of the drawings always appear strong and dynamic. She recommended that I continue to practice this skill.

I received an offer a week later: 340 UCAS Points from 3 A-levels

Hertfordshire - Interview and Offer

My second interview was at the University of Hertfordshire. At this interview, applicants were given a group talk covering all the courses for the benefit of those who could not make it to an open day. We were then individually called out for a one-on-one interview.

Once again, the interview was fairly informal, I talked through my portfolio and the projects included. I was asked a few more questions at this interview, such as where I saw myself in 5/10 years and what animations/artists/studios I liked. The interviewer also gave me some helpful feedback, including a sheet of websites and artists that would be worth checking out. He also mentioned that my portfolio could use some more 3D work as I was applying for a 3D modelling course.

I received an offer at the end of the interview, and the specifications a week later: Minimum 280 UCAS Points

University of South Wales - Interview & Offer

My first interview was at the University of South Wales. I was pleased with this as Wales was my last choice so it allowed me to practice and get feedback before the more strenuous interviews. We were called up one at a time, and spoke to one interviewer. It was very informal and generally pleasant, I showed him my portfolio and talked a little about some of the projects.

I was asked questions about my favourite animated films and studios and what aspects of animation I liked best. This led to a short discussion about Character Design. I was also asked if I had any questions; I asked what (computing) facilities were available. It turns out that there are not always facilities available for use outside lessons.

I received an offer around a week later: BBC grades at A-level

Leeds Metropolitan University - Computer Animation and Visual Effects

Visited: Yes

http://courses.leedsmet.ac.uk/computeranimation_bsc

Course: (BA Hons)

Entry requirements: 300 points required. (Minimum 200 from 2 A Levels or equivalent, excluding General Studies). Selection criteria based on your personal attributes; experience and/or commitment to the area of study. This information will be derived from your personal statement and reference and will only be used if you have met the general entry requirements.

Duration: 3 Years full time or 4 years sandwich

When visiting this university I made the mistake of going to the wrong campus and consequentially attending the wrong lecture. When I realised that I was in the wrong place I was able to get the bus across town to the right campus, unfortunately I had missed the course talk and therefore did not get to see any student work. However, I managed to talk to two of the lecturers who ran the course, who have me a great overview of the course and short tour of the facilities. They were both very enthusiastic about the course and good to talk to.

A very good aspect of this course is that it offers a placement year, which I would really like to do. They also have great facilities in terms of green screens, motion capture studios and computer labs. The only downside is that I cannot find any student work on the website or anywhere else, so I am unable to see the quality of work produced.

University of South Wales - Computer Animation

Visited: Yes

http://courses.glam.ac.uk/courses/122-ba-hons-computer-animation

Entry requirements: 280 UCAS tariff points, eg, BBC at A-level. Additional criteria: An A-level in an art and design-related subject. Applicants will be required to attend an interview, to which they should bring a portfolio of relevant work.

Duration: 3 years full time

Course: (BA Hons)

Entry requirements: 280 UCAS tariff points, or BBC in A levels, to include an A-level in a relevant subject. Applicants will be required to attend an interview, to which they should bring a portfolio of relevant work.

Duration: 3 years full time

Again, there are a few separate courses on offer. Visiting the university was really enlightening – I got to hear from all of the tutors and even see a green screen demo to give an idea of what could be achieved. Getting to meet all of the tutors was really encouraging as I know that if I go there I will definitely get a good teacher. Similarly to the other two, great industry links. The course again looks strong, practical and varied. I like how USW strongly encourages collaboration across the courses, leading to really strong group projects and imitating what the environment would be like in the real world. I also liked how students are encouraged to specialize, finding what they are really good at and working at it to a very high standard.

Unfortunately I did not really like the accommodation that I saw at this university - hopefully there is more available that I didn’t see.

Hertfordshire - Computer 3D Digital Animation and Modelling

Visited: Yes

Course: BA Hons

http://www.herts.ac.uk/courses/3d-digital-animation

Entry requirements: 280 points from GCE A Levels (or equivalent) including a qualification in an art related subject plus GCSE English language and maths at grade C or above and Key skills are accepted as equivalent. Selection is based on a portfolio interview.

Duration: Full Time, 3 Years

There were a couple of courses at Herts that interested me - 3D Digital Animation, 3D Games Art and Visual Effects. I’d really like to do all of them, but if I have to pick one, it would probably be 3D Digital Animation, as it seems like the most wide-ranging and transferable one. Once again, I’ve visited the campus and the campus itself and facilities are great. I was really pleased by the subject talk at Herts, the lecturers really knew what they were talking about and were engaging and enthusiastic. Again, course content is varied and useful and student work is of a stunning quality.

It was mentioned that students are expected to create work at the end of their last year of a professional quality and they accepted nothing less - after all, the students have a year to create something that professionals can do in a few months. The student work was well showcased and of outstanding quality.

The only downside to this course is that they do not offer a placement year, which I would really like to do.

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