UTS Animal Logic Academy wins new awards & launches careers
Two big ideas, three big awards – that was the winning experience for the Master of Animation and Visualisation students from the UTS Animal Logic Academy (ALA).
The students picked up prizes for two group projects called Xploro (awarded Game of the Year – Mobile) and Soundbender (awarded Game of the Year – Immersive Media) at the 2019 Rookies Awards, an international awards scheme for newcomers to the creative media and entertainment industry. Xploro also received a silver medal at the 2019 Australian VFX and Animation Festival, edging out a number of notable industry studios.
The projects, which were selected from nearly 3500 submissions from across the globe, were produced as part of the ALA’s Masters course work. But for the students themselves, winning an international accolade was the cherry on top of a remarkable experience in the accelerated, industry-focused master’s degree, one of the leading qualifications of its kind.
My experience as an ALA student is something I’ll always cherish. That one-year master’s program has taught me so much
- ALA graduate Ailisha Sabalburo, a character designer and surfacer who worked on the Xploro project.
The Master of Animation and Visualisation immerses students in a full-time studio environment. Participants come from diverse technical and creative backgrounds, including computer graphics, visual arts, coding for design, animation and/or visualisation. Students learn to engage with professional production workflows to produce high-quality collaborative creative projects like Xploro and Soundbender.
Xploro is an interactive game combined with an augmented reality experience designed to teach students aged 8-12 about ancient history. Students choose to be an explorer, collecting artefacts in one of three ancient worlds, or an ancient God tasked with foiling the explorer’s journey.
Soundbender is a unique virtual reality experience that transforms the human voice into light, enabling users to interact with an impressive world while navigating around a visually stunning sub-terranean lake.
We generate light from the player’s voice and then we record, process and visualise the voice, transforming it into a beautiful type of visual language we call SoundLight
- Illia Statkevych, Soundbender team lead.
Developing the concepts was a highly collaborative process. Students took on assigned roles within the production workflow, working much like a professional studio to deliver the end product. On the Xploro team, Sabalburo took on the role of character designer and surfacer, creating the explorer and God characters and setting the overall mood for the 3D artists.
She says the experience, like much of the MAV degree, was critical in helping her understand how to work effectively within a digital production pipeline.
During the final production phase, students work together on a major project and we all have to learn how to hand off our work to the next person in the workflow
- ALA graduate Ailisha Sabalburo
Today, Sabalburo and Statkevych are out practicing what they learned in the real-world, testing their skills in creative animation. Sabalburo is working as a 3D artist at Electric Lens Co in Redfern, while Statkevych and some of his ALA peers recently launched a video game company called First Iteration, currently part of UTS Startups.
Soundbender, which they’re in the process of completing, will be their first product.
The UTS Animal Logic Academy (UTS ALA) has also recently been awarded further honours for production excellence, receiving the world’s-best educational facility ranking in the categories of Mobile Production Excellence and Immersive Media Production Excellence.
The UTS ALA is currently accepting applications for the one-year accelerated Master of Animation & Visualisation for 2020. Come along to their next Information Session on Wednesday 20 November.