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University of Kent launches degree in Computer Animation

From September 2005, the Department of Electronics at the University of Kent will complement its BSc in Multimedia Technology and Design with an MSc in Computer Animation.
This MSc, which is a direct collaboration between the Department of Electronics and Mike Eames, Head of Animation at Framestore CFC (the largest visual effects and computer animation studio in Europe), will equip students to become highly skilled professionals in the animation and visual effects industry.
David Byers Brown, a lecturer in Multimedia Technology and Design, and the senior lecturer in Computer Animation said: "3D computer animation, which now accounts for most animation, is a growth area for the foreseeable future and is recognised by the film and games industries to be a core element of their most successful products. There is a constant and increasing demand for professional computer animators of a high calibre. However, there is a lack of highly skilled, professionally trained animators. Our course aims to address this need."
With a distinguished career history in the animation and visual effects industry, David Byers Brown brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the course. An in-demand storyboard artist, animator (traditional and 3D), designer and director, he was Senior Computer Graphics Animator for George Lucas's Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) from 1994 to 1999, and has worked for many major film studios, including Disney and Warner Bros. His list of film credits includes 'The Lost World: Jurassic Park'; 'Dragonheart'; '101 Dalmatians'; 'Small Soldiers' and 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit?'
Formed in December 2001, Framestore CFC is now the largest visual effects and computer animation company in Europe. The company's movie portfolio includes work on such films as 'Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban', 'Troy', 'Thunderbirds', 'Cold Mountain', 'The Mummy Returns' and 'Mission: Impossible II'.
Commenting on the new course, Framestore's Mike Eames said: "This is what the industry needs."
David Byers Brown added: "We are extremely honoured to have Mike Eames and Framestore CFC on board, particularly since our programme is entirely orientated towards current industrial needs, technology and practice.
"Together with Mike Eames and Framestore CFC, we aim to equip animators with the tools necessary for employment in this very desirable and high-profile modern creative industry."
The course programme, which consists of approximately seven months of coursework followed by five months of project work (resulting in a final project film and showreel), will cover 3D animation practice and principles, the animation pipeline, drawing skills for the time-based 3D medium, story boarding for animation, the language of film and character animation.
All projects will be professional briefs carried out in the department's Computer Animation Laboratory under expert supervision and with monthly reviews by industry professionals.
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