Australian university partners with top digital studio to offer groundbreaking postgraduate degree in animation

Starting next year, those dreaming of becoming animators will have the option to pursue a Master’s degree at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) in a pioneer program in collaboration with Animal Logic, one of the world’s most renowned digital production studios.

The Masters of Animation and Visualisation (MAV) will be the first industry-led postgraduate degree of its kind in Australia, and the first program offered by the UTS Animal Logic Academy (UTS ALA).

Among the aims of the venture is to catapult Australia ahead of the pack in the burgeoning virtual-reality industry and help students hone their technical skills for effects and animation techniques that may not yet be fully developed, such as virtual reality and augmented reality.

The intensive year-long Master’s program will have a specially-designed curriculum created by the Animal Logic team and will be taught by UTS lecturers and industry mentors in a cutting-edge, purpose-built workspace on campus. 

Students on the course will be able to build on their existing skills in digital animation, visual effects and computer-generated imagery, all within a custom-built studio where real-world production pipelines will be emulated.

Speaking to Mashable Australia, Animal Logic’s head of production Ingrid Johnston said the studio had a long tradition of promoting training and development.

“What we’re really trying to do is build a cohort of students who are industry-ready,” she said.

She added that normally, animation graduates are at an intern level when they complete their degrees, so the new course was designed to reflect a real studio environment where students can work collaboratively as well as develop their technical skills.

UTS vice-chancellor Professor Attila Brungs said the course’s “studio study” model was designed to foster innovation. “UTS is trying more and more to link with industry, to create skills that don’t even exist yet,” he said, as quoted by the Sydney Morning Herald.

He also said that the skills gained by students in the program will apply not just to the film and TV industry, but to game design, the burgeoning areas of augmented and virtual reality, and to jobs not yet imagined. 

“This is a program like no other in Australia, deeply industry-linked and led, and one that aims to generate skills and capacity to enable Australia to be a leading player globally in the creative industries and in particular the emerging CGI sector.

“I predict this sector will be a critical contributor to future employment,” said Brungs.

The studio is currently in production on The LEGO Batman Movie (2017) and The LEGO Ninjago Movie (2017), The LEGO Movie Sequel (2019), Peter Rabbit (2018), Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 2, and Alien: Covenant (2017).

Interested students better apply for the course quickly if they hope to be selected for the first cohort, however: the deadline is October 28, 2016 and only 50 spots are available.

Image via Warner Bros. 

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