a new online exhibition at Poole Museum, celebrating 30 years of the NCCA
To celebrate 30 years of its existence, the National Centre for Computer Animation (NCCA) at Bournemouth University will be exhibiting historic artefacts, innovative research projects as well as a selection of some of the most memorable animations of our shared history. The exhibition ‘Once Upon A Time in Animation’ will be held at Poole Museum in Spring next year. As a first spotlight on what is to come in spring 2021, we are now launching a virtual exhibition at Poole Museum.
Since its inception in 1989 by Peter Comninos and Peter Hardy, the NCCA has remained at the forefront of animation techniques, visual effects, compositing and post-production. Combining artistic creativity with scientific rigour, the centre is internationally renowned for excellence in research and world-class education. To celebrate its 30 year long history, the NCCA will be exhibiting artefacts and animations, storyboards, concept art and rare nuggets of its 30 year history, in a landmark exhibition in one of the largest museums in the region.
Poole Museum is one of the leading museums in the South West of England, showcasing a range of historic artefacts in their permanent collection as well as a changing array of diverse historic and contemporary art projects. Poole Museum is located in three adjacent buildings, housed at a historic Victorian warehouse, the Oakley’s Mill located at the heart of Poole. It’s iconic facade was designed by Horden Cherry Lee. Inside, the building connects to the historic Town cellars built around 1300.
The exhibition ‘Once Upon A Time in Animation’ scheduled for spring 2021 at Poole Museum will highlight the special role of animation, gaming and visual effects held in the Southwest of England. The whole region has made a name for its expertise, in large part thanks to Bournemouth University’s unique role as a pioneer in education and research for the Creative Industries.
Following a brief developed by Dr Eike Falk Anderson of the National Centre for Computer Animation (NCCA) in cooperation with Tom Cousins of BU Maritime Archaeology, and on the basis of the 3D scans of the sunk tanks, a group of undergraduate students of the NCCA created the “Exercise Smash” virtual heritage experience, leveraging modern video games infrastructure (in this case the Unreal Engine 4). Blending a historical serious game with a virtual dive trail, in a snapshot in time, users live the past and try to land an amphibious tank while taking part in “Exercise Smash”, and then return to the present to explore the tank wrecks in Studland Bay during a virtual dive. The project was conducted as part of the 2nd year Group Project unit (led by Susan Sloan) by students from three of the NCCA’s undergraduate programmes, BA (Hons) Computer Animation Art and Design (Arran Bidwell, Alexander Lechev and Manuella Nagiel), BA (Hons) Computer Animation Technical Arts (Joseph Adams and Dawid Kupisinski) and BSc (Hons) Software Development for Animation, Games and Effects (Radu Rosca).
The work, which was based on Bianca’s Innovations Project unit results extends and improves existing methods for procedurally simulating decaying fruit for use in computer graphics and visual effects, focusing on artist directability and visual fidelity. As the resulting visuals are quite impressive, this project was also one of the ten submissions featured in the SIGGRAPH’18 posters preview video.
Of the 74 posters presented at this year’s SIGGRAPH conference, 16 submitted posters, including Bianca’s contribution (poster 74), were invited to the first round of the prestigious ACM Student Research Competition (SRC) sponsored by Microsoft. Bianca’s submission was one of only four European semi-finalists and of those the only one from a UK institution. After presenting the work to a panel of experts, the submission made it into the second round and after the ACM Student Research Competition Final Presentation it won first place in the undergraduate category.