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.
Following recent HEIF funding, this project aims to develop an alternative solution by simulating and visualising the lifeboat launching with unmanned vehicles in an immersive virtual environment. Working with staff members at the RNLI and located within The National Centre for Computer Animation (NCCA) at Bournemouth University this role will offer an exciting opportunity to join the NCCA’s research team and be involved in the design of the next generation lifeboat launching system in order to enhance safety and efficiency.
The BFX Conference “Digital Convergences 2014” runs next Monday and Tuesday on the Talbot Campus.
Keynote Speakers are Professor Lev Manovich, author of ‘Software Takes Command’ and ‘The Language of New Media’; and Professor Sean Cubitt, author of ‘The Cinema Effect’ and ‘Studying the Event Film: The Lord of the Rings’.
This conference intends to present and analyse the convergences that are occurring across and within the genres of moving image, in part resulting from the impact of digital technologies. Through an interdisciplinary approach, the BFX conference invites authors to examine various theoretical positionings with a view to realign the discussion in the light of current technologies. The conference seeks to revisit the arguments that position film, animation and art as aesthetically, structurally and intellectually different.
The conference director is Ms Paula Callus of the NCCA Visual Research Group.
In November 2012 the VFX Hub – a HEIF funded initiative from BU and AUB, launched BFX, a 5-day festival of Animation and Visual Effects that will be held annually in Bournemouth.
One of the highlights of BFX will be a competition which aims to discover the best new talent in Visual Effects and will run from July to mid August 2013, with the winners being announced during the festival in September. Competitors will be expected to form teams of 4-6 members and will have to submit a written creative and technical treatment that explains in detail how they intend to produce an animated or VFX sequence in answer one of five specific briefs. Following the recent award of Fusion Funding the VFX Hub team will be presenting BFX to an international audience at FMX in Stuttgart during April, as well as pitching the competition to Animation and VFX students at several other UK Universities in the coming weeks – with the aim of attracting teams from at least 8 other institutions. The teams will live on campus at BU free-of-charge for the duration of the competition and each member will receive a £70 per week stipend towards their cost of living expenses. The work produced by the teams will mentored throughout the 6-weeks by professionals from Soho VFX companies Framestore, Double Negative, Cinesite, MPC and The Mill.
The rest of the festival itinerary will be updated on the website as events, venues and personalities are confirmed; it will include master classes, workshops, screenings, an exhibition and advice on careers and education.
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