Animation in NZ – what I learnt at MDS, Weltec and Massey
Unni Sunny from India spent three weeks on an animation internship in New Zealand where he studied at Massey University, Wellington Institute of Technology and Media Design School. In this blog, he shares what he learnt at each institution.
Media Design School (MDS)
The experience at MDS began with two lecture classes by Steve. Steve, a faculty lecturer at Media Design School made the session interesting by using an exciting episode of the popular series ‘The Game of Thrones’. He explained the very essence of movie techniques on how to convey the story to the audience, the camera angles, lighting of key scenes, sound effects, costume design, different use of lenses etc. I also got an opportunity to experience life drawing and character design classes conducted by Simon and Jordan. We wrapped up at MDS with Vivienne who took us around to the Kitekite waterfalls and to Piha beach. She made the week very special for us and we really miss her already!
So, I was here at one of the biggest universities in New Zealand along with two of my other friends from India. I was exhilarated to be there and was taken by surprise when we were greeted with a warm and traditional welcome by the faculty. Our mentors, Lucas and Ed, asked us to create something by the end of the week. It was exciting and challenging at the same time and we decided to make a one minute movie in just three days! After the learnings about capture shots, editing, green screen filming and VFX (visual effects), we were able to put together a movie under the guidance of our mentors. I would definitely like to thank Justin, Chris, Tim and Edd for their valuable time. At the end of the week, our co-ordinator Tim, took us to Mt. Victoria, leaving us with another unforgettable memory.
It began with an introduction about the college by our mentor, James who was always with us until we completed our internship. On the very first day, I was lost in a different world of virtual reality wearing a VR headset. I played games, drew and later got to explore the city. For the first time in my life, I painted in the air! Yes, it was as magical as it sounds. I also got a chance to use the 3D printer to create two models. James taught us the basics of ZBrush (a digital sculpting tool that combines 3D modeling, texturing and painting) and helped us create our own 3D model. He was just amazing! It was great to learn so many things in such a limited time frame.
It is quite amazing to hold a real character in your hand and know that you have built it using computer software.
I truly understood the meaning of this statement when I held my model, it was an astounding experience indeed. The best part about the whole experience at Weltec was that they are moulding generalists who can contribute in all areas in media production.
The teaching faculty were very friendly and supportive. They arranged leisure trips every day to nearby places like the South Coast, Red rocks and famous galleries. We would like to thank James, Clarissa, Darren and Sushrutha for arranging a wonderful trip along with laboratory practice.
About the contributors
Unni Sunny, from India, is a concept artist at Mech Mocha Games in Bangalore. He completed a year’s programme in animation and digital arts at Toonz Animation Academy before starting his job. Unni visited New Zealand on a three-week animation internship as part of the animation showcase ‘My New Zealand Future’.