Monday, 14 January 2019

2nd Year Specialism Module CR5001

Character animation by Chan Sagoo
A warm welcome back to all our undergraduate students, as formal classroom teaching resumes today. 

The second year of animation studies at Escape Studios is where our students begin to focus on proficiency in the craft of animation.

The second year is also an opportunity for students to choose what part of the animation industry they would like to specialise in.  The 2nd Year Specialism Module (Module Code CR5001) is worth 15 credits and runs for 8 weeks, culminating in a portfolio presentation.  So, what can our students expect?

Above: Character animation for Specialism Module CR5001 by Maria Robertson

CR5001-DF2CA Animation Specialism – 15 Credits
Animation Specialism is the third module in the 2018-19 academic year, allowing students to explore a subject specialism of their own choice. This could be character animation or creature animation, or even a related discipline such as storyboarding or character design. It's a fun module as we bring in guest tutors to deliver specialist areas of teaching, allowing students to push their creative skills and explore a wide range of creative choices.

The Specialism module is also where we get ready for the Studio Project that starts later in the year, where 2nd year students begin to collaborate in teams, contributing their own unique skillset to the group project. 

Types of Specialism
Most students will likely specialise in character or creature animation, but this is not set in stone. Other options might include animation-related disciplines such as
  • Games animation (looping cycles and character actions) 
  • Character rigging
  • Performance capture animation
  • 3D layout and Cinematography
  • Previsualisation
  • Storyboarding
  • Character design 
  • Editing and Sound Design
  • Producing animation (including Excel and Shotgun). 
There are many jobs to do on an animated film and we need many different skills in order to make them work successfully. This Module is an opportunity for students to find something that they feel passionate about and interested in, and specialise in that subject.

For example, Sebastian Kuder decided to specialise in cinematography and 3D layout (see below).

This year, guest tutors include producer Steve Burch on producing animation, story artist Iliana Franklin on storyboarding, Ash Ellis on lighting for animators, Michael Davies on character rigging and ZBrush, Jakob Parsons on sound design, Steve Lall on motion capture and Amedeo Beretta on character acting.

The module culminates in the presentation of a portfolio of work in the student's chosen field. For example, Aaron Hopwood chose character animation as his specialism.

Specialism Module CR5001 is a great opportunity to try out different ideas, learn from a variety of guest tutors from industry, and explore a wide range of creative choices. It's where the focus of the course starts to change from "top-down" (do what you're told) to "bottom up" (learn to become a creative artist).

The main thing for all our students is to pick something that interests you, and have fun with it. There is still plenty of time to change your mind later on.


The Escape Studios Animation Blog offers a personal view on the art of animation and visual effects. To find out more about our new BA/MArt, now recruiting for September 2019, follow this link.   To apply, visit the official page here.

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