Thursday, 11 February 2016

Animation designers... a day in the life of a researcher (part 2)

Guest post by Dr Victoria McGowan, Research Associate, Alcohol and Public Health, Teesside University, @teamalphatees

Team Alpha recently spent a few days with Arcus Animation Studios and we were joined again by our two young people, Megan and Glen, from local schools who have been helping us develop the animation which introduces our SIPS JR HIGH study to participants. Arcus designed and produced our 2D cartoon animation and kindly let us into their studios for a behind the scenes peek at how they work. Here are some reflections on how it went:

The team at Arcus were so welcoming and introduced us all into their creative world. Megan and Glen were shown how animations are developed and given tutorials on using various different graphic design software and tools, such as the graphic tablet. Team Alpha spent time admiring their work environment (an Aladdin’s cave of toys, games consoles and a miniature Star Wars AT-AT Walker) and were eager to join in the weekly Street Fighter competition held in their fantastic common room.
The animation team at Arcus
While Team Alpha were reliving their youth, Megan (centre above) and Glen were hard at work developing animation characters and storyboards. On day two Megan was interviewed by Arcus and described how her passion for graphic design influenced her decision to assist us in the development of our SIPS JR HIGH animation.

She said: “I have been helping Teesside University in terms of creativity and research for the animation. The reason for this is because I am interested in graphic design myself and would love to get involved in some experience and voluntary work with animation and design companies”

The experiences of Megan highlights the benefits of participant involvement in the development of research, not only to the study, but also to the individuals. Megan and Glen were able to gain experience of working in an animation studio and see first-hand what a career in this area would be like.

“I like how the job will include drawing, animation and creativity. It also inspires me to be myself and not to follow instructions of what to do as part of designing something. I also like how you can design your office to what you like and enjoy, I think that it’s good for people to express their likes of designing and working with people that have the same interests as you”

Megan was very grateful for the opportunity to spend time with Arcus, this gave her insight into the life of an animation designer and gave her confidence to continue pursuing this career.

“I think Arcus has been very useful and they have given me ideas for further experiences and other work that I will be doing. They have given me a warm welcome into their company and also took me through tutorials of how their programs work and what they do to build up an animation. I have enjoyed my time at Arcus and the people here are very nice and outgoing! They each have their own personality which I like and they all have a story behind how they have achieved what they have done to become an animation designer.

Thank you Arcus!”

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