Dr Who special effects whiz sets students a space ship challenge

14th July 2015

Animation students from Barking & Dagenham College got the chance to learn from creative employers and leaders in the hi-tech world of TV and film 3D visual effects and take part in a speed 3D modelling challenge ? with one student winning first prize.

The students, who are studying for a Foundation Degree in Animation with Games Design at the College were excited to take part in the challenge set up by leading visual effects artist, Adam Dewhirst. Adam has worked on popular projects such as Dr Who, World War Z and Maleficent to name just a few. Up against animation students from two other colleges, the task saw them create 3D spaceship concept designs in just one hour. All were hoping they would be in with the chance of winning the prize of a £650 Wacom tablet, the type used by visual effects professionals and graphic artists.

Whilst all work was of a great standard, only one student could win and this honour went to Barking & Dagenham College student Dominic Esprit, 20, from Walthamstow.

Adam felt Dominic’s design would work well in full production and looked very realistic.

Above: Dominic Esprit's winning design

Commenting on his win, Dominic said:

“This opportunity has really changed my life. I hope to one day work in this fantastic industry and want to say a massive thank you to my tutor Matthew Phelan for all his help and support and my classmates Viktorija and Francis for being such strong competition, encouraging me to keep pushing myself harder.”

Escape Technology, the technology reseller and support specialists for the digital creative industry, hosted the 3D speed modelling challenge and event. As well as drafting in Adam Dewhirst to set the student challenge, the company arranged for Adam to also be on hand to offer career advice to students on how to apply for work in the industry once they graduate.

Adam, who has created visual effects for the TV, film, music and gaming industries said:

“To succeed in the industry a 3D VFX artist needs speed as well as accuracy. This speed modelling challenge is a great opportunity for students to put their technical ability to the test as well as how they perform under pressure. The Barking & Dagenham College students were particularly strong in both areas and I’m positive these talented students will have no problem securing 3D VFX jobs in the future. It’s important that colleges like Barking & Dagenham College continue to train students to the standard they are - making sure the UK continues to compete as a world leader in the art of visual effects.”

Ana Guimaraes, Curriculum Director Creative, Digital and Enterprise at Barking & Dagenham College added:

“As a Digital & Creative Career College we make sure our students get every opportunity to work with and learn from industry experts. Technological advances mean that the world of visual special effects is a hugely rewarding and exciting career option for our students.”

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