World leading artists to speak at Swansea Animation Days Conference 2018


More speakers and exciting events have been confirmed ahead of UWTSD’s Swansea Animation Days conference, SAND 2018.

The annual animation, games, and visual effects industry event, organised by the University’s School of Graphic and Digital Art, offers students the opportunity to participate in talks and workshops from industry professionals from all over the world and takes place on January 25 and 26.  

This year’s confirmed speakers include Marie-Claire Isaaman, CEO Women in Games, WIGJ and Raphael de Almeida Pimentel, Animation Director, Luma Pictures, LA USA and Melbourne, Australia. Becky Graham, Sequence Supervisor, Double Negative, London; Lee Greatorex, MPC; Richard Baldwin and Alan Rodger, Senior 3D Visualisers, iCreate, Swansea will also speak at the event.

Scott Smith, SAND Coordinator and Senior Lecturer in Computer Animation, teaching BA/MArts 3D Computer Animation and MA 3D Computer Animation, said:  “It is fantastic to have had such a successful return of the SAND industrial conference.  The event underpins our relationship with the animation industries, and demonstrates the engagement of our students with careers and the latest developments in animation art and design, whether it be for visual effects in feature films, architectural visualization, character animation in games, or the various other industries our graduates develop their skills in.”

Philip Organ, Programme Director BA/MArts 3D Computer Animation said: “The SAND Conference has always been an important fixture in the year for all those immersed in studying or working in modern CGI, computer animation, games and more. Some of the world’s leading CG artists and designers from production studios around the world visit Swansea to highlight the latest trends in digital storytelling and animated design; animating characters and effects; showcasing work on the most prestigious movies, commercials and games. A good portion of the speakers (now industry experts) have graduated from our very own BA/MArts animation degree and everyone was delighted to be part of this year’s SAND, to give something back, and help provide those industry insights for our current students.   SAND 2017 marked the return of a successful, awe-inspiring, motivational CG event and it’s great to see it back on the animation calendar.  Looking forward to SAND 2018 already!”

Past guest speakers have included UWTSD 3D Computer Animation graduates Sid Harrington-Odedra who works for VFX studio The Mill, Adam Davis the Global Head of Virtual Production at MPC, and Ryan Morgan, also at MPC who has worked as Modelling and Texturing Technical Director on recent blockbusters Guardians of the GalaxyFantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, and The Jungle Book.  Becky Graham, Sequence Supervisor from Double Negative also gave a talk. Becky was a fine art graduate of Swansea College of Art before working in animation.  Framestore also employs many of our graduates and participated in the event.

The conference is open to a wide range of students interested in pursuing a career in animation, computer game design, or the broader visual effects industry.  Students are given valuable career advice from industry giants, which in the past has included EA Games, Blizzard, MPC, the Mill, Double Negative, and Framestore as well as local entrepreneurs who work in the industry. Students also have the opportunity to have their work critiqued by industry professionals.

A local college student from Coleg Sir Gar Graig Campus, Llanelli, Ben Richards attended the SAND 2017 Careers Day event last year, winning a place on the BA 3D Computer Animation course this year.  Ben said: “‘SAND is a great place to go whether you’re interested in going into animation and gaming or not. It gives you a chance to see things from the perspective of people who work in these careers which is important as you are considering a career. Alternatively, it’s a wonderful place to go and just find out the stories of people who come from places like Swansea and find out how they reach places in industry all over the world. It’s very inspirational to have access to these great artists and also allows you a chance to network and meet people who could potentially make your career.”

Charlotte Preston - now in the third year of her MArts 3D Computer Animation degree - was one student who received feedback on her portfolio. She said: “My lecturers encouraged me to submit something and I was so nervous. My work got sent off to California and then I got feedback in the final session of the conference from people working in the industry. It was just such a great opportunity.”

Another animation student Matt Kinahan said: “The event has been fantastic, especially for people like me who haven’t had the chance to speak to people who are in the industry. It’s something that can be really daunting but SAND has given me more confidence. It’s really motivating to know what standard I need to achieve to get to where I want to go. They couldn’t have got a better group of people to come and speak to us. There was someone from every profession. It was a real treat to listen to!”

Fellow student Joseph Long added: “They talked about how to get your work seen by industry professionals. I’ve been to talk to them and they were really friendly. I spoke to Ryan [Morgan] who graduated from here and that gave me a lot to think about what direction I want to go in. There’s so much to learn but SAND taught me to stay calm, work hard, and be focussed on my goals.”

Courses offered by the School of Graphic and Digital Art in Swansea include the BA/MArts 3D Computer Animation, the MA 3D Computer Animation, the BA/MArts Creative Computer Games Design, the BA Graphic Design, BA Illustration, and BA Advertising and Brand Design.


Further Information

Rebecca Davies

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Executive Press and Media Relations Officer
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Corporate Communications and PR

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