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Friday, 27 April 2007

Consumer Test: Bradford, Bournemouth or Southampton Universities???

It's about time to visit a university to see what sort of courses are on offer for our own students. Browsing the university sites is not always the easiest of experiences. Bournemouth's showcase is accessed at: http://media.bournemouth.ac.uk/studentshowcase/studentwork.html. I viewed their MA collaborative piece "Shattered Memories" and was impressed by the 3D elements and the life-like quality of the product though the storyline about an explosion in a laboratory/reactor station was a tad melodramatic. There were other showcase examples but none particularly appropriate for my students. The University of Bradford has a showcase http://www.inf.brad.ac.uk/showcase/index.php but limits their viewable pieces to a brief showreel. However at last I chanced upon the Southampton Solent University (http://www.solent.ac.uk/courses/undergraduate/animation_ba/awards.aspx) and here is the sort of site to attract applicants. Their showcase features pieces by different students with some lovely work. Monica Healy for example has a delightfully drawn piece contrasting a ballet dancer with someone striken by arthritis, and Noel Bennett produces a light-hearted account of a thief in an art gallery after a huge ruby. Both were flash animations and consequently easy to view; when I attempted to view, on the school's broadband, Windows Media Player files the connection kept closing. Despite this technical hitch, the availability of biographical details of the students, their range of work on offer and the range of international awards their students have attained (with links) made my choice of a suitable university course, in this particular way (website), an easy one. It's a pity Southampton is so far from here.

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