Animation industry merges techniques and technology

Getting creative photo
By Caroline Parkinson, Sector Engagement Executive – Creative Industries, Interface

Caroline Parkinson

Last week I was involved in a panel (or two!) in the second year of the MOVE Summit – a dedicated conference led by the animation industry in Scotland. The summit comprised two days – one day dedicated to our Emerging Talent and two to the professional freelance and commercial companies in Scotland. I was invited to speak to the Emerging Talent audience of 110 students studying a range of subjects in the animation and digital media field, about the potential route to developing their innovation ideas with academic support post-graduation. I was joined by Brian McNicoll, University of Dundee Entrepreneurship, who is also the founder of Dynamo Games; David Smith of Cultural Enterprise Office; Ross McKenzie of Creative Scotland, who led the Animation Sector Review, and two studio leaders – Mally Graveson, Heehaw, and Jill Wallace, Axis Animation, about the realities of starting a business or gaining employment.

Prior to that I was roped into supporting the students feeding back on their Creative Challenge Workshop (photo above)! The students were set a real challenge by five industry leaders and, in teams, they had to develop creative solutions to those challenges. The panel responded to their ideas and also set out how they resolved those challenges, and admitted the students had come up with some great solutions. This bodes well for innovation project enquiries coming my way in September!

The summit, held at Whitespace and Codebase in Edinburgh, covered the developments in the industry, and I was struck by the even deeper merging of film, games, VFX, VR, and illustration in the creation of animation. The international guests spoke on a range of topics such as the creative possibilities of software including Houdini and Unity, and the correct animation of animals through understanding their exoskeleton. After the day’s talks, the delegates and speakers attended the summit’s ‘MOVE LATE’ social activities, and many industry players commented how this added to the sense of being part of an animation family.

The energy across the two days was tremendous and the commitment of the industry to developing skills, strengthening the sector, growing opportunities, and supporting the summit as it works towards its third year in February 2019 was impressive.

I can’t wait to get roped into MOVE 2019!

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