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    Hello!

    I am Sofja, a third year BA Animation course student at Middlesex University. I am also a Course Ambassador for Animation, Animation and Games courses.

    I am here to help answer any questions regarding Animation, Animation and Games courses and about life at Middlesex in general.

    Sofja Umarik
    Middlesex Course Ambassador
    Animation
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    Hi!

    Here are some most general questions you might get when considering studying Animation at Middlesex University. I hope you find these helpful! If you got any further questions, don't hesitate to ask.

    How big are the classes?

    Animation course has generally small classes to ensure all students get individual guidance and get to form a friendly animation team. In recent years there have been around 20 students per class.

    Are there many exams?

    There are no exams! Students are graded based on their coursework. Animation is not about memorizing facts but creating new exciting things. Students will be challenged to create, to push boundaries, to develop their skills. However, there will be some theoretical work, but it is always very educative and beneficial to students' future careers.

    Do we have to buy our own materials?

    Most materials are provided by the University, such as sketchbooks, pencils etc. Tutors will always help students find the best materials to work with for their film. However, it is wise for a student to have their own supplies as well.

    PS: The studios are equipped with very good computers and latest industry level software. Although students can always bring their own computers to work with.

    How much of the course work is practical and creative?

    Most of the work in Animation course is practical and creative. The course is build around helping students with creating their own films. There are also theory lessons, but they always go hand in hand with what is important for the practical work. The theory lessons are very inspiring and just as exciting as the practical ones.

    All the best,

    Sofja Umarik
    Middlesex Course Ambassador
    Animation
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    My Week

    Hello!

    I hope you've been doing well! I wanted to share with you a brief summary of my week in uni as a 3d Year Animation student.

    This week started with a very important day, the Crit day. A crit is a lesson, where students have to present their work in progress, individually to the whole class and then get constructive feedback about their films. It was very useful for development of my project, because I got a better idea of how others view my film.

    Next day we had lectures about pre-production and viewed several interesting films, we also discussed how many successful films plan their production process. After the lesson we had individual one on one time with our tutor, which we call a tutorial. The tutor reviewed my work done so far and gave further feedback to help me get on with my work.

    We also had a MDX Animation course graduate come in and talk about her own experience with starting her Final Major Project. Other days of the week I dedicated to self study, to work on my film and also on my dissertation. It was a productive week, so we decided to celebrate it with our classmates by visiting Disney’s Aladdin, the musical.

    I hope you found this helpful!

    All the best,

    Sofja Umarik
    Middlesex Course Ambassador
    Animation
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    My Week

    Hello!

    Here is another summary of my week. I hope this will help you get a better understanding of how we work in Year 3 of the Animation course.

    This week started with a brief for a new project. However, this time, the brief included making a film for an actual organization – The RAF museum. To get more familiar with the project’s topic, we visited the museum and the area where our film would be exhibited.

    During the next days we had to form into teams and start building up an idea for the film. After having gathered inspiration from the museum, we quickly made a story board and started creating an animatic (the story board on timeline).

    By the end of the week, we had outlined the story, decided on the design, contacted the composer for the music and also, divided the roles and tasks of the film production. Only thing left is to gather everything together, in order to present it to the RAF museum's exhibition coordinator.

    It was a busy and exciting week, as we got to experience getting a brief from a real client and working in teams.

    All the best,

    Sofja Umarik
    Middlesex Course Ambassador
    Animation
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    My week

    Hello!

    This week was all about wrapping up the pre production process of our current project and presenting our film idea to the RAF museum exhibition coordinators. We worked in a team to build up a presentation, which would show our vision for the film. We also added some test animation, music samples, references and the final animatic.

    As the RAF really liked our idea, we were then ready to go on with our work. The rest of the week we will dedicate on collaborating with the MDX Dance course and a composer to start the actual production of our film.

    Sofja Umarik
    Middlesex Course Ambassador
    Animation
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    My Week

    Hey!
    I hope you are doing great, here is a little overview of my week in third Year of BA Animation course.

    This week we started with the next stage of our group animation project. We contacted the Middlesex Dance and Choreography course and got two talented dancers help us out with our film. We got to film them dancing our story for reference, so we would know how to exactly animate the complicated movements.

    Besides the animation project, we are simultaneously writing our final Dissertation. On the next day we had a meeting with our professors for a Reality Check, which is a lesson during which they would help us clear any questions and problems related to the dissertation writing. Following days we dedicated to self study, which means writing the dissertation on our own.

    And the end of the week, we finally got to relax and it is time for LIAF, London International Animation Festival! Luckily we could order some free tickets from the University and enjoy the screenings!

    I hope you found this post useful in getting a better idea of how the Animation course works. If you got any questions, do not hesitate to ask!

    All the best!

    Sofja Umarik
    Middlesex Course Ambassador
    Animation
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    My Week

    Hey!

    This week started with an important meeting. As our film project for the RAF museum was progressing, we needed to show the work in progress to the exhibition coordinators, to get their approval and feedback. We presented our work as a team, and our clients were impressed.

    This gave us a boost in confidence that we are on the right track. However, as the deadline was coming up and there was still a lot to do - we spent rest of the week animating the film on our own, while still communicating through social media.

    It was an intense week, but also rewarding, as every day we could see how the film was progressing towards the finished product.

    If you got any questions, do not hesitate to ask!

    All the best!

    Sofja Umarik
    Middlesex Course Ambassador
    Animation
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    Hey!

    Next week was all about finishing our film. We spent days non stop animating and coloring the last scenes. Lastly, after one of the group members had put all the film parts together and we received the music from our composer, we were able to relax and for the first time see the finished version of our film, "Wings of Love".
    With the hand in our project officially ended and we could enjoy the animation course Christmas party in the studio, where we had food and drinks and could chat away about our holidays.

    That's all for now!

    All the best!

    Sofja Umarik
    Middlesex Course Ambassador
    Animation
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    My Week

    Hi!

    Holidays are on and finally I could go outside to clear my head and do things non relating to animation, for example I could go to Tomb Raider Suite Concert and bake some ginger breads. However, the dissertation is still on the list. As the deadline is slowly approaching, I still needed to spend some time writing. But still, it's almost Christmas and research books can wait a bit!

    All the best!

    Sofja Umarik
    Middlesex Course Ambassador
    Animation
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    Hi!

    Christmas was great, despite the London's weather! It was day full of food and presents and family! But, after Christmas I traveled back to my home country, Estonia. Having now more time on my own, I could concentrate on writing my dissertation and also publishing an animated film I had made in my spare time. After having finished several large film projects, it is nice to just relax and draw or create little animated gifs, which remind me of how fun animation actually is when there are no deadlines!

    Wish you all happy holidays!
    All the best!

    Sofja Umarik
    Middlesex Course Ambassador
    Animation
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    Hey!

    This week can be almost considered the last week of our winter holidays. The dissertation hand in is almost here, so the last days have been spent on spell checking and referencing the work.
    However, besides the uni assignment, as a third year student I have been thinking about life after graduation and have dedicated some time writing to studios and looking for internship opportunities. This is important for getting to know what job opportunities are out there, as one can not just rely of online job search engines, but should seek out more personal contact with the companies.
    Other than that, I have also been enjoying the little snow we have in Estonia and drawing, before we will have to start animating again.

    Wish you all the best,

    Sofja Umarik
    Middlesex Course Ambassador
    Animation
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    My Week

    Hi!

    Although this was the first week of our course after the winter holidays, we didn’t have any lessons, so we could catch up with the assignments given to us before. As we are soon going to get into the production of our final film and after that our graduation, we had several things to prepare. For example, we had to refresh our showreel, which is a short video made of clips of our best work, to show our animation skills. We also had to create a big poster for our film, which we are going to hang in the studio, to show others what are films are going to be about.

    I enjoyed this week, as it was like a recovery from the lazy holidays and a slow preparation for the intense work which is waiting ahead of us.

    Kind regards,

    Sofja Umarik
    Middlesex Course Ambassador
    Animation
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    Hi!

    This week was the first week of our new term. It started with a lesson in which we discussed the schedule of important dates for the rest of our academic year. We also had a talk about style and technique in animation and how it must contribute and intertwine with the story. A day after the next we had a one on one tutorial with our tutor, where we analysed our film in its pre-production stage and talked about the tasks we have to make in order to start progressing our film. We also made plans for the open studio event, where other students from the university are going to visit our studio and see our work. For this purpose we had to design posters of our films in order to get them printed on big sheets next week.

    The start of the term is still relatively slow, but the pressure and excitement of creating our final film in this course is starting to build up.

    That's all for now, don't hesitate to ask any questions!

    Kind regards,

    Sofja Umarik
    Middlesex Course Ambassador
    Animation
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    Hi!

    This week we continued with the pre-production of our film. On Monday we had another tutorial and on Tuesday we had a special guest come to give us a lecture. The guest was a famous stop-motion animation director, who gave us a lot of advice on how to pursue one’s career in animation industry. The most important advice, in my opinion – was to keep constantly working and improving, take on opportunities and make contacts, as networking is everything. After that, he gave a more private workshop for third year students, who are making their final film in stop-motion technique. Rest of the week we dedicated on self study, and continued exploring the style and technique of our films, as well as fixing our animatics.

    Kind regards,

    Sofja Umarik
    Middlesex Course Ambassador
    Animation
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    Hi!

    This week I dedicated on progressing my film. The tutorial with my tutor really helped me add more character and passion to my story. We also had a workshop, which helped us with drawing characters and being more confident in sketching. In the end of the week we had another workshop, in which we learned how to use a latest industry software called CelAction, with the guidance of the creator of the software himself. It was a real privilege to get an in depth tutorial on how you use it, as many popular shows in UK are made using it, for example Peppa Pig. One day of the weekend I will spend working as a Course Ambassador on an event, another great privilege of being a student in Middlesex University. All in all, I am getting step by step closer to the production stage of my film and looking forward to seeing my characters move.

    Kind regards,

    Sofja Umarik
    Middlesex Course Ambassador
    Animation
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    My Week

    Hi!

    This week we had several special occasions. Firstly, we had our second workshop with a very known and experienced animator, who taught us how to animate sequences of action, like snowfall or waves.

    However, the highlight of the week was when our old tutor from previous years, came back to give us private tutorials. His fresh and unique approach to story telling and structure really helped to guide our films into stronger versions. By the end of the week, we had gathered new ideas on how to improve our animatics. Although, it is quite stressful to keep changing the film structure, it is important to look at our films through many angles, before starting to animate.

    Kind regards,

    Sofja Umarik
    Middlesex Course Ambassador
    Animation
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    Hi!

    This week we had our mid-year reviews. This was an opportunity to talk to our tutors one on one and discuss the progress we had made this year. We got to know our estimated grade for the year and also discuss our plans for after graduation. Another important event this week was the Open Studio day. That day the animation studio was open for everyone. Walls were covered with posters of our graduation films and our showreels were playing on the computers. It was a good opportunity to practice introducing our projects, meet people from other courses and also connect more to our own class. Rest of the week we are slowly starting to animate, while continuously improving the animatics.

    Kind regards,

    Sofja Umarik
    Middlesex Course Ambassador
    Animation
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    My Week

    This week was dedicated to self study and preparation for next week's presentation. We also had a voice actor visit our studio and give advice on directing dialogues, as well as writing scripts. At this stage of our film production everyone is starting to animate their films and slowly forming a clearer vision of how their films are really going to look like. Personally, I also took up a side project, which feels refreshing after working on one film for a long time. It is quite rewarding to work on two things simultaneously, as I get to take a break from each film and see it in a new light.


    Kind regards,

    Sofja Umarik
    Middlesex Course Ambassador
    Animation
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    My week

    This week started with a presentation of all third year and second year students. Both years had to present their work, in order to then match up and find appropriate assistants for third year students. Unfortunately, I was not able to attend that day, but I got an assistant from 3D and Games course instead.
    On Wednesday we had a special lecture from a successful animator/director Paul Layzelle. He gave a talk full of great practical advice for the students and later some of the third years got an opportunity to have one on one tutorial, to get his view on the progress of their final film. Personally, I got some good advice, however, it's best to always trust your instinct among the advice and opinions of all the people around you.

    Rest of the week the self study continued, in addition the third years got to work with their assistants.

    Kind regards,

    Sofja Umarik
    Middlesex Course Ambassador
    Animation
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    My Week

    This week we had a review day, where students had to present their work to the class and recieve feedback, this can be useful to get new ideas, when you’re stuck. We also had lecture on design, color and lighting. In addition, we continued getting one on one tutorials, which are in my opinion the most valuable as they give an opportunity to ask questions about specific scenes and shots in the film and how they could be improved. I always try to get an additional tutorial from a fellow student, to balance out the feedback.

    However, the highlight of this week was the Acting for Animators Workshop. We got to work in a small group with a professional performer/tutor/actor. The aim of the workshop was to study and explore certain emotional scenes in our films. We got to act and experience those moments as if they were really happening. It was a very useful day in getting to know our films on a different, even more personal level. That’s all for this week.

    Kind regards,

    Sofja Umarik
    Middlesex Course Ambassador
    Animation
 
 
 
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