Chance to study animation in Singapore

MANY visitors to the Star Education Fair 2009 held in Penang over the weekend were seen checking out the Singapore Education pavilion.

The vibrant emerald green colour of the pavilion helped to attract people who were interested in the affordable but world class educational programmes the island nation had to offer.

The pavilion housed booths for 14 of Singapore’s premier educational institutions and foreign-based universities which offered a variety of non-traditional courses which were fast gaining popularity.

Among the unique ones were degree courses in animation, game design and real-time interactive simulation offered by the DigiPen Institute of Technology, a US establishment specialising in digital animation whose main campus is located in Redmond, Washington, in the United States.

DigiPen Singapore Professor of Animation Jazno Franceour said the Singapore branch offered the same courses as its American counterpart (touted as a video games school).

The courses are multi-faceted and cover everything pertaining to video games and simulation.

“We train students not only to be proficient in software but to also possess a critical mind.

“This is vital as you need to understand the effects of lighting, acting and emoting when animating a character,” he explained.

Animation giants Lucasfilm and Ubisoft have recently established a presence in Singapore and Franceour feels the future is bright for this industry in the region.

According to him, the global gaming industry turnover last year was an estimated USD$29 billion.

“Everyone loves playing games. As the technology and audience change, we need to take games to the next level.

“The holy grail of animation is making everything real and believable,” he said.

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