Life of an Animation Student

Well where to start, well I guess in the beginning most of us were excited at school to do art, unfortunately I wasn’t one for fingerpaints. I was more notably into logical math and computer things. This however developed into an art for most and that’s where I found a passion it is in that logical world of creativity I found what I was looking for 3D Animation stuck me like a swift sword to my side and that’s when I was attached although I wanted to do animation I was never cut-out for it.

I started a graphic design course and completed that to be allowed into one of the most amazing schools for animation in the country N.e.M.i.S.a and it was here that I met some awesome people most of them were just like me they, thought outside of the box, not having a care for who was watching us, but more of how well we could do it! Very quickly I realised that animation was amazing and that this is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life!

At Nemisa we went through lots of lecturers each one unique and each one special in there own way Gavin and Stacy, were like a cartoon in my mind one playing off the other ones jokes and sincerity. Molefi was a lecturer that was always trying to empress us with work, Glenn Coppens was an outrageously flamboyant character of a man that most of the lecturers and students found to much to handle. Although he was a bit insane he gave me another character for my animation life. Di Wang a young 2D lecturer from wits found his way to Nemisa and whilst trying to break complicated animation principles down into more simplistic styles, I discovered he was yet another character in the story, he was very short and cute and quirky at times, yet always being constrained and timid.  Then we were introduced into several more characters in the story, Mark the tall scrawny man with  a talent for character design, Sarienne a short slighty chubby, long grey haired woman that had a passion for something every animation student had a passion for, Movies. Elsie a regular sized women with red hair, whilst pretending she was the devil, after 3 years we had all figured her to be the caring mothering type. And the finally the last two characters arrived one a short skinny brunette, called Louise and a taller fatter man called Robert. Now the cast is complete and you have an idea as to what the people in my life are like.

At the best of times, and at the worst of times!

At the best of times life was easy sailing learning about animation principles and relearning all about drawing in a new way. Then complicating life with more and more subjects to the point where we as students who were lucky enough to own a light desk could go home at 6 or 7 at night those unfortunate were stuck at nemisa till 1am most nights in the beginning this was understandable they said it was gonna be hard and long hours so most of us accepted reality for what it was and knuckled down to do it. Later on we would discover in second year that there was in fact a class room in a class room where once the lecturers had left us at a miserable 4pm, we would endure on the problem with everyone working on completely individual tasks and making discoveries at our own pace. While this was still fine for the first half of the year by the second half we were having to show each other our tricks, tips , tactics and cheat guides to just keep pace with the speed the class was moving.  By the third year it felt as if most of us had signed up to a Third Reich Regime empowered by the lecturers that there was enough time in the day to complete tasks and our initial lack of worry in the start of third year, led us to believe we were in fact the best in the world. Whilst we thought we were amazing our lecturers secretly conspired against us to give us a single large project for the second semester.

Most of us thought this was a great task but quickly as we set out did most of us start to sink into the quick sand that they had set. We we working from 8 till 1 – 2 am every day for four and a half months. But with  the deadline  quickly started to loom, we started to do some calculations and quickly relised we were gonna fall short for me it was near as makes no difference a month short. So I realised I would have to find a month of work between the hours of 1am and 8 am so as we pushed on the days got longer, the nights got longer and the sleeps got shorter. Till the last week we were getting like 15 minutes of sleep a night.

Thanks fully the day came when we could hand it, it really didn’t matter how far we were but the fact that we had done so much solo for so long we could finally stand as a class and be united.

To Be Continued…


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