All pictures: Chris Nutton

Animation students from Edge Hill University gained invaluable collaborative project experience after linking up with counterparts in Lisbon, Portugal.

Six members of the BA (Hons) Animation cohort worked on a joint-animation project with 12 students from Universidade Lusófona, with their work then being showcased during the Society of Animation Studies (SAS) annual conference.

Split into four groups based upon students’ specialisms (CGI, 2-D, etc), the resultant short films were the realisation of three-four days’ work, based on the theme of ‘Animation is a Place’, with all years including post-graduates, represented amongst the participants.

The open brief allowed the groups space to express their ideas, exploring themes meaningful to the local community. Inspiration included cultural identity and architecture, much of it reflecting the sense of change in the Portuguese capital.

Led by Programme Leader Alex Jukes (Animation) and Senior Lecturer Andrew Sugden (Animation), and supported by Carol Poole, the students boosted their employability skills and professional experience through elements such as group working, meeting briefs and working to deadline, as well as being encouraged to keep sketchbooks of work, ideas and visual development, and reflect on their experience.

The week-long trip, funded by the Student Opportunity Fund, also helped assist and develop the relationship with the Universidade Lusófona, who are a new Edge Hill University Erasmus partner.

Students Chris Nutton and Lauren Bagstaff were grateful for the experience. Chris said:

“I loved the trip, it was so much better it was a small group of six because it was amazing to get to know students from other years and build really good friendships. The Portuguese students were amazing, they were all friendly and amazing at helping us find different places across Lisbon; it was an amazing experience.”

Lauren added:

“The trip presented me with the opportunity to experience a new place, culture and people. There was, of course, a language barrier which we all worked though, and we worked closely together to make sure that everyone understood and executed their parts of the project. Experiences like this have helped me to understand so much better what it will be like to work in a varied, multilingual and multicultural industry like animation.

“It was also extremely rewarding to collaborate with so many other animators and artists, each bringing their unique ideas and experiences to produce a final animation which we were all proud of.

“Making our own work schedule, assigning our own roles and working as a team were unique experiences which I feel have helped to set me on a course for more creative, collaborative projects in the future.

“It was so rewarding and something which I could not have done outside of the university. I feel it has rounded off my university experience very well and that it has better prepared me to graduate and move on with a career in creative industry.”

Click here to find out more about studying Animation at Edge Hill.

Find out how you can apply for financial support from the Student Opportunity Fund here.