Amazing ICT enrichment visit

Posted by on Dec 17, 2012 in News | No Comments

On Tuesday 11th December, a large group of 6th Form A Level ICT students travelled to Bristol to visit Aardman Studios and the Pervasive Media Company buildings. The group, led by Mr Angus Reith, Head of ICT at saltash.net was given a unique opportunity to see first hand the amazingly creative ‘tour de force’ that led to Wallace and Grommit making an appearance on our TV screens, as well as other aminated characters such as the Duracel Rabbit and the Creative Comfort animals. In addition, the group was treated to an inspirational workshop led by Clare Reddington, Director of Pervasive Media, which had students lost for words, such was the brilliance of the projects and ideas they were introduced to.

Here’s what two of the students have to say about the trip;

 

On arrival at Aardman Studios we were welcomed with the sight of Wallace and Grommit sat in the reception. Once the majority of the class had got photos of themselves with their favourite Aardman characters, we were then introduced to the Creative Director of Aardman Digital, Dan Efergan. Once we had all signed in and introduced ourselves to Dan we were then led up to Aardman Studio’s private cinema. Splitting the room in half, the groups were decided for the first tour. The first stop on the tour was the main drafting area, the place where all of Aardman’s ideas are put onto paper. The design department was the second stop on the tour, viewing all these incredible ideas coming to life was really something special. We were then shown where all of the products are designed, with a variety of products varying from piggy banks, Wallace and Grommit themed toys, even themed japanese balloons. Back on the ground floor we headed for the Aardman digital department, where we were able to see all of the designers, producers and programmers at work creating virtual magic. But the best was yet to come; in another building within the Aardman Studios compound was the modelling department, the place in which characters such as the Duracel rabbit, the Creature Comforts characters and even Shaun The Sheep were actually made. After the tour we gathered in the cinema for our final activity at Aardman. We were split into three groups; in our groups we then discussed our animation with Aardman employees. This was a real honour as these were professional animators and designers who were giving insight into our ideas. Once our session with animators was complete, it was time to say goodbye, a two and a half hour journey lay ahead back to Saltash.

By Taylor Adams – Yr 12

Upon arriving in Bristol, we made our way over to Pervasive Media. It was set in a beautiful location on the riverside, which only improved the fantastic atmosphere about the place. When we first entered the building it seemed a rather peculiar layout, as there was a café at first sight. A café in a media studio?! Only once we actually got into the main studio and spoke to Clare Reddington did things begin to make sense. Pervasive rent out their building to the café, and allow people with talent for technical art to base themselves in Pervasive, who have a set budget to sponsor them with. 
The experience I, and hopefully the rest of the group got was incredible. To start with, we went into the studio and were given a short tour of the place and were then taken into the events room, where we spent the majority of our time. To begin with, Clare spoke to us about a bit of what they do and how the company runs. Then we were shown a few of the products to come out of Pervasive and, my oh my, were they spectacular! They ranged from projections of huge images onto large structures by AntiVJ to The Fortnight Project whereby information was sent out stage by stage and the final objective was to see how far the information could travel over the 2 week period. The projects and creativity were endless. 
We were introduced to the idea of augmented reality, the idea that we could change any aspect of the surroundings into something a little more enjoyable. Places and people were set out on cards and each group chose what location they wanted to change, and who they wanted to change it for. Some incredible ideas came out of this, from Pac-Man in the park for families, to teenagers playing games in the shopping mall and commuters playing cat and mouse on the train service. The atmosphere was very relaxed and allowed the creative juices of us to flow and produce some fantastic ideas.
I cannot put into words just how differently the experience has made me change my perception on the world and realise that with a little bit of elbow grease and collaboration anything is possible. (It has even made me want to move to Bristol!)

My thanks go to Clare Reddington for setting up the day’s events, and to Mr Reith who organised the amazing trip.

By Jack Brown – Yr 12

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