Exploring Virtual Identity | 3D Art, Digital & Analogue Animation

For this project, students used masks and modelling to authentically express their personality and creativity.

These days, online identities are a fundamental part of everyday life. Avatars within gaming communities have been commonplace for decades but more and more consumers are able to access tools to create digital representations of themselves through custom emojis and icons. Lots of us have enjoyed playing with photo and video filters on platforms like Instagram – we can add “heart eyes” and “rabbit ears” which interact with our actions in real-time. Meanwhile, the likes of Adobe have developed ‘creative types’, which can help people understand how best to deal with their creative output.

So, how can we take our creativity to the next level when expressing our personality online?


Project 1: Avatar

Mentored By: Chloe Rodham – Animation Mentor

Project Contributors: Shaun Allan – XR Specialist (XR Therapeutics & Vector76), Michelle Bayly – Motion Capture Artist


The Brief:

For this project, students gained insight into virtual spaces, hearing about it as an industry and learning about how the film, animation and social media industry uses motion detection and capture. Students have also learned about how masks have been used throughout history in different cultures, giving them a greater understanding of how to portray identity appropriately and authentically.

Using the frame-by-frame animation software Krita, students developed a face-mask texture which can be made into a filter. Then, they animated the mask – so the elements of the face mask change over time. They also needed to make a selfie video as if they are wearing the mask. As a final challenge, they had a go at building their filter for real in Spark AR.


Project Results:

Please view the final results of Pheobe Buxton’s work from Whitley Bay High School.

Pheobe Buxton

Project 2: Selfie

Mentored By: Ben Brown – Animator

Project Contributors: Teodora Retegan – 3D generalist, Time Based Arts, Carys Lewis – Animation Graduate (specialising in 3D sculpture) at Northumbria University


The Brief:

This project aims to help students understand the motivations and challenges within their natural gift of being creative. Although, with everything creative, nothing is set in stone and these creative types are open to interpretation. Students may find themselves fitting multiple categories or even changing their creative type over their lifetime. This project will explore ideas surrounding the creative self – through the practices of sculpting both in digital and analogue media.

Students researched the different types of creative personalities and took a personality quiz via the Adobe Creative Types website, which was used to inform their creative practice. After discovering their creative type, students began the process of a simple 3D model to represent their ‘selfie’ which will involve sketching, physically modelling the character and then digitally recreating the model using Blender.


Project Results:

Please view the final results of Emily Shiers’ work from Whitley Bay High School.

Emily Shiers

What the students thought of their TICE experience:

What was your favourite part of the project?

“My favourite part was using blender as I hadn’t used it before and I enjoyed experimenting with the app. It took me a while to figure how to use it but I eased into it.” Emily, Whitley Bay High School.

What do you feel you have personally achieved in completing this project?

“I have learnt new skills that I will be able to use in the future, and I made something I am proud of!” Phoebe, Whitley Bay High School.

What would you say to any young person thinking about doing a TICE project?

“To just go for it and take the opportunity because it really benefits you in many ways overall.” Emily, Whitley Bay High School.


And finally…Thank you

Thank you and well done, not only to the students but to the teachers at Whitley Bay High School. Thank you to North Tyneside Learning Trust, the companies that have supported and contributed to this project, and the TICE team that plugged away at the project week after week.

To the students – we hope you have enjoyed this project, we hope in years to come that you can proudly present an industry written project you did and quite frankly smashed. Well done and congratulations from everyone here at TICE.

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