Creating digital representations of ourselves. Or, in other words… Your Avatar.

For the Create stage in TICE Animation, it couldn't be more on-topic for the scenes that have played out in 2020. People learning and working from home is becoming the norm and we have never thought more about our online identity. Take a look at how our animation students tackle this brief and explored AI and mask design.

2020 has given us all some surprises, a world turned upside down forcing us to work in different ways and to adapt to many new rules and restrictions. Here at TICE, everything changed. What was mainly a face-to-face organisation working with young people giving them a hands-on insight into creative, design and digital sectors suddenly had to change – TICE went online. In all honesty, we did not know if many young people who were participating currently in TICE programme would want to carry on or whether we should carry on in such difficult times. But we did and guess what… so did many students and this is what happened.

In previous years, our Create Stage gives students (from Year 9 or Year 10) a selection of industry projects to choose from. Something different, unique and special to add to their portfolios. This year was no different, yet instead of physical hands-on support, our TICE students took it upon themselves to do their projects online. Step-by-step video guides took them through industry-focused themes, topic and skills. Not only did they manage them, but their results have also blown us away. Here presents what the TICE Animation students achieved:

Animation project 2020

This years animation students come from Whitley Bay High School based in North Tyneside. The students explored this project:

  • Animation Project – Avatar: Digital Masks & Identity

Animation project 2020 – Avatar.

Supported by: Vector76 XR
Mentored by: Chloe Rodham
Contributors: Shaun Allan – Vector 76 & Michelle Bailey – Actress

The Chapters of the Avatar project

Project Outline: People learning and working from home is becoming the norm and we have never thought more about our online identity. Avatars within gaming communities have been commonplace for decades but more and more consumers are able to access tools to create digital representations of ourselves – with custom emojis and icons. Platforms like Zoom and Instagram use filters to change our backgrounds and faces. 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, but how can we take our creativity to the next level in developing custom filters to express our creativity and personality online

The Brief: Masks have been used throughout human history in different cultures – you will research into mask design and think about digital spaces and identity. You will hear from Shaun Allan, local expert in virtual and augmented realities – founder of Vector 76 XR. You will use a template to develop a facemask texture which can be made into a filter. The mask you are designing will be animated – so that the elements of the face mask changes over time – you will need to come up with an idea for an animated face mask for a digital event.

Project results: please view the final results of the students’ work from Aaliyah Smart, Scarlett McCurry, Joe Nugent & Millie Nugent from Whitley Bay High School.

Thank you & Well done!

All we have left to say is “Thank you & Well done”, not only to the students but to the teachers at Whitley Bay High School, the team at North Tyneside Learning Trust, to the parents who helped along the way, the companies that have supported these briefs, Chloe our animation mentor who plugged away at the project week after week.

And to the students, our final words of 2020 – we hope you have enjoyed your project, we hope in years to come that when asked “What did you do when COVID-19 hit your shores?”, you can proudly present an industry written project you did, achieved, quite frankly smashed. Well done and congratulations from everyone here at TICE. It’s been an absolute pleasure!

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