Singapore

Students sweat it out at intensive animation workshop

N.E.mation! 2020 finalists put in many hours of hard work each day to create animated clips

While most secondary school students enjoy their year-end break, 10 teams of N.E.mation! 2020 competitors from the Student Category have been hard at work, producing 30-second animation clips that will be aired on television, cinemas and social media to encourage Singaporeans to put Total Defence into action.

These students, who have no prior experience in animation, have been spending at least eight hours at Nanyang Polytechnic each day, learning how to “make things move on screen”.

The animation workshop started on Nov 18 and will run till Dec 3.

Now into its 14th season, N.E.mation! is an inter-school digital animation competition organised by Nexus MINDEF and SPH’s creative and content marketing unit Sweet. The annual competition is open to students aged 13 to 16 for the Student Category, while the Youth Category is open to those aged 17 to 25.

Among the parents whose children are in this competition is Mrs VS Jegan Fernando. The 44-year-old IT consultant says: “Our daughter Dafni loves challenges and pushing beyond her limits. I can’t wait to see the clip produced by her team Ninja Bird.”

Today (Nov 29), Mrs Fernando will get to view Ninja Bird’s progress as she joins other parents at the open house at Nanyang Polytechnic. All 10 teams will be showcasing their almost-complete animation clips.

Experienced, local animation experts are working closely with the teams, teaching them the different techniques of animation and taking them through the entire process, from storyboarding to editing.

Also helping them along are long-term N.E.mation! partner Wacom, its Singapore distributor Peripheral Solutions, and home-grown 2D animation software CACANi.

Wacom, a Japan-based digital technology company, is sponsoring the Intuos Pro small pen and tablet on which the students create their drawings. Designed to maximise precision and control, the Intuos Pro combines Wacom’s finest pen capabilities with intuitive multi-touch
support.

“It feels different from drawing on paper, which we are used to, but it’s easy to pick up. We like the ease of drawing with the pen and tablet,” says Olegario Jairus Calingasan of team Average Animators from Tampines Secondary School.

For Michelle Yeo of team PewPewPew from Kent Ridge Secondary School, she enjoys learning to use CACANi’s animation software, which assists animators by generating in-between drawings based on their key drawings, reducing their work from hours to minutes. “It gives me the confidence to draw after just a few days of using it.”

The top three teams of both Student and Youth Categories will bag a CACANi software licence each on top of other exciting prizes including hardware from Wacom.

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