(guest post by Kirstin Smith)
As part of our Industry IQ class in our third term here at VFS, Digital Design students get the opportunity to visit several different interactive and motion studios in Vancouver. DD30 students were lucky enough to kick off these visits by heading to Chinatown to take a tour of Giant Ant. Yes, I said Giant Ant. Now I’ll give you a moment to catch your breath. You good? Okay.
If you don’t know their work, do yourself a solid and check it out. Giant Ant is a small team of visual storytellers. They design, illustrate and animate. They direct, shoot and edit. Not to mention, they compose music and sound for their work in house.
It’s no secret that I am a really (really, really) big fan of their work. I may or may not have let out what can only be described as a squeal when I heard we were going to visit their studio. The excitement was shared by my fellow classmates. In the days leading up to the visit, we all felt the anticipation build; we were looking forward to seeing the workplace of individuals we admired.
Upon entering Giant Ant we were greeted by the company’s co-creator Jay Grandin. After greeting us, he joked that our tour was nearly finished, as the entire studio was visible from where we were gathered in the front entrance. The space is small but beautiful. All wood and concrete, the studio embodies the same homemade aesthetic and feel present in much of Giant Ant’s work.
Jay led us to a meeting room where we met another member of the Giant Ant team, Matt James. The two gave us insight into their creative process, showing detailed storyboards and style frames from past work.
In the early weeks of each new term, the students in Digital Design are encouraged to submit images from work that they did in the previous term. They are welcome to submit anything from character or logo designs, interface mockups, to even screen captures from their motion design work. The work is then posted online so that all of the Digital Design students can vote on the work, resulting in a “Of The Students, By The Students” selection of winners, who then see their work framed and mounted On The Wall around the campus.
Congratulations to Digital Design class 28! After countless hours of project management challenges, client meetings, storyboarding, brand positioning, kerning, wireframing, prototyping, debugging, animating, texture mapping, rendering, spending quality time with Moodle, and trips to the coffee shop, you have graduated!
On August 21st, we held our graduation ceremony and Awards Show for class 28. Red Borrowman, Program Manager, oversaw the ceremony and introduced each speaker. Louise Lee, Head of Department, delivered the keynote speech, and Miles Nurse, Director, Innovation & User Experience, offered some parting words of wisdom as the elected instructor speaker. Grant Wilson and Madison Kaylo were the elected student speakers who represented the graduating class.
Last week, we held Appetizers, our Industry Showcase event. Class 28 impressed faculty and industry guests alike with their presentations which included a diverse mix of interactive and motion design projects. Appetizers is the culmination of the many long hours required to complete the Digital Design program, but it also marks the start of the students’ transition to being professional designers. It is their three minutes to shine by presenting one of their favourite projects from the past year. The students’ preparation paid off with great performances by all. This event has proven to be extremely popular with industry due to its quick-fire format and the quality of work presented. Guests included attendees from FCV, Tribal Worldwide, Unbounce, Giant Ant, Axiom Zen, Switch United, BroadbandTV, Linetest, DHX Media, TAXI, The Agency, QuickMobile, Battlefy, and Ayogo, to name a few. Following the presentations, the graduating students were able to mingle and further discuss their projects and portfolios with industry representatives over drinks and snacks.
Congratulations to class 28!
Our recent Digital Design Slam produced some amazing work. Here is what Head of Department Louise Lee had to say about the results:
“Our Slam events are exciting because they allow students to go through a rapid project within a compressed timeline. At VFS, students are used to going through projects that last 7-8 weeks, so our Slams give them the opportunity to complete a project within 48 hours with the compressed learning outcomes that such a tight turnaround time can bring. We encourage our students to have fun with their Slam projects, and they delivered that with this round – particularly embracing and using new constraints around projection mapping that they’d worked with before. I’m constantly amazed and impressed with what our students can produce within 48 hours, and this round was no exception – check it out for yourself!”