Animation Skillnet: December Update

Animation Skillnet had another busy quarter this Autumn/Winter with several courses on offer, as well as new initiatives, workshops and events aimed at upskilling and training for professional development within the Animation and VFX sectors for TV and Film.

Commencing in the Autumn with an array of courses, the AS programme included, Storytelling and Screenwriting, Writing Comedy, Toonboom Harmony Rigging, Pre-Production Design, Storyboarding for Animated TV Series, Background and Layout for Animation TV Production, An Introduction to Digital Matte Painting (using Photoshop, Maya and Nuke). Animation Skillnet also provided two online courses that began in September; Online 3D Fusion/3D Printing Programme and Online Toonboom Harmony Training.
A number of high profile industry guests also facilitated workshops most notably Karl Gnass (Spirit of Pose: Figure Drawing workshop), Zahra Dowlatabadi (Producing Animation Workshop) and Colum Slevin (VR Storytelling).

(L- R: Zahara Dowlatabadi with her class, and Colum Slevin)

The Animation & VFX Graduate Traineeship kicked off again this Autumn. The Graduate Traineeship Programme 2017/18 takes place over a six month period and is targeted at developing skills and talent in the Irish animation and VFX sector. The programme involves a mix of on-the-job training/mentoring as well as additional specialist training/mentoring delivered through Animation Skillnet and Screen Training Ireland. The participating trainees receive tailored training as well as specialist skills development in their assigned host studios. Participating studios include Cartoon Saloon, Brown Bag Films, Boulder Media, Gingerbread Animations, HMH, Immersive VR Education, JAM Media, Outer Limits, Screen Scene VFX and Windmill Lane VFX.

To coincide with the launch of the Graduate Traineeship Programme for the Irish Animation and VFX sectors there was a two day symposium packed full of exciting talks and masterclasses in the area of animation and VFX which which took place in the Morrison Hotel Dublin on Friday 20th and Saturday 21st of October. Full list of the speakers visit Animation & VFX Symposium 2017.


(L-R: Elaina Scott; Scott Pritchard, Sorcha Loughnane (STI); Gareth Lee (AS); Eran Dinur)

Furthermore, in October, Screen Training Ireland and Animation Skillnet launched an international Mentoring Fund for VFX, Animation and other forms of digital production. This initiative will offer professionals at all levels and in all digital disciplines an opportunity to avail of mentoring supports or to engage a mentor at key stages in their professional development. More information on this programme will be released over the coming weeks.

In November, Skillnets represented Ireland at the EU Commission in Brussels for the European Vocational Skills Week. The theme of the event was ‘Discover Your Talent’ based on career-long learning and vocation skills. Animation Skillnet Network Manager, Gareth Lee; and Arlene Egan (Education & Development Manager at Brown Bag Films) presented at the event along with Paul Healy, CEO, Skillnets. The event’s main objective was to inspire people to discover, use and improve their talents and abilities through vocational education and training.

More good news in December with the partnership of Animation Skillnet, Screen Training Ireland and Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT), who submitted a proposal to SOLAS, HEA and Apprenticeship Council in relation to an apprenticeship for the animation sector. This proposal has now been approved to move into the development phase and was announced by the Minister for Education, Richard Bruton TD on Friday 8th December. For more info about the new apprenticeship programme, visit the Department of Education and Skills website.

And finally but certainly not least, Animation Skillnet alongside Animation Ireland were again, proud sponsors of Women in Animation Ireland’s annual Christmas party- Creative Christmas 2017. A huge turn-out and success with growing numbers of studios, animation professionals, animation graduates and students attending the event. It was an early Christmas party to kick off the festive season!
All in all, a jam-packed quarter for Animation Skillnet and more of the same for 2018! Keep an eye out for the latest Animation Skillnet courses and industry related workshops and events on the Animation Skillnet website.