Portsmouth University


#1

Hi,
I have been given a place at Portsmouth University (UK) on the BA computer animation course. And i was wondering if there is any people out there that are on this course or the uni that could tell me any information about it. (Is it any good?) Or even if you just live in Portsmouth, is it a good place to live in?

thanks for any information you can give me…

Matt :surprised


#2

Well, I’m on my Third year now and I’m Course rep so any info you need give us a shout!

Just to breifly explain, the course has got stricter and stricter regarding content - you don’t have as much freedom as we had in the first year - but hey those were early days. Only one group has gone through to finish the course so far and they all got employed. The course is very good if you are capable of self learning you’ll be fine - don’t expect to be taught how to use the software - we know more than the staff!!

We have all the latest software and machines are always free to use up until 8pm in the evening - its a nice but hot studio!

As for Portsmouth, it has some good factors e.g. Southsea and baguette shops but it is a little too crowded and the majority of people are a little on the common side - but don’t let that put you off, we just ignore them.

The studio is situated right near town centre where all the shops are so its dead easy to get around on foot.

Any more info then just buzz another post!!

Take care
D.


#3

Thanks for the help. What do you mean freedom? I thought in the 3rd year you had a year to do one project on your own?

By latest software you mean, MAX, MAYA, XSI?

Was kind of expecting the self learning thing. But thats cool. every thing i know so far i’ve done my self. Are the tutors any good at all then?

I was hoping to come down for an open day, but i think i missed them all. Still going to come down and have a look at the town. I think its the best offer sofar. I was just put off a bit because i was told that if a university gives you a place with out an interview that in general it’ll be crap. But the people that i’ve spoke so far have only said good things.

cheers…

Matt :surprised


#4

Did they even look at your work or anything ?


#5

No, I got an unconditional offer. but i’m on a gap year so i’ve already got my a-level results and on my UCAS for the bit about me explained that i’ve been using computers for years and have won awards for my animations (HEAD GETS BIGGER).

At my interview for southamton i met a bloke who also got an unconditonal from portsmouth and he has had work experience at the mill. So it might be that we are both good enough to be excepted. But he told me that they have just spent millions expanding the department and so i was thinking that they might be just taking every one on to fill the course up.

He had been and he was impressed and Vfx seems to think highly of it.

Matt :surprised


#6

cool! and congrats :stuck_out_tongue:

portsmouth sounds pretty good nowadays


#7

Hello there,

Just thought I’d say, I did my foundation art course at Portsmouth University back in 1994, and still consider it to be one of the most enjoyable times I have had in education.

I grew up in the Portsmouth area, but I’ve lived in London for the past 6 years. You should be aware that Portsmouth is a navy town, and there are a lot of sailors who go out on a Saturday night with the sole intention of getting drunk and looking for fights with students!! So avoid Portsmouth town centre (its grim), but Southsea is a good place for students.

Good pubs to go to are The India Arms and the One Eyed Dog!

All the best,

Dave


#8

i used to go there, graduated last year and only about 6 of us actually got a job (we were the first year to do the course). that wasnt the uni’s fault though, i think a lot of people went there thinking they would be a one-man ILM when they left. thought it was a good course but you had to put in the work to get something out - just like most things - and you are not, by any means, spoon-fed - there is equipment and knowledge there for you to take advantage of, and you can also learn from your fellow classmates - but it wasnt like school - you have to learn for yourself, which was good as that’s what i’m finiding now i have a job - nobody is there to teach me now.

good place to learn, i thought anyway, but by no means did everybody get a job, only about a quater of us did (there were only about 25 of us in our year) and that was nothing to do with the standard of the course, just how much people were willing to learn.


#9

oi mister Adavies - It’s mister D here, howz things going at Climax? P.s. Spoke to Ken recently and you’d be surprised how many people now have jobs. I must point out though that there was only a small handful of guys who left last year, so that might be another reason why many got jobs.

One more thing to add, this course (to my disliking) is very games orientated - I keep pushing for more variety but hey - things get tighter every year – for example YES in the Third year you do get to do your own proj - we are just starting that very soon, but prior to this we had to do a group project to design a game FMV or so - we were told this meant low poly work (but after Ken (course leader) said it didn’t have to be cos one group perhaps didn’t listen and created a high poly piece). Anyway, I speak for most of us when I say that nearly no-one enjoyed this project - too much conflict and stress!

The course has changed a lot since last years guys left. Adavies - You won’t believe how different things are - when you guys had to hand in a sheet of paper with your proposed final project idea - well we laugh at that - we now have a 2 page description of the work that has to be done for the proposal alone!! Things are getting more intense every year - and yes it can sometimes feel like they get you to do too much! Besides that one last thing to say - the number of first year students does seem to double each year, but don’t worry cos the ones who aint good never seem to turn up - so you build a base of people who can be bothered and this number soon decreases considerablly, so we have found.

Take Care


#10

i tell you what - i wasnt sure about going into games at first, but being a games animator ROCKS! i am working next to ex-disney, wrner brothers, peppers ghost, square japan, mainframe etc etc employees - people from so many different backgrounds, tv, film. games everything and all the animators on our team say that they are doing more animtion now than they were in any other job they have done. if you want to learn how to animate i cant think of a better place to start. depsite having all these people to learn from, the standard of animation is excellent - the models we use are not exactly high poly but they are brilliant for learning aniamtion - they have fingers, facial expressions and everything. the biggest difference is that people will see your game animation from ALL angles so you REALLY have to know what you’re doing, animation for tv/film is only viewed form one angle so you can cheat a lot and sometimes get a bit sloppy as if it looks right from one view you can get away with it, but not with games. also - imagine animating for tv/film - if you were lucky enough to get to animate a monster, he would only be on screen fo r a certain amount of time and most of that part of him would be cut off due to different camera shots etc. you might only have to animate from the wait up if he was walking along the street: you might think that’s cool but i like animating every piece of the character, you really learn what’s going on with the body when he moves around, how the feet realte to the torso, balance etc, i love it.

another thing is the freedom you get. form wht people have told me, in most film/tv environments you dont get much freedom - there are many people above you who have already decided the look/what your character will be doing etc etc and you are just transfreering their ideas across. from what i’ve experienced in games you are just told very loosely what needs to be done - animate a the character falling over (however you want, however many frames you want), animate an attack (whatever you want), make him act (however you want) - you have to think for yourself and i have learned so much by doing this. also, the quality of the models now means that it’s almost as good as film animation now - just the other week i was animating a troll-like character and i was thinking to myself - how lucky am i! if i was animating something that could be in feature films - lord of the rings or something, brilliant :open_mouth:

i could go on for ages, but i really truly advise, especially for those wanting to go into animation, seriously dont disregard gaming animation as a place to start as it’s an EXCELLENT place to learn your craft. where else do you get to animate a giant eight- armed monster one day and a centaur-like creature the next. it’s not that bad really :wink:

obviously, if you want o go into vfx i cant really comment as i dont know that much about that side of things :confused:


#11

i tell you what - i wasnt sure about going into games at first, but being a games animator ROCKS! i am working next to ex-disney, wrner brothers, peppers ghost, square japan, mainframe etc etc employees - people from so many different backgrounds, tv, film. games everything and all the animators on our team say that they are doing more animtion now than they were in any other job they have done. if you want to learn how to animate i cant think of a better place to start. depsite having all these people to learn from, the standard of animation is excellent - the models we use are not exactly high poly but they are brilliant for learning aniamtion - they have fingers, facial expressions and everything. the biggest difference is that people will see your game animation from ALL angles so you REALLY have to know what you’re doing, animation for tv/film is only viewed form one angle so you can cheat a lot and sometimes get a bit sloppy as if it looks right from one view you can get away with it, but not with games. also - imagine animating for tv/film - if you were lucky enough to get to animate a monster, he would only be on screen fo r a certain amount of time and most of that part of him would be cut off due to different camera shots etc. you might only have to animate from the wait up if he was walking along the street: you might think that’s cool but i like animating every piece of the character, you really learn what’s going on with the body when he moves around, how the feet realte to the torso, balance etc, i love it.

another thing is the freedom you get. form wht people have told me, in most film/tv environments you dont get much freedom - there are many people above you who have already decided the look/what your character will be doing etc etc and you are just transfreering their ideas across. from what i’ve experienced in games you are just told very loosely what needs to be done - animate a the character falling over (however you want, however many frames you want), animate an attack (whatever you want), make him act (however you want) - you have to think for yourself and i have learned so much by doing this. also, the quality of the models now means that it’s almost as good as film animation now - just the other week i was animating a troll-like character and i was thinking to myself - how lucky am i! if i was animating something that could be in feature films - lord of the rings or something, brilliant :open_mouth:

i could go on for ages, but i really truly advise, especially for those wanting to go into animation, seriously dont disregard gaming animation as a place to start as it’s an EXCELLENT place to learn your craft. where else do you get to animate a giant eight- armed monster one day and a centaur-like creature the next. it’s not that bad really :wink:

obviously, if you want o go into vfx i cant really comment as i dont know that much about that side of things :confused:

hope this helps!


#12

why the ******* did it post twice - sorry about that :confused: hate computers :confused:


#13

can you remember where people went on to? i heard that somebody went on to design porn banners for websites and i know that yoshi is still looking unfortunately, but he’s just yoshi!


#14

You posted twice dude! LOL

Anyway can’t comment cos I don’t know much about gaming industry - but I will say that vfx are all about what you can create within the frame - that I think can sometimes be the downfall of games. Just my opinion. I agree you animate loads in gaming environments but hey not evryone wants to animate! Modelling a high res creature is much more satisfying than doing low’er’ poly stuff. But its still all fun!!

Anyway for me I enjoy film - camera angles, fx, composition - that’s all up my street! So depends on the person!!

Have fun.


#15

Yoshi - God damn that fool! He still workin on his showreel!! lol

Anyway, didn’t know boout the porn banner stuff - but I know that Brett has gone to australia - and Jinx - went into sound mutimedia - ha ha ha!

Hey, what you doin for lunch! Love to meet up?


#16

totally, it’s whatever floats your boat, but fr me, im an animator through and through and games suit me down to the ground. we (me, ross, dunc, glenn and paul) were thinking of coming down to the shows this year to see you guys and bringing a few others along. should be cool - any news of when they are yet?


#17

hiya Dom, ross here hows it going!. my personal view on the course at portsmouth - if you are just interested in paying yer money and getting a degree, while building up your portfolio living on student loan money then portsmouth uni is the choice, as far as i was aware i was taught nothing my any of the tutors, within 3 or 4 weeks myslef and a few others on the course were already ahead of the tutors, so when it came to marking our work it all boiled down to wether the work was in on time and wether we had met all the requirements of the curriculum, neither the art side nor the skill side of what we had produced was eveer really marked on. the people who left and got jobs actually in aniamtion were naturally gifted and enthusiastic animators, the only contribution the course itself made was giving me the time to teach myself. It does seem each year that the university sees this course as a quick way of making money which is really disappointing. there’s my peace.
Ross


#18

Hey Ross good to hear from ya!!

No!!! Hey what you doin for lunch mister? Want 2 meet up at Burger King Gunwharf?


#19

nice one - our lunch is from 1 till 2 so we could do that if ya wnat, what time do ya want to meet?


#20

1.10pm sounds good - howz that!