Written by Lara Barusso
BA (Hons) Computer Animation Art and Design
I’m Lara Barusso from Italy and I’m studying BA (Hons) Computer Animation Art and Design at Bournemouth University. I want to tell you about my favourite project during my first year of my course.
The project I loved the most was one of the first ones I did during my very first semester. It involved creating a visual effect to introduce us to the tools that we will be using throughout the course. The aim of the project was to create a realistic drink can, and place it and animate it in a real environment.
This was my first time working with 3D software and it was very exciting! We started by modelling the can through the process of texturing, animating and lighting our fake object, and trying to make it as accurate and real as possible, before compositing it into a final realistic piece. It was very challenging to make the can look as though it was actually photographed in the scene. The project required a lot of observation and concentration, and it inspired me to keep trying to make it better and better.
Every week we had a lesson and learnt something new to apply to our project for the following week, and in between lessons we had also feedback sessions that were helpful to evaluate how we were getting along.
What this project has given me
Apart from learning new things, this project also helped me get to know everyone else in my class. During the project, I spent a lot of time working in the labs, along with most of my classmates. I hardly knew anyone on my course at the beginning, but over time we began to talk, share advice and help each other. Doing this, I not only made new friends, but I also learnt more than I would have done by just attending lessons. I enjoyed this project so much, as I found using this software fascinating. I ended up helping my friends too, and this encouraged me to learn even more and was very rewarding.
How it went
This project was great as it really helped me to work out what I like doing, what I’m good at, and where my weaknesses lie. This is helpful, as having an idea of what you enjoy will help you figure out where to focus in future, and what your university journey could be so that you can improve. Learning all this new stuff was incredibly challenging but exciting. I really enjoyed spending a lot of time on it to try to make it “perfect”, and all the effort paid off. I received very nice feedback and a fantastic grade; a first, and one of the highest marks in the class. Learning from my mistakes and experimenting was very motivating. It was a tough project but it was great, and considering that it was my first attempt at 3D it went very well. The way I was taught was also fairly easy to understand for a beginner.