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BU NCCA graduates involved with BBC Olympic animation

6 July 2012

A still from the video BU graduates produce animated film for the BBC’s promotion of the Olympics.

Bournemouth University’s National Centre for Computer Animation (NCCA) has an enviable global reputation in the animation industry. Many of the graduates - over 80 in fact - worked on Oscar-nominated animated films this year, and last year the centre won the prestigious The Queen’s Anniversary Prize. So it comes as no surprise to learn that graduates from the NCCA worked on the BBC’s animated film which will be shown over the summer in the build-up to the London 2012 Olympic Games.

In the film the UK is seen as a giant stadium with Olympic athletes preparing and competing in a range of landscapes, including a BMX rider preparing at the edge of a cliff and sprinters and gymnasts going through their paces on the streets.

NCCA graduate Chris Dawson is a character technical director for Passion Pictures, the company that created the film to a concept devised by creative agency Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe Y&R. “My role at Passion is character technical director which means I design and set up the rigs and tools we use for character animation. I also get involved with simulation, ie cloth and sometimes fluids; basically anywhere characters have to interact with other objects. While not actually animating the characters I usually have to provide support for the animators when trying to achieve difficult poses, there were a lot of those on the Olympics spot.”

He continued that the process involves a lot of interaction with the character modellers as it can be “quite a challenge to get geometry to deform well and always requires carefully designed topology.”

The full 2min 40secs version of the trail was broadcast at 7.30pm on Tuesday 3 July on BBC One with 60, 40, 30 and five second edits used throughout the campaign in the run up to the games.

Watch the BBC Olympic titles animation online.

The picture used in this article comes courtesy of the BBC.

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