Team work on Falmouth Animation and VFX


Team-work on Falmouth Animation and VFX is built in to the course structure and is second nature to all our students.

Setting up to film auditions for a collaborative film at Falmouth

At interview we look for a range of different people; many applicants have an art and design background but some may have maths, science or a technical background. Or just a great personality.  We look for all sorts of people and this helps to create teams whose members complement one another.

At Falmouth, industry studio practice is echoed at the heart of the course structure and the students work collaboratively to produce better animated projects by making fewer of them in the third year.

This team-work reflects the working practices of the animation industry, which can only accommodate a small number of graduate directors, but needs lots of specialists with experience of working in a collaborative studio situation.

A schedule of weekly production meetings supports the third year projects.

Animation is very time-consuming and in order to make a good film, getting the right crew together is essential for our students.

Team-work starts in the first year and students have been prepared from the outset that they will be working in this way.  They are usually looking forward to it by the time it begins.  

By the time they start their third year with us at Falmouth, students have been inspired by brilliant animation past and present from all over the world, and they will have expectations for their own third year major project way beyond the simple animated shorts that an individual might be able to do in the time available. Falmouth animation students will usually want to work in teams on ambitious, adventurous ideas, in the form of longer, more complex pieces, typically lasting minutes rather than seconds.

An award winning animation produced at Falmouth University

The very best potential projects are selected by a panel of industry professionals at the end of a formal competitive pitching process - quite an experience for the students, who always rise to the challenge magnificently.

A few first years and all of the 2nd years will later become part of the crews that will work on the projects selected from this process.  They usually come and watch the pitches, in the case of 2nd years, both to get a first look at projects they might want to work on and to see what they will have to do the following year.

The types of jobs that are offered include 3D or 2D animators, background artists, modellers, riggers, texturers, compositors and VFX artists. Students from all years also help with stop motion sets and props. These jobs and many others are a mixture of creative and technical work and represent the various interests of the students on the course.

Shooting with a green screen so that animation can be added later.

It is a mutually beneficial arrangement.  By the time they become crew for the third year projects, 2nd years have often have begun to gain an interest in a specialist area and are keen to develop their skills.  The team-work gives them the chance to do that.
And of course, the third year students are pleased to have assistance on their projects as they race towards deadlines.

They work together in groups which vary in size from 2 or 3 people up to around 8 or 9, with many 3rd years also working across several projects with the aim of building up an impressive showreel to display their specialist skill(s).

Falmouth students getting to grips with the computers.

There is a conventional film hierarchy within the teams and the directors have creative control over the projects, which in theory means that they will not accept sub-standard work from their crew.

However, the project that they are working on does not belong to the person who invented it or the director, it belongs to the whole crew.

At it's very best the studio resembles a humming beehive with each student getting on with their jobs and communicating with one another.  Though not with a waggle dance like bees do.
Well, not always...


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