Home » Masters or Post Graduate Diploma in the field of Digital Animation

Masters or Post Graduate Diploma in the field of Digital Animation

The focus in this programme is on the art of animation. Students learn to see, think and understand the possibilities of animation through seminars, viewings, life-drawing classes and workshops. 3D Animation students hone their skills on Softimage XSI and Adobe Photoshop; learning how to design, model, light, and animate three-dimensional characters together with strong production management skills.Graduates can expect to find employment as animators, animation producers and production managers. We have past students working in some of the most highly regarded and cutting edge animation studios in South Africa, such as Luma, Black Ginger, AnimMate, and Anamazing (APTI).
For more information about the 3D animation programme, contact:
Mileta Postic,
Email Mileta.Postic@wits.ac.za
Tel: 27 (11) 717 4614

Requirements: 

You must have a good 4-year professional degree (Such as a BA Fine Arts, BA Dramatic Art, Computer Science Hons or Software Engineering etc) and an average of 65% or above for an Honours degree. The animation course requires you to submit a portfolio of work with your application. You may also be asked to come in for an interview.
Course Structure: 
* Digital Animation AND
* Professional Practice in Digital Arts: Animation
PLUS
* Animation Studies
OR
* Critical Debates in Digital Arts
PLUS
* Research project of between 15 000 – 20 000 words. (This project may include a component of practical work.)

To qualify for the Post Graduate Diploma you are required to complete all the above courses excluding the Research Report.

Overview of the MA (Animation) Courses

Digital Animation:In this first semester production course, students are introduced to all phases of the production process, namely: modelling, texturing, lighting, rendering, rigging and animation. A 2d animation module introduces students to the principles of animation, storyboarding and character design that are then incorporated and re-enforced in their 3d work. Along with their practical projects they will research and complete essays on every topic they have been taught in order to deepen their understanding of the animation process and theory. Students also participate in a life-drawing module customised specifically by Paula Louw, the life-drawing instructor, for animation. Students also complete Animation Studies, an academic theory module, with Prof. Christo Doherty, Head of Digital Arts.

The 1st semester culminates in the June exam which is an intensive 3D project animated to a 10 second sound clip.
(Course Outline)

Professional Practice in Digital Arts: Animation:

Revamped in 2009, this second semester production course allows students the freedom to explore their personal creativity by working on an individual project, which is completely conceptualised by them from beginning to end. They are required to collaborate with someone from outside the division and in a different field, for example a composer, sound designer, director, script writer or even an engineer, in order to learn the skills necessary for working with professionals in other fields. The entire second semester is spent on this project. Students must work with their collaborator in order to produce a short film of about 2 minutes in length. The project is designed not only to encourage students to share ideas, but also to focus them on the art of good storytelling in a limited time frame. We make an effort to keep our project ideas new and fresh every year to provide diversity. Subsequently the projects vary greatly in style and the different collaborations bring something new to the department every year. Students are also taken on industry visits in the second semester in order to gain an understanding of the South African animation industry and the job opportunities that are available to them once they have completed their degrees. Additionally they attend Mater classes hosted by industry professionals to improve their skills.

The Digital Art department encourages collaboration and endeavours to establish and maintain relationships not only with the South African animation industry, but also with other departments, professionals and artists all over the world.
(Course Outline)

Animation Studies:

This theory course, introduced in 2008, has evolved into an exciting body of ideas that deals with media that influence and in turn are influenced by animation.
(Course Outline)

Projects – Animation

Past Projects:

Digital Arts often focuses on innovative and collaborative projects, and our inaugural project was Feedback, based on the play by Andrew Buckland. Our next group of students worked on a hypothetical game cinematic entitled Circences , and the following year they worked on Bushpig, a pilot for a satiral TV series written and directed by Brent Quinn. In 2006, students produced a short called 19 Minutes Later, based on a short script by artist and writer Tinus Horn. In 2007 we divided the class into 3 groups of 3 and each group worked on a different short film based on the short, live-action film, Shogun Khumalo is Dying. 2008 s class collaborated with students from both the Electrical Engineering department and the Music division of the WSOA to work on a game. Digital Arts was responsible for all the animation, models, textures and narrative.
For more information about the 3D animation programme, contact:
Mileta Postic,
Email Mileta.Postic@wits.ac.za
Tel: 27 (11) 717 4683