You can’t control everything,
But here are some things you can.
You can’t control everything,
But here are some things you can.
What is animation?
“Many believe it’s just cartoons but actually, this is a medium in which different objects or images are manipulated to appear as moving images. These images are traditionally drawn by hand or digitally with thanks to modern technology”. This according to Mahendra Naidoo, animation lecturer at Boston Media House in Sandton.
What is graphic design?
Flip Hattingh academic manager for graphic design explains; “Also known as visual communication, graphic design involves planning and projecting different and creative ideas using visual and textual content.” Hattingh continues that, “As a graphic designer or an animator you should be a person that works well with others making sure that you think out of the box. Ideas that are out of the ordinary work best in graphic design. You need to be focused because what is learned in graphic design can be confusing.” According to Hattingh, these two fields both manifest as a way of expression, of telling a story as a way of getting a message across.
So what is the difference between animation and graphic design?
Naidoo says that one might assume that Animation and Graphic Design are based mainly on 2D aspects, think ‘flat’ drawing and a lot of advertising. “Actually animation is based on 2D and 3D aspects – these allow the window to open further and the opportunities for creativity to grow, becoming vast and never-ending”.
Naidoo explains that there are many different types of animation studios in South Africa. “The majority of them work in very similar aspects of the field, however, some specialiwe in certain aspects of animation.
Hattingh discusses the work opportunities, which can be for full-time employment either in studios or advertising agencies for graduates in this field. “You can also freelance as a graphic designer and animator depending on which company you work for and the type of contract that you have signed. And of course, graphic and design form a huge part of the gaming industry, opening up even more employment opportunities” he says.
Tips from Hattingh and Naidoo on what it takes to make it as a good graphic designer and animator
Boston Media House offers three-year and four-year qualifications both of which provide the option of specialising in animation and graphic design.
“Career options are global due to the fact that your institution is internationally accredited,” says Naidoo. “Animation and graphics are globally in-demand skills – animation studios look for animators all the time. Entertainment and corporate companies need graphic designers as these are still growing industries even though they have been around for a long time”.
As a graphic designer or an animator, you’re open to a whole new world every day. You get to work hand in hand with other industries and fields within the media industry. There are various paths open to you like public relations where you would work with designing a company’s corporate identity illustration. You could work in newsrooms, marketing agencies, and in film and television industries.
Jarid Naidoo (2nd Year Animation student at Boston Media House)
“Our lecturers are preparing us for the world out there and still are. Our two lectures Mahendra Naidoo and Amy Williams have been such an inspiration and offer assistance to us as students when undergoing this course”, says Jarid, a current animation student.
“Boston Media House does its best to prepare you for the industry as best as they can. But you can never be prepared enough! Especially on the business side of animation or going on your own, but the knowledge we are given does prepare us for the industry” says Makungu, an animation graduate from Boston Media House.
We’re normally always connected in some way or another… I mean, we attend a contact-based institution. That says it all.
We’ve gone from having access to a campus hub for our expression to studying completely online and in our own heads.
We’ve gone from having a common place to meet and share ideas to isolation…
Here are some of the best ways we’ve stayed connected during lockdown…
You won’t all agree on everything all the time – life just doesn’t work that way.
The way we deal with tension and conflict is what’s really important.
When conflict arises, try to:
For example, instead of saying “We are sick of you arriving late for meetings”, you can say “I feel frustrated when you arrive late for meetings”
1 One of the biggest challenges include uneven contribution by one or more members and it definitely increases tension in the group.
2 Scheduling problems may result in the work on the project starting late or not being able to continue.
3 Different Expectations & Work Ethics – Some members may be striving for a distinction, whilst others are just interested in passing. Some may also go out of their way to get work done ahead of schedule while others procrastinate and leave things to the last minute.
4 Getting Stuck or ‘hitting a wall’ can result in procrastination & work avoidance.
For group work to be successful, there have to be agreed upon rules, roles & deadlines – this is to ensure that everyone fairly contributes & works towards the same result.
Things you may want to consider at your first group meeting include, but aren’t limited to:
Common group roles include:
Compiles the final piece of work from parts received from different members of the group; ensures the final product flows & is consistent; edits completed work i.e. spell-check, grammar, formatting etc
As media students you will eventually be entering industries that all place high priority on their employees’ ability to work well in and contribute to a team. Employers are looking for graduates who can bring new or different strengths to their existing teams.
SKILLS NEEDED FOR GROUP WORK
Group work requires the consistent application of certain skills in order for the process to run smoothly, and to allow for different people, with different attributes and personalities to work together effectively.
Communication & Listening Skills
Effective group work requires participants to practice both good communication & listening skills.
We’ve all at one point or another switched off when someone was taking, or interrupted someone because we just had to share our thoughts right. That. Instant. It’s fine to allow your communication and/or listening skills to slip in casual, social environments, but when it comes to high stakes situations, such as working on a group assignment, or with a team on a multi-million Rand campaign, these skills can be make or break, not just for you but the whole group.
TIPS FOR IMPROVING COMMUNICATION SKILLS
TIPS FOR IMPROVING LISTENING SKILLS
Taking effective notes and writing down verbatim what your lecturer says are two very different things. Proper note taking not only assists with comprehension and attention but transforms you into an active learner.
Taking notes during lecturers forces you to:
Time pressure is a prevalent source of stress both at college and in the world of work – it’s the result of having too much to do, and not enough time to do it all in.
The Eisenhower Principle is a prioritisation method that allows for the categorisation of tasks in a straight forward, no-grey-areas manner. The principle helps you consider your priorities, and then decide which tasks are essential and which are distractions.
Important Activities – have an outcome that leads us to achieving our goals, whether they are personal or professional
Urgent Activities – demand immediate attention, and are usually associated with achieving someone else’s goals. They are often the ones we concentrate on and they demand attention because the consequences of not dealing with them are immediate
Step 1 – Select a task and decide whether or not it is urgent. This will help you in deciding whether immediate action is necessary or not
Step 2 – Using the same task from step 1, decide whether it is important or not. This will help you decide whether it is something you need to do yourself, or whether it can be delegated to someone else
According to the Eisenhower Principle tasks fall into one of four categories
Each category is then assigned a recommended plan of action
Are you struggling to keep up?
Have you forgotten an important deadline?
These are all symptoms of poor time management, which can be corrected with a prioritised to-do list. To-do lists can also change your life when dealing with multiple deadlines!
CREATING A TO-DO LIST