Louise, Visual Effects and Motion Graphics BSc
Brunel’s course complemented the associate degree I had undertaken in Barbados where I studied Mass Communication involving a lot of TV production, photography and video. My decision to come to Brunel was helped by several visits to friends who were studying there and I really liked the vast diversity of cultures there.
This is the only course that I found that merges 3D graphics with real life video. The course teaches cultural aesthetics and lots of software eg After Affects, Photoshop and Shake, the latter used for editing and depositing video footage or images. We also use 3D Max to create 3D videos. Students learn skills and knowledge relevant to the broadcast industry e.g. film, broadcasting for live TV, making short advertisements for feature films, and even creating a show reel. We are also taught history of art providing a foundation of TV history, in order for students to have an idea of where TV began and its future prospects. In the TV industry you can expect to work with many different people and there are specific modules which involve students working in groups learning team management and leadership.
Brunel’s facilities are excellent and the equipment is phenomenal – all software is the latest package. Use of the large green screen features as a major part of our course facilities. In essence, students capture footage of the subject using the green screen and then we transmit this footage to the editing suites were we combine the captured footage with previously created elements. The latter could be an actual 3D set or footage taken from a different location. After we combine the two we then edit it and manipulate it to whatever we choose, including creating our music and sound effects in the music labs to add to the mise-en-scene. Before any work is created or footage is captured there is a pre-production phase involving research e.g. storyboards and brainstorming ideas on what you are going to create. The whole process is logical: pre-production (research), production (shooting on the set) postproduction – editing and creating sound effects or visual effects.
As this course emphasises a hands on approach to producing TV content, initially students receive a lot of help from tutors to master the skills and techniques. The lecturers are really nice and if you become stuck on a particular aspect, they are always there to help; they are accessible by e-mail and get back to you very quickly.
I lived on campus in year 1, and the good thing is that everything is in one location as it is an integrated campus. As a result, I found that I met a lot of different people from a variety of backgrounds. Brunel also offers students the opportunity to participate in other activities like pottery, singing, drama and dance.
When I graduate I aim to work in production, creating TV footage on location as I am very interested in films. Eventually, I would like to produce my own film.
Brunel will open your mind to a lot of things. Students will leave Brunel with a degree and, more importantly, not just an art based degree, but a technical degree, so you will have both creative and technical skills. Most courses focus on purely film, editing or 3D, but Brunel merges them all in to one and you come away with knowledge of all three.
Hugh, Digital Design BSc
I chose to study at Brunel because I had seen it featured in the Computer Arts magazine graduate showcase several times and my Design Technology teacher had completed a Design course at Brunel too.
In the first year we covered most digital design topics, which was a great way of figuring out what area I wanted to specialise in. By the end of the second year I had decided to concentrate on digital 3D modelling and animation and sought a placement in that area. I was lucky enough to get a paid placement at Mediatonic - a company run by Brunel Multimedia graduates. I was the sole 3D artist in the company and worked as primary artist on a number of large projects, for clients as diverse as Universal and Pixar! It was a great experience and prepared me for my final year at Brunel and proved to be a great help in being employed after graduating.
For my final year project, I decided to make a short 3D film about my dog, Rosie. This allowed me to use all my knowledge in 3D to produce something I could use in job applications after graduating. I used 3D Studio Max and Mudbox to create and render the animation and then After Effects to composite the shots and Final Cut Studio to edit them together.
I loved my time at Brunel. The tutors and lecturers were very warm and easy to talk to and had a lot of time for us. The facilities at the university were incredible, by far the best I've seen. I'm now employed as an Architectural Visualiser at Foster and Partners, a large architecture practice in London.