Animation and Visual Effects Forum

Course Related => Course Specific => Course Related Archive => Subjects => Topic started by: Hages on August 10, 2008, 02:48:18 PM

Title: Importance of Project Development
Post by: Hages on August 10, 2008, 02:48:18 PM
I’d like to remind all students that this is the last week of Band 1 to exhibit your work in the Dailies ( and post updates on the forum. It’s fantastic to see a majority of students are enthusiastically posting their progress and showing promising examples of early work. There remains a worrying trend however, that despite this being the fourth week of semester, a minority haven’t produced any evidence of work to date.

If a person hasn’t shown anything at Dailies and made at least 4 posts with 2 links (on different days/each subject) by next Sunday 17th August, they will fail. This may seem cruel but it’s actually for everyone’s own good. If a student hasn’t participated in a subject by Week 5 it’s obvious they’re unlikely to succeed (according to 7 years evidence) and its best they withdrawal before the 31st August HECS Census date to save time, money and energy.

I know it all sounds authoritarian and there’s a natural reaction to revolt against the establishment inherent in all of us. But please view the Project Development Assignment as the answer and not the problem. Every single year we witness students unnecessarily fail and we’re doing all we can to avoid the annual attrition of disengaged students in subjects. We know what we’re doing if you follow our guidance there should be no reason to ever fail any subject!

I understand that a few students have expressed difficulties opening the Excel 2007 spreadsheet on their home computers. Can I stress the orange highlighted note in the posts strongly suggesting people use university computers to complete the form if having difficulties at home? I apologise for those who might be inconvenienced by this but in every subject we’ll be working with current industry standards and cannot engineer documents for the peculiarities of individual student setups. If a student is going to complete work at home it’s their responsibility to ensure their computer software is compatible with the universities, not the other way around.
The reason that the Project Development Chart won’t be converted to a PDF or Open Office document is that it’s actually a modest program that actively updates your progress throughout the semester. It informs you if you’re meeting the minimum criteria and will even let you know when you’ve passed the assignment. It can’t be provided in another format without sacrificing its purpose.

This important note is directed towards the newcomers in the Animation and Visual Effects subjects, particularly MPI110 students. It may appear cold-hearted and dispassionate but although we prize imagination and creativity we live in reality. As a student of this university you must be visible and accountable. Excuses that start with “I thought...” and “My computer...” register zero pity or legitimacy in defence of not fulfilling the minimum expectations of each subject. A relatively new one, a bastardisation of the Simpsons episode Bart Gets an F, “I’ve learnt that (insert what student should’ve done)...” cannot be applied in retrospect as it isn’t fair on other students who did the right thing at the right time. Data loss, personal computer failure, not reading the subject outline, friend’s crisis... we’ve heard it all before. Unless you have legitimate circumstances and documentation (i.e. doctors certificate) we don’t care for scapegoats or professional apologists.

There is help at hand for students if they do run into trouble during the semester. Please read the subject outline and consult with your lecturer or student services as soon as any difficulties strike. The lecturer is your ally, here to support you and help you through the subject. We are not the enemy or looking to complicate student’s lives. We’d love to automatically pass every student and watch them happily graduate but we’re got to employ standards. The Project Development Assignment is an attempt to raise them. Please speak to me in class, workshops, consultation or email me if you need any clarification on the requirements of this assignment. Here’s hoping we can have 100% students succeed in MPI110, VFX105, VFX205 and VFX206 in Spring Semester! You might even have fun doing it! ;D
Title: Don't leave it to the last day!
Post by: Hages on August 13, 2008, 05:48:56 AM
It’s great to see people booking into Friday early and I’m sure everyone will welcome your work. I’d encourage others to show their progress/experimentation/whatever today or tomorrow. Monday to Thursday Dailies have the distinct advantage of being able to go beyond 5PM.

Why can’t everyone book for Friday? The International Student Animation Jury always kicks off at 1PM every Friday (with the exception of last week’s SYMPOSIA). That means that any student who hasn’t shown a single thing in the past month has only the half-hour slot to fit in. Have you ever witnessed desperate students at their most urgent and competitive? It’s not pretty and we’d like to avoid that.

I recommend to all those who need to show their work and are severely running out of time; that Dailies resume immediately after the screenings and/or during the short gap between programs. Only students who contact me with legitimate documentation to explain their circumstances will be exempt. C’mon everyone, we’ve been back at uni for 4 weeks, there must be at least a concept to share, let alone work to show. ;D