Free Springboard Courses
Maybe you are interested in animation but not sure how to get into that industry? Or you might work in a situation where it would be handy to be able to use animation to explain something? Alternatively, you might already have some animation skills but are keen to upskill and improve your career prospects? If you tick any of these boxes, then read on…..
Pulse College has just launched two Springboard + Animation courses, QQI Level 6 (Cert) which gives an in-depth introduction to all aspects of animation and QI Top-up Level 7 (BA), which is designed for those who already have some animation skills and are looking to learn about the latest technologies and developments in the industry. The College is taking course applications right now and the courses start in Sept. but places are limited to 25 students on each course, so if you are interested in either one learn more here and you can apply on the Springboard website.
The Down Low
Recently we sat down with Eoin McAuley, animator extraordinaire and Senior Lecturer for Pulse College Animation courses, to find out about the kind of students who are enrolling for these studies and what they can expect to learn over the year.
Eoin explains the student profile……. “Our students come from a great mix of backgrounds; obviously there are jobseekers who may have no previous animation training and want to change careers. And there’s also a mix of professions – as animation has crept into so many industries. For example, we have teachers and medics who want to be able to create animations to explain things. Similarly architects, electricians and people involved in construction are keen to learn animation skills to help demonstrate proposed developments/installations and so on. And of course we have people who are already working in animation but feel its time to top up their knowledge – it’s such a dynamic field that there’s always new things to learn – which is one of the reasons why I love it of course!
We wondered if it’s essential to be great at drawing but Eoin explained that this isn’t a pre-requisite to take the course or work in animation. “First up drawing is a skill and like all skills, it can be thought and improved with practice. Part of the course covers life drawing classes and hand-eye co-ordination. We teach students to take a drawing from pen and paper to stylus and tablet. It’s not rocket science and its not a dark art! But secondly there are so many career options across the animation pipeline – from pre-production to post-production roles. These include storyboarding, texturing, lighting, compositing and so on. A good grasp of using the latest software is probably a lot more important in some animation roles.”
Another question that Eoin often gets asked is whether the students need any kit to do the course, like a laptop or specific software…….”We provide everything so students just have to turn up – all the hardware and software they need is available on-campus. But also students are welcome to use the College facilities outside of lectures so if they want to stay late or come in at weekends to work on a project, we facilitate that. Often it’s good to hang out here as students collaborate together and learn from each-other in a relaxed, practical way that’s fun. It’s quite a different environment from what people might have experienced in formal education when they were younger or in school. And in that context, the really good news is that there’s no end-of-year exam – we work on a continual assessment basis and we work together with the students to help them get over the line. It’s mainly based on delivering projects over the course of the year but there are deadlines for the work to be done – just as people have to work to deadlines in a commercial environment; its good training in that sense.”
Invest Time, Not Money!
For jobseekers, this training is absolutely free, if you qualify for the Springboard courses. Naturally there are some basic academic requirements for all students, and you have to have an interview with the team at Pulse College to make sure it’s the right fit for where you are at. If you are employed or self-employed then you’ll be interested to learn that for the first time ever Springboard+ courses are available to you, subject to certain criteria and once you qualify, while some fees are applicable – these are subsidised so students only have to pay 10% of the course cost.
It’s a great opportunity – places are limited but available right now.