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Sabrina Schmid

Senior Lecturer in Animation

Sabrina Schmid

About Sabrina Schmid

Sabrina Schmid is an artist, animator and practice-based researcher who joined the School of Computing in 2001 as Senior Lecturer in Computer Animation.

Originally studying painting, she attained her BA in Fine Art Painting with Distinction and post-graduate qualification at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Australia. Her combined interest in painting and the medium of film led her to specialize in animation, gaining a Graduate Diploma in Applied Film and Television in Animation at the well-known Swinburne School of Film and Television (now School of Film & Television, Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne University, Australia.)

As a practicing animator since 1986, she has focused on animation as an art form and creative expression, a medium which allows for experimentation and innovation that is ongoing. Her first short animation films using experimental mixed animation techniques, were created as independent filmmaker and gained peer recognition through selection at prestigious international film festivals, (Ann Arbor, Mill Valley, Stuttgart, Hiroshima, Melbourne, Sydney, Bilbao, Cinanima-Portugal, Annecy, amongst others.) Prizes for her short animation ‘Middriffini’ included the ‘Yoram Gross Animation Award’ at the 1994 Sydney Film Festival, Australia, and ‘Award Winner in the Category of Art for Computer Animation’ at the international 1996 Australian Effects & Animation Festival in Sydney, Australia. Her independent films have been cited in key texts about animation.

Sabrina also worked as professional freelance animator at several production companies in Europe, where she directed, designed and animated program inserts commissioned by Kopp Film for the channel ZDF TV (1998, Germany), animated on puppet-animation series at the studio Folimage Valence Productions (1999, France) and worked as stop-motion animator on the TV series Pingu (1999, Switzerland) and at Scopas Medien for ZDF TV (2001, Germany) also animating the ‘Millenium Trailer 2000’ produced by Arte TV.

Sabrina's current research interest is in practice-based animation to investigate animation as a diverse and creative art form through computer animation. Her most recent short animations explore abstract imagery in form and experiment with digital techniques. The recent animations have achieved international recognition through recent film screenings and awards at competitive international film festivals (see under Research and Publication.)

Filmography:
2013, Interior (2D computer animation, 1 min, HD1080, U.K.)
2013, Coincidence 1, (2D computer animation, 1 min, HD1080, U.K.)
2011, Abstracted Reflections (2D computer animation, 3.35 min/sec, HD1080, U.K.)
2009, Evariations (2D computer animation, 2.22 min/sec, HD1080, U.K.)
2003, Scribblefish (2D computer animation, 1 min, DVD, U.K.)
1996, One: Terra (animated film, drawn, 1 min, 16mm, Australia)
1993, Middriffini (animated film, mixed techniques drawn/painted & 2D computer, 19 min, 16mm, Australia) *
1989, Once As If A Balloon (animated film, drawing and photos, 3 min, 16mm, Australia)*
1985, Elephant Theatre (animated film, mixed techniques, 15 min, 16mm, Australia) *
* denotes films which are held in the film collection of the National Film & Sound Archive (NFSA), ACT, Australia.

Citations:
Cholodenko, A. (editor) 1991, The illusion of life : essays on animation, Power Publications in association with the Australian Film Commission, Sydney. (on p. 311)

Noake, R. 1988, Animation: The Guide to Animated Film Techniques First English Edition edn, Little, Brown (on p. 27)

Pilling, J. & British Film Institute, 1992, Women and animation: a compendium, The British Film Institute, London (on p. 113)

Wells, P. & British Film Institute, 1996, Emergent Animation: Australia, Around the World in Animation – Celebrating 100 Years of Cinema, The British Film Institute & Museum of the Moving Image, London (on p. 19)

View Sabrina Schmid's stills from animations

Research interests and activities

Sabrina Schmid’s main research interest is in practice-based animation to investigate animation as a diverse and creative art form through computer animation. Recent work explores abstract imagery in form and experiments with digital techniques by transposing original animation techniques to digital drawing or painting within the animation design. She won a DigitalCity Senior Fellowship in 2007 and gained support from the University Research Fund in 2013 to build upon her previous animation work. Recent animations were selected for internationally competitive film festivals.

Publications

Title: 'Interior' (2D computer animation, 1 min, HD1080, U.K.) 2013 This animation builds upon the previous animation output to further explore digital design for animation using abstraction, that is to develop a series of short abstract animations set to originally composed music.

Screenings:
Melbourne International Animation Festival 2014, in International Competition, 19 – 24 June, Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) Melbourne, Australia.
URL: http://www.miaf.net/2014/program.html

Punto Y Raya Festival 2014 and Reykjavik Center for Visual Music, in International Competition, 30 January – 2 February, Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Center, Reykjavik, Iceland.
URL: http://www.puntoyrayafestival.com/en/screenings/5/comp/36&pageNum_rsCompeticion=0

California International Shorts Festival, Winter 2013, in International Competition, 14 – 15 December, USA.
URL: http://calshorts.info/Cal_Shorts_Archive.html

Women's Independent Film Festival 2013, in International Competition, 12 – 15 December, Promenade Playhouse Theatre, Santa Monica, CA, USA. Awarded: ‘Award of Merit’ Animated Film Category.
URL: http://www.womensindiefest.com/Fall_2013_award_winners_2.html 

Title: 'Coincidence 1' (2D computer animation, 1 min, HD1080, U.K.) 2013 The animation film is in visually abstract genre, aiming to investigate original animation techniques transposed to digital drawing and painting to give a ‘handmade’ aesthetic to computer animation. It pays tribute to the works of early avant-garde artists and animators who experimented with abstract animation using film techniques and the visualization of music. Computer animation allows a re-interpretation of this heritage of abstract imagery in film. It also allows the author to expand upon film-based methods originally utilised in her earlier works of animation, transposed to computer animation. The artistic concern is to bring those creative and aesthetic elements that are not usually associated with computer animation to the digital medium, while explore animation through pure movement and form animated to music.

Screenings:
Los Angeles International Underground Film Festival Winter 2013, in International Competition, 7 – 8 December, Promenade Playhouse, Santa Monica CA, USA.
URL: http://www.laufilmfest.com/2013_Winter_Winners_and_Selections.html 

Women's Independent Film Festival 2013, in International Competition 12 – 15 December, Promenade Playhouse Theatre, Santa Monica, CA, USA. Awarded: ‘Award of Merit’ Animated Film Category.
URL: http://www.womensindiefest.com/Fall_2013_award_winners_2.html 

Title: 'Abstracted Reflections' (2D computer animation, 3.35 min/sec, HD1080, U.K.) 2011
The artist aimed to explore form and movement observed in the natural world, initially captured via photographs in a series of still images. The research interest was to explore visual abstraction using photographic images as a basis for investigating animated form and movement. Two observations were chosen for constructing the film’s sequences: one is an observation of light reflecting on water that created a moving pattern of circular shapes, photographed as stills by the artist. The second observation is based on an aerial view of a mountain terrain displaying a distinct pattern of lines, photographed as stills by the artist. The set of ‘unmoving’ forms could be re-interpreted by the artist in a multitude of variations. The aim was to convey an abstract view not merely as seen through the camera lens but through the artist’s interpretation, conveyed by the animation. Images were manipulated via image processing in order to abstract observed forms, and were re-animated to abstract the observed instances (abstracting time) via movement.

Screenings:
International competition: Punto Y Raya Festival 2011, 03 - 06 November, Museum Reina Sofia - Auditoria 200, Madrid, Spain, and Seminar: ‘Round Table Talk’ http://www.puntoyrayafestival.com/en/screenings/2/comp/14&pageNum_rsCompeticion=1 

Title: 'Evariations' (2D computer animation, 2.22 min/sec, HD1080, U.K.) 2009
The experimental animation demonstrates an artistic interpretation of the parameters of visual abstraction and concept proposed in Punto y Raya Festival’s call for abstract films that explore ‘the creative possibilities of dots and lines in various spheres of science, art and thought.' The artist initially investigated film-based techniques of ‘frameless’ animation and ‘frame-by-frame’ drawing used in (historically) early avant-garde abstract genre animation film. In this context, the artist was interested in exploring the essence of image-making, reducing technique and narrative to its fundamentals and to give a ‘handmade’ aesthetic to computer animation. The ‘dot and line’ are interpreted not as motifs but as spontaneous drawing: hand-drawn digitally frame-by-frame continuously over hundreds of frames for the animation, the artist aimed to express a personal ‘calligraphy’ or automatic writing without signs.

Screenings:
International competition: Punto Y Raya Festival 2009, 25 -29 November, Arts Santa Monica, Barcelona, Spain, and Seminar: ‘Round Table Talk’ http://www.puntoyrayafestival.com/en/screenings/3/comp/4&pageNum_rsCompeticion=0  

Selected as competition finalist for ‘Best of Punto Y Raya Festival 2009’ http://www.puntoyrayafestival.com/en/screenings/3/guest/23 

This programme screened at further venues during 2010 - 2011 including Galeria NUAS (Nagoya, Japan), University of Vigo (Pontevedra, Spain), Naoussa International Film Festival (Greece), Buffalo International Film Festival (University of Oregon), School Museum of Fine Arts (Boston, USA), and in ‘Audiovisuals: Punto y Raya Festival’ screening at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao (Spain) 15/03/2011.
http://www.puntoyrayafestival.com/en/editions/tour

View Sabrina Schmid's Publications on TeesRep