Xin Zhao from China

Xin came from China to study, and has gone on to a career using her new skills.

BA (Hons) Computer Animation Character Animation

Xin Zhao from China

What brought you to study at Teesside University?

I have always loved art, and studying at art school back in China gave me the eyes for animation. As an art form, it brings emotion into a character, and this fascinates me. When I came to choose a university, I found Teesside University. The character animation course is recognized by Creative Skillset which ensures the quality of teaching. The University also hosts Animex, an international festival of animation and computer games, taking place every year. The facilities of the school are also superb – the computer labs, mocap studio, sound studio and green screen studio, all you need to learn about 3D animation.

What was the course like?

It really helped me prepare for my career. I wanted to be a character animator since I was little but I didn't know a thing about 3D. In the first year, the course introduced me to the 3D world. At the end of the first year, I had a really good base knowledge of every aspect of 3D. The second year introduced me to character animation. I learnt about how a character is animated and we got a lot of practice. The third year was the most important, as it was the time for me to prepare my portfolio, with which to land a job. Using everything we had learned, I and my partner Florent made a 3D animated short film called The Answer. The video is also a Stuff Picked on Vimeo.com and also brought me the opportunity to work at Ubisoft as an animator. Teesside University has a really nice campus. There are not too much distractions, it's a quiet place to calm down and study.

What are you doing now?

I’m a Junior Animator at Ubisoft Reflections. At the graduation show, ExpoTees, I had an interview with Ubisoft and they offered me an animation internship. The internship was part of the creative skillset scheme. After my internship I was promoted to junior animator. I’m responsible for animating realistic characters for AAA next-gen titles such as The Division and The Crew. For example, on The Division, I have been working on Player Navigation Systems (concept, animation, implementation).