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Animation students sprint to success

19 April 2013


Creative students challenged to create an animation for a leading digital sports agency have sprinted to success.

Second year students from Teesside University’s BA (Hons) Computer Animation and BA (Hons) Character Animation courses were set the challenge of producing work to promote a new sports app being developed by digital sports agency 13 Strides.

Heading up the judging panel was Shelley Page, Head of International Outreach for DreamWorks Animation.

Students in 15 teams from the University’s School of Computing initially pitched their ideas to judges late last year, when the idea from Spirit Animations, made up of Ewa Lipinska, Leon Zura, John Howard, Jamie Blyth and Katherine Terzieva, was chosen as the model for the final stage of the competition.

The final stage for the teams was to produce an animation which replicated exactly how different sportspeople move. And when the judges reconvened this month, they singled out for praise for The Extendables, comprising Sarah Franks, Philip Wray, Andy Bashforth, Andrew McBride, Xiaonan Li.

Sarah said: ‘It was really nerve-racking to present our pitch to the judges, especially as they included someone of such stature as Shelley Page. We’re really proud of ourselves.’

Shelley, who said she was hugely impressed with the students’ work, said: 'I was very impressed by the energy which have gone into all of these projects, as it’s not always easy to take on a project initially started by someone else and make it your own.’

She added: ‘I believe in the value of the pitch and being able to present work in a professional, concise and articulate manner is vital. The fact that graduates from Teesside can be found working in the major studios in the UK and abroad speaks volumes about the standard of this University.’

13 Strides, which started life as an incubated business at Teesside University, is still based in the University’s Phoenix Building. Its clients include Channel 4, Microsoft and Great Run and the firm employs a number of Teesside University graduates.

Director Anthony Borsumato, said: 'Teesside University was the perfect platform for us when we were setting up the business and we are always really impressed with the talent which comes out of the creative courses.

'When we started thinking about an animation for our new sports app, it made perfect sense to work in partnership with the University and we were extremely impressed with all the ideas.’

Watch the animation by The Extendables

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