Home' Link : Learn Issue No. 1 Contents For students with big dreams of working in the
film or animation industry, there is nothing more
exciting than the prospect of rubbing shoulders with
some of the industry's best. For most, such experiences
may never come to fruition and may remain stored away
on secret 'bucket lists' for years. However, CQUniversity
multimedia lecturer Dr Steven Pace has tapped into this
inspirational resource and uses it to nurture his students'
Just last year, Steven secured a seminar by one of the
key production team members from the world's highest-
grossing movie Avatar. Dana Peters, the head of the Creatures
Department at New Zealand's visual effects and animation
studio Weta Digital, gave students the opportunity to learn
about the making of the James Cameron film known for
its innovative 3D technology. "Dana's seminar covered a
wide range of topics including 3D modelling and animation
processes, cutting-edge motion capture technology, software
tools, James Cameron's directorial style, the challenges
ofworkingin ateam of900, andhowtogetajobinthe
industry," Steven recalls.
Also among the list of 'big names' to take part in
CQUniversity's multimedia program is Animal Logic --
the creators of Happy Feet, The Matrix and Moulin Rouge. The
company's Head of Visual Effects Bruce Carter gave students
an insight into how the Oscar winning film got those
penguins' toes tapping.
Not only are students learning from the best in the
business, but Steven believes his 'master classes' inspire
and motivate -- a crucial element of successful learning and
teaching. "An important part of good teaching is trying to
stimulate intrinsic interest in the subject matter, rather
than relying solely on extrinsic motivators like grades. That's
what I've been trying to do through events like our master
classes with outstanding industry role models and follow-up
It's a teaching style that has won the Mackay academic
a host of awards, including the 2011 ICT Educator of the
Year at the national iAwards and a Citation for Outstanding
Contributions to Student Learning from the Australian
Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC). Both awards
recognised Steven's innovative teaching and learning
strategies, in particular his use of role models from the
digital media industry.
Talking about the iAward, Steven said he thought it "a
little ironic" to win an award for ICT considering he works
in the University's School of Creative and Performing Arts.
"Maybe that highlights the diverse nature of what we do in
our School. Maybe it also says something about the changing
nature of ICT and its focus on human values. These days ICT
is concerned with much more than just technology; it's part
of a wider cross-disciplinary exchange."
Meeting the creators of Happy Feet, The Matrix and Avatar is inspiring a new breed of
multimedia professionals, writes PRISCILLA CRIGHTON.
11 | Learn
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