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Taster Days from the School of Media, Design and Technology

Published: Fri 16 May 2014

Get an interactive and exciting taste for studying at the University of Bradford on our Taster Day sessions from the School of Media, Design and Technology.

These sessions are designed for Year 12  A-Levels and BTEC students. You can book on-line, or call Hannah Kaye on 01274 234611, email:


Animation and Games

Karl Abson, Jason Theaker and Dr Jon Purdy: Creating Illusions in Games, Animation & Film with VFX 

Wednesday 4 June, 10.30am - 13.15pmLimit 25

The School of Media, Design and Technology is offering a day of activities to give an interactive insight to the exciting and dynamic areas of animation and games.

The day will be from 10.30am to 1.30pm and will include the following activities:

10.30am: In today's world visual effects have moved on from their original confines of science fiction movies. Today visual effects can be found in many genres of game, film and animation but as seamless effects which are invisible to the audience.

Techniques such as motion capture and realistic lighting when combined with a story can fool the viewer into accepting the finished medium as real. Recent films such as Avatar & The Avengers are just two examples of the exciting films produced over the past couple of years. Many of our graduates work on these big exciting titles and experience the job of a life time. Attend this workshop and use our ground breaking motion capture studio. Discover how this technology works and maybe find yourself working on the next big title!

11.15am:  This talk will explore the production of ‘Eye Doctor’, an animated short directed by a animation lecturer Jason Theaker, and examine how the ‘Digital Working Media Academy’ operates to provide paid professional experience to students and new graduates to ensure real world experience.

12.00pm: Lunch – vouchers to use in the University of Bradford outlets will be provided to all guests

12.30pm: From calculating the angle that a ball bounces off a wall to modelling the frictional forces on a rally car, physics and mathematics have always played a part in the development of computer games. In recent years the drive for more realistic environments has resulted in the implementation of some quite advanced mathematical simulations in computer games and special effects.  This talk gives a brief overview of some of the technology used to make computer games and produce the stunning special effects used in the film industry.  It is illustrated by many demonstrations and examples of computer game hardware and software.

1.15pm: Finish

This taster day has a maximum attendance of 5 students per school/college.


Karl Abson: Creating Illusions in Games, Animation & Film with VFX

Wednesday 11 June, 1.00pm - 2.00pmLimit 25Location: Motion Capture Suite, Horton Building

Animals are a big part of our world and feature heavily in our creative works. Multiple horses for example, recently took centre stage in the major role of Joey, an English plough horse in Steven Spielberg’s War Horse. In many cases it is not possible to simply use a real animal in film production and as such their essence must be captured and re-created digitally.

Traditionally, gathering of reference material such as photographs and video has been the standard approach. This has led to CG hero characters which fool the audience completely. This is not however the case one hundred percent of the time. Even with high quality reference material, it is possible for even seasoned animators to produce results which are untrue to the animal’s abilities.

Motion capture has been used to solve this problem with humans for some time. The same cannot be said however when it comes to animals. In this talk we discuss our recent project which involved capturing the movement of horses.  This exciting project shows the possibility of using motion capture with animals and how we can use this technology to capture a true performance.



Patrick Allen: Big Screens, Big Cities, Big Ideas 

Wednesday 11 June, 1.00pm - 2.00pm

Limit 100

Listen to Lecturer Patrick Allen talk about how Bradford has become something of an leader/innovator in the use of large scale media and events located in city centres; Patrick will show some practical projects that he along with the University have been involved in.

Patrick will encourage the group to think about their own ideas and plans for a space like Centenary Square and how they could feature an event in this exciting space.


Dave Robison: Website Design Masterclass

Wednesday 18 June, 1.00pm - 4.00pm

A fun and creative workshop that shows you how to build an eye-catching website, step-by-step from start to finish.

- Learn the key fundamentals of good website design;

- Learn web design techniques with HTML and CSS;

- Learn to use web design software such as Expression Web.


The School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science are also running an exciting taster day in the morning you may also be interested in:

Problem Solving and Algorithms With Examples In Java (11:00 - 12:00)

A hands-on session on Algorithmic Thinking and Programming using simple, interactive and enjoyable examples will provide you with skills to develop your own quick program, game, interactive art or movie and share it with your colleagues.


For further details about all taster days at the University of Bradford, please visit our Taster Day webpage

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