NUCA students get animated at The Forum

The vast Fusion screen in the Forum has been taken hostage by animated figures and pictures which will leap, jump and move for visitors for the next two weeks.

The latest exhibition at The Forum's digital gallery, Fusion, which opened yesterday, is the work of second year Norwich University College of the Arts students.

The exhibition is part of a month-long series of events at The Forum, called Phones, Plasmas and Pixels.

For the past 10 months the students have worked on the project, developing their styles, techniques and sonic skills to create the 15 minutes of work on the largest screen of its kind in Europe.

The two-week exhibition, called Illusion, focuses on the theme of environment and, as well as showing animated fairies, there are lively picture sequences depicting the circle of life in the rainforest.

Student Marcus Whinney, 20, said it had been a very challenging project and he had learned skills from scratch.

He said they had to work together in teams and that he hoped the project would boost his CV and help him get an internship.

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'It is a very complex screen. We had a lot of problems with the animations being too small and not fitting, but in the end we pulled it together.'

Fellow student Sophie Graves, 20, said: 'The project has been a mixture of pressure, excitement and fear.'

Animation lecturer and second year course tutor Jodie Wick said it had been a great experience for the students who were not used to working on such a large screen.

She said there had been much for the students to think about, including the fact that the audience would not necessarily be watching the animation from start to finish.

'It is a unique screen', she said. 'It is the largest in Norwich. It is a screen professional animators would give their eye teeth to work on. This is one of their first professional projects.'

She said the animations were all original content and there was no copyright material.

'It is an amazing thing to have on your show reel really. I do not know how many thousands of people will come through here. A lot of students will not have had a professional exhibition like this before.'

As well as being open to the public over the fortnight, the exhibition will also be seen by delegates to a seminar on new technology and climate change at The Forum on Friday, organised by the charity Arts and Business.

Richard Fair, Fusion manager, said: 'The idea was to push our technology and skills to the limit. It is brilliant what they have achieved in here.

'It has also been a learning experience for me. Some of the stuff they are doing is stuff we have only dreamt about.'