Media Design Students Resurrect the World's Largest Bird

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The might and grace of that immense New Zealand avian behemoth, the extinct Moa, has been brought back to life in an animated film by a talented bunch of Media Design School's computer animation students studying the Graduate Diploma of Advanced 3D Productions.

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The might and grace of that immense New Zealand avian behemoth, the extinct Moa, has been brought back to life in an animated film by a talented bunch of Media Design School's computer animation students studying the Graduate Diploma of Advanced 3D Productions.

The second (and final) year project brings together the specialist 3D animation skills and techniques (e.g. texture mapping, rigging, lighting and character animation) the students have been taught throughout the 3D Productions Course.

"We wanted to the put the Moa into an environment that fully reflected its sheer size, and contrasted it with a 21st century setting," says Project Manager Josh Burton.

The Moa project is a team exercise designed to really push the boundaries of the students' craft. The project is also a collaboration between Media Design School and the Auckland Museum. The short film blends CGI animation with live footage charting the animated Moa's hypothetical journey from the bush into the contemporary world, ending up in the Natural History section of the museum -- face-to-face with the Museum's iconic Moa model.

"We've based the style of the piece on the archetypal BBC nature documentary, and wanted to challenge ourselves so have included some really complex animation sequences, like interaction with water for example, and making the feathers of the bird move in an authentic manner," says Burton.

The group researched anatomical features of 'birds of a feather', analysing the movements of ostrich's, and filmed live footage from bush locations around Auckland as a setting for the animated Moa. Plans are afoot to incorporate the animated short film into the Auckland Museum's natural history exhibition.

Media Design School is an industry-based digital design and technology school providing highly relevant qualifications for specific roles and careers within the film, design and production industries including video editors, effects artists, 3D animators, designers. All courses offered are production- based, and taught by highly experienced industry professionals. The school is supported and assisted by highly reputable creative, design and digital companies, which provide live projects, mentoring, and workshops to ensure all qualifications provide students with leading-edge skills that meet the demands of the high-end creative sector.

For further information visit the Media Design School web site at http://www.mediadesign.school.nz , or email Bernadette Peters on bernadette @ mediadesign.school.nz.

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