Known as Virtual Paper Napkin (VPN), this project has been especially designed for students and teachers alike and is aimed at promoting the instruction of interactive digital media and 3D visualization at schools in Singapore. Students of all ages have been receiving instruction in 3D animation and modeling since March of 2005 and all are equally excited about the possibilities these mediums have to offer. At the same time, our teachers are constantly improving their 3D skills so they can offer the highest quality of training possible to their students.
Numerous 3D workshops have been completed at various regional educational institutions, and the enthusiasm shown by our younger students shows it is never too early to learn 3D animation.
IM Innovations offers these 3D seminars in their own 3D Media Studio facilities or on location at educational institutions with adequate computer facilities. Our students benefit from state-of-the-art hardware and software and our courses are tailored to the needs of each participant. Comprehensive, in-depth practical application and theoretical exercises are part of every course. Courses are offered for everyone from beginners to professionals looking to improve their existing skill level.
Vincent Ong, managing director of IM Innovations says, "3D graphics and animation used to be exclusive to professionals and some institutions of higher learning. But with falling IT costs and a whole new e-generation of youths and children, 3D animation can now be every student's cup of tea."
"One of the next things we are going to do is to reach out to the industries, not just in Singapore but also in the region, so together we want to be seen as the lighthouse for 3D technologies and applications."
The VPN project even raised eyebrows at television broadcaster Channel NewsAsia, who decided to broadcast a report about this successful project. Channel NewsAsia has offices in Singapore and Hong Kong and is the leading Asian news broadcaster, focusing mainly on Asian issues. Channel NewsAsia is considered to be the Asian language equivalent to "CNN".
The Admiralty Secondary School
In March of 2005 twenty students and four Admiralty Secondary School teachers were selected to get to know the world of 3D modeling and animation in the school's in-house 3D Digital Animation Studio. The project turned out to be a complete success. By the end of the scholastic year twenty students and seventeen teachers had taken part in over sixty hours of 3D animation training.
Mrs Lim Ai Poo, Principal of Admiralty Secondary shared the experience of their students, "The sessions gave us a glimpse into the endless possibilities for innovative teaching and learning.The software is user-friendly and easy to manipulate. In fact we were amazed at the learning speed in which some of our students, namely Sec 1s and 2s displayed. We want to equip our students with cutting-edge skills in today's digital world. As for our teachers, they can make use of the newly-learned skills to prepare dynamic interactive teaching courseware as well as act as trainers in 3D animation for the students."
The students quickly able to apply the knowledge they acquired in these courses. They created a virtual school flag and a very informative geography video that demonstrates how rice is cultivated. The students are currently working on a virtual tour of the Admiralty Secondary School.
Law Wei, an Admiralty Secondary School student says, "Working with Cinema 4D is very interesting and I want to quickly improve my skills. I recently created a sword and want to create many more objects. Maybe I can use them to create an animation."
The 3D animation course has been part of Admiralty Secondary School's curriculum since 2005.
The East View Primary School
The principal Veronica Tay heard about the VPN project she was impressed by the possibilities 3D animation had to offer but was not sure her students were ready handle such assignments. Nevertheless she sent two of her most IT savvy teachers, Mdm Kamalnoorzaman and Mdm Sarila to test it out at a 3-day animation workshop. Soon another 10 teachers signed up for the next animation workshop. To their amazement, acquiring these skills was much easier than they expected. East View had been making use of video production to create short videos as a teaching aid. For example, when explaining about different professions to students, the school could create videos of real people in these fields instead of simply relying on images in books. With the use 3D animation, they could now bring their lessons to the next level, especially when combined with video. In 2006, twenty students have begun a twenty-hour training program, which takes place over ten weeks, two hours per day following regular school. This training also takes place in the school's own computer lab.
This program's initiators are:
- IM Innovations - Maxon's Singapore and ASEAN distributor distributor (www.im-innovations.com)
- Temasek Polytechnic - Institute of Higher Learning (www.tp.edu.sg)
- Nanyang Technological University Center for Advanced Media Technology
- Infocomm Development Authority (Singaporean government www.ida.gov.sg)
- Advanced Micro Devices - Hardware sponsor for 3D Media Studio
- Hewlett Packard - Hardware supplier
The Dino Workshop
In addition to the various seminars it offers, IM Innovations also offers the Dinosaur Animation Workshop for students 10 years old or older. Students interested in taking part can register for free at: www.im-innovations.com/dinoWorkshopNoLinks.htm. The students' assignment is to create a prehistoric scene using Cinema 4D. The scene should contain a dinosaur, trees and rocks or cliffs. This workshop is supported by the Media Development Agency (MDA) and takes place in the Singapore Science Center. To date, more than 1000 students have taken part in this workshop, which was also reported on by Channel NewsAsia.