Sep 132013
 
Breda, The Netherlands

Breda, The Netherlands

So I’ve been in Breda, The Netherlands for about three weeks and a lot has happened in that time! I thought I’d share a few photos and talk a little about the course so far – the Master of Animation, that is, at AKV St. Joost (the full name is Akademie voor Kunst en Vormgeving St. Joost or the Academy of Art and Design St Joost).
To make things even more confusing, the art school is part of Avans University of Applied Sciences, or, in Dutch, Avans Hogeschool. Modern Dutch architecture is in evidence in the main Avans building below. This is and the immediately surrounding campus is where all the academic classes take place.

Avans

Our building, however, is a five minute bike ride from Avans (about 20 minutes from my house, or from the center of town). The St. Joost building is an old converted seminary tucked away and surrounded by trees.

Tree lined path leading to St. Joost

Tree lined path leading to St. Joost

The old main entrance to the St Joost building, which used to be a monastery. Now the main entrance for the students is around the corner, next to the bicycle parking area.

The old main entrance to the St Joost building, which used to be a seminary. Now the main entrance for the students is around the corner, next to the bicycle parking area.

Hang out area. One euro beers every Thursday!

Hang out area. One euro beers every Thursday!

Cafeteria.

Cafeteria.

I’ll try to get more pictures of the actual classrooms, but basically, it’s an art school! Smells like an art school, art projects in all the hallways, smoking area by the front door, wood shop, metal shop, etc. And of course, lots of high tech rooms with computers for the graphic designers, animators and other techy courses.

We only have four actual scheduled ‘classes’ per week (3 hours each) which are a research skills class, a writing class (that seems more like an art/animation theory class), a ‘Concepts & Development’ class (which is basically a chance for us to talk to mentors about our practical projects) and an Entrepreneurship class where we learn the business aspects of being a freelancer.

Of course we always have some sort of assignment to be working on, and sometimes we have special workshops in a particular technique. Right now we’re half way through a TVPaint workshop with Peter Wassink, a very experienced animator who is an expert in TVPaint.

TVPaint is a 2D bit-map digital animation software which is very powerful and apparently more and more popular. It has some great brush features and with a Wacom tablet (I bought my very first the other day!) you can really have fun drawing with all the different digital brushes. We’ve done some basic exercises, but I’m still waiting to really get a feel for it. I’m more a of a hands-on stop-motion animator, so it will be difficult for me to fall in love with these programs, but not impossible. We’ll see how it goes.

Our first assignment is to make a one minute film for The One Minutes project, an archive started in Amsterdam. Stay tuned!

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