Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Fusion 14: An SIDM Graduation Show

Recently, I visited Fusion 14, an exhibition showcasing all the final year projects from Nanyang Polytechnic’s (NYP) School of Interactive and Digital Media (SIDM) students. It was held at Singapore Expo Hall 3 from the 27th to the 29th of March 2014.

There was  a wide range of interesting projects to be found at the exhibition, including animated videos, interactive displays and gaming booths. All the portfolios of the graduating students were also  found alongside their projects. I was definitely inspired by all the creative works.

The first booth I checked out had a wide range of games running on various platforms like Playstation, PC and Android tablets. They were created by Digital Media Design (Games) and Digital Entertainment Technology (Games) students. Most of the games looked professionally created and you may even think they were the products of a gaming studio. They were definitely very fun to play with (although quite tricky at times). It would be great if all of the games were commercially available.

Some of the students even won awards for their hard work. Some of the titles that caught my attention were Spectrum, an endless running game, and Monomino, which puts a twist on the widely popular retro game, Tetris. Kudos to the hardworking SIDM students who combined their programming and digital animation skills to make these fun games.

Take a guided tour around Fusion 14

Since Fusion 14 was open to the public, members of the public could register for a guided tour at the entrance. Various secondary schools were also touring the exhibition. Our SIDM student volunteers conducted these tours. Fusion 14 was also a great way to showcase SIDM to potential secondary school students as well.

Mini theatres for video showcasing

If you’re a big fan of animation, there were several screening rooms onsite screening short films with interesting and eye-catching visual effects created by SIDM students. The ones that really caught my attention were the ones that were filmed within NYP.

Apart from the visual effects showcase, there was another screening room showcasing animations created by our very own SIDM animation students. Although they were  not like the Hollywood animations we see, the SIDM animations were still very well produced, awesome and definitely head-turning.

A wide range of interactive displays

Fusion 14 had tons of interactive displays to explore. You could play with the games or you could draw whatever you like on the tablets and see your drawing being projected onto the screen. Exploring the various exhibits around Fusion 14 was definitely a very fun and memorable experience for me.

Portfolios of various SIDM students

Apart from the screening rooms and gaming booths, graduating students’ works were also featured in various booths. There were laptops at every booth with videos and a website portfolio of all the students’ work. What was great was that each booth had a place for the students’ name cards, so that potential employers can easily get the contact details of the students.

A chit chat session with two graduating SIDM students

I took the time to chat with two graduating SIDM students. One of them was Tania Sim (above), from the Diploma in Digital Media Design (Interaction Design) while the other was Remus Low (below) from the Diploma in Digital Media Design (Animation).

Here’s what they had to say.

Tell us more about your projects.

Tania Sim (Interaction designer): My portfolio concept is an iceberg. Basically, I hope to convey the message that my work is more than meets the eye, and what you see is just the just the tip of the iceberg. For example an ordinary pillow may turn out to have more than one function, and a lantern may surprise you in unexpected ways. Visit my website at to find out more about my projects. http://taniasim.com/

Remus Low (character animator): I love animation and bringing characters to life. My showreel showcases the many positions an animated character has to be in, in order to seem realistic.

My showreel shows the animation key frames of a character, as well as some of my other animated videos. If you are interested in seeing more, visit my website at http://www.remuslow.com

What are some of the things you actually learnt in your three years of study?

TS: In Year 1, we learnt design fundamentals like typography, design, communication and much more. In Year 2, we started learning a bit of programming like HTML5, CSS, PHP and JavaScript. In Year 3, we learnt how to incorporate design and programming together.

RL: Some things we have learnt include basic 3D modelling, animating and rigging. We were actually shown the various complex paths of subjects we can take. During Year 3, we can choose which path we want to take so there were some people who took illustration, some took modelling and some took the animation path. So our course is actually very diverse and gives us the chance to pursue our interests.

How do you feel about graduating?

TS: it's quite surreal because ever since Year 1, we have heard of the Fusion graduation show and had started preparing for it. To be actually graduating and having this graduation show feels like a huge accomplishment because we get to finally showcase our work and what we’ve learnt over the three years.

RL: It's a whole different feeling because we really don't know what to expect after this. In school, everything runs on a time-table. When we graduate, there are so many options open to us, such as finding a job, or going to National Service, and you may find yourself quite overwhelmed.

Give me one word to describe your experience in your 3 years of poly life.

TS: Epic.

RL: Fun.

My Thoughts on Fusion 14
My experience at Fusion 14 was s very fruitful, fun and a memorable one. I had fun looking at the graduating SIDM students’ work and I also enjoyed the fruits of their labour which included the games and the short films that were being shown. I also enjoyed talking to some of the students about their artwork and I learnt a lot about them as well.

Fusion 14 has inspired me. If you are interested in anything related to design, programming, animation, visual effects, motion graphics and games creation, NYP’s SIDM is definitely the school for you. I wish all graduating SIDM students a bright future.

  By Hanafi Bin Sedik, Year 2, Diploma in Engineering Informatics

I like to spend my free time and weekends exploring various places around Singapore, taking long walks at public parks and eating delicious food. Not only that, I also like to make videos, write on my personal blog and hang out with my awesome friends and family. I wish to work at a major software company and start my own production company in the future.

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