UG Portfolio Advice for Animation, Interaction Design and Visual Communication

UG Portfolio Advice for Animation, Interaction Design and Visual Communication

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Hi there everyone, I'm David Sims, I'm the  program director for International Studies   and Progression and I've got my colleague with  me today, Bill Long and Bill will just introduce   himself. - Hi, I'm Bill Long, I am the college  admissions tutor at LCC, plus also an academic   teacher on the level four course. - Thanks, Bill, that's great. So myself and Bill are going to be   supporting this presentation today in  relation to the courses that we're covering today   are BA (Honours) Animation, BA (Honours) Illustration  and Visual Media, BA (Honours) Interaction Design Arts   and BA (Honours) User Experience Design. All these  courses are very different, they have different   flavours to them, they have similar pathways but  they're all very different courses but in relation   to Animation, it's a practical course enabling  you to choose one of four specialist pathways   that reflect industry specialisms. Animation arts,  3D computer animation, visual effects, and game arts.  

For Illustration and Visual Media, it's a  studio-based course that aims to produce creative   and innovative illustrators who are prepared  to take risks with their work. And then we have   Interaction Design Arts, this is a practice-led  dynamic and exploratory course examining the   relationships between people and experiences  through experimental technologies and processes,   and then User Experience Design is a  design led and digitally focused course   that explores user experience and user interface  design for current and emerging technologies. So there's some courses that are not covered today,  for portfolio advice, for any of the other courses,   check out our other portfolio advice events  on our website to book your place and for   access to more advice on topics including how  to structure your portfolio, what to include, and   preparing a portfolio. Again, there's a there's  a link there visit  

so again, it may be  useful to take a quick picture of that screen   and then also check out London College of  Communication YouTube to see recordings   of all our portfolio advice sessions and we  actually do have a dedicate YouTube site   for UAL and London College of Communication, where  there's a huge range of films and   recordings for you to look at. Some more  specifically to do with progression to LCC and   UAL, but there's others there that are lectures,  seminars etc., there's some course content   on there so I would really recommend  that you just go onto the YouTube site, look at   the recordings and just have a play and look at  some of the things that are available for you to see. So what are we looking for? So in a  portfolio, we're looking for visual language,   quality of structure, use of line, shape, 2D or 3D,  form, scale, space, light, colour, texture and time,   ideas generation, the quality of ideas and the  thought processes, expression of design thinking,   research in its application including images  from sketchbooks, evidence of investigation and   the use of appropriate resources. Now these are  things you're probably undertaking and studying  

and making and doing and playing with in your  current studies or in previous studies so   these are all very basic formal principles of  design and communication. Just to note that BA   (Honours) Animation has its own requirements and  that you can look those up on their web page. So materials, medium, exploration, experimentation,  testing and materials to achieve outcomes,   contextual awareness and its influence on the  portfolio, understanding and application of   subject knowledge and context, you're required to  present a portfolio with a maximum of 20 images   that you consider would help support your  application and again there's animation has its   own requirements on their web pages, so again, what  these requirements are, what we're looking for,   you will be undertaking these  skills, this learning, you will be doing this, it's   nothing new to you, so you know please don't  be worried that, you know, things like context   awareness, you're all looking at other artists  and other designers to inform your practice   as you make whatever you're making and  I'll say a maximum of 20 images. So I'm going to talk a little bit more in depth  about the courses. BA (Honours) Animation, so   within your work sample include no more than  five minutes of durational work, moving image   or sound along with a contextual statement that  explains your contribution to the finished product.   Clearly identify your role within the production  of the durational work, avoid creating new work   and use already existing pieces of work, so  that's quite specific in relation to Animation,   moving images or sound, and it really  does need to be no more than five minutes.

Evidence of ideas, generation, quality of  ideas and expression of conceptual thinking,   technical skills and experimentation with visual  creativity demonstrating your own creative work.   Materials and media explanation, experimentation  and testing your materials in realisation of   concepts, an understanding of the need for a critical analytical approach   to research and practice to this area of study.  No more than 10 examples of your current work. Personality is paramount so your portfolio should  be professional, but it also should be human, it   should reflect you and we want to see what your  passion, enthusiasm is. Put yourself into the work,  

it should reflect your interests and inspirations,  use it to showcase your technical abilities and   again, that's really important, we're not just  about seeing pieces of work, we want to know more   about that work and how it reflects your practice,  and your work can reflect what your   interests in, you know, we're all living in in  incredibly turbulent times and the world is in   incredible changing times all the time in relation  to politics and there's lots of things happening,   you know, and your work may be about that and  that's, you know, we want to see your passion   and what you're looking at, what you're  reading, what films you're seeing,   all this can influence your portfolio, consider  your audience again, this is really important   instead of presenting chronologically, we  advise you to have a strong narrative.   Compare it to a book piece or piece of music,  give your work room to breathe, think how   academics may read layouts. Are larger images more  important? Are items close together, linked?   Are images on their own,  final pieces? So I think just consider who's   going to be looking at your portfolio, and just give the work time to breathe   and that goes into how you consider the  composition of how you arrange images on paper which brings me to balance and  perfection. Don't be embarrassed   of imperfection, process is as  important as final pieces,   you know, that's really important, your  journey to your final pieces in some cases is   more important than the final pieces themselves  because that shows a process of thinking   in order for the person who's looking at your  work to ascertain and understand your your process   to final outcomes. Present research, development,  and outcome, if using secondary sources please  

credit the artist, designer, communicator, filmmaker,  whatever that may be, please do credit the artist.   Be mindful of presentation, samples should be  mounted, images should be high res., so when   you're presenting your work,  you may just want to present it on a plain sheet   of white paper, so remember that, that's important,,  so when when you're looking through work, make sure   that there's a border to be able to read the image if that's needed   and images should be high-res, it's  important that you have high-res images.

So be decisive. We want to see your ability to edit,  don't show us everything, editing is a real skill,   leaving out is almost as important as what  you leave in and that's a real, real important   communication design skill that you'll need to  understand and it also shows us an ability to be   able to edit and consider your work appropriately.  Showcase your favourite work, if including film, edit   it down and include stills, obviously remember  any moving image work, film work, the longer it is,   it has a much higher rate,  size of file, so be mindful of that.   Show a collection of varied projects, we'd like  to see a variation of projects, it's important   that we see other things, only include work  you can talk about, that's really important and then show us what you love, don't assume what  we want to see, again, that's really important.   Show us what you want us to see, show us  your point of view and, again, I referred to   that earlier on about your point of view is really  important, whether that point of view be about politics   or sustainability or climate change, whatever the  sort of big issues are happening at the moment   or it may be nothing to do with those at all, it might just be your point of view of   where you live but it's important that we get  to know about you and what you're interested in. Think about format, each course has  different requirements so, you know,   please check the course pages before submitting  your portfolio and that's really, really important.  

There's a lot of information on our website,  there's a lot of information on our course pages,   and so please, you know, teams have spent a  long time putting our information there to   really help you submit an application.  Opt for what suits the subject area,   so be mindful that what course you're applying  for and maybe adapt your portfolio for that   subject area. Photograph your work in  high quality against a clear background, so again   if you're photographing your work, a plain sheet  of white paper and photograph your work,   you know, most cameras on mobile phones  now, you know, have really good quality so   don't feel when you're photographing  your work you need to get a 35 mil   single lens reflex digital camera, you  know, mobile phones are just as   good now with high-res cameras so, you  know, that's important to remember. So I'm going to talk about  submitting a digital portfolio,   which many of our courses now  have digital portfolio submissions   and do keep an eye out on our web pages in  relation to digital submissions of portfolios   over this next academic year and through the  application cycle, so follow the same rules of   a physical portfolio, that's important, follow  guidance provided in the email including the   number of images, format, and size limitations.  So when you submit an application   through UCAS, when the application  gets processed through with us,   you'll then get an email notification with  a time frame to submit a digital portfolio   and so, my advice would be to  start thinking about a digital portfolio now.   I think it's good practice to have a  digital portfolio and a physical portfolio   because you can use your digital portfolio over  and over again, so be mindful of that, but for   LCC and UAL digital portfolios,  you'll be given specific guidance on those.  

So you can submit images, audio and video,  and feel free to include hyperlinks to other   work that sits outside your portfolio.  Pebblepad is the software we use at UAL   for digital portfolios and you may want to take  a screenshot of this because this explains the   submission tool that we use, which is  called Pebblepad. Pebblepad is a software   and there's extensive support  there on how to submit a portfolio   and how to format your images for  submission within the submission tool. OK, so that sort of brings me to the end of  the presentation and we've got quite a   lot of time now to ask any questions and if you  want further information, there's a couple of   addresses there, so again I'll say it again,  please take a screenshot of this, take   a picture of this in front of you. So we've  got general enquiries, we've got accommodation,   student support, and scholarships and fees and,  you know, if you want to send an   email in, please do so. The university is open  up until the 23rd of December so it's important   that if you've got any queries, get them in and  hopefully you'll get a reply as soon as possible   and I think that's about it, thank you.

Thank you, David for such an informative session.  Guys, if you haven't had the opportunity yet,   please drop your questions for Bill and David  and we do have a few questions here in front of us   and the first question is if a student  is already a UAL student doing a foundation   with us, do they still need to provide us  with a portfolio and if needed, attend an interview?   No, you don't. Bill, do you want to  just quickly answer that because I know   it's slightly changed. - Yeah, so it slightly  changes here but if you're a UAL student,   you go through the university progression scheme  so with the university progression scheme if you   are aligned to a particular course, so if  you're doing a design based pathway now   and you want to go on to a design course at LCC, you will just go through the university   progression scheme and you will not have  to show or make up a portfolio for that.  

If you're going outside  of your specialism, you may be asked to   produce a small portfolio for us to have a look at,  so if you're a graphic designer and you was going   on to something for film practice or photography,  yes, we may ask you to make up a   small portfolio but otherwise, no, you will just  go through the university progression scheme. Thanks, Bill, thank you for the answer. Now the next  question is, is there any specific portfolio tips   for UX applicants? - OK, so User Experience  Design, it's a relatively new course and   I think in relation to, depending  on what you're currently studying   and the current work that you're undertaking,  if you're a UK student, you're probably coming   from either an extended diploma or  you're undertaking a foundation course,   so it depends on what you're doing but  if in relation to User Experience Design,   User Experience Design is about developing  experiences for users, for people who use   objects, things, so I suppose in relation  to your portfolio, it would be useful to have   workflows, so by that I mean some wireframing,  so understanding the user journey   from the start of using a particular device, to where the   experience of using that device, where the  user will end up, so that narrative of   that journey, that workflow is important and that's  quite difficult to understand.   So make that visual is really, really important  on the User Experience Design course    pages, you'll see examples of work  but also the User Experience Design course at   LCC have a a really good Instagram site so  just find them on Instagram   and you'll see work by those students but  I think when   you're putting your portfolio together, really  try and understand what user experience design   is and what it means to you as a user. We're  all users but what does it mean  to be a user and to experience a device? I  think that's what's key for that course, so don't   think you have to, you know, divise and design  the next operating system for the next iPhone,   you know, or show examples of that, it can  be something much more simpler and   also think about it doesn't need to  be necessarily a digital device, you know,   how do we use other things? How to,  maybe think about instructions, how do we, you   know, how do we instruct, IKEA is a good experience,  IKEA instructions to make furniture etc. is a   really good example of a user experience, so maybe  you want to go back to basics and think about   the user experience of how do we clean our teeth,  so maybe you want to actually just analyse that   experience, that user experience of cleaning  our teeth, so there's ways of demonstrating   your understanding of user experience design  in very simple terms, hope that's explained.

Thank you for that, if you need any  further clarification please drop us   a line. I am now slightly following up on the  UX portfolio requirements for someone who's doing   graphic design and for A level and has  no formal and sort of UX experience, can they   include their graphic work in their portfolio?  - Yeah, sure, I think that's important because   basic visual literacy in relation to  communication design is important.   I don't know what work you've produced,  I presume there's   probably posters, there's probably  a lot of branding, maybe some advertising, so   I think that's important, but as we said within  the presentation, editing is really   important, so really get advice from your  teachers and your peers about what to include   and then if you are studying graphic design  but want to apply for user experience,   take on board what I said previously   about showing some examples of user experience  design and that can be very low tech, as I said,   and a really good place to start is instructions  on how to make things. Lego is another great one,  

looking at Lego instructions is a fantastic  example of user experience design   and that, you know, if you follow those instructions  you will end up with an amazing piece of Lego,   so there's ways of understanding user  experience design not within a digital device or   a digital environment, because I think  when we think about user experiences,   we think about digital devices and it doesn't  have to be that way, OK? Thank you for the answer. The next question  is for Illustration Visual Media, would it   be relevant to incorporate one or two  paintings to display skills, with oil paints   and I suppose any other sketch work in that  relation? - Yeah, I think probably only one   oil painting, it shows a skill in the  application of that particular type of media. Oil   paint is a real skill to be able to paint in that way. Oil paint takes many, many hours or   days to dry, so it's quite a long process and also  sketch, as well your fundamental first sketches   and drawings if they relate to the painting  itself is fantastic so it shows that sort   of critical understanding of the journey  from drawings to final painting but also it's   important to show within that painting who are you  looking at? Who's your inspiration? Don't just   paint an oil painting, you need to be looking  at other artists and the designers and how   that has informed your particular style and how  you apply the paint to paper or canvas or board. Perfect, thank you very much. The next question is  for someone who is currently on a foundation  

course with UAL. Can they include work  from their course in their portfolio?   From that, yes. From their foundation course, yes,  yes, definitely, I think and again, get some advice   from your tutors and your peers, look at  the course page websites for the course you're   applying to but I think fundamentally also editing.  Editing is really important and I think what's  

key, particularly on a foundation course, there's a lot  of experimentation, there's a lot of sketchbook   work, so you may want to edit your  sketchbook, so photograph a page from your sketchbook   and use those within your portfolio  but yes, definitely include your foundation work. Lovely stuff. Next question is for the animation  course, how much prior animation experience   are applicants expected to have? Would a portfolio composed of mainly mixed media figures and   illustration work would be a disadvantage? - No, I really don't think it's a disadvantage, I think   if you're interested in animation, I  think just understanding sequences is important   and those sequences can be represented  in either a sort of comic strip format   but also there's many ways to create stop-motion  animations, there's free apps for phones,   there's a really good  one that's free called stop-motion   which is really good for the iPhone,  there's many ways to create you know GIFs as well,   really basic animated GIFs using Photoshop  or Giphy, again for the iPhone and   Android devices, so there's lots of ways to create   prototype type animations, and that's, you  know, that's all we're looking for   we're not looking for finished,  you know, we're not looking for Toy Story type   animations at all, we're looking for the passion and   that passion can be demonstrated in a  very basic animated GIF or very basic stop-motion   animation using your phone. I think what's  fundamental is that you show that journey   to that piece of animation, so it's  where your influences are, who you're looking at   and drawings. Drawing, sketches,  ideas, lists of words, however you research   and investigate a particular idea or theme,  that's really important, but no, we're not,   there's ways to create very basic  prototype type animations very simply   so don't feel they have to be, you know, what  you perceive to be good animations.   For someone who's doing A levels, would you  say it's more beneficial to do a foundation   or go and apply straight for the  course itself? A BA course, that is.  

Okay, so I suppose again, it depends on the  A Levels. I presume you're doing A Level Art, Photography or Design alongside  two other A Levels, so it surely depends on what you want to do. You can apply for both, you can apply for a  degree course and you can apply for foundation,   they are different application  processes, so you may want to do that.   At LCC, we would look at a student  who applies straight from A Levels, we do take   students from A Levels without a foundation course,  so I think, again, it's about your portfolio and   showing your passion. There's a real rigor to A Level Art or any A Level  

practical subject in relation to how you develop  your work because I know the curriculums are very   tailorable, so I know as I say, there's a rigor,  there's a process that you go through   with A Level which I think is very  rigorous and it's very good   and it sits very  well when you're submitting your portfolio.   It's very easy, I know you work very heavily in  sketchbooks etc. etc., so I would say apply   for both if you're applying for a course at  LCC. We do encourage students to   apply with A Levels, also we have students  apply without A Levels and a Foundation,   so it's entirely up to you but so I  my suggestion would be to apply for both   and just see what happens. - Can I just make  a point there, by backing up what David has just  

said, and if you apply for a foundation, you apply  directly to the institution itself or the college   itself, so you don't go through UCAS, so the whole  thing is, you'd still get your five UCAS choices   plus, as David said, you apply directly  for a foundation because some people think that   they have to apply for foundation through UCAS, you  don't, you can apply directly to an institution   so it won't affect your UCAS choices, sorry,  David. - That's OK, that's fine, thank you.   Thank you for the answer, now the next question is  moving towards what to put in your portfolio when   showing one's work. In a portfolio, what  do you want to see when annotating or   explaining the pieces of work in the portfolio?  - Well, ultimately, you know, your work should   speak for itself but sometimes I think we all  probably agree that sometimes where you need to   annotate your work in some ways, to put  a clearer explanation into what the   work is about, so I would suggest that just,  you know, we're not looking for an essay,   just a few lines to describe the journey  that's being made. So where was the starting  

point for this project or this piece of work,  who you were looking at, what artists, designers?   What experiences you had to, again, to develop this  work and then maybe just some some a little bit   of narrative about the outcome. Did it work? If  it didn't work, why didn't it work? And just,   you know, who are you making it for?  I think that's quite key in relation to   the areas that you're applying to,  if you're applying to Communication   Design, Graphic Design, any sort of  subject area that is advertising, branding,   you all very rarely make the work for  yourself and that's very different to   probably your previous experience when you're painting for yourself, you're creating   art for yourself, so I think there needs  to be some sort of understanding and realisation   that the work that you're making, it has to have  an audience, so who is that audience? Who are you   talking to? What do you want to communicate?  These are real fundamental things   in relation to the subjects that  we're talking about this afternoon.   Audience is really key, so I think that's  really important, so you write about that. So you   may have done some surveys to test out your  poster and the particular typeface on that poster,   so those sort of things are important in  the narrative to go along with the work. Lovely stuff. The next question is how  

many observational drawings should one  include for Illustration and Visual Media? How long is a piece of string? Well you'll  be given an amount of   work you can submit for the digital portfolio for  that particular course. LCC, Bill, forgive me I've   forgotten how many pages they can submit? - Well, the PDFs look up to about 20.   20 PDFs, so 20 different pages but what we normally  suggest is things like still life or life drawing   probably we put no more than two to four maximum  pieces in so we can see that you've taken part in   life drawing or still life classes but you  don't have to put them in because a lot of the   time you're doing like a 30 second sketch or a  10 second schedule, sketch with your left hand,   we don't need to see all of those, so as David said  earlier on, editing is a real massive part of your   portfolio, so actually if you could get, I don't  know, I would say no more than four, if you've got   a couple of really nice still lifes, put them on  the same PDF and then you've taken one page up,   but as David earlier on explained, keep a  nice space between them so we can see your   techniques. They speak for themselves and  I would suggest no more than four though. Thank you very much, just to flag,  Pebblepad doesn't accept PDF format,  so if you are considering submitting more than one  piece of work on one page, use Photoshop or   InDesign pages and that should allow you to  put more than one piece of work. The next  

question is how many pages can I submit for  my digital sketchbook at maximum?   Again, I think Bill's referred to that really, I   think if you've got a sketchbook, I think,  you know, we've received portfolios in   the past where someone's photographed each page  of their sketchbook and laid it out in InDesign,   so they're quite small pages when we view them  on screen but because we can enlarge the screen   we can focus in on the images, so we can  actually, so we can view, so you can in fact get   quite a few images within a given slide on  Pebblepad so, you know, it's, again, I   think it's about telling that journey, that story,  so if you're thinking about your portfolio and   how to put a portfolio together, I would suggest  that you have no more than maybe two complete   projects from beginning to end but then the rest  of the time you can put in bits of other   projects that you think are really successful  for various reasons but it's how you   tell that, show that journey and sketchbooks are  important because they're those initial ideas   but again it's how you tell that journey  around a project that's important for us.   Would applying for two different  BA courses at UAL across colleges   may affect one's application or consideration?  No, we have students who   who use all their five choices and applied to  five different courses across UAL. At UAL   we look at your application individually  for that particular course, that particular   application, so no we don't prejudice or  have any other issues around you applying   for various courses at UAL. In some circumstances  the situation is that, you know, we want you to reach your potential within a given course, so  you may have applied for   Graphic Media Design at LCC, and you may have  applied for Art Direction at LCC, Bill, and myself   actually can view all the applications you've  made and we may look at your portfolio, decide that   Art Direction at LCC is probably better for  you than Graphic Media Design, so even though   you apply for both courses, sometimes you may  get an offer for only one of those courses   but sometimes you may get an offer for both  courses and you need to decide, so that's a   slightly complicated answer but  please rest assured that we will not prejudice   your application at all if you apply for more than  one course within UAL or within a college at UAL. Thank you for the answer, and now I'm moving on  to our last question. Considering everything  

you've just spoken about and the presentation  and when answering the questions, what is the   one piece of advice would you give to anyone  preparing a portfolio when applying to LCC?   Oh gosh, Bill, do you want to go first before  then I'll come in after? - I'll go first, I think   one of the most important things that  I look at is this is our window into your world   and the way you work and the way you want to work,  so make sure the portfolio is a piece of you,   is you in that portfolio, how you work, what you  want to work on and how you work, so I think   your personality really does need to be in that  portfolio of work because we want different   personalities, we want different sort of diverse  people coming onto all of our courses at LCC and   across UAL, so personally make sure that you are in  that portfolio and your personality comes through.   I think that's very important for me, David? - Yeah, I agree with that, I think also what's   key for me, please get advice on your portfolio,  I think that's really, really important because   we all experience this in that it is quite  difficult sometimes to stand back from our work   because we are very close to it when  we're making our work,  we are very close to it, so I think getting  advice from your teachers, your peers,   and that's really important because  sometimes we'll put work in our portfolio   that sometimes shouldn't really be  there and it says the wrong things   so I think that's really important and as Bill  said, that journey is really, really important and   for me probably one of the most important things  is having some sort of critical understanding   about where your work sits alongside other  work because we're all influenced by other   things around us and i think it's important to  demonstrate that in your research, show us   your influences, who you're looking at, who are you  reading, what are you watching, who you're listening   to those things are really, really important and  again it, as Bill said, it tells us more about you   having demonstrated those things in your  portfolio and that's really, really important. - Yeah,   completely agree. - I'd like to thank everyone,  good luck with your application, wherever   you're going to apply to, it's been a difficult  year and so, you know, really, really look after   yourself and good luck, thank you. - And I endorse that good luck and stay safe.

2020-12-28 08:49

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