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How to adapt teaching strategies to student needs and how to cultivate their skills.

Interviewed Professor Shei-Hsi Chang, Department of Information & Communication, Kun Shan University, Taiwan

Kun Shan University

Location/Country:
Taiwan

Software adopted from Reallusion:
iClone

Course name:
3D Animation

Core teacher name:
Professor Shei-Hsi Chang

 

The aim of Kun Shan University Department of Information and Communication is to help students cultivate their skills in information technology and integration capability. Students need to learn:

  1. The use of multi-media and information technology
  2. Applying new media and artistic creativity
  3. Using digital tools and applying them to communication
  4. Project planning and integrating digital content

The aim of Kun Shan University Department of Information and Communication is to help students cultivate their skills in information technology and integration capability. Students need to learn:

  1. The use of multi-media and information technology
  2. Applying new media and artistic creativity
  3. Using digital tools and applying them to communication
  4. Project planning and integrating digital content

The Department of Information and Communication inspires and motivates its students with step-by-step learning in relevant fields. The department made tremendous progress in regards to student ability and experience with software in order to help them in their careers. In a supportive environment, students are more likely to succeed in various contests such as ASIAGRAPH

Importance of learning multiple skills and practicing application software

Today, digital development is a booming trend. The digital technology and knowledge industries require key skills that universities try to cultivate in their students. In following with this trend, Kun Shan University also emphasizes teaching students multiple skills relevant to these industries. The department tries to develop students holistically by exposing them to a wide spectrum of course subjects and nurturing skills and abilities related to the information technology and multimedia industries. Trained students are able to succeed in the continually changing work environment thanks to skills that they have learned at Kun Shan University.

Giving students experience with various multimedia production software is one of the most important and distinguishing features of the department. Professor Shei-Hsi Chang, head of the department, chose 3D software iClone from Reallusion for the 3D animation course. By using iClone, students with different backgrounds have the ability to produce creative and interesting stories using a 3D medium without even needing a background in animation or 3D software. Students start from learning scriptwriting and storyboarding in order to help with certain aspects of production with iClone such as camerawork and lighting.

Student progress is swift and apparent while using iClone. They are able to easily grasp the basic concepts of animation production, and produce their own stories as a part of their learning process.

Students often experience difficulty while using more advanced animation software such as Maya or 3ds MAX, particularly those who do not have related backgrounds and never learned 3D animation software. The advantages of iClone fulfill the needs of this type of student. Those who have learned the basic techniques of animation and design can import their own characters, scenes and props dedicated to the story from other software to iClone. The advantages of iClone are varied, including an easy-to-use interface, intuitive animation tools, and extensive customization options for scenes and characters. As a result, we chose iClone for our 3D animation course not only to help students with different levels and backgrounds but also to help them achieve the goal of producing their story with the minimum amount of frustration.

Team Work in the ASIAGRAPH Competition

Aside from practicing in class, Professor Chang also encouraged students to attend both domestic and international animation contests. Students learned how to help each other and work in groups by attending these contests. Students of the department received awards at both ASIAGRAPH 2013 and 2014. In these competitions, students also learned about working under pressure and were able to hone their communication skills with others, two very important aspects to experience from the working world.

Professor Chang also indicated that the achievements seniors made in these two years also motivated juniors and encouraged them to seek further challenges.

The Opportunities and Challenges for Vocational High School Development

To the Department of Data Processing and Information System, CrazyTalk Animator is a suitable piece of animation software. Since students are already familiar with Flash, it is quite easy for them to get the hang of CrazyTalk Animator. Concepts such as timeline and components are just two examples of elements these two pieces of software have in common.

For the Department of Design, iClone is a better option when compared to CrazyTalk Animator. They enjoy using iClone to quickly produce and display their creative ideas. Students are able to do both basic and advances camerawork and lighting within iClone in addition to importing their own characters into the software.

With step by step learning, the department helped students to understand the concepts of making animations as well as applying and checking the results quickly. Students can also customize every part of their animation by using advanced functions and were able to gain a satisfying sense of achievement.