New training centre breathes True Life into animation industry

Digital design production house, True Life Creations, has been awarded a $1 million Federal Grant to construct a global training centre for 3D animation in Adelaide.

The total project is estimated to cost $13 million and is expected to create 46 new jobs ranging from animators and visual effects specialists to teachers and support staff.

The new facility will operate in conjunction with True Life Creations' Multimedia Animation and Design (MAD) academy, its existing production studios and its research and development arm.

"There's nothing else like this in Australia because essentially we are three design businesses in one," said MAD director of training, Sam Papas. "There's a synergy between all three elements of our business. Students and teachers alike are encouraged to participate in the other areas [of the centre]."

One of the major outcomes of the new development will be the employment of more staff and employment opportunities for graduates, Papas said. True Life Creations offers traineeships through its production quarters and through affiliated production houses such as Animal Logic, Plastic Wax, Promotion Studios, Rising Sun, Monkey Lab, Evolve Studios and network television stations.

Papas said the new training facilities would help expand the centre's capacity to train would-be animators and to help the centre evolve its courses to match trends in the industry.

Although a typical long course runs for only four months, Papas said the combination of onsite experience through True Life's production facilities and the act of simulating real-world situations helps prepare students for employment.

"Job prospects have always been good for this area in Australia, what's been lacking is good talent but we're here to address that," he said. "In the past, courses have taught students a little about a lot but that leaves graduates without in-depth specified knowledge. Our courses are more specified to help graduates get jobs."

Papas said that ninety percent of graduates go on to find employment in creative industries such as gaming development, film animation and architectural design. Of these; 15 to 20 percent are in the games/film/broadcast area, 30 to 40 percent are in architectural design and the rest is broken up among independent design and advertising studios.

The government funding was part of a $50 million Structural Adjustment Fund for South Australia, aimed to create sustainable employment and to assist businesses, both domestic and international, to invest in Adelaide.

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Mitchell Bingemann

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