Big Game cracks 100 000 views in under two days



2013 is quickly rolling to a close, and that means many things. On one hand, we have to say goodbye to a fantastic group of young adults whom we have seen grow not only in skill and ability, but also as people, over what we’re sure most of our students would call a challenging, but rewarding, three years.

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TAS third years deliver the goods


Our third year students have finally completed and submitted their final short films. To say we’re impressed with the results is an understatement! We’re incredibly proud of all the late nights and hard work that went into each and every short and we’re very proud to be able to share them with you here.

The Return

A man breaks into a library to return an overdue book at night in order to avoid the creepy old librarian who is in love with him.

The Element

In a post-apocalyptic world, two humans go on a journey of discovery to find the source of life. In a parallel story two elemental guardians are locked in a power struggle, one bent on destruction and the other fighting to maintain the last traces of life. As the battle intensifies, the people are getting closer to their final destination, unaware of what they will find. In a final surge of power and desperation, the guardians lunge towards the element of life. At this moment the humans burst in on the scene to witness the final outcome of this life-changing battle.

Electric Love

A lonely junk yard robot pursues his attraction to a female vacuum cleaner, as he tries to impress her.


Consumed in technology, a man re-discovers himself through an unexpected journey.

Big Game

Bobo, a lonely monster, is set to spend another birthday alone, until a cunning monster hunter throws him a killer surprise party.


In a world where order suppresses independent thought, a young girl uses her creativity to break free from the oppressive societal system.


Tim is a recluse who sees the outside world as a frightening place, he wakes up one morning to discover that he has run out of milk and he now has to leave his home and face his biggest fears.

Khumba tops box office

Khumba tops box office

Animated feature film Khumba, made by Cape Town’s Triggerfish Animation Studios — home to many alumni of The Animation School, was the best performer at the South African box office when it opened on the last weekend in October, raking in over R1,7m in ticket sales.

Triggerfish was founded in 1996 as a boutique stop-frame animation studio and initially made its name creating commercials. Today it’s one of South Africa’s largest animation studios, home to some of the best animators in the country, and one of the inspiring local companies that demonstrate just how far local animators can go.

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“The Animation School Announces Johannesburg Campus” – Art South Africa


Taken from Art South Africa, 22 July, 2013. Read original

Cape Town based specialist animation training institution, The Animation School, has formally announced the introduction of a fully equipped Johannesburg campus in response to significant student demand.

The campus, which is now receiving applications, will commence operations in January 2014 by taking in its first class of new students. Although the facility is expected to offer a three year undergraduate Diploma in Animation, post graduate studies will be included as the Johannesburg site expands.

Located on 181 Jan Smuts Avenue, Rosebank, the Animation School Johannesburg is centrally situated for students residing throughout the city.

Established in 2000, The Animation School is one of South Africa’s only formally accredited animation and visual effects training centres. Recognised as a leading global institution, TAS issues its graduates with Diploma in Animation and Visual Effects governed by an industry wide education body.

Close partnerships with major industry players such as Gobelins l’ecole de l’image (school of imagery) – the prestigous Paris based school in animation and visual arts is widely regarded for its student work and ability to produce world class animators. On the local front Triggerfish – the Cape Town based animation studio responsible for the feature films Adventures in Zambezia and Khumba, also offer students exciting opportunities for growth following their studies.

“When we established The Animation School in 2000 we did not expect it to take off in the way that it has. In many ways, the introduction of our Johannesburg campus is the realisation of a long term goal for us and signifies that the South African animation industry is growing rapidly” comments Nuno Martins, Principal and co-founder of The Animation School.

“We are extremely excited to bring The Animation School to Johanneburg and have already begun receiving applications from a number of talented prospective animators based in Gauteng”.

Prospective students eager to learn more about The Animation School Johannesburg and its offerings are encouraged to attend one of several evening presentations, hosted by Martins in October and November 2013.

TAS student interviewed by GirlGuides


Last week one of our final year students, Sarah Scrimgeour, was interviewed by GirlGuides. Check out what she had to say about studying at The Animation School.

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The Animation School featured on


In case you missed it, one of SA’s largest video games news websites,, recently featured The Animation School in an article.

In the article, The Animation School’s principal Nuno Martins talks about animation in relation to games development, check it out!

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SA Job Market for Animation Graduates Opens Up


Head of the The Animation School, Nuno Martins, was quoted in the CapeTime, 17 Jan 2013

Students of The Animation School Win Big in New York Festival

Students of The Animation School Win Big in New York Festival

We are proud to announce that The New York Festivals International Television & Film Awards has rewarded graduates of The Animation School the 2011 GOLD WORLD MEDAL, recognizing their entry “In Sickness” as the world’s best in the Short Animation Film category.

This is the acceptance speech by Benito Kok and Ian van Heerden.

The Animation School Wins at the ASA Student Competition

The Animation School Wins at the ASA Student Competition

Animation South Africa had its first ever Student Competition Viewing on Saturday, 4 February at The Bioscope Independent cinema in Johannesburg. The National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) sponsored the event and the 1st prize is a trip to the world’s biggest animation festival in Annecy, France later this year.

Other prizes included internships, online courses and book prizes contributed by supportive industry players. The aim of the competition is to motivate local schools and in so doing raise the overall standard of animation locally.

The competition was open to all students who are currently registered at a South African animation school, including universities, technical colleges and private tertiary institutions. This year’s eligible schools excluded online courses such as Animation Mentor, but this will most likely be amended next year.

According to Animation SA the competition aims to create an open dialogue between the South African animation industry and the animation educational institutions. Further it hopes to inform students about the local animation industry, their opportunities for employment, and the expectations of potential employers.

The competition was initiated to decrease the gap between the needs of the industry and the skills of graduates and to give exceptional students the motivation and tools to further their skills and careers. Other goals are to create an awareness of local animation overseas and to create public interest in the South African animation at home.

David Hecker, formerly an animation educator at Learn2 and now with Sunrise was one of the judging team. “The judges were very impressed not only by the overall quality of the work entered, but also the diversity of the stories being told. There were a number of pieces that absolutely blew us away in terms of their concept and execution and we were thrilled to see that there was a general understanding of what it takes to make an animated short without relying on stale jokes and half-baked stories”.

“Some of the categories were hotly contested and warranted some lengthy discussion. The general standard of entries was quite good and we all feel that there is some really good talent about to hit the market”.

Shannan Taylor from Monster Studios in Johannesburg also commented on the challenging task of selecting the winner: “It was very inspiring to see that the standard of work submitted for this competition was on such a  level  that our local  animation studios  may have to reconsider  what is required from  entry level  animators!  I would really like to reinforce that as much as  one can predict the words; ‘it was a very close call’… and  ‘there can only be one winner’!”

“I honestly believe there should have  been at least  five  seats on that plane to Annecy!  … Well done to everyone who put in so much of their ‘life  time’ into their submissions ~ keep it up ~ the studios are watching you!”

Winner Jeanelize de Nys from The Animation School with ASA Co-Chair David Whitehouse

1. Short Film

Winner of the grand prize: Jeanelize de Nys (The Animation School)

2nd : Ian van Heerden (The Animation School)

3rd: Kevin Van Der Oever  (Open Window)


2. Character Animation

Winner: Jeanelize de Nys (The Animation School)

2nd: Louis Rossow  (Touch Vision training)

3rd:: Annike Pienaar (Open Window)


3. Outstanding Technical Achievement

Winner by default: Shane Marks (The Animation School)


4. Production Design

Winner: Kevin Van Der Oever (Open Window)

Paul Lombard (The Animation School)

Thapelo Keetile (University of Johannesburg)


5. Best Visual Execution

Winner: Kevin Van Der Oever (Open Window)

2nd: Dumisani Masilela (Touch Vision Training)

3rd: Shane Marks (The Animation School)


No award was given for artistic achievement, due to a lack of entries in alternative mediums.

5 Minutes with… Friedl Jooste

5 Minutes with… Friedl Jooste
Today we are privileged to have a interview with Friedl Jooste who was at Character Matters for many years and is now working in Canada as a 3d Animator.

5 MINUTES WITH … Friedl Jooste


1. Tell us about yourself – who are you and what do you do?

I am a 3D animator with a passion for anything to do with story or animation.

Since completing my studies at UCAA (now known as The Animation School) I have worked in the 3D animation industry for going on eight years. I have worked in pretty much every aspect of 3D animation, but it became clear to me early on that I enjoyed character animation the most and I also recently started looking more into directing for animation. I worked on various commercials and a few pilot episodes for TV series and then moved on to work as an animator on The Lion of Judah feature film.

After that I got promoted to head of animation at Character Matters animation studios where I stayed for about four years. In that time I worked on a lot of projects from commercials to TV series. I also wrote and directed a pilot episode for a TV series called Gijima, and a short story called Hooked. I then received the opportunity to go and work at Modus FX in Canada where I am now.

I am someone with a lot of big dreams but I’m also realistic enough to know that none of your dreams come true without a lot of hard work, late nights, a supportive wife and strong, strong coffee. I love what I do. If I am not animating, I am writing short stories. I have recently begun pursuing a passion for photography and I am constantly trying to learn more about everything animation or film.

2. What are you currently up to? Are there any exciting projects ongoing?

I am currently working on a documentary at Modus FX, but there are also some pretty exciting VFX movies coming up soon to work on, but for now that is all I can say.

3. Who or what inspires you?

I love watching the old Disney films and Warner Bros cartoons for inspiration. It’s also not entirely abnormal for me to sit and skip through some of my favorite Pixar animated shots frame by frame to see how it was done.
As far as style goes in any art form, I love stylized, simplistic, realistic, cartoony, etc. If it is done well, I love it. My favorite piece of animation ever is probably the first time Gepetto makes Pinocchio walk. I think it was an absolutely brilliant piece of work by Frank Thomas.

4. What’s your best project/work to date?

That’s a tough one, I’m always thinking back at my work and thinking that I could do better, but I can say that my most enjoyable experience on projects were:

The Lion of Judah movie gave me my first opportunity to learn animation tricks from some guys who have worked at Dreamworks and Disney. And the team became like another family to me.

Hooked was a short film I wrote and directed for Character Matters. I enjoyed every moment of it and it sparked my passion for directing. It has since been playing at film festivals around the world. It was featured in the June 2011 issue of the 3D World magazine, and it will also feature at the Toronto International film festival.

Sarila the movie was the first time I was surrounded by international animators and had loads more opportunity to learn something new every day.

5. Anthing new going on? Or in the pipeline?

I am at the moment just working as hard as I can, and trying to get as much experience as I can. There are a whole bunch of awesome projects in the pipeline, but nothing I’m allowed to talk about yet. I’m also busy writing a new short story which I very much hope to complete soon.

6. When you’re not working, what do you like to do?

I like to spend as much time with my wife as possible. We are in a country which we have barely begun to explore, so there is still lots to see, and a lot of pictures to take. I like a good book, and a good movie always rounds a day off nicely.

7. Finally, what tips or advice could you give to other creatives, just starting out or to the more experienced creatives needing a bit of encouragement?

Never stop learning. In animation there is always more to learn, and I am pretty sure that this is the case with all art forms.

Take advice from everyone, and learn quickly how to take it well. You will get good advice, and bad advice, learn how to discern between the two, but always show appreciation for both.

Make sure you put your pride aside. If you work in a creative industry, and you are surrounded by other creative people, opinions will differ, and we as creative people tend to have a lot of them!

Work hard. Be constantly on the lookout at what other people in your industry are doing and what are the bench marks that are being set. Don’t get left behind. Even if you think you are good and you don’t need to practice any more, there is someone out there working very hard and will overtake you. Hmm, I guess I really did learn something from The Tortoise and the hare.

This interview was originally posted on

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