Another shot to reach N.E.mation! top

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25Feb2018_02622
25 Feb 2018 | COMMUNITY
Melayu 华文

Another shot to reach N.E.mation! top

// STORY Thrina Tham
// PHOTOS Tan Yong Quan

English Melayu

As it turned out, fourth time was the charm for the 19-year-old. His story idea went to clinch the top prize in the new Youth Crowdsource category at this year's N.E.mation!, an annual inter-school digital animation competition with a focus on Total Defence (TD).

Under this new category, individuals aged 17 to 35 are invited to submit story ideas. The top 10 ideas are then developed into animation clips by students from Nanyang Polytechnic's (NYP's) School of Interactive & Digital Media and ITE College Central's School of Design and Media.

The winning teams were announced at an awards ceremony held at Singapore Discovery Centre on 25 Feb.

Team Nacho Cheese from NYP picked up Mr Lim's idea and developed it into their winning animation titled "String of Singapore".

In the clip, a messy ball of string unravels to tell a story of how the nation has overcome past challenges such as racial riots and the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak.

The idea was conceived three years ago, when Mr Lim watched a kitten play with a ball of yarn - he then thought that the seemingly endless string could represent Singapore's continuous timeline.

"So (this time) I strengthened my story line based on (my) past experience (from the competition) and I improved it with more specific details," he said.

Working a crowdsourced idea helped team Nacho Cheese save time and focus on producing the animation, said team member Tan Chuan Jee.

The team spent a whole month of their semester break working on their animation clip. "We went through a lot of tries, drawing the same characters in different styles and showing our work to our lecturers for feedback," said Mr Tan, 18.

Finally, they settled for a simple style, reminiscent of a child's drawing. Said the year-two student: "In a way we kind of fell in love (with our characters) because of how cute they are it brought us back to our childhood days."

For the Student category champion, team Cedar3, perseverance was their winning secret.

The team from Cedar Girls' Secondary School had previously taken part twice in N.E.mation!. The closest they got to winning was first runner-up last year.

"What really led us to keep coming back were the enriching experiences that we had here," said Kayla Yong.

"We learnt about perseverance: No matter what kind of troubles or difficulties we faced during production, we would just push through," said the 16-year-old.

Their video, titled "It's in your hands", uses the recurring symbol of hands to represent how every simple act can play a part in TD.

The team used stop-motion techniques to animate the "hands", which they constructed from sturdy yet malleable aluminium foil.

Senior Minister of State for Communications & Information and Education, Dr Janil Puthucheary commended winners and finalists of N.E.mation! for their high quality of work.

Speaking at the award ceremony, he also urged the youth to use their technical skills to a make difference to TD.

He said: "Technological advancements, has really significantly impacted what your generation can do."

"For instance, (imagine) what you can do with your start-ups, your ideas, your technology, your disruptions, when it comes to (contributing) to economic defence (one of the five pillars of TD)."

The champion teams are looking forward to visiting renowned animation studios in Japan, which is the highlight of their prize.

"When we see movies on the big screen, we wonder how they did it," said Kayla. "Since we are able to go there and see firsthand, it's a really good learning experience for us and a chance that not many people have."

The competition series is organised by Nexus, the central coordinating agency for National Education. To watch the clips, visit the official https://www.nemation.sg website.

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