N.E.Mation 8 Kicks Off with a Blast! Show some love for the Finalists!

Image taken from nemation.sg

Spare a couple of minutes to check out these cool animated videos from N.E.Mation 7:

Can you believe that they were created from scratch by students as young as 14 years old? Not to mention they had to complete the videos within the short span of 3 weeks! I really take my hat off to these kids. When I was 14, I was still playing with my ninja turtle and power rangers action figures. [Yes, I have a verrrryy long childhood]

What is N.E.Mation you ask?

N.E.mation! is a digital animation competition organised by Nexus for youths to express their thoughts on Total Defence. With more than 9,900 students participating since its inception in 2007, N.E.Mation is now into its 8th year. With some guidance from teachers and instructors, students with no prior experience in animation have been able to produce clips of broadcast quality to screen on free-to-air television. Some of these clips were even selected for international animation festivals and won several awards!

Image courtesy of nemation.sg

This year, 100 shortlisted teams of students had the opportunity to attend a 1 day training workshop and pitch their story ideas to a panel of judges. 40 of these teams where then selected to undergo a story clinic to improve on their storyboard and pitch their improved ideas to the judges.

The selected teams are then cut down by half to 20 teams, and these teams got to attend an animation and story-boarding workshop. And finally, after another round of pitching, the top 10 finalist teams get to produce their very own animation clips with training and mentorship by Animagine.

So without further ado, let me introduce our top 10 finalists for this year's N.E.Mation 8! Congratulations to all 10 teams for making it this far!

Image courtesy of N.E.Mation! facebook page

This year, students were asked to use their creativity to produce storylines centred on the theme of “Because You Played A Part”. The animation clips produced by the top 10 finalist teams will be judged by a panel comprising industry professionals such as Melvin Tan (Senior Animator, Blue Sky Studios). In addition, the public can vote for their three favourite clips come January 2014 at www.nemation.sg, Facebook or via SMS. And guess what? The winning team will win a coveted trip to visit a renowned animation studio in the USA!

The N.E.Mation 8 Blogger Ambassadors

This year, 5 bloggers were selected to be the online ambassadors of 2 finalist teams each, and apparently I was selected as one of them! The 5 Blogger Ambassadors are: [by alphabetical order] Karen, Mint, Sarah and Yingzi. Remember to check out their blogs for updates on their teams and support your favourite teams too!

On Wednesday evening after work, I went down to Nanyang Polytechnic to check out how my teams were doing. Oh, in case you didn't know, all the 10 teams would be calling Nanyang Polytechnic's NYP Lounge their second home for the coming 3 weeks. Each team has a little tent [okay, not really THAT little] set up in the Lounge where they will be working from 9am to latest 9pm everyday for the coming 3 weeks to get their animations ready for the final voting, which consists of 50% public voting and 50% judges vote.

I arrived at Nanyang Poly's Lounge and right in front of the main doors was a N.E.Mation! 8 backdrop. Well, of course I had to take a photo with the backdrop!

And the first thing that I saw when I walked into the Lounge was this...

Woah! Poor teddy bear looked like he literally lost an arm and a leg during some violent war. [A Tug-Of-War maybe?] Oh, and that's the most expensive tissue I've ever seen in my life. $5.55 for 1 piece of tissue paper! I was kinda broke at that time, so I didn't have enough to buy a tissue from him, but I still gave him a small donation. [hey, it's the thought that counts right?]

On one of the walls at the side of the entrance, I spotted our top 10 teams! Can you guess which 2 teams have the honour [more like tragedy] of bearing with my nonsense as their ambassador?

Here's another shot of all the top 10 finalists

NE8C10: Team Wayne Stark Co

The first team to be introduced to me was team Wayne Stark Co.

From left to right: Tabatha, Jee, Megan and Gillian

This bunch of bubbly girls from Methodist Girls' School seemed shy when I was first introduced to them, but it only took them a short while to warm up to me, and from then on, they were all laughter and giggles.

Tabatha [we shall call her Tab from now] is crazy over anime, and goes ga-ga every time her favourite anime characters appear on the desktop wallpaper of their laptops.

Jee is in love with anime and space. She even has her own space suit! Wow!

Megan [whom everyone pointed to when I ask who was the leader] was the one who was never short of words, and also the one who came up with the team name.

Gillian [Gill] was deemed to be the best at drawing [by the rest of the team]

See girls! I told you I would get your names right by the next time we met!

The thought processes of these girls are so "all over the place" [in a good way], just like little bouncy balls bouncing all over the place! And this results in them always saying the most random and funny stuff! Check out their self-introduction on their blog and you will know what I mean.

Anyway, after they managed to calmed down [a little], they walked me through their storyboard and programs that they were using to create the animation. They even let me disfigure play around with the face of one of their animated characters!

These girls are so talented at drawing cartoon figures! I can't even draw a proper circle on a piece of paper, but these girls can come up with cute little cartoon humans that can move and interact with each other!

They were so good that they even agreed to draw a sketch of me with the group! So pro right! And do you know what the best part was? They completed the sketch in less than 5 minutes! And here is their masterpiece:

Can you guess which one is me?

Okay, so this masterpiece may not have been their best work of art, but I can assure you, the actual animated cartoons in their animation are really good!

Also, they even tried to bribe me offered me a drink from the mini-fridge that had drinks to keep our finalists hydrated and energized! Oh, and this piece of paper was stuck on the door of the fridge:

Notice the fun fact at the bottom!

However, the girls and I were out to prove the fun fact wrong!! Cheers to Wayne Stark Co and Milo!

So remember to give your support to this bunch of bubbly girls by liking their team on the facebook app: https://www.facebook.com/nemation/app_173234789528248

Also, follow their antics on their official twitter acount: @WayneStarkCo_ [With the underscore! They had their first account @WayneStarkCo removed, and did not want to tell me the reason why!]

And remember to share the love with their team hashtags #NE8C10 and #WayneStarkCo on twitter and instagram!

NE8C04: Team Hashtag

The next team introduced to me was a group of cool boys from the School of Science and Technology, Singapore. [SST]

From left to right: Me, Matthew, Joshua, Ryan, Ben, and Alvin [their quirky instructor]

The boys from SST also took part in the N.E.Mation! 7 competition last year, but only managed to get to the top 20. However, this year they have successfully made it to the final 10! Good job guys!

Just by chatting with the boys over a few minutes, I could already tell that they where a bunch of fun-loving guys. Almost every other sentence was a joke or something funny/lame/lame-funny/funny-lame [are those even real words?] that would result in the whole group of us laughing at the top of our lungs. Don't believe me? Check out their blog entry on Meditation.

Image courtesy of nemation.sg

However, behind all the fun and games, you could also tell that the team worked like a well-oiled machine. Ben and Matthew were like the eyes and ears of the team, while Joshua and Ryan where the arms and legs of the team.

This year, team Hashtag will be one of the two finalist teams that will be incorporating LIVE action sequences into their animations! This means that there is going to be some real humans interacting with animated objects in their final product! And because you need LIVE people to do LIVE recording, there was a cool blue screen set up at 1 section of the production area for them to do their recording!

Image courtesy of N.E.mation! 8 facebook page

Wait, don't they normally use a green screen for this type of recording? Wondering why their screen is blue in colour instead of the normal green screen? Stay tuned for my next post to find out!

Anyway, they kept saying that their team was considered to be one of the teams that had it easier than others because they required less work on animation as compared to the other teams. Well, if you ask me, having to manually step through 1000+ frames of combined live recording and animation and do the minor adjustments is no simple feat at all.

Along with the help and guidance of their instructor, Alvin, I'm sure they will be able to come up with something amazing.

Oh, and did you spot their mascot yet? If not, go back and take a closer look at the photos above! If you look hard enough, [actually, you don't really need to look that hard] you would notice a cute little green dinosaur in most of their photos. And his name is called Substitute! This cute little green dinosaur was named after the pokemon skill of the same name.

Image courtesy of nemation.sg

Don't be fooled by his cutesy persona and tiny size. He has a huge heart of passion and is a fierce competitor when it comes to supporting his team!

Remember to support team HashTag by liking them on the N.E.mation! 8 facebook app!

Also, stalk them on their twitter account @TeamHashTag_NE and especially their instagram account hashtagNE8, as they always have lots of fun and interesting photos and videos uploaded there!

Share the love with team hashtag's team hashtag: #NE8c04 and #HashTag on twitter and instagram!

Stay tuned next week for more updates on these hardworking kids' progress as well as a sneak peak into their production and animations!

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