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BA (Hons) Computer Animation Arts graduate Sian Warren works alongside artists from all over the world as a graduate artist at Industrial Light & Magic (ILM).

ILM was founded by George Lucas and has created the visual effects for blockbusters including Avengers: Endgame and the Harry Potter film series. 

BU graduate Sian Warren

"My current job role allows me to work with artists from all over the world, on big projects that fuel my passion, creativity and is a great learning experience to work to my strengths," said Sian, who has just finished her studies at BU and will graduate in November. 

While in her final year at BU, Sian built her portfolio and worked on a range of projects. This included a collaboration with Dr Stuart Sumida - a Professor of Biology who advises top studios on animal anatomy in animation - on ‘Patterns’ using ZBrush.

With interpolation and extrapolation techniques alongside scientific data, Sian reconstructed an extinct group of mammal-like reptiles called Pelycosaurs. This formed a hypothesis generator for the plausible intermediate species, filling gaps within our current knowledge for use by students, artists and palaeontologists.

Their work will be published at the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology’s annual conference. 

Focusing on Modelling as a specific technique enabled Sian to build an extensive portfolio of creatures and hard-surface assets to showcase to a wide range of companies.

She said: "Having a specialist showreel instead of a wide range of pipeline roles gave me the opportunity to build up experience within my discipline rather than lacking clarity in the job role I was applying for." 

Sian also made the most of the networking opportunities as part of the BFX Festival - Bournemouth's annual visual effects, animation and games festival. 

Networking events, talks and masterclasses enabled Sian to build up contacts and to learn about different job opportunities available in a variety of companies across the industry. 

She said: "BFX is a fantastic added bonus to build and improve networking and learn from professionals by taking part in masterclasses and breakdown talks on major films like Marvel, Star Wars and Alien, to get you inspired to push your skills and understanding."

Sian's top tip for students who want to get ahead in the industry is to try everything. 

"You never know what you may love or enjoy, and it is all about learning." 

Find out more about Computer Animation, Games and Visual Effects courses at Bournemouth University.