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Former UWTSD Swansea College of Art student in the film spotlight

A former UWTSD Swansea College of Art student, Ryan Morgan, has been making waves in the filmmaking industry.

Ryan, formerly of Coleg Gwent, Crosskeys, has had a successful career since graduating in 2011 with a BA in Computer Animation.  After gaining his degree from UWTSD’s Swansea College of Art, Ryan began to work for the Moving Picture Company as a Modelling and Texturing Technical Director in London.  He then moved to Method Studios in Vancouver where he worked as a Senior Modeller.  Recently, he’s been appointed as a Build Technical Director by Double Negative, one of the world’s leading visual effects and animation companies.

During his career so far Ryan has had the opportunity to work on many big productions including Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War and Men in Black International which will be released later in 2019. In 2018, Ryan also worked on Netflix’s festive hit, The Christmas Chronicles which is an  American Christmas film starring Kurt Russell.

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The film, which was released in November 2018, attracted 20 million downloads during its first week.  Responding to the film’s success, Ryan Morgan said:

“I was a Senior Modelling Technical Director on The Christmas Chronicles which has been a huge hit over the Christmas period.  My tasks involved modelling some of the Reindeer, Elves and Digital Doubles of Santa and the main characters Teddy and Kate.  I also made a variety of facial blend shapes for the various assets.  It was a fantastic experience and I was very pleased with the final output.

“This past year, I’ve also had the pleasure to work on Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War, Men in Black International and a few other movies which will be released later in 2019.

“Since The Christmas Chronicles, I’ve now moved to work in Vancouver with Double Negative and I’m very excited to be working for such a world-renowned company in the field of film animation.”

At university Ryan studied all aspects of conceptual design, modelling and animating.  On his time at UWTSD’s Swansea College of Art, Ryan added:

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“I graduated in 2011.  Spending 3 years in an environment with other like-minded students, great facilities and tutors was brilliant and I couldn’t imagine a better place for a student to work towards their degree and it’s somewhere where you can create a strong portfolio of work.  Although the Degree can be technical, it’s still very artistic and like any form of art, it requires hundreds of hours of practice.

I had the opportunity to come back and teach a masterclass at the University last year which was great fun.  It was wonderful to come back and to see that since my time the facilities have improved even further.  There are full computer suites with high-quality machines and Cintiq tablets for the students to use.

The facilities and support are excellent of course but I would also like to stress that it will always boil down to how well the student is willing to use what’s available to them.”

Dr Scott Smith, Senior Lecturer at UWTSD’s Swansea College of Art, said:

“A number of our graduates have key industry positions in many Oscar and BAFTA-winning teams at studios such as Framestore, Method Studios, The Moving Picture Company, The Mill, Cinesite, Double Negative, and more.  It’s been fantastic to stay in touch and follow Ryan’s progress since he graduated.  He was a very talented student with an early proclivity for character modelling and it’s gratifying to see him doing so well in the industry at an international level of ability.

“We take an educational approach for students to learn all areas of computer animation as there is a degree of overlap and it takes time to find and develop students’ practice abilities in character animation, character or environment modelling, texturing, effects work)and then to progressively build independence and specialism in an area that suits them over the course of their studies.”

Take a look at this showreel which demonstrates the work carried out by Ryan and Method Studios on Netflix’s The Christmas Chronicles:

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