I rounded off my week with a short trip to Texas. It's quite a drive from Central Florida, so I went via Skype, which meant I could be back for lunch.
Over at the University of North Texas in Denton, James Martin teaches filmmaking (not to be confused with the James Martin who does iClone's training). He's running a new class on visual storytelling, and is getting his students to use Moviestorm as a fast, easy way to tell their stories. They asked me to come in and chat to them about it, and what makes it different to working with other animation tools or film techniques. And, of course, to get their feedback on what they like and don't like about the software.
I really enjoy working with students, and being able to pop into a university 1200 miles away without leaving my house feels magnificently futuristic. They were also amused every time my small black kitten decided to climb up the back of my chair and perch on my head. Well, James did specifically say he wanted an informal session! It's a great indicator of the way education's changing too: using technology is totally transforming the learning process in so many ways, and it's all so very different to when I was at university in the mid-1980s.
I'm really pleased that James has asked me to be one of the evaluators of their final projects. The class have agreed to let us follow their progress throughout the rest of the semester as they take their stories from initial concept to finished movie, as well as learning how to use Moviestorm. They've got some ambitious ideas, and it'll be extremely interesting to see how they meet the creative & technical challenges they've set themselves. I'm really looking forward to seeing what they make, and if they give me permission, I'll share some of it with you as we go.