Kelowna – Funky futuristic characters having an all too human movie-going experience formed the basis of an awarding winning 3-D animation created by two students in School District No. 23. Jenna Cumbers and Jade McGilvray won gold at the recent National Skills Canada competition in PEI for their entry titled “Don’t Spoil the View”. They are the first ever students from Mount Boucherie Secondary School to be invited to the National competition for animation.
Jenna and Jade had just 12 hours over two days to create a storyboard, model and animate their story using 3D Studio Max. In addition, the contest rules restricted the use of sound, which made it more challenging for the characters to tell the story.
“Their theme, revealed the morning of the competition, was Don’t Spoil the View, says Barb Butler, a teacher at MBSS and chaperone for the trip. “In the 3D category, there were seven teams. Jade and Jenna were the only females. Each team had one hour to storyboard before they were allowed to touch the excellent equipment provided for them. The first day was focused on modeling (Jenna’s specialty) and the second day on the animation (Jade’s specialty). They are a fantastic team and we enjoyed every minute of our time together.”
This is the third major win for the two students. In March, they won the regional competition and a 50% scholarship worth $16,500 for the Center for Arts and Technology Okanagan (CATO). That success allowed them to compete last month at the Provincials in Abbotsford winning silver. When the first place Provincial winners dropped out of the National competition on short notice, Jenna and Jade had just over a week to arrange to represent BC in Charlottetown. Team BC had 80 members including competitors from secondary and post-secondary schools, delegates, and chaperones.
The last minute trip and project work were made possible by Don Muir, the Computer Drafting & Animation teacher at MBSS, Principal Lisa McCullough, Shona Becker, the Career Coordinator, and Barb Butler, who chaperoned the students. Don extends his thanks to Andrew Buckley from CATO for personally teaching the students digital animation story writing techniques.
“Both Jade and Jenna will be going to animation school next year and I know they will be very successful,” says Muir. “Within the next 10 years, I expect I’ll be still sitting in a theater after a fantastic animated movie while others are leaving, because I’ll be watching the credits looking for their names as I have with a few other students who have gone before them. I have learned as much, if not more, from these two hardworking, enthusiastic, gifted students as they have from the MBSS animation program. I have enjoyed them immensely and will miss them.”