Animations Breathe New Life into Learning and Teaching

UTAMU launched “Animation of Learning Materials in 2016 as a means of making learning more interesting with visuals and sound. Students can read as well as watch animations. This has ultimately made the learning process easier. UTAMU News had a moment with Godfrey Kibengo and Simon Kamya, the brains behind the Multi- Media Department at UTAMU whose creative works have made learning worthwhile at UTAMU.

Godfrey Kibengo (above) and Simon Kamya (below), the brains behind the Multi- Media Department at UTAMU

These young and ambitious gentlemen never knew that one day they would turn out to do something that society would be proud of. They pursued other academic programmes in the beginning and thought they would get jobs after school. Along the way, they started yearning for much more than an academic qualification. Today, they are proud of the creative minds they have become after choosing a career in Multimedia.

“I started out as a Fine Artist using basic tools like pencils and art brushes. Later, I realized I needed to venture into computer graphics to boost my artistic skills, says Kibengo. I was doing Bachelor’s degree in Education and somehow, I got interested in Graphics designing. I have never looked back”, says Kamya.

“Animation is imagination and information brought to life. This means, you imagine something, create a sketch and design, then give motion that can illustrate and express information sequentially to the other to understand”, the team contends.

Kibengo says animation has different genres; “we have artists, story tellers, modelers, voice actors, and finally the animators. If the storyboard and the story are lacking animation expression and artistic imagination, then the final composition will be abstract”.

Asked if the career has turned their life around, Simon says working with the lecturers has made it possible for him to acquire more knowledge in different fields.

Kibengo proudly says Multi-media has exposed him to various learning platforms like elearning. I have learnt the value of teamwork, I have acquired several skills and it has opened new frontiers for me. They have worked on several award winning projects

However they warn that one needs an artistic background to do animation because it involves creating story lines, story boarding and scripting.  One must have knowledge about the principles of art.

Kibengo says the idea of animation is not to take away the role of a teacher. “Animation simply aids both the lecturer and student with various examples of explaining complex concepts of the course unit”.

The multimedia team reviewing an animation

The multimedia team has created a number of animations for different courses that help the students have an idea of what the course is all about, complex theories and situations have been explained through animation.

Animation is used to create visual impressions, demonstrate fields of knowledge in just minutes and also express knowledge in a reasonable and entertaining approach in the learning.

Kamya explains that there is 2D animation and 3D animation. “In math we have 2 axes, X and Y. Therefore the third axis will be the Z axis. This is called the Z-depth, and this creates the 3rd dimension”.

He says he has enjoyed teaching graphics and video editing as well creating educational animations and creating good graphics for various websites, applications and video presentations.

Kibengo says one has to enjoy animation to be able to benefit from it. It even gets more rewarding when people appreciate the work done. “Having money is a good thing but in multimedia, it is more rewarding to get a ‘thank you’ from a client.

Animation is an ever growing field and presents numerous opportunities in areas like advertising, education, in the movie industry.

The field however requires the state –of the –art studio equipment for voicing, good cameras for pictures and computers and a good skilled multimedia team. 

Asked about their future plans, Kamya noted that he wants to venture into game designing and the professional film industry. Being part of the team developing elearning and creating animations for the entire Education Sector is Kibengos’ dream.

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