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Bournemouth University's Bid to Animate the Beijing National Opera

Bournemouth University’s renowned Media School and the Beijing Advanced Technology College have been awarded the opportunity to bring new life to China’s National Beijing Opera.

Bournemouth University’s National Centre for Computer Animation (NCCA) and the Beijing Advanced Technology College (ATC) are collaborating on the development of the “3-D Digital Beijing Opera” project. The scheme, to be financed by the Chinese Government, is designed to preserve an important part of China’s cultural heritage by using state-of-the-art animation techniques.

This will involve the creation of a unique 3D archive of some 1,000 animated characters drawn from the repertoire of the National Beijing Opera. The intricate movements and postures of the characters will be recorded using motion capture techniques for which Bournemouth University is well known. The project to animate the characters of the Opera will help to develop and expand 3D animation techniques in a country that already excels in the 2D form.

With a history of more than 200 years, the National Beijing Opera is regarded as one of the highest expressions of Chinese culture. The Opera’s synthesis of stylised action, singing, dialogue, mime, acrobatic fighting and dancing to tell traditional and modern stories is world renowned.

“We are delighted to be working with the Chinese Ministry of Culture and the National Beijing Opera on such a prestigious project,” said Stephen Jukes, Dean of the Media School at Bournemouth University. “The Opera is steeped in tradition and the prospect of bringing such an art form into the 21st century is both exciting and challenging. We look forward to working with our partners in China and we hope to enhance their global reputation even further through this collaboration.”

Bournemouth University is currently engaged in a range of other projects with Chinese partners which draw on BU’s expertise and knowledge of the creative media industries. These include an academic partnership with CUC University in Beijing and consultancy briefings on the UK media for senior personnel from the Chinese creative industries.

ATC is a college run by the Chinese Ministry of Labour, and specialises in advanced vocational training. It issues advanced certificates according to China’s national vocational standards, ranging from traditional mechanical engineering to modern 3-D computer animation disciplines. It’s located in Daxing District, Beijing, PRC. It is now actively involved in developing 3D animation standards and promoting the use of motion capture techniques within the Chinese animation industries.

The Media School, at Bournemouth University, is the largest centre of vocational higher education for the media industries in the UK, offering high-quality, industry-recognised courses in Media Production and Media Management, Journalism, Computer Animation, and Communications; including Public Relations and Marketing.

The Media School is the UK's only Centre for Excellence in Media Practice (as designated by Higher Education Funding Council for England) and is also an accredited Skillset Screen Academy. These endorsements firmly establish the School as a major training and education centre for the media industries.

Charles Elder | alfa
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