Pupils get animating at 3D design workshop

Matt Howarth with Greetland Academy pupils at his workshop.
Matt Howarth with Greetland Academy pupils at his workshop.

Two Calderdale companies have collaborated on a project to teach schoolchildren about 3D modelling and printing.

Mike Willshaw, from Radius Creative, a product design consultancy in Hebden Bridge, joined forces with Matt Howarth, who runs Puppetman Productions in Dean Clough, who won a Royal Televsion Society Award for their work on Discovery Kids series Gross! to run educational workshops.

Year Five pupils from Greetland Academy were given a 3D character design workshop at their school where they produced their own characters, with the winning design printed out using the latest technology.

The workshops also include discussions about biology and how eyes, muscles and other features can be realistically represented, while the children are encouraged to think about the character they are developing.

The duo are now hoping to roll out the workshops to other schools in Calderdale.

Matt said: “The kids are interested, particularly once they gather round to watch me develop the basic figure template that I set up on the school computers to demonstrate how to navigate the software.

“But once I let them loose on the template themselves, that’s when the excitement goes up a gear or three. They just love it, and unlike adults, they have absolutely no fear, they just go for it and if they make mistakes, they laugh it off and go again. At the end of the day — these are the great principles behind good design.”