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UTS Animal Logic Academy: Making waves down-under

Not only does Sydney feature some great surfing breaks, it’s also home for Australia’s leading post-grad Animation and Visualisation course. Since the UTS Animal Logic Academy (UTS ALA) set up in 2017, it has been making some sizeable waves producing award-winning CG films, interactive games and immersive mixed reality experiences.

· News from Exhibitors

31 October 2019, Brisbane, Queensland — In addition to being awarded The Rookies Mobile Game of the Year for their school history game ‘Xploro’ and winning the Immersive Game of the Year 2 years running for their VR projects ‘TerraChi’ and ‘Soundbender’, the UTS Animal Logic Academy has this year been ranked the number 1 school in the world for both Mobile and Immersive Media Production Excellence.

So how, in such a short period of time has the Academy reached the top of the world school rankings? Creative Lead and ex-Animal Logic animator Chris Ebeling elaborates:

“The thing that’s unique about the Academy’s Master of Animation and Visualisation is that it is an accelerated teaching model, with 2 years of traditional post-graduate learning packed into 1 year of Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm. The course is also delivered by industry professionals, with students in designated creative, production and technical teams - all in a professional, state-of-the-art studio environment. Students are engaged in authentic learning experiences through intensive engagement with real industry projects, techniques and knowledge. So together we can achieve much higher quality outcomes than if the students were all working alone or in just small self-directed teams.”

The success of the student projects is also mirrored in the graduate employment stats. Over the past 3 years, over 90% of students have found employment in the Animation and Visualisation industries within months of completed their studies. Some of the production companies who employ UTS ALA grads are Mill Fill, Methos Studios, Flying Bark, Electric Lens Co., Start VR, Animal Logic to name just a few. Graduates have also gone on to find work at overseas studios in Canada, Europe and Asia.

Students also report that experience is challenging and engaging. After completing her Masters, Matina Akes found work as an Environment Artist working on 3D environments for a feature film at Mill Film in Montreal. She describes her experience at the Academy:

“ALA prepared me for this role by teaching me how a studio environment runs and what the process was from start to finish of animated films to interactive games and experiences. ALA uses up to date studio programs which are used in the industry and that helped me understand the workflows that real life studios use. Without this knowledge of how to use multiple different programs and understanding pipelines, I wouldn't have made it where I am today.”

Far beyond a CGI animation school, the Academy also engages students in emerging technology and real-time productions. In the mid-year session, student develop prototypes for emerging media productions using a range of leading-edge technologies such as VR, AR, MR, AI and RT. One project is selected for production by the group for the end of the year showcase, but other projects re often developed by students on graduation with support of the UTS Start-Up program.

UTS actively encourages women and people from diverse social and cultural backgrounds to become involved in the rapidly emerging creative tech sector. The Academy generally has an even gender balance of students, with a mix of domestic students with international students from Europe, Asia and the Americas.

As the high-fidelity visualisation sector expands into narrative driven projects in VR, AR, MR, AI and RT for sectors beyond entertainment (such as medical, scientific, business, engineering etc etc), new job titles and opportunities are emerging for creative problem-solvers able to visualise data, stories and experiences in impressive emotive and immersive ways. The UTS Animal Logic Academy thrives on being on the leading edge of wave.

Ian Thomson
Head of the UTS Animal Logic Academy

Faculty of Transdisciplinary Innovation
University of Technology Sydney

SIGGRAPH Asia 2019 takes place at the Brisbane Exhibition and Convention Centre 17-20 November 2019. For more information, please visit


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About SIGGRAPH Asia 2019

The 12th ACM SIGGRAPH Conference and Exhibition on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques in Asia (SIGGRAPH Asia 2019) will be held in Brisbane, Australia at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre (BCEC) from 17 – 20 November 2019. The annual event held in Asia attracts the most respected technical and creative people from all over the world who are excited by computer graphics research, science, art, animation, gaming, interactivity, education and emerging technologies.

The four-day conference will include a diverse range of juried programs, such as the Art Gallery / Art Papers, Computer Animation Festival, Courses, Doctoral Consortium, Emerging Technologies, Posters, Technical Briefs, Technical Papers and XR (Extended Reality). Curated programs include Business & Innovation Symposium, Demoscene and Real-Time Live! A three-day exhibition held from 18 – 20 November 2019 will offer a business platform for industry players to market their innovative products and services to the computer graphics and interactive techniques professionals and enthusiasts from Asia and beyond. For more information, please visit Find us on: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube with the official event hashtag, #SIGGRAPHAsia and #SIGGRAPHAsia2019.


The ACM Special Interest Group on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques is an interdisciplinary community interested in research, technology, and applications in computer graphics and interactive techniques. Members include researchers, developers, and users from the technical, academic, business, and art communities. ACM SIGGRAPH enriches the computer graphics and interactive techniques community year-round through its conferences, global network of professional and student chapters, publications, and educational activities. For more information, please visit

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