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Short animation to inspire young women for STEM

Young girls should emulate Jasper. She is a little girl who prefers having a big sky over her head. She does not care what other people think she should do and be.

She is a young girl who dreams of flying and will not give up until she does.

Also, she is an animation developed by a PhD student from the University of Technology Sydney (UTS).

She was then brought to life by students at the University’s Animal Logic Academy, along with experts in design and technology from the University.

According to a recent report, the story of Jasper is a part of the initiative of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) to encourage more young women to do science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects, and to fly.

The Australian Minister for Defence, The Hon Christopher Pyne launched Jasper during the recent AIR4 event. This is a new festival of STEM that also aims to encourage young women to consider this path.

Only 16% of STEM graduates across Australia are women. If the Defence and the country need to get the very best capability, there should be greater female participation in STEM subjects.

The Minister added that the next aerospace inventor, satellite engineer, or a future fast jet pilot may come from the women.

The future of the girls is limitless and they should view it that way too.

The cutting-edge, two-minute Jasper animation was a result of the collaboration between the University and the RAAF.

The University brought together a diverse team of specialists and students from its faculties of Trandisciplinary Innovation (TDI), Design, Architecture and Building (DAB), and Engineering and IT (FEIT).

Unique hybrid animation technologies were developed by combining the traditional and hand-made with new technologies such as robotics, 3D printing and laser cutting in order to realise Jasper and her world.

The message of the project message is beautiful – to be a dreamer and to be brave. Shorts like Jasper are important to everyone just because it says ‘yes’ to those who need it.

The team built real-world, mini-sets for a character that was digital and animated. The technique was in finding a way to do that so that it felt real and believable and really ‘there’.

To achieve this, the team used both and animation software and an industrial arm, among other things.

The team worked closely with the ProtoSpace 3D printing experts in FEIT and the Transformative Technologies & Data Poetics research group in DAB.

They were able to get their industrial robots working with the team’s cameras to enable complex shots that they would never have been able to pull off otherwise.

This proves that transdisciplinary research collaboration and the creative use of technology can bring really interesting projects to life, which has real impact.

Jasper is voiced by real-life Squadron Leader Jacqueline Killian, to whom the character’s life is based.

The animation has been awarded Gold at the prestigious 2018 Animation Effect Awards and Festival, along with an Australian Screen Sound Guild award for Best Sound for a Television Commercial or Promo.


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