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Students in Visual Effects and Games Design are working with the international Mars exploration community this week, through the education charity 4Ward Futures

The group are working on animations, simulations and interactive training materials to illustrate how a human colony on Mars may arrive and come into being. Creating work in small teams, the students are getting feedback from industry practitioners including Peter Ocampo, part of an Oscar-winning VFX team for the film ‘Inception’.

Students Natasha, Alex and Danny (pictured above) are working animations to show would-be astronauts how to prepare for a Mars mission, covering what to expect on the journey, and plans for colonisation. 

Jim and Zack, meanwhile, are working on a video on how the first settlements on Mars would evolve over time, using materials and structures adapted to the experience of being on the red planet. "This project has refreshed our enthusiasm for the course," explains Zack. "Researching space travel, the Perseverance rover, and even science fiction has been really interesting and important for this work. We are making our video as authentic as possible. It is inspiring work, being involved in an international project. It really helps me to focus on my ambitions in visual effects."