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Monday, September 5, 2011


Mohamed Sobaih: Keeping abreast of Global Animation Trends - Centre for Fine Art Animation and Design (CFAD)

Passionate and charming, Egyptian animation expert, Mohamed Sobaih, was in Durban to update lecturers and students at the Centre for Fine Art Animation and Design (CFAD) on the latest global innovations in animation software from global animation software pioneers, Toon Boom.

Sobaih is sales manager and trainer for Toon Boom: Middle East and Africa travels throughout Saudi Arabia, Kenya, Ethiopia, Kuwait, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt and South Africa training, consulting and demonstrating new animation innovations to art-makers, industry professionals, trainers, students and scholars. There are animation partnerships with over 50 studios throughout the continent, and collaborations with various projects and educational institutions.

The global animation industry is huge – and growing. Last year there were 130,000 broadcast-ready animation minutes created globally on Toon Boom. There are an estimated 160 000 systems operational over 122 countries – including at 3000 educational institutions distributed in the Americas, Asia, Pacific Rim, Africa, Middle East and Europe.

Over the years China, Taiwan, Korea, The Philippines and India have turned out to be major markets for Toon Boom. These countries are considered as leading sub-contracting partners by studios in North American and Europe.

“Africa is setting itself up to be a new player in the global animation outsourcing market,” considers Sobaih. This means that global animation producers are beginning to look into Africa for meaningful animation expertise and competent animation practitioners.

The advancement in technology has allowed the breadth of audience to widen considerably. What was typically a product essentially for a younger audience has developed into a medium with universal and far-reaching global appeal.

Sobaih shares a wealth of industry and academic experience. He has a five year degree in Animation from the Fine Art College of the University ElMinia in Egypt, and he is currently reading his masters. He has worked in various capacities for leading animation studios – ultimately as an animation director.

Sobaih was in Durban last week to work with lecturers and fourth year students at CFAD. He is training the trainers at CFAD as well as teaching fourth year students who are interns in the CFAD Animation Studio. CFAD is a partner of Toon Boom, operating on a variety of levels – from using its software to teach entry-level introductory animation techniques to learners during their winter school young artist programme; to more advanced processes to their undergrad students, and professional applications for the lecturers and industry practitioners.

The Centre for Fine Art, Animation and Design (CFAD) is a tertiary institution that offers training in fine art, animation (2D and 3D) and graphic design. The CFAD was established in 1994 by world-renowned cartoonist, illustrator and journalist Dr Nanda Soobben. It is from a need in the community that the institution was born. Dr Soobben and a team of dedicated artists and designers have developed the institution into a leading centre of design excellence in Durban.

Today, students from as far a field as USA, Japan, India, Botswana and Zimbabwe are registered at the institution. As part of its commitment to quality education, the institution is provisionally registered with the Department of Education, SA Qualifications authority and the council on higher education as a private higher education institution.

CFAD has recently moved to the magnificent listed building, Port View, 183 Problem Mkhize / Cowey Rd – original home to TB Davies who is best remembered for building Howard College at the University of KwaZulu Natal in memory of his son Howard who was killed in World War One.

For more info about CFAD contact Sasha on 031 240 8402.