VFX Students Collaborate with London Zoo to save Gibbons
Written by BA (Hons) VFX student, Catrin Hâf Feron.
As part of a conservation project to help raise awareness of the Hainan Gibbon our group of VFX and Animation students were invited to London Zoo to see gibbons and meet the team of gibbonologists and PhD students.
By working on this project, we hope to help conserve the species as they are very endangered. As students working on this we think it is really important to help the primate become known in both China and the UK so that we can try conserve the species.
After a busy journey through London we arrived at the zoo where we met the ZSL team. We walked through the zoo to find the gibbon enclosure where father and son gibbons, Jimmy and Yoda, lived. It was really interesting to observe and document their behaviour in the way that they moved and interacted with each other.
Watching this will be really useful in understanding how to animate a gibbon for the conservation project in order for it to be life-like. The team at the zoo were very helpful to us and allowed us to see the zoo from areas unavailable to the public where we soon realised that the gibbons became as interested in us as we were of them.
In addition, the ZSL team were really keen to answer the hundreds of questions we had about gibbons and Hainan (the area of southern China were the endangered species live).
It was a really good learning experience visually and academically and really gave an insight into this interesting animal. With only 26 Hainan gibbons left I think that everyone on the project is really excited to be able to aid them by raising awareness and this trip has got people motivated to start drawing and planning ideas for the project.
"By working on this project, we hope to aid the conservation of such a wonderful species."
"Its so useful in understanding how to animate a gibbon for our upcoming conservation project."