Family Weekend: A Gaming Success


Families played retro games and experimented with some of the oldest computers before creating their own animations at Bournemouth University’s BFX Festival Family Weekend


The free weekend was part of a weeklong Festival for VFX, animation and gaming. Visitors got to try their hand at animation, take part in workshops and watch movies. The BFX Festival was created under Bournemouth University’s VFX Hub and aims to inspire and celebrate visual effects, animation and computer games.

BFX Festival Director, Sofronis Efstathiou, said it’s great to see young people involved with VFX, coding and programming. “It’s been really busy both days and great to see everyone enjoying themselves and getting hands on. People have come from Oxford and Worthing have come down to join us which is amazing. We’ve had everything from animation to coding and the parents seem to have enjoyed themselves too.”

Former scriptwriter for SpongeBob SquarePants, Eric Scot Shaw flew in from the USA to run a workshop on writing for animation. The room was in silence and total awe with his exclusive behind the scenes tales from the studios as well as his journey to becoming to writer.

Stuart Sumida, a palaeontologist and animal anatomy consultant for animated films, has worked on The Lion King, Life of Pi and Guardians of the Galaxy. Children as well as their parents were fascinated with his workshop, Art and Science Collide! The Unusual Connection between the Jurassic Coast and Movie Special Effects. Participants had the opportunity to learn about the relationship between animal movement and how it is replicated on the big screen.

Parents proudly watched their children create their own characters using industry standard equipment, Zbrush, as well as use stop-motion techniques. Children created everything from animals to made-up creatures with their imaginations and then watched them played on screen.


Parents had the chance to relive their childhood and children got their hands on technology and computers that were used before they were born. The Computing Museum allowed youngsters to learn the basics of coding and see some of the very first computers used by the public.

A host of movie screenings including Disney’s Big Hero 6, How to Train your Dragon 2 and SpongeBob SquarePants cartoons rolled throughout the day to keep children and families entertained between activities.

Walt Disney Animation studios generously lent BFX a selection of concept art from the incredible animated feature film Big Hero 6, available to see until 11 October.

For more information on BFX Festival, visit