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Students partner with local author to produce children’s animation 

Posted on 18 April 2019

news, news:Community, news:Student life

​​A group of students from Leeds Trinity University have created a short animated film, as part of their professional placement, to promote a series of children's books about safety.

The Cones, written by local author Chris Madeley, is a series of children's adventure books which educates children about safety through the medium of cones. Chris joined forces with Trinity Vision – Leeds Trinity University's in-house production company – to transform her story Cones on the Rails into a short animation.

This particular story was well-received by the rail industry, as Madeley collaborated with Grand Central Rail to produce and promote the book, leading to them winning the "Passenger Safety" accolade at the 2017 UK Rail Industry Awards, so she was keen to bring the story to life in an animation.

Ally Thornton, Commissioning and Production Coordinator at Trinity Vision, said: "We started the project with the Madeleys in summer 2017, following Chris' success at the UK Rail Industry Awards and we were keen to involve our placement students. Many of them had never animated before, so we were tasked with training them in animation and other software such as Photoshop, Illustrator and Premiere Pro."

The animation of Cones on the Rails was produced over the course of one year, allowing two groups of placement students to participate in the project, gaining valuable skills in the art of animation and production.  

Speaking of her experience of working with Trinity Vision, Chris said: "I cannot express how delighted and how proud Team Cones is of everyone at Trinity Vision who has contributed to the success of this project. The creation of the characters and the messages on rail safety are beautifully depicted.

"It has been an absolute delight to work with everyone – I can't say enough about the quality and consistency of work which has come out of the Trinity Vision department.

"This project has engendered plenty of interest among our corporate commissioners, and I do hope that we can collaborate with Trinity Vision and new placement students in the future."

Following the launch of Cones on the Rails, which you can view here, Chris and her husband Canon Keith Madeley MBE, an Honorary Fellow of the University, have received an immediate enquiry from a sponsor to produce another of Chris' books, Cones on Site with Trinity Vision.

Trinity Vision has been in production since 2013, and the name, branding and mission were developed by students. In the past, the production company has made content for Made in Leeds, the NHS, Leeds City Council and Leeds Bradford Airport.

Ally added: "Students are a central part of what we do. Sheldon and I work full time, all year round, to produce and manage various corporate and community based projects.

"We use student crew members as much as we can and ensure they are paid ambassador rates for their time and skills."   

Placement students are also involved in the company's work with charities and community groups, they are currently embarking on projects with ADIRA, LS-TEN Skate Park and Community Centre and DJ School UK.

For Level 4 and 5 students thinking about the University's professional placement programme, Trinity Vision run placements for 11 weeks of the summer. You can view more information here, and applications can be made through the myFuture team.

Find out more about The Cones book series here.​​