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Animator paints rosy future for creative sector

AN animator whose film credits include James Cameron's 3D spectacular Avatar will share his knowledge at an event in Londonderry celebrating the commercial opportunities springing from creativity and technology.

Greg Maguire, professor of digital animation at University of Ulster, will speak at Computer Animated Characters – Where Art Meets Technology and Design Meets Engineering on May 8.

Professor Maguire, whose screen credits also include Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Happy Feet, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and Spiderman 3, said he believed Northern Ireland was in a strong position to exploit the opportunities presented by creativity and technology.

"With a burgeoning film industry, a growing talent base and a local government focused on growing the creative economy, Northern Ireland is ideally placed to become a new major player," Prof Maguire said.

He said Northern Ireland could model the future of its creative industries on New Zealand. "It has grown its industry from zero to a massive $3.3bn (£1.8bn) last year with visual effects and animation contributing $1.6bn (£0.89m)."

The event on May 8 is organised by the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET), CultureTECH – which will hold a festival of digital technology in Derry later this year – IT industry body Momentum and the University of Ulster.

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