Dr Ian Palmer - Principal

Dr Ian Palmer’s career spans developing taught programmes in digital media, games, animation and visual effects. Ian began his career working on state-of-the-art software and hardware for communications and radar systems. His interest in research resulted in him studying computer graphics and developing animation software aimed at making realistic animation easier for non-technical users, developing the REALISM system which incorporated behavioural features into the animated objects themselves. This work led to him being awarded a DPhil based on this work in 1994.

The development of this work continued expanding into VR and games. This included the incorporation offeatures such as AI and multi-model interfaces, and applying the approach to such diverse areas as crime scene investigation and theatre rehearsals.

His interest in passing on his knowledge and working with industry had always been a passion, having studied part-time for his masters and so appreciating the value of linking academic studies with professional practice. He carried this through to his academic career, working closely with current practitioners to add value and enhance the learning and teaching on programmes that he developed. Whilst at Bradford he developed programmes with Creative Skillset, BBC and Mute Records, combining practical hands-on skills development with academic practice. He also oversaw the integration of professional production facilities into the learning environment, such as motion capture suits and outside broadcast facilities, providing unique opportunities for students to work using real facilities during their studies. This work was recognized by the Higher Education Academy in 2014 with the award of a National Teaching Fellowship.

He joined Escape Studios in 2015 to lead the development of their degrees in VFX, animation and games. The studio-based approach at Escape was the ideal place for him to take his work further and build programmes that have the industry focus at the heart of their pedagogy. Working with professionals at the top of their field and current and recent students, he has developed and tested new approaches to supporting learning in this area, sharing the practice both internally and externally through invited presentations and papers.

Research, Innovation and Development Projects
Studio-based learning for the creative industries, internal development project – ongoing.
Assessment for creative projects: incorporating industry, peer and self-assessment – ongoing.