CityU launches the second Virtual Character Design Competition

Zoey Tsang

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to be held by City University of Hong Kong (CityU) is now open for applications. The competition, to be held on 8 October this year, is open to all secondary schools in Hong Kong and builds on the success of last year’s inaugural contest.

The competition, organized by the the Computer Science Society within CityU Students’ Union and supported by the Department of Computer Science, aims to encourage creative thinking and improve secondary school students’ computer and design skills.

The theme for this year’s competition is “My Computer Assistant”, said one of the organizers Joanne Ngai Chung-yan, Vice-President (Internal Affairs) of the Computer Science Society.

“Each team has to design a “Computer Assistant” to be used on a 2D e-learning interface that can be used for teaching primary school mathematics. Part of the challenge is for contestants to demonstrate how the assistant takes users through the interface,” Joanne said.

To prepare the students for the competition, the Computer Science Society is organizing a number of complementary courses on areas such as multimedia production, interface design and animation production. The courses are designed to enhance basic knowledge about multi-media production. They will be taught by students from Department of Computer Science and will equip contestants with techniques that can be used in the competition.

Ling Liang Church M H Lau Secondary School, winner of the junior group last year, is joining the competition again this year. Team leader and teacher Ms Yau Bik-kan said students learned a great deal about different computer techniques and improved their interpersonal skills in the competition last year.

Alex Yui Tsz-chit, a Year 2 student in the Department of Computer Science and the organizer of the competition last year, said he and his fellow students benefited a lot from the competition. He said they were able to exchange and share their experience working in multi-media production with the secondary school students and sharpen their subject knowledge.

In fact, few contestants knew much about graphic design before they joined the competition last year, so the competition was very useful, Alex explained.

The competition is divided into the junior group (S.1 - S.3) and senior group (S.4 - S.7). In addition to producing an e-learning interface, the contestants have to design a poster that introduces their work. These posters will be exhibited on CityU campus from 2 to 8 October where the public will vote for the “My Favourite Design” winners.

During the competition, contestants have to present their work and take questions from a panel of judges who will be looking at the design of the virtual character, the interface and animation, and the interaction of these three features. The winners will be announced on the day.

The champion, first and second runner-ups from each group will be awarded book coupons worth $1,500, $1,000 and $800 respectively, plus trophies and certificates. The winners of “My Favourite Design” in each group will receive $500 book coupons and certificates.

Interested parties can download application forms at The application deadline is 11 August and a briefing will be held on 23 July. Applications in person during the briefing are also possible.


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