Jason Kennedy

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Senior Lecturer

Email: jason.kennedy@aut.ac.nz

Academic appointments:

  • Head of Department (Acting), Auckland University of Technology (2014 - 2015)


  • PhD (in-progress), Auckland University of Technology
  • Masters of Fine Arts (Electronic Art), University of Cincinnati
  • Bachelor of Arts (Studio Art), Albion College


Jason Kennedy is a senior lecturer and Animation Pathway Leader in the Digital Design department at Auckland University of Technology. He is a practicing artist with work in 3D animation, 3D Fine Art, video projection, and fine jewellery.

Jason entered the fine art world circuitously through his initial ambition to become a palaeontologist. He enrolled in Albion College’s geology programme (in Albion, Michigan, USA), only to discover that while he still loved dinosaurs, he liked the idea of animating them more than digging them up. Jason graduated from Albion in 2004 with a major in studio art (drawing) and minors in geology and mathematics. He completed a MFA in electronic art from the University of Cincinnati in 2007. His Masters research focused on the role of identity and immortality vis-à-vis digital representations of self. Jason is currently working on his PhD, which examines how our understanding of what is acting is changed by modern animation and performance capture practices. (Expected completion date: 2020.)

In addition to being an animator, Jason is also an actor, and he draws on these two areas of experience in his research.

Research interests:

3D animation, performance capture, motion capture, synthespians, acting, palaeontology

Teaching summary:

Semester 1:
DIGD503 - Introduction to 3D Animation
DIGD601A - Digital Design Studio 3 (Animation)
DIGD701A - Digital Design Studio 5 (Animation)

Semester 2:
DIGD606 - Motion Capture Live
DIGD702A - Digital Design Studio 6 (Animation)

Honors and Masters-level supervisions

Research outputs:

Journal articles

  • Kennedy, J. (2014). Create a Detailed Model for 3D Printing. 3D World, (183).

  • Kennedy, J. (2011). Triggering Core Emotional Responses from Interactive Narratives. Journal: Creative Technologies, (2). Retrieved from http://journal.colab.org.nz/article/13

Creative works

  • Kennedy, J. (2012). Plan B [Artefact].

  • Kennedy, J. (2011). Media design for Artaud (No. Of Pieces: 3 pieces, 576px x 720px, 576px x 720px, 720px x 576px) [Artefact]. Unitec, Carrington Campus, Auckland, New Zealand.

  • Kennedy, J. (2010). Rapid prototyped 3D model of an iPod and human ear for the National Foundation for the Deaf's Awareness Week [Artefact]. Britomart, Auckland, New Zealand. Retrieved from http://www.nfd.org.nz/80/Deaf-Awareness-Week

  • Kennedy, J. (2007). Unknown Event 07-21-50 (No. Of Pieces: 720x480 NTSC) [Artefact]. University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio.

  • Kennedy, J. (2007). CRS Promotional Spot #49X421 (No. Of Pieces: 720x480 NTSC) [Artefact]. University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio.

  • Kennedy, J. (2007). Jack / Enola (No. Of Pieces: 1 piece, 720px x 480px) [Artefact]. 2727 Woodburn Ave, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA 45206. Retrieved from http://www.manifestgallery.org/adf/season3.html

  • Kennedy, J. (2006). Stored Consciousness A42-336F2/OX6A Dennis Maxwell Gibarian Pat. No. 10,062,844,721 (No. Of Pieces: 24" x 25" x 1") [Artefact]. 2727 Woodburn Ave, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA 45206.

  • Kennedy, J. (2006). Unique Biological Organism Patent (No. Of Pieces: 1 piece, 24" x 13.5" x 1") [Artefact]. 2727 Woodburn Ave, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA 45206.

Conference contributions

  • Kennedy, J. (2019). Critiquing the screen presence of synthespian counterparts. In C. Ferreira (Ed.), Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Illustration & Animation (CONFIA) (pp. 190-202). Viana do Castelo: nstituto Politécnico do Cávado e do Ave. Retrieved from https://confia.ipca.pt/

  • Kennedy, J. (2019). Acting-centred definitions of vactors, synthespians, and digital doubles. In J. Park, J. Nam, & J. W. Park (Eds.), ISEA: Proceedings of the 25th International Symposium on Electronic Art 2019 (pp. 297-305). Gwangju. Retrieved from http://www.isea-archives.org/docs/2019/ISEA2019_Proceedings.pdf

  • Kennedy, J. (2017). The protean double: Critiquing the screen Presence of synthespian counterparts. In 29th Annual Conference of The Society for Animation Studies: And Yet It Moves!. Padova. Retrieved from http://sas2017.beniculturali.unipd.it/

  • Kennedy, J. (2017). The animator’s (missing) hand: How practice informs seeing in 3D animation. In CONFIA. International Conference on Ilustration & Animation (pp. 298-309). Guimaraes: Instituto Politecnico do Cavado e do Ave.

  • Kennedy, J. (2016). Automation versus animation: a case for the affective potential of CG animation. In The Cosmos of Animation: 28th Annual Conference of the Society fro Animation Studies (pp. 98). Singapore: Society for Animation Studies. Retrieved from http://sas2016.adm.ntu.edu.sg/

  • Kennedy, J. (2015). Embracing the tall poppy: Overcoming tradition in customer jewellery design preference. In Design for Business: Research Conference 2015. Melbourne: ideasondesign. Retrieved from http://ideasondesign.net/

  • Kennedy, J. (2015). Gauging meaningful reference performance in animation and motion capture. In Prooceedings of the Cumulus Conference, Milano 2015 (pp. 941-948). Milan: McGraw-Hill Education.

  • Kennedy, J. (2015). Beyond the mirror: Producing emotionally-authentic facial performance for animation reference. In CONFIA - 3rd International Conference on Illustration & Animation (pp. 101-114). Braga: Instituto Politécnico do Cávado e do Ave.

  • Kennedy, J. (2014). Honesty & exaggeration: Best practices when acting for animation reference. In ANZAAE Conference 2014. Auckland.

  • Kennedy, J. (2014). Into the void: Preparing actors and directors for motion capture. In Animation Revelations 2014. Auckland.

  • Kennedy, J. (2013). Character Acting: A Case For Better Animation Reference. In Peer Reviewed Proceedings of the 4th Annual Conference, Popular Culture Association of Australia and New Zealand (PopCAANZ) (pp. 11-20). Brisbane: Popular Culture Association of Australia and New Zealand (PopCAANZ). Retrieved from http://popcaanz.com/conference-proceedings-2013/

  • Kennedy, J. A. (2010). Mirroring students' progress in developing photorealistic 3D models and textures of a human head. In Conversations on Research: 6th Annual AUT School of Education Conference. Auckland.


  • Kennedy, J. A. (2007). Memento Immorti. (University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH).

Oral presentations

  • Kennedy, J. (2013). Challenges in Teaching Animation. Auckland Art Museum, Auckland, New Zealand.