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The Making of A Future App Guru

News   •   Jun 23, 2014 18:00 +08

Mohammed Ishak Khan Bin Abdul Hamed is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Digital Media. He graduated with a diploma in Visual Effects from Ngee Ann Polytechnic prior to taking up this degree in MDIS.

“I chose this course because I felt that it would give me a more complete understanding of the digital media industry,” Ishak explains. “At the same time, it allows me to focus on my niche – which is 3D Animation.”

The all-encompassing course also covers other areas related to Ishak's interest, such as Web Design Principles and Computing for Audio and Music. He felt that the course curriculum gave him a deeper understanding of the intricacies in developing game apps.

“I would say this course is for those who aspire to realise their potential in this field and create something more than just a piece of artwork,” he expressed. “The school encourages you to take ownership of your work, and that motivates me to do that something extra for the assignments.

”Motivation is not something that Ishak is short on; he has a gruelling schedule, holding a day job as an IT Executive outside of school, and on top of that, he started an animation club called MIKA – an online studio collaboration with digital artists from around the world, including Spain, Colombia, and Macedonia. The team is currently in production phase for a 3D animated short film. Without doubt, Ishak clocks up plenty of hours attending to both his responsibilities and his craft. With so much time spent in front of the computer, he unwinds by playing a spot of football on the weekends to stay physically fit.

“I find it a bit challenging, working and studying at the same time – especially the lack of sleep, or during exams. but it is important that I keep my focus.” He admits. “Fortunately, the school and lecturers had prepared us well. They are very understanding knowing that all of us are working adults and cater the learning to our needs.”

Ishak’s short film, The Boy and his Helicopter, will be completed by the year’s end. You can view his body of work at


One of Singapore’s fastest-growing sub-sectors, interactive and Digital Media is a multi-billion dollar business. The global videogames industry (excluding hardware sales) is expected to swell from $56 billion in 2010 to $82 billion by 2015, with Asia showing the fastest growth.

Games and Animation is expanding rapidly, with an influx of leading companies such as Tecmo-Koei, Lucasfilm, Double Negative, Electronic Arts and Ubisoft. Local companies like Ratloop Asia, Sparky Animation and Scrawl Studios are too, producing original content for export and entering strategic partnerships with international distributors. Singapore is fast becoming an Asian hub for the industry’s back-room operations; for example Double Negative has worked on visual effects for blockbusters such as The Bourne Legacy, Captain America and Iron Man 2.

(Source: Economic Development Board of Singapore)


Besides creating apps that will ultimately zombify the entire populance, why would you consider a profession in the Digital Media industry, especially in Singapore?

1. Singapore's media industry's revenue stands at S$23.9 billion in 2009. Literally, that's where the money is.

2. Unless you were living under a rock, you'd know that video games, animation, online and mobile media have collectively exploded into a mult-billion dollar business.

3. Singapore's strong stance on intellectual property protection (IP) makes it attractive for copanes creating and deploying new content and managing IPs.

4. Many international digital effects, animations, and games companies have regional headquarters here, providing oppurtunities for local graduates to work on international productions, like the recent X-men movie.

5. Over S$1 billion in funds based overseas invested into project here, Singapore attracts attention and financial support.

6. Outlets like iTunes, Google Play and Unity Asset Store give talented digital media practioners avenues and launch careers as independent developers. Remember Flabby Bird?

7. Digital Media is both applied IT and applied Arts - you can foucs on one aspect, and leverage on the other as a complementary skillset, which opens up more opportunities.

8. Singapore is home to the regional headquarters of ESPN Star Sports, Discovery, HBO, MTV, Sony Pictures Enteratainment, etc. TV shows like Cash Cab Asia are precursors to more locally produced content to come.


The MDIS School of Technology and E-learning (STEL) offers diploma, advanced diploma and honours degree programmes for full-time and part-time students, including the following:

Diploma in Information Technology awarded by MDIS

Spanning eight months for full-time and 12 months for part-time, the programme is designed for students who aspire to begin a career in the IT industry.

Advanced Diploma in Information Technology awarded by MDIS

This programme takes eight months to complete for full-time, and 12 months for part-time. It aims to equip students with skills in all aspects of IT, and they can choose to specialise in digital media, computer technology, or business IT.

Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Digital Media awarded by the University of West England, UK

This programme takes 16 months to complete for full-time and 20 months for part-time. Designed for individuals who aspire to be designers and developers of digital media, and possess the required skills and knowledge in business, education, graphics design, computer animation, web development, advertising, publishing, broadcasting, etc. Also suitable for aspiring software engineers who want skills in designing multimedia applications, in communications and networking, in integrating hetrogeneous computer and media components, and in designing and building effective web-based interactive multimedia applications.

Upcoming intake for BSc (Hons) in Digital Media

22 September 2014 (full-time and part-time), open for registration now

MDIS Merit Scholarship (Local)* available

*Terms and Conditions apply

'Article reproduced from T3 magazine June 2014'.

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