Ms Jane Shadbolt

Ms Jane Shadbolt

Lecturer - Design

School of Creative Industries

Handcrafting the future of animation techniques

Ms Jane Shadbolt is a designer and animator who uses traditional animation techniques while making the most of today’s technology to explore practicalities for – and effects on – stop-motion animation.

In 1927 German cinematographer Eugen Schüfftan refined and popularised a special effects technique, now known as the Schüfftan process. Similarly to modern day green screen, the effect was used as a set extension – a way of combining live action actors into miniature sets using mirrors and actual objects. Today, Jane is using this process to look deeper into what type of effects these old techniques create.

“I am exploring why special effects work, how special effects work and how stop-motion animation as a special effect works,” she explained.

Jane, who is a lecturer in the School of Creative Industries at the University of Newcastle, will complete her PhD in 2017, which is titled, The impossible qualities of illusionary spaces: stop-motion animation, visual effects and metalepsis.

“There is a whole school of thought that talks about frames and spaces in-between frames, and I am talking about the space inside frames and in-between layers, and how we are sort of fooled and not fooled by special effects all at the same time,” Jane said.

“My research is very visually based: how does a look contribute to your understanding of what’s going on? How does the look contribute to the story? And it does. It’s a very wordless narrative. It’s something that the viewer isn’t necessarily aware of; they don’t notice it and they are not supposed to. I want to look closer at some of those techniques the viewer doesn’t notice in film but the artist can use to their advantage.”

Jane’s PhD is realised through an art installation recreating a modern Schüfftan process.

“The installation is a great big room full of mirrors with animations projected into them and you are the camera. You line yourself up and see five shots – so it’s a kind of abstract five-shot film about animation composited together by all these two sided mirrors,” she explained.

In the future it is hoped film practitioners and researchers could use Jane’s work to look deeper into what type of effect these techniques create.

“My area is stop-motion animation and I have often wondered why stop motion animation is so creepy and what makes it so creepy? How these mismatched things all fit together and why they are so right and so wrong all at the same time,” she said.

Jane’s work in stop-motion animation is indeed creepy, but also so right – winning Australian Production Designer Guild Awards and being screened at numerous international festivals. Her award-winning 2011 short animation film, The Cartographer, uses puppets and stop-motion animation to tell the story of a girl adrift in a storm in a sea of letters, and features Australian film star Joel Edgerton as the voice of the Envoy.

“I am really into how technology can enable handmade things. So all my puppet work is handmade and a bit kooky, but the thing that underpins it and makes it all possible is digital technology,” Jane said.

Jane also brings her focus on traditional techniques and modern filmmaking to her classroom, where she teaches animation design to students who aren’t necessarily illustrators.

“My students come with any type of skill at all and we can work out an animation that suits them. They choose the type of animation that works for them – they can use cut out bits of paper or draw or make puppets, and I can show them how to use technology to enable their handmade creations,” she said.

Her 2015 project with her class, in which each student animated a number of frames for a music video, was a huge success in and out of the class. Their remake of the Taylor Swift Shake it Off video garnered 1.3 million views on YouTube before being removed by Taylor Swift’s record company.

Following the success of the Taylor Swift animation, Daniel Johns accepted the offer to film a video for his song: Going on 16, which competition entrants could animate as part of the 2015 Newcastle International Animation Festival. The music video, which compiles 43 individually animated segments, has over 173,000 views on YouTube and Facebook as well as featuring on Rage.

“These projects have students look at frames, which is something students don’t do anymore with digital film,” Jane said.

“There is a lot of value in the old techniques and what they can bring.”

Jane is also the organiser of the annual Newcastle International Animation Festival, which she originally brought from Melbourne to Newcastle in 2015.

“It’s so important to bring international events to Newcastle. It’s important for my students to see all types of animation. I don’t think I would I have had the results from my class that I did last year if I hadn’t been showing them contemporary, independent animation and saying: ‘You can do this. There are other types of animation besides Disney or Pixar, which seem completely out of reach, here are some other creative ideas that you can do yourself,” she said.

Jane Shadbolt

Handcrafting the future of animation techniques

Ms Jane Shadbolt is a designer and animator who uses traditional animation techniques while making the most of today’s technology.

Read more

Career Summary


Jane Shadbolt is a designer and animator. She is the director of the short stop motion animation The Cartographer, winner of two awards at the Australian Production Designer Guild Awards, which has screened at numerous international festivals. She has worked as a freelancer on feature and short films. She joined the Design department at the University of Newcastle in 2008.

Research Expertise
My research investigates the relationship between stop motion animation and special effects in live action cinema. It looks at ideas of illusion and the visual representation of the impossible through theory and practice.

Teaching Expertise
My teaching covers image making, graphic design and motion graphics.


  • Master of Animation, University of Technology Sydney
  • Bachelor of Arts (Visual Communications), University of Technology Sydney
  • Bachelor of Arts (Film and Television), Australian Film, Television & Radio School


  • Animation
  • Experimental design
  • Graphic design
  • Image making
  • Metalepsis
  • Motion graphics
  • Special Effects
  • Stop motion animation

Fields of Research

Code Description Percentage
190299 Film, Television and Digital Media not elsewhere classified 60
190104 Visual Cultures 20
190599 Visual Arts and Crafts not elsewhere classified 20

Professional Experience

UON Appointment

Title Organisation / Department
Lecturer - Design University of Newcastle
School of Creative Industries
Lecturer - Design University of Newcastle
School of Design Communication and IT

Academic appointment

Dates Title Organisation / Department
1/01/2011 -  Membership - Australian Production Designers Guild Australian Production Designers Guild



Year Award
2012 The Encore/APGD Award for Design on a Short Film
Australian Production Designers Guild



Year Title / Rationale
2012 Film Festival Screenings
Organisation: Film Festival Selections Description: Festivals 2012 / LA Indie Film Festival / Las Angeles / USA 2012 / St Kilda Film Festival / Melbourne / Australia / Nominated: BEST ANIMATION 2012 / Dungog Film Festival / Dungog / Australia 2012 / Pineapple Underground Film Festival / Hong Kong 2012 / CineGlobe / CERN / Geneva / Switzerland 2012 / Melbourne International Animation Festival / Melbourne 2012 / Australian International Animation Festival / Melbourne 2012 / WOW Film Festival / Tricky Women Animation Screening / Sydney 2012 / Flickerfest / Sydney / Australia / IN COMPETITION 2011 / St Louis International Film Festival / St Louis / USA 2011 / Lady Filmmakers Film Festival / Beverly Hills / USA 2011 / Australian Animation and Effects Festival / Sydney / Australia / Nominated: BEST ANIMATION


For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.

Journal article (1 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2013 Shadbolt JB, 'Parallel Synchronized Randomness: Stop-motion Animation in Live Action Feature Films', Animation Studies Online Journal, 8 1-10 (2013) [C1]

Creative Work (6 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2016 Brooker CJ, O'Callaghan SP, Shadbolt J, Brollo D, Catanzaro M, Sandbach K, et al., Techne: Crafting Technology Exhibition, University of Newcastle Gallery (2016)
Co-authors Simone Ocallaghan, Caelli Brooker, Deidre Brollo
2015 Brooker CJ, Cross K, Minichiello M, Roxburgh M, Howells A, Atkins D, et al., Making it Known, Curve Gallery, (2015) [J2]
Co-authors Daniel Atkins, Ari Chand, Mario Minichiello, Mark Roxburgh, Caelli Brooker, Andrew Howells, Michael Dickinson, Ralph Kenke
2015 Shadbolt J, Boulton K, Going on 16 - Daniel Johns, Sydney Australia (2015) [J3]
2015 Brooker C, Cross K, Making It Known (2015) [J2]
Co-authors Mark Roxburgh, Michael Dickinson, Mario Minichiello, Andrew Howells, Daniel Atkins, Caelli Brooker
2011 Shadbolt JB, The Cartographer, -, Sydney, Australia (2011) [J1]
2009 Shadbolt JB, Map 9 K11 exhibited at Mapping Sydney: Experimental Cartography and the Imagined City, DAB LAB, Sydney, NSW, Australia (2009) [J2]
Show 3 more creative works

Report (1 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2018 Grushka K, Kerrigan S, Chand A, Street K, Lawry M, Shadbolt J, Gruppetta M, 'Creative Industries Careers: Re-imagining Regional and Remote Students¿ opportunities.', Department of Education and Training, 17 (2018)
Co-authors Ari Chand, Kath Grushka, Maree Gruppetta, Susan Kerrigan

Grants and Funding


Number of grants 5
Total funding $332,806

Click on a grant title below to expand the full details for that specific grant.

20182 grants / $138,797

Placemaking in Honeysuckle$135,797

Funding body: Hunter Development Corporation

Funding body Hunter Development Corporation
Project Team Professor Sue Anne Ware, Ms Jane Shadbolt, Doctor Nicholas Foulcher, Doctor Warren Reilly, Professor Michael Chapman, Mr Nicholas Flatman, Ms Amber Sauni
Scheme Newcastle Port Community Contribution
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2018
Funding Finish 2018
GNo G1800360
Type Of Funding C2210 - Aust StateTerritoryLocal - Own Purpose
Category 2210

Railway Workshop Projection (Honeysuckle Placemaking Project)$3,000

Funding body: Newcastle City Council

Funding body Newcastle City Council
Project Team Doctor Nicholas Foulcher, Ms Jane Shadbolt
Scheme Community Place Making Grant
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2018
Funding Finish 2018
GNo G1801251
Type Of Funding C2210 - Aust StateTerritoryLocal - Own Purpose
Category 2210

20171 grants / $109,009

Creative Industries Careers: Re-imagining Regional and Remote Students’ opportunities$109,009

Funding body: Department of Education and Training

Funding body Department of Education and Training
Project Team Doctor Kathryn Grushka, Doctor Miranda Lawry, Associate Professor Susan Kerrigan, Associate Professor Maree Gruppetta, Ms Jane Shadbolt
Scheme Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Programme (HEPPP)
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2017
Funding Finish 2017
GNo G1601086
Type Of Funding C2110 - Aust Commonwealth - Own Purpose
Category 2110

20091 grants / $5,000

New Staff Grant 2009$5,000

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding body University of Newcastle
Project Team Ms Jane Shadbolt
Scheme New Staff Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2009
Funding Finish 2009
GNo G0189921
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE

20081 grants / $80,000

The Cartographer$80,000

A short stop motion animation

Funding body: Screen Australia

Funding body Screen Australia
Project Team

Jane Shadbolt

Scheme Professional Development grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2008
Funding Finish 2011
Type Of Funding Not Known
Category UNKN

Research Supervision

Number of supervisions


Current Supervision

Commenced Level of Study Research Title Program Supervisor Type
2016 PhD Exploring the Panel: Producing a Feature Length, Horror-Themed Motion Comic Based on a Comic Book and Screenplay. PhD (Design), Faculty of Education and Arts, The University of Newcastle Co-Supervisor


Humanities workshop kicks off design start-up

July 18, 2017

A Humanities Startup Workshop has assisted in the creation of a design service and research studio within the School of Creative Industries.

Congratulations to FEDUA's HEPPP grant awardees

October 20, 2016

FEDUA researchers from the School of Education and the nascent School of Creative Industries who have been awarded competitive Federal Government funding.

UON students animate another quirky clip

May 17, 2016

University of Newcastle students have hand-animated a video clip featuring OITNB star Matt McGorry.

Ms Jane Shadbolt


Lecturer - Design
School of Creative Industries
Faculty of Education and Arts

Contact Details

Phone (02) 4921 6369


Room 226.
Building Design
Location Callaghan
University Drive
Callaghan, NSW 2308