Gavin Lewis


School of Digital, Technologies and Arts

Following a degree in fine art and a MA in computer animation I started my career working as a VFX artist on ‘Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire’. Following this I was lucky enough to be able to travel to countries such as Spain and Australia to work on some amazing productions including Georg Miller's ‘Happy Feet’ (Oscar winner), Tim Burton’s ‘Sweeney Todd’ (Oscar winner), and Roland Emmerich’s ‘10,000 BC’.

In 2008 I began working as a research assistant at Bournemouth University, creating and animating virtual characters for use in an EPSRC research project to exploring of visual fidelity on the validity of experiments conducted in immersive virtual environments.

Following this I joined facial animation specialists Faceware. One of the most exciting aspects of this job was overseeing the facial capture process for multiple motion-capture shoots, including for Electronic Arts ‘Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 2’ where we undertook a gruelling but highly enjoyable five week shoot to capture all of the animations for the games multiple cut scenes.

Since 2011 I have been lecturing in games and animation, firstly at University of West London, and then within the Games and Visual Effects department at Staffordshire University. During this time I have continued to work on my own artistic practice – exploring how the tools of the VFX/Game artist can be used in an unconventional or subversive way to reinsert the artist’s identity back into the work, in a process the normally seeks to remove it. I am also currently working on a PhD in games animation, and am particularly interested how this relates to the player’s sense of immersion/incorporation in the game. I have also published on the sustainable development of esports and current challenges for the esports ecosystem.

Professional memberships and activities

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Academic qualifications

  • PGCert in Teaching and Learning, University of West London.
  • MA in Computer Animation, NCCA Bournemouth University.
  • BA(Hons) in Fine Art (Intermedia). Kingston University.
  • Arts Foundation, Arts University Bournemouth.


Animation for video games, history of animation for games, facial rigging and animation, motion capture/performance capture, player avatar relationship.

Research interests

Animation for video games, player/avatar relationship, agency in video games, ‘game feel’, immersion/incorporation, facial animation.


I currently lead the games animation modules within the games degrees. The modules run across all 3 years of the degrees and provide students with a grounding in both theory and practice of hand-keyed and motion capture animation. Ultimately the modules seek to allow students to use the theoretical principles of animation to imbue a character with thought and emotion, and allow them to communicate this to an audience.


Meng-Lewis, Y., Wong, D., Zhao, Y., Lewis, G., (2021). Understanding complexity and dynamics in the career development of eSports athletes. Sport Management Review.

Meng-Lewis, Y., Xian, H., Lewis, G., & Zhao, Y. (2021). “Enthusiastic Admiration Is the First Principle of Knowledge and Its Last”: A Qualitative Study of Admiration for the Famous. SAGE Open, 11(2),

King, A., Shanley, J., Lewis, G., Kommineni, P., Debur, R., Ravindra, S. (2018). Enhancing clinical reasoning skills in physiotherapy through an on-line international discussion forum. Presented at the Higher Education Conference, Aston University.

Lewis, G. (2015). Using the tools of the digital animator to explore the artistic process as physical action. Presented at the Practice-Based Research Symposium, University of West London.

Lewis, G. (2014). Exploring differing conceptions of the creative disciplines at the HE level in China and the UK. Poster Presentation at the Teaching and Learning Conference, University of West London.

Lewis, G. (2014) Exploring the mundane and the extraordinary through the work of the digital animator. Presented at the Practice-Based Research Symposium, University of West London.

Lewis, G. (2013). Using social media to nurture a community of practice amongst digital animation students. Presented at the Teaching and Learning Conference, University of West London.

Top 15 for Teaching Quality

The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021

6th for Social Inclusion

The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022

Midlands University of the Year

Midlands Business Awards 2020