A BOURNEMOUTH University graduate is part of the team putting the finishing touches to the visual effects for the new series of Doctor Who.

Sheila Wickens graduated in computer visualisation and is now the VFX supervisor at DNEG, one of the world’s leading digital visual effects providers.

She began working on the new series of Doctor Who last December.

“We were regularly on set over the course of the 10-month shoot, to ensure that we acquired all the data required for the VFX work, which includes creating digital environments, CG creatures and lots of spaceships," she said.

“We worked closely with the client team and the show runner, who has the final say on how everything looks.

“It’s a fantastic show to work on because it has such a dedicated fan base. To see the trailers released and hit 25,000 shares on Twitter within 24 hours is a great feeling.

“At the same time, it’s a real challenge, because each episode is almost a movie in its own right, with its own theme and environments to create.”

Graduating in the late 90s, Sheila has been working in the visual effects industry for 20 years.

She said she originally wanted to pursue a career in graphic design, but after doing an art foundation course when she left school, she realised she wanted to incorporate more technical and scientific aspects.

“At that time, computer visualisation was a relatively new discipline and had only been running as a degree at Bournemouth for two years,” she continued.

“It gave me exactly what I wanted, enabling me to combine my creative and STEM skills.”

Sheila co-ordinates teams working on projects for television and film, including concept artists, matte painters, compositors and 3D artists.

Her advice for other people keen to join the industry was to “keep an open mind.”

She added: “While it’s good to have focus, I would encourage people to take any opportunity to get their foot in the door.

“It’s a competitive industry and relevant experience, coupled with genuine enthusiasm for the work, counts for a lot.

“The visual effects industry is a small world and I am often working alongside other BU graduates. I am proud of the fact that the university’s alumni are still so sought after.”

Doctor Who returned to the screen for a 12th series on New Year’s Day, with Jodie Whittaker as the 13th doctor starring in a two-part story called Spyfall.

Sir Lenny Henry and Stephen Fry were guest stars in the new story, along with regular companions Bradley Walsh, Tosin Cole and Mandip Gill.