Thursday, 20 October 2016

Dishonored 2 at BAFTA on Saturday!

BAFTA is a great resource for any of our students with easy access to central London - which is basically all of our undergraduates. The BAFTA clubhouse is at 195 Piccadilly - a short walk from Piccadilly and Green park Tube stations.

On Saturday 22 October at 5.30pm BAFTA is hosting the creative team behind the game Dishonored 2 - an amazing chance for our animation and games students to meet the creative team behind this blockbuster game, and get to know the talent that put it together. Tickets aren't free, but at £7.50 it's cheaper than a movie.

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Blue GFX Expo is Back! 17th November 2016

Blue GFX Expo is taking place in London on 17th November 2016.

Last year speakers included Tom Box from Blue Zoo, one of the UK's biggest TV animation company, Stuart Penn from Framestore, and the folks from Autodesk showing the latest tools.

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Welcome To The Bucks New Uni Online MA in Animation

The world's first online MA in animation
We're excited to welcome all our new students who will soon be starting the journey with us on our online MA in animation, launched one year ago at Bucks in partnership with Animation Apprentice.

This is a unique degree - the first of its kind - which can be undertaken by students anywhere in the world, leading to a formal qualification in the field. You will not only learn how to animate, but you will engage at Masters' level with the underpinning theory and structure behind the art form. So, what is this degree all about, and what can our new students expect?

Friday, 5 August 2016

Bucks Animation BA Has Moved to a Shiny New Site at

We have a new website! . The BA (Hons) Course now has a new site where you can see recent student work and get more information about the course. We have been putting in a lot of work behind the scenes to make sure that 2016-2017 is the best year yet! If you wish to apply then hurry, there are still a few places available in clearing.

If you are looking to study at our online MA in 3D Animation please continue to check this site:

Friday, 29 July 2016

Autodesk Releases Maya 2017: Mental Ray Is Out, Arnold Is In

Autodesk has just released a new version of Maya, titled Maya 2017 (I know, we're only half way through 2016) - which now features an entirely new system for rendering your images. 

The old ray trace renderer, Mental Ray, has been dropped, and Autodesk have chosen Arnold instead. For those of you have have never used Arnold before, and might have some catching up to do, Animation Apprentice student Lee Caller has helpfully put together a YouTube playlist of videos that will walk you through the basics of the Arnold renderer. 

Arnold is a great renderer, and no doubt a significant improvement on Mental Ray. However, there is a catch, and it's a pretty big one.

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

How to Load 3DS Max Files into Autodesk Maya

Visit a website like Turbosquid and you will find plenty of cool stuff, much of it free, to help you with your animation. You might want to download a set, or a prop, something to make your shot come alive.  After all, you don't want to waste precious time modeling complex props and sets - you want to get on with your animation.

But what if the only available file type for download is a 3DS Max file? Max is a popular platform for learning animation and, while is it much less widely used in industry than Maya, there is lots of great free content out there in the 3DS Max format. So, what we need is a way to import 3DS Max files into Maya.  Fortunately, it's pretty easy when you know how.

Thursday, 26 May 2016

How to Get Ready For Our Online MA in 3D Animation in September

What kind of preparation should students do before starting with us on our online MA in 3D Animation in September?  It's always good to do a little preparation and get a bit of a head start.

Below is a brief list of stuff to get you under way. You don't have to do all of it, but tick off a few of the things on this list and you will be a making a great start on your animation career.

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Blue Zoo at MPC SIGGRAPH Event in Soho Wednesday 25 May

Blue Zoo, one of the UK's most innovative indie animation studios, is the star of the next SIGGRAPH event, on Wednesday May 25 at MPC in London's Soho, at 7pm.

The founders of BlueZoo will be talking about how they nurtured their fledgling company from an idea into a multi-million pound animation powerhouse.  Best of all, the event is completely free!

Monday, 23 May 2016

Bucks Animation Graduates Latest Short Film - Chargesync

Our animation graduates at Bucks have just completed their latest freelance commercial project: Chargesync.  Chargesync is a tech company that makes electricity storage devices that people can put in their homes, saving money on their electricity bills and helping to reduce their carbon footprint as well. The purpose of the film is to help electricity consumers understand exactly what it is that Chargesync do.  Animation is a wonderful tool for taking complex ideas and getting them across in a simple, clear way. And this film was a great way for our students to get paid experience of working on a live freelance job - for a great company with a great message.

Friday, 19 February 2016


Hi Bucks Animation readers- Sydney here with a couple of fun animation projects from our second years: The Powerup Project is a simple brief with a lot of scope for creativity: it asks for a 5-10 second scene where a character gains power in some way. I suggested the students could literally transform the character if they liked-- animation is a great medium for magic, fantasy, and scifi after all!  This exercise is meant to practice clear storytelling through posing, while giving the students a chance to be playful with combining animation, effects, and camera work. The multitalented Mobo King delivered on all fronts with this great scene (he gets extra points because I'm a mad Steven Universe fan too :) )

I also enjoyed Radoslav Hristov's clever use of a mod of the Norman rig we use for our basic animation exercises:

We are still accepting applications for next year at Bucks Animation by the way, if you hurry! So you can make a Powerup of your own...

-- Sydney

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Craimer Jones. Sci Fi environment WIP

Hello! I am Rob Penhaligon, the new Course Leader for Animation & VFX. I thought I would get my Bucks blogging career started with a really nice work in progress from our 3rd Yr student Craimer Jones.

He has been developing a sci fi environment for the Experimental phase of his major project. The next phase is to develop an animation with some atmospheric effects. This may take the form of an over the shoulder shot of a poor soul, running in fear for their life. Whatever happens, I am really looking forward to seeing what Craimer comes up with.

The major 3rd yr Honours project consists of 2 phases, the first Experimental phase involves taking an idea that directly relates to your intended career. You experiment with it and refine it into to something that works. The second phase is Production, which has just started. This involves developing and pushing your idea to a really high standard, ready to take to prospective employers, or if you wish, as the starting point for your own freelance company.

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Government Funding for Post-Graduate Study in the UK

There is good news this year for students in the UK hoping to secure funding for post-graduate study, including our pioneering Online MA in 3D Animation - the first of its kind anywhere in the world.

Prospective students will soon (from this summer) be able to secure Government funding for postgraduate study through loans, studentships, bursaries and grants.

If you are a UK-based student and you start a full-time or part-time master’s degree after 1 August 2016, you can now apply for a Postgraduate Loan. You will be able to borrow up to £10,000 to pay your fees and also help with living costs. So, how does the system work?

Sunday, 31 January 2016

Bucks Animation: The Force Awakens!

Hello Bucks Animation Blog readers! I'm finally getting settled in as the new animation lecturer here, so it's time for me to start blogging! Just a quick one to warm up with...

We just wrapped up a semester of creature work with the second years, and I loved this fun production from Lyuboslav Angelov. Wolfdog isn't the easiest rig for action scenes but Lyuboslav got a lot out of him, and modelled and rigged a friend for him to play with!

Monday, 28 December 2015

Student Showcase - Online MA in 3D Animation!

Our brand-new online MA in 3D animation (the first of its kind anywhere in the world) has only been up and running for a few months now, but we are already starting to see some excellent results. The short clip above was created by MA student Neil Whitman, and shows perfectly how important it is for animators not only to master the technical side of our craft, but also to entertain an audience. Neil does this perfectly, creating an imaginative use of different walk cycles to create an interesting and funny story.

Sunday, 27 December 2015

UCAS Deadline looms for 2016!

UCAS - still enough time left - but hurry!
Thinking of applying to Bucks to study Animation & Visual Effects, or for our unique online MA in 3D animation - the only one of its kind? It's not too late!

The next UCAS deadline is 15 January 2016, and we're still welcoming applications for our fast-growing courses.

Below are some good reasons why we believe we are building one of the best places to study animation in the country, and how you can get started on your new career as a digital animator. Why wait? Apply now!

Friday, 25 September 2015

Bucks New University Welcomes Our New Students To The Online MA in Animation!

The world's first online MA in animation
We're excited to welcome all our new students who have just started the journey with us on our brand-new online MA in animation, launched this week here at Bucks in partnership with Animation Apprentice.

This is a unique degree - the first of its kind - which can be undertaken by students anywhere in the world, leading to a formal qualification in the field. You will not only learn how to animate, but you will engage at Masters' level with the underpinning theory and structure behind the art form. So, what is this degree all about, and what can our new students expect?

Saturday, 29 August 2015

Sydney Padua - Our New Animation Lecturer!

Bucks New University is proud to announce our new lecturer in Animation - industry veteran Sydney Padua, whose animation career not only includes a roster of Hollywood hits but also encompasses countless visual effects blockbusters.

If that's not enough for you, she has even published highly successful graphic novels.  So, some very good news then for animation and VFX students at Bucks.

Friday, 21 August 2015

A New Demo Reel from Miles Skarin

CRYSTAL SPOTLIGHT VIDEO SHOWREEL 2015 from Crystal Spotlight on Vimeo.

Check out the latest demo from Crystal Spotlight, the work of Miles Skarin, one of our many talented students at Bucks. Miles will be entering the second year of his studies in September, and is already doing work that any graduate would be proud of. Congratulations to Miles on an excellent piece of work.


Friday, 31 July 2015

Moving On

Like Dick Whittington, I'm off to London
Working at Bucks and launching the new course in Animation and Visual Effects has been one of the highlights of my professional career.  After all, Bucks is a university with excellent facilities in new media and a strong focus on the creative arts.

Sad to say, today is my last day at Bucks, and I am moving to a new job in London with Escape Studios. However, the excellent work done at Bucks by our talented students will continue, and I wish the very best to whoever takes on the running of Animation and VFX course.

Saturday, 25 July 2015

Book Recommendation - Animation Methods by David Rodriguez

Animation Methods by David Rodriguez is a very, very good book on learning animation in Maya.  It's a book that focuses primarily on 3D Character Animation, a step-by-step guide for learning Maya, and the Maya animation tools. It also has useful sections on how to get into the industry, how to make a great demo reel, and how to get a job in animation. We think this is a very useful companion book to the animation and VFX course at Bucks.

It is also an unusual book in that it makes extensive use of QR codes - meaning you can use your smartphone to scan the codes and then view a 3D animated clip of the lesson. So, not only can you read the lesson, but you can also see and understand it through a video demonstration.