Wednesday, 22 February 2017

How Do You Get an Animated TV Series to the Screen? Giles Pilbrow Explains

Giles Pilbrow
On Wednesday 1 March Escape Studios in London is hosting another free "Evening With...", this time with Giles Pilbrow: cartoonist, animator and one of the writers of the UK's longest-running satirical magazine, Private Eye.

Giles also brought the Horrible Histories to TV, and is the creator of the CBBC series Scream Street.

We're hoping that many of our student animators will come along on March 1st and find out how you might get your own animated TV series off the ground.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Blue Zoo Animation Masterclass

At the recent VFX Festival at Rich Mix in London, Blue Zoo's Tom Box introduced one of their animation directors to give a Masterclass in Cartoony Animation. Blue Zoo does all kinds of different styles of animation, trying "not to get known for just one style", but much of their work is done for TV format, where schedules are punishing and animators have to work fast.

Blue Zoo have to be creative, efficient, and find ways to stay competitive - even in a high-cost city like London, where rents and wages are much higher than overseas.

They also encourage their staff to get involved creatively, developing in-house projects which can be brought to the screen, and also doing short films - BZ Shorts - within the studio, developing new styles of animation and experimenting with new ways of doing things.

So what are Blue Zoo's secrets for a fast, efficient animation workflow?

Thursday, 9 February 2017

The Animator's Checklist

The Animator's Checklist
Here is a link to an excellent animation blog, "The Animator's Checklist", which gives a really useful introduction to some of the key principles of animation.

The website is hosted in Spain (but written in English), and has some really useful resources for learning animation.

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Thursday, 2 February 2017

History of Pixar

Above is an excellent short film about the history of the Pixar studio. It's a promotional piece, but also a great introduction to the history of the modern medium, the second "Golden Age" of animation. Among the impressive insights into the story-telling process at Pixar are John Lasseter suggesting that "every Pixar film at one point in time was the worst motion picture ever made". Why? Because "it's a process". In other words, it's not the doing of the thing, it is the re-doing of it that really counts.

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Meet Frame Store's Billy Butler on Thursday 2 February

Escape Studios in West London is hosting another free event for students - an "Evening With..." coming up on Thursday 2 February at their Shepherd's Bush studio, with Billy Butler,  Lead Modeler at Framestore.

Billy has a vast amount of VFX experience, having worked on hit movies such as Gravity, Animalia and Sucker Punch.

He will be showing students his demo reel and talking about his experience in the VFX industry. This is a superb event for any of our students who would like to find out more about 3D and VFX - and 3D modelling in particular. 

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Get Ready for Our Online MA in 3D Animation - Now Recruiting for April 2017

Our new online MA in 3D Animation, delivered in partnership with Animation Apprentice, is proving so popular that we've decided to open an April enrollment - giving our students much more flexibility.

The official webpage is still showing a September enrollment date, but this will be changed soon to reflect the new April intake.  After all, as an online degree, there isn't any reason why he have to be bound by the traditional September enrollment of the academic calendar.

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

Monday, 16 January 2017

Great Free Maya Tutorials by Mike Hermes

Here at Bucks we have a strong focus on the art of character and creature animation. Our course has a big VFX element - to prepare our students for the world of visual effects animation.

The London animation scene has a large emphasis on this kind of work, with studios like Frame Store and MPC being global leaders in super-realistic photo-real animal and creature work.

For students looking to apply to study with us, it's a great idea to get a taste of what 3D animation is like before you sign up for a full 3 year BA in Animation and VFX. For beginners, we're recommending Mike Hermes' videos at YouTube, which offer excellent short tutorials on pretty much every aspect of the Maya pipeline. They are short, easy to follow, and refreshingly free of unnecessary information.  The playlists are well organised and, best of all, it's all completely free.

Monday, 9 January 2017

London Mime Festival 9 Jan - 4 Feb 2017

The London Mime Festival is about to launch its 40th anniversary season in London.  Artists include acrobat-genius Mathurin Bolze (Cie MPTA), Charleroi Danses’ Kiss & Cry and Mossoux Bonté, German Mask-theatre experts Familie Flöz, and Gandini Juggling with a hugely expanded version of its glorious Pina Bausch tribute, Smashed.

But why should Bucks animators watch mime? Because mime is the basis of great animation. If you can tell a story without words or dialogue, then you have the makings of a great piece of animation. Our animators at Bucks have to master the art of body language and facial expressions long before they learn the dark arts of lipsync and dialogue.

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Meet Norman! A Versatile and Free Animation Rig

There are many free rigs available to Maya animators hoping to practice and learn their craft. Norman, Max, Morpheus - these are all excellent rigs, easy to download, all free for non-commercial use.

But beware - all rigs are different and each one has its own quirks. All take time to get used to, and each one has its frustrations.  Norman was one of the first character rigs made available for student use, free on a non-commercial license. Norman is reliable, relatively simple to use, and highly customisable.

Monday, 2 January 2017

New Year's Resolutions For Animators

Happy New Year!
What should an animator's new year's resolutions be?

The animation industry is a huge and growing business, much bigger than it was just a few years years ago.

But the world of animation and visual effects is a competitive one, and good animators need to be smart to stay on top of their game.  So, what are some simple ways to maintain your edge in 2017?

Friday, 30 December 2016

3D Animation Taster Days on January 13 and 25

Learn to animate a bird in flight
Fancy trying out 3D animation for a day? I'm running two Animation Taster Days at Escape Studios in Shepherd's Bush, London on January 13 and 25.  Taster Days are a great chance to come and learn about character and creature animation.

The purpose of an animation taster day to give future animators an idea of what it's like to work in the  industry, and find out if this is a career that's right for them.

You will work with Autodesk Maya and the Adobe Creative Suite, and you’ll get a hands-on introduction to 3D Animation techniques, all for just £25. By the end of the day you'll have your own piece of animation uploaded to your YouTube channel.  So, how do you sign up?

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

What is Redshift? - by Lyuboslav Angelov

Go to any animation or vfx festival and you will hear hair-raising tales of super-long render times, of waiting for days on end for a single frame or batch of frames to render.

In reality, CG artists need our renders to be as quick and efficient as possible.  Long render times increase our costs and take too much time to get things done.

Recently, Bucks animation undergraduate Lyuboslav Angelov has been getting great results from Redshift, a new rendering tool - which has also been adopted by leading London studios such as Blue Zoo. We asked Lyuboslav to explain how Redshift works and how students can benefit from its speed and simplicity.

Friday, 16 December 2016

Bucks Animation Compilation Reel 2016

Above is the latest Bucks Animation Compilation Reel - 2016. Here we have featured a selection of the best work done by our students at Bucks over the past year. We're proud of the work our students are doing, raising the bar each year and trying to out-do the work done by past years' students. Congratulations to everyone whose work made it into this latest compilation of the finest animation and VFX work done at Bucks.

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Time to Register for BVExpo! 28 Feb 2017

Time to Register for BVExpo! BVExpo is an annual event that describes itself as "the UK's leading entertainment and media tech event".

The Expo takes place from 28 February until 2nd March at the ExCeL London and - best of all - it's completely free. As ever, we recommend that our students attend events like this - it's a great way to keep up with the latest trends in our industry and find out where future opportunities lie.  It's especially interesting for animators interested in broadcast graphics.

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Animation Taster Day at Escape Studios on Wednesday 14 December

Learn to animate a bird in flight
Interested in trying out 3D animation? I'll be hosting an Animation Taster Day at Escape Studios in London on Wednesday 14 December - so come and find out all about character and creature animation.

I'm running this animation taster day to give future animators an idea of what it's like to work in the  industry, and find out if this is a career that's right for them.

You will work with Autodesk Maya and the Adobe Creative Suite, and you’ll get a hands-on introduction to 3D Animation techniques, all for just £25!  By the end of the day you'll have your own piece of animation uploaded to your YouTube channel.  So, how do you sign up?

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Animated Women UK launch "The Achieve Programme"

Last week, Animated Women UK launch "The Achieve Programme" - their first ever programme focused on helping women in animation and VFX to achieve their full potential.

Official sponsors of the programme include Creative Skillset, Disney, Turner, Escape Studios and The Mill. For any of our students in the London area, this could be a great opportunity to break into the industry, and make connections with leading companies.

Monday, 28 November 2016

Student Loans for Master's Degrees Now Available

Government help is available
The new student loan system for postgraduate master's degrees has now been launched. Low interest loans will now provide students in the UK with access to postgraduate university courses.

This is very good news indeed for any of our students who would like to go on to do our ground-breaking online MA in 3D animation.

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Bucks Success Story - Anton Alfy

Anton Alfimenko is a recent Bucks graduate who has now landed a full time job with the Bleacher report, the US Sports News company.

We asked him to talk a little about his new job, and what it takes to break into the industry.

Monday, 21 November 2016

Online MA Student Jeton Lakna Reinvents the Bucks New Uni Logo

We're enjoying this new take on the Bucks New Uni Logo by Online MA student Jeton Lakna. The exercise is in set building, texturing, lighting and rendering - the idea being to get all our online students up to speed with the basic building blocks of the 3d pipeline. Jeton's work is a fun new take on Bucks branding - and also shows off some great CG skills.