Friday, 21 April 2017

Virtual Reality Show in London

Virtual Reality Show
The Virtual Reality Show is coming to Islington, North London, this weekend. With an impressive array of attendees and speakers, this could be the perfect event to find out the future of VR and - crucially for our students - who is hiring talent, and what skills are in demand. What software will you need to learn to join the VR Revolution?

One of the many benefits of studying animation and VFX at Bucks is the chance to pop down to London for events like this. London is a global hub for new technology and we strongly encourage our students to attend events like this one whenever possible. 

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Meet Willy!

Our online MA animators are digging into dialogue and lipsync this week, and one of the rigs they are using is Willy - an excellent free rig, created by Matthew Moore, and free to download for use by Maya animators.

Willy is a broad, flexible and cartoony rig, very simple to use and great for the early stages of learning animation - especially dialogue and lipsync.

However, like all animation rigs, Willy has his quirks. So, how can our animation students get the most out of Willy?

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Bring Your Own Animation Tuesday 18th April

One of the many advantages of studying animation at Bucks is close proximity to London, a world centre for animation and visual effects.

So we encourage our students to attend events like this one - "Bring Your Own Animation" on Tuesday 18th April. BYOA is an animation event that takes place every month at a pub in London.

This month the event is being organised by the London branch of SIGGRAPH, at The Lukin pub in Fitzrovia.

If you are a student who is working on a shot or a reel (isn't everyone?), bring your work on a USB or hard drive and get feedback from Professional Animators.

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

How to Get Ready for September

The best book on animation
What kind of preparation should students do before starting with us as undergraduates at Bucks in September? Or, equally importantly, as post-grad students doing the online MA in 3D animation?  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.

First, here is a short reading list to get you started. We've narrowed it down to just two key books that we recommend for all our students.

Thursday, 6 April 2017

BAFTA Scholarships for Post-Graduate Study

Want to do our online MA in 3D animation - but short on cash? Why not apply for a a BAFTA scholarship?

BAFTA has opened applications for its scholarship programmes, worth up to £12,000. So what's stopping you? Apply now!

Monday, 3 April 2017

Henry Badgett in London on Wednesday 5 April

Meet the man behind Games of Thrones
One of the many advantages of studying at Bucks is the chance to pop into London for talks and events in the animation and VFX business.

This week, Escape Studios is hosting another of their free "Evening With..." events, this time on Wednesday 5 April  at their Shepherd's Bush studio, with Henry Badgett.  Henry is a VFX Supervisor at BlueBolt, and one of the original supervisors on Games of Thrones.

Friday, 31 March 2017

London Animation Club Tuesday 4th April

Calling all Bucks animators! Why not come to the next London Animation Club meetup on Tuesday 4th April 2017?

The LAC will be screening a little known animated film titled "Know Your Europeans", in honour (or not) of the UK triggering Article 50 on Wednesday 29 March and announcing its intention to leave the European Union.

More importantly, informal societies like LAC offer the opportunity to meet other London-based animators and find out the latest news and gossip. There isn't a better place to find out who is hiring animators than in the pub over a pint of London Pride.

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Enter the Character Design Challenge!

Character Design Challenge!
Calling all Bucks Character Designers! There are just two days left to enter this month's Character Design Challenge!

The CDC is a bit like the Eleven Second Club, but for character designers. It launched in 2015 and already has over 25,000 thousand members.

This month's design challenge is .....Carnival of Venice! So what are you waiting for? Let's get designing!

Friday, 24 March 2017

How Do You Stop The Feet Sliding When You Animate a Walk Cycle?



How do you stop the feet sliding when you animate a walk cycle? It's a question often asked by animation students and, since the answer is a little technical, here is a free video which explains how to tackle the problem. It runs about 10 minutes, and should help explain how to get it right first time, and stop those feet from slipping around.

Friday, 17 March 2017

Apply for Our Online Masters Degree

The world's first online MA in animation
We're currently taking applications for the September intake of our online MA in 3D animation.

The online MA is a unique degree 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.

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Bring Your Own Animation - Monday 20 March

The Lukin - BYOA!
"Bring Your Own Animation" (BYOA) is an animation event that takes place every month in London, usually on a Monday night.

This month it is being held on Monday 20 March at 6.30pm at the Lukin pub, 4 Conway Street in central London W1T 6BB.

Anyone can bring their animation or just come along for drinks.  If you are a student, or a professional who's working on a shot or a reel, bring your work and get feedback from Professional Animators.

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Meet Bonnie!

Bonnie
Bonnie is a free character rig from Josh Sobel, creator of the excellent Kayla rig which can be downloaded for just $12.  Bonnie by contrast is absolutely free, and is an excellent rig for learning character performance and dialogue.

Josh Sobel describes Bonnie as "a free legacy rig. Bonnie has been downloaded and animated over 20,000 times, and though she's a bit dated, you can still pull a decent performance out of her for the low, low price of free".

Bonnie can be downloaded for free from Josh Sobel's website. We're recommending her to all our students for character performance and dialogue animation.

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Learn Gesture Drawing Online at Proko



Gesture drawing is an important skill for animators - it helps us learn how to capture a pose, and to master the art of visual storytelling. After all, planning your animation with quick thumbnail sketches that tell a story is still one of the core skills of the 3D animator - it's why we still need to know how to draw - at least just a little bit.  Here at Bucks we're recommending this series of videos by Proko, all hosted for free at his YouTube channel. There are lots of great videos but the particular playlist we're interested in is titled "Figure Drawing - How to Draw People". You can find it here.

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Anna Zielinska Animator at Touch Surgery

Bucks animation student Anna Laura Zielinska recently got a job as an animator at Touch Surgery, a London (and New York City) based company that specialises in medical animation - bringing surgical procedures to life, helping to teach the next generation of surgeons their life-saving skills.

Anna started our online Masters degree in September of last year, using the tutorial videos and bespoke feedback at Animation Apprentice to hone her skills. We congratulate Anna on the new job.

Monday, 27 February 2017

Inside The Jungle Book with MPC

The Jungle Book was one of the most impressive films of 2016, and its secrets were recently revealed at the Escape Studios VFX Festival, with MPC's Ben Jones (CG Supervisor) explaining how the London VFX house brought the characters and creatures of this classic tale to life, re-imagining one of the best-loved of the Walt Disney Studio's animated films.

So, how did MPC create this most extraordinarily ambitious movie?

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.