|Animators need sound designers|
Sunday, 29 December 2013
Thursday, 26 December 2013
|Life at University|
Tuesday, 24 December 2013
Monday, 23 December 2013
|Figure drawing - great training for animators|
We've been working with the Student Union at Bucks to organise life drawing classes for our students, and we strongly recommend that everyone sign up. It's great skill to acquire and will help all our animators become better artists.
Our new Animation & Visual Effects Course has been running for three months now, and we're still ironing out some of the kinks. Recently our students gave vent to their frustration at the rather stingy data allowance of just 750MB for personal storage, barely enough to run all the software we use, let alone store high resolution images and video.
Luckily, the Bucks IT department has come now to the rescue. From now on, starting in the New Year, all our students will get 5 gigabytes of storage; still not a massive amount - but a huge improvement, and enough to run all the software we use and also make some decent renders.
Sunday, 22 December 2013
An animator's demo reel is never done. It is a constant work-in-progress, always being refined and updated to include your best work and weed out the less impressive material. Over the years a great deal of excellent work has been done by animators and digital artists here at Bucks.
One of the challenges of putting together a compilation reel of our best student work has been trying to track down all the films done in recent years. Here, for the first time, is a compilation of some of our students' best work, cut together by our first year animator Anton "Alfy" Alfimenko.
Thursday, 19 December 2013
We're famous again! Today the Daily Telegraph has run a piece on how students can muscle their way in to the creative industries, how to sustain a career in what is still a challenging job market, especially for recent graduates. It's a good piece, full of useful insights into what students need to learn in order to make it. Click here to read all about it.
Tuesday, 17 December 2013
Here at Bucks we teach the craft of animation and visual effects. One thing we don't teach (but perhaps should) is how to be a producer. Producers are vital to any production. They are organisers, leaders, people who make stuff happen. While the rest of us collect a paycheck, producers are out there beating the pavement, pitching, bidding, and raising money.
Below is an interview with VFX Producer Martin Gabriel, reprinted from Alex's blog FLIP. It's one of FLIP's most popular posts ever, probably because it explains the workings of a job that is, to non-producers, somewhat mysterious. So, if you've very wondered how the VFX industry really works, read on, and get educated.
Saturday, 14 December 2013
|A student watches a tutorial on his iPad, and does the exercise a separate screen|
Why don't we hear more about it? Because people don't like to talk about it. Employers don't talk about it because they don't like being sued. Employees don't talk about it because they fear if they admit to having problems they will lose their job and perhaps their career. So get educated, look after your health, and make sure it doesn't happen to you.
Thursday, 12 December 2013
Over the course of your three years at University there will inevitably be things that will go wrong. Personal problems, health crises, a crisis in the family - all sorts of things can derail the best laid plans and throw you off course. When bad things happen, you are not alone. The university provides counseling services free of charge and you will never be turned away if you need help, or just want someone to talk to.
Wednesday, 11 December 2013
|Art and Industry - what Bucks is all about|
Tuesday, 10 December 2013
We're famous! Today's edition of Digital Arts Magazine online has run a piece all about our new course at Bucks, focusing specifically on our revolutionary technique of "flipping the classroom", inspired by the work of American educator and entrepreneur Salman Khan. Click here to read all about it. We're at Computer World too!
Monday, 9 December 2013
|Titles to Love Me Love Me Love Me by Richard Williams|
Saturday, 7 December 2013
Below are some rules for putting together a good CV.
Thursday, 5 December 2013
|The Library at Bucks - a huge resource|
Wednesday, 4 December 2013
Tuesday, 3 December 2013
OK, so you have got your first freelance job. You've pitched the idea, you've agreed a price for the job, the client is shiny-eyed with excitement about the amazing work you're going to do for them. Now all you have to do is deliver what you promised. What can possibly go wrong? Plenty!
Below is our simple guide to getting it right and making sure that your first client is not only so happy that he or she comes back for more, but also tells everyone they know what a great job you did. Over the course of your media career, almost every job you get will come to you on the strength of a recommendation - it's how the business works.
Monday, 2 December 2013
Some of our students' early submissions have a common weakness - sketches and artwork which have been digitally photographed or scanned, but are not well presented. Out there in the real world, clients will expect any digital artwork you submit to look stylish, clear and attractive. Raw scans with grey shade pixellation or blurry edges just don't cut it.
The good news is, it is super easy in Photoshop to adjust the levels of your scanned artwork so as to reduce the greyshade and make your images look more crisp and professional.
Sunday, 1 December 2013
Sofa.com have launched a student animated film competition titled ‘Filmed with Happiness’. Anyone who is studying or working in film making, animation or television is invited to submit a children’s short film based on the theme of "happiness". The winner gets £3,000 in cash - and the chance to boost your profile with a little help from their PR agency.
Thursday, 28 November 2013
|Insert Your Name Here|
But how do you get onto it? Specifically, as a recent graduate, trying to building yourself a reputation and an online presence, how do you get your name included in their database? Here's how the system works:
Tuesday, 26 November 2013
How do graduates in digital media find that crucial first job? And the second? And how do you build a career? Last friday a dozen Bucks graduates who are currently working in the creative industries came back to their alma mater to talk to our undergraduates about what it takes to find work. They They discussed many things, but the recurring theme was employment - and how to find it. Below are some of their tips for graduates looking to find work.
Sunday, 24 November 2013
So you've got a great idea for a book - now you want to know - how do you get it published? The good news is, it has never been easier to get into print. The bad news is, the economics of publishing have never been worse. Plus, writing a whole book is going to be a major effort, so you don't want to waste your time on something that no-one wants to read. So what is answer? Like so many things in media, what you need is a good pitch. Below is our simple guide to getting it right and ensuring that a good publisher will (hopefully) pick up your first book.
Saturday, 23 November 2013
|Every animation course begins with a bouncing ball|
Below is a small selection of some of the films which came out particularly well.
Thursday, 21 November 2013
|Some of the companies our graduates have worked for|
Who will be there? Our guests are all Bucks graduates, all working in digital media, who will be returning to the Uni to share their insights into how they forged their careers. They were themselves students at Bucks, so they know better than anyone what it takes to turn a degree into a career. Below is a complete list of who's on the Panel. Bring a notepad, and get ready with your questions.
Wednesday, 20 November 2013
|Open Day at Bucks New University - come and see us!|
Tuesday, 19 November 2013
This is a problem for all group projects, and students film projects are no exception. So, save yourself some pain and heartache by following this step-by-step guide to making a group project work. These are the rules to live by.
Monday, 18 November 2013
Andy Thomas is a talented artist who graduated from Bucks New University in 2002 and, since then, has forged a successful career in the digital arts. He now works for the global multi-national URS, running their digital media team. We asked him to talk a little about how he got started, and what students need to do to get hired in today's competitive job market.
Sunday, 17 November 2013
|Rapunzel - great hair!|
Saturday, 16 November 2013
How do graduates find work? Getting that first job is always the toughest step, and also arguably the most important. Next week on Thursday 21st November is the Jobs & Careers Fair, and the very next day is our brand-new Graduate Panel - aimed specifically at kick-starting careers in the creative arts. The panel will take place on Friday November 22nd from midday until 15.00 in the General Lecture Theatre (GLT).
Who will be there? Our guests will be Bucks graduates, many of them working in animation and digital media, who will be returning to the Uni to share their insights into how they forged their careers. They were themselves students at Bucks, so they know better than anyone what it takes to turn a degree into a career.
Friday, 15 November 2013
Cartoon Movie is the main international forum for independent film-makers to pitch their animated film ideas to producers, distributors and sales agents. In other words, it's where talent meets money to make great movies. The deadline to pitch an idea in concept is fast approaching - November 22 is the last day for submissions.
Thursday, 14 November 2013
You can read more about it at the official page here:
Wednesday, 13 November 2013
|Animation by Jack Strood for GPSL|
Lots of companies find it hard to explain exactly to clients what it is that they do - especially in the technology sector - and animation can be the perfect medium to make complex ideas seem clear and easy to understand. We asked Jack (who did the animation) and Alex Hudd (who did the audio work) to talk about the project and how they got involved.
Tuesday, 12 November 2013
Anton Alfimenko is one of our talented freshmen students here at Bucks, having come all the way from Kazakhstan to study on our new Animation and Visual Effects course.
Anton impressed us at all his interview last Spring, for which we used Skype to reach him in distant Almaty. One of the most impressive parts of his digital portfolio was a short film he made titled "Super Fergie", a Nintendo games parody starring a digital Sir Alex Ferguson as a cartoon character winning endless football competitions and prizes. Needless to say, Anton is a huge Manchester United fan.
Monday, 11 November 2013
|Q Pootle 5 by Blue Zoo|
Sunday, 10 November 2013
Lynda.com supplies a huge range of online training videos - which are now free to access for all our students at Bucks New University! All you have to do is log in to Blackboard, click on the Lynda.com tab - and you're in.
Saturday, 9 November 2013
Diarmid Harrison Murray was the keynote speaker at last week's BlueGFX Expo at London's South Bank. He was there talking about the title sequence for Skyfall, which he directed, tackling the project with a small team at Framestore, one of London's leading visual effects houses.
Below is a rough (and hopefully accurate) transcript of his talk, in which he explained how he managed to pull off the animated titles for the latest installment in the world's most successful film franchise.
Friday, 8 November 2013
|Salvador Dali shows off his Mo. Photo: Wikipedia|
Thursday, 7 November 2013
|E4.08. The Helpdesk of Doom|
Wednesday, 6 November 2013
|Gateway media hub - opened in 2010|
Tuesday, 5 November 2013
Saturday, 2 November 2013
At the recent BlueGFX Expo at London's National Film Museum on the South Bank, Blue Zoo founders Tom Box and Adam Shaw gave an excellent presentation about their BAFTA-winning young company - now the biggest TV animation co. in the UK.
Tom and Adam were very enthusiastic presenters, clearly excited about their company and about the future of TV animation in Britain. They also offered some excellent insights into how animation graduates might go about getting a job with their fast-growing studio. Below is a rough transcript of their talk, plus some of the questions they answered at the end.
Friday, 1 November 2013
Recently we have been tackling short commercial projects, working with some of the recent Bucks graduates, such as Monika Dzikowicz, Lydon Fleisig, Dave Berry, Paula Gillin and Allan De Leal.
Our latest film follows from our most recent project: "What is Wrong with the Global Development Oragnisation?", which is now competing for prizes in festivals around the world. This short film - about the problems faced by all organisations trying to help out in faraway places - has now got an IMDB entry, so our students can now link to their own IMDB profiles.
Thursday, 31 October 2013
Blue GFX Expo is the annual London showcase for the visual effects industry and the software that drives it, sponsored by (among many others) the software-wizards Autodesk - who make Maya and 3DStudioMax, and much of the other software that we use in the VFX industry.
Housed slightly incongruously in the vast and rambling Edwardian County Hall building on London’s South Bank, the Expo was marvelously hard to find, but highly rewarding to attend.
Tuesday, 29 October 2013
animation tutorial part. 1 AKA "the secret of animation" from giovanni braggio on Vimeo.
Above is a very short and very funny video by Giovanni Braggio, revealing the hidden secrets of computer animation. Giovanni explains how easy it is to animate. Forget the complicated business of learning timing and spacing the hard way - you just pick your language, and ask the character to perform for you.
Sunday, 27 October 2013
|Summer students at Bucks show how it's done|
Thursday, 24 October 2013
|Rob Kelly teaches Camera, TV production, Design and Motion Graphics at Bucks|
Wednesday, 23 October 2013
Friday October 25th is the opening night of the London International Animation Festival. We highly recommend that all our students at Bucks attend. Attending festivals like this is a way of finding out what is happening in the industry, what kind of skills are in demand, who is hiring, and what sort of work you might look forward to doing over the course of a successful career in the animation business.
Tuesday, 22 October 2013
|UCAS - still the principal hub for University applications|
Saturday, 19 October 2013
Getting hired is diffuclt in the current climate, and finding that first job can be the hardest leap of all. The most vital thing that every Bucks graduate will leave with is a demo reel or portfolio that showcases their talent and will - hopefully - get them a job. One question that tutors get asked a lot is - what should go into a demo reel? It's a good question.
Below are some excellent notes on demo reels from Jinny Hinkle, a "wannabe animator" who attended Disney's "Inspire Day" in Los Angeles. The rules for demo reels were handed down by Disney but they apply to finding work at any studio.
Thursday, 17 October 2013
|Dave Creighton by Monika Dzikowicz|
He can help with pretty much anything to do with animation and visual effects at Bucks; with two decades of experience he knows how the University works (or sometimes doesn't). We asked him to tell us about his work, and what students on the new Animation & VFX course can look forward to.
Thursday, 10 October 2013
|Mentor's old pal Odysseus|
At Bucks, mentoring is a way of offering students one-on-one support from (usually, but not necessarily, older) people who have been there, and done that. If you feel like you would like to find a mentor at the university, or have a bit of wisdom and experience you would like to pass on to others, then the man to talk to is Paul Wilcock, who is one of two dedicated staff at Bucks who look after the mentoring program. We asked Paul to tell us what, exactly, mentoring is, and why students might be interested in getting involved.
Tuesday, 8 October 2013
We hear a lot about portfolio careers these days, as the old model of a job for life becomes something that fewer and fewer graduates can rely on. Outside of the public sector, it has virtually disappeared, replaced by a much looser and more fluid relationship between employee and employer. But what is it, really? Is "Portfolio Career" just a fancy new way of saying freelancer? After all, freelancers have been around for years, haven't they?
Thursday, 3 October 2013
|Completely free! Well, sort of.|