Thursday, 31 January 2013

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Partnering with the animation industry

Here at Bucks we're proud of our contacts with industry, forging links with companies so that students get real-world experience of the job market and, hopefully, internships and actual jobs. For example, we're building a partnership with Centroid, the Motion Capture company at Pinewood studios which helped some of our students gather MoCap data for their film projects last year.

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Salman Khan and the Khan Academy - a better way to teach?

Here at Bucks we're inspired by the work of Salman Khan, the American educator and entrepreneur who founded the Khan Academy, a not-for-profit online school which teaches every academic subject under the sun. Khan's philosophy is simple - traditional schools have got it all backwards. His mission is to change the way we learn, and make it better.

Monday, 28 January 2013

Finding Work at Film and TV Pro

Film and TV Pro is a great website to sign up for. You can get updates on jobs, both paid and unpaid, and connect with industry professionals. Looking for that first job can be the trickiest part of launching your career, and being connected is part of the solution.

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Student Showcase: Michael Swan meets Tag Heuer

Tag Heuer watch by Michael Swan
Michael Swan is one of our talented animation students here at Bucks, who is working hard to become a skilled digital artist and an expert modeller. As part of his studies he has completed a project for the Swiss watch company Tag Heuer, accurately modelling one of their products and creating a short film set to music, shown below:

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Should you study online - or in a classroom?

Animation Apprentice - teaching animation online
Which is better? Studying online, or in a classroom? Until recently, almost everyone would have answered "in a classroom". But in recent years, as broadband has become cheaper and more universally available, and the cost of computer hardware has fallen, the possibilities for online study have grown. And, as tuition fees rise, so distance learning starts to look like a more affordable option.

Friday, 25 January 2013

Animation Pro's visit Bucks

Commercials and idents by Mark Le Fevre
Mark Hudson, Course Leader at Bucks in Graphic Arts, has invited the following film-makers and animators to talk to his students in February:

Re-animating the animation library at Bucks

The Animator's Survival Kit - now the standard textbook for learning animation
We're in the process of beefing up the animation library here at Bucks. Not just more books, but more copies of books. And we're after journals too - such as Animation Magazine, Imagine Magazine - materials that help students learn from the best sources and keep in touch with the latest news from the industry.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

The Future of Animation Rigging?

Raf Anzovin of Anzovin Studios talks about his new breakthrough in rigging for animation - Anzovin Rig Tools. It looks awesome, but there's a catch. It's not fully developed yet and, in order to finish it, Raf wants your money!


Free Laptops!

We're giving away free laptops! Well...sort of. As part of the total annual Animation & VFX course fee of £8,000, we're hoping to build in a free laptop so that every student beginning our course gets their own personal workstation to do their animation, so they can work both at home and on campus.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

The Animation Internet Revolution

The Animation Internet Revolution: There is a revolution taking place in media and content creation. Any animator with talent, a laptop and a story to tell can now take on ...

FAQ's - what students are asking about our course

Industry standard software
We're getting a lot of questions about our new Animation and VFX course here at Bucks, so I thought I would compile a list of Frequently Asked Questions to make life easier for everyone. Here is a (not especially complete) list:

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

What Does The Perfect Demo Reel Look Like?

What does the perfect animation demo reel look like? It's not an academic question. A good demo reel is the student's calling card, their shop front to the world and a public display of talent. No matter how good or talented you may be - you are only as good as your demo reel. It is what employers will look at when they decide which of ten applicants to hire for a vacancy. A good reel is the difference between getting hired, and not.

Monday, 21 January 2013

What's inside our new Animation Course at Bucks?

Bucks Animation Logo by Monika Dzikowicz
Our new Animation and VFX course starting in September isn't just a re-branding of our existing animation course, it's a whole new course, aimed at training animators and VFX artists to work in Soho, in games, in advertising - in any media that involves creating and animating characters and creatures.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

In Praise of Sketchbooks

One of the best things that any aspiring animator can do is to fill a sketchbook. Fill it with drawings, ideas, scribbles, sketches - most important of all, draw everything around you. Every time you draw something for the first time - yourself, your cat, your friends, your bike - you build up a library of images in your head, a kind of visual shorthand that makes you better at drawing and observing the world around you.

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Bucks Animation in talks with Creative Skillset for accreditation

Creative Skillset is the UK government body which supports skills and training in creative industries, helping British companies to maintain their world class position. Here at Bucks we are determined to ensure that our new Animation & VFX course is fully accredited by Skillset, offering students a guarantee of quality teaching and training.

Friday, 18 January 2013

FLIP: The animation student who created his own job

FLIP: The animation student who created his own job:   Marc Godfrey is an animation student with a passion to work in the entertainment industry. At a time when finding work can be hard eve...

Who Wants a Career in Animation?

I've been doing a lot of talks lately at schools and 6th form colleges, getting the word out about our new animation and VFX course here at Bucks. So far I've been getting a great response, though it is tough for students to get a good feeling for what a career in animation might involve, and what the options are. And, in a fifteen minute pitch, there is only so much you can say.

Thursday, 17 January 2013

What do we look for in applicant's portfolios?

Life drawing, especially quick sketches, provides excellent training for animators
Here at Bucks we often get asked what should go in to an art portfolio, to apply for our animation course. Drawings? Paintings? Life drawing? Digital artwork? The answer is - a bit of everything. Most important is digital artwork hosted at a website or blog, so we can access it easily.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Life Drawing comes to Bucks

Why do animation students need to attend life drawing classes? Surely animation is all done by computers now? Not all all. In reality, life drawing is vital part of the animation process, even for 3D digital artists. Although less important than it used to be in the days of hand-drawn animation, life drawing it is still hugely useful. An animator should be able to capture a pose in a few lines. What is the character thinking and feeling? Where is the weight? Visual problems like these can be solved with the skills gained by learning to draw fluently from life.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

The Interview Process at Bucks

Dave Creighton and I have been interviewing candidates today at Bucks New University, and we are delighted with the high standard of the applicants for our new Animation and VFX course. Almost all of our interviewees have strong artistic and digital skills, the crucial combination for a successful career in the digital arts.

Friday, 11 January 2013

Dave Berry models and rigs his own quadruped

Paddy rig v1.0 overview from Dave Berry on Vimeo.

Dave Berry is one of our talented animation students at Bucks who has taken a highly pro-active approach to learning 3D animation, doing tutorials on his own time and pushing the boundaries of his knowledge.

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

How to Make an Animated Film

One of the biggest challenges for any animator is to tackle a short film project. Most working animators don't - they're usually too busy. But at the very best animation schools, students usually tackle a group film project - or possibly an ambitious solo project - in their graduation year. Short films are a ton of work and they present a huge variety of film-making challenges. So how, in practice, do you make an animated film?

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Come join us at our next open day - Wednesday 20 February 2013

High Wycombe. Nicer than you might think
Our next open day at Bucks New University is on Wednesday 20 February 2013 from 11am to 4pm, at our High Wycombe campus. Full details here:

Come and meet me (Alex Williams), and the other course tutors - Dave Creighton and Nick Brown. We'll tell you all about the new course here at Bucks and why we're trying to create the best animation and visual effects course in the country.

Monday, 7 January 2013

Bucks student animates music video

Paula Gillin, one of our very talented animators at Bucks New University, has just completed a music video for the up-and-coming indie band Joe Gideon and The Shark. It was a tough project because the deadline was very tight but she did an excellent job pulling all the elements together on time, working with the band, the record label and the art director - to create a cool piece of 2D animation.

Congratulations to Paula on making the deadline. As the band leader Joe Gideon himself said: "Paula did a great job and she hit the deadline too, which is a first in the music biz for sure."