Monday, 30 June 2014

Jason Thompson explains why students must fail, and why professors should watch video games

Jason Thompson
Last week at the SAS (Society of Animation Studies) conference in Toronto, Sheridan professor Jason Thompson gave a brief but fascinating talk on "Why our students need to fail". Citing the book by Guy Claxton What is the point of school?, Jason argued that school is important because of eight critical things that students must learn:

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Annecy Replay - see what you missed at the world's biggest animation festival

Annecy is the world's biggest and longest-standing animated film festival. Hosted in the idyllic Alpine village of Lake Annecy, the setting could not be more beautiful, and the hotels could not be more booked up.

For those of you who missed animation's annual international shindig, either because you couldn't get a room, or you booked too late, or you simply didn't get around to it - visit this page to see the highlights. And make a point of going next year. It's a great place to see excellent work, meet other film-makers, catch up on the latest technology breakthroughs and - who knows - maybe even win a prize.

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Bucks Graduate Jaffar Ali joins The Bionic Group

Bucks animation graduate Jaffar Ali has just landed a job with The Bionic Group, a visual effects house based in Pinewood Studios, who have been producing visual effects for films such as Aliens, and Mission Impossible 1 & 2. Nowadays Bionic also create architecture animations for the construction industry.

Friday, 27 June 2014

Why Should Animators Watch Charlie Chaplin? Nancy Beiman explains...

The Little Tramp. Photo: Wikipedia
Why should animators watch Charlie Chaplin films? Nancy Beiman, former supervising animator at Disney Feature Animation and now one of the key professors at Sheridan College in Toronto, thinks she has the answer. It's because animators are, in the end, pantomime artists, and Chaplin was the greatest pantomimer of them all. At the 2014 SAS (Society of Animation Studies) conference in Toronto, Nancy explained how animation and silent film comedy developed together, inspiring one another to perfect the art of physical comedy.

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Bucks Unite App Design Competition: Win £250!

Summer money: a competition to win £250! Rebecca Rochon, Senior Lecturer in Education and Learning Development, has developed a new App called Unite, which allows students to connect with other students before starting university. The App was successfully entered into the JISC Summer of Student Innovation, winning £5,000 for Bucks students to develop the App further. Now Rebecca needs some help from designers and animators at Bucks to help bring the project to life.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Need financial help to study in September? Apply by 30 June for the National Scholarship Program

NSP offers help to students from less well-off families. Photo: Wikipedia
The National Scholarship Programme is one of the many means by which higher education in the UK receives public support and funding. Here at Bucks New University, we participate in the Government's National Scholarship Programme (NSP), which is targeted towards students from less affluent families who need a bit of extra help. So, how in practice does the system work?

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Withoutabox - the smart way to get your animated short film noticed

What is Withoutabox? It is the best, simplest and most efficient way to enter your short animated film to the many film festivals currently welcoming submissions all around the globe. Submit your film to just once, and you can enter most of the festivals on the planet.

The site allows you to upload your film, fill in some (rather long) forms, and then - hey presto - you can enter film competitions all over the world. Withoutabox is free. As for individual competitions, the fees vary from nothing to quite a bit. It's up to you as to how many you want to enter.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

DreamWorks Animation Supremo Rex Grignon reveals the Nine Secrets of Animation Success

Rex Grignon
Rex Grignon is the HOCA at DreamWorks. That is to say, he is the Head Of Character Animation, and therefore holds one of the key leadership positions in the studio. He has worked on some of the biggest DreamWorks hits of the last decade, including ANTZ, Shrek, and all three Madagascar movies. Born in Canada, he came home to give the keynote speech for The Toronto Art of Animation Festival International, aka TAAFI. Rex talked about some of the key lessons he has learned over the past two decades, and most especially from his years at PDI, Pixar and DreamWorks.

Monday, 16 June 2014

The VES Student Award for Outstanding Visual Effects - soon accepting entries

The VES Student Award for
Outstanding Visual Effects as Presented by Autodesk

It was inspired by Steven Spielberg…
Winners have come from across the globe…
Will you be the next one to join them on the red carpet?

ATTENTION: Students of Visual Effects, Animation and Digital Media

Looking for a unique opportunity to showcase your work and have it reviewed by the industry’s leading VFX artists?

Then get ready to compete for this coveted award and a chance to take the stage in Beverly Hills, California at the annual VES Awards.

It’s prep time, so think about submitting your best visual effects or animation work from school projects completed this year.  Keep your digital files handy so you can use them in the fall to prepare your entry.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Frank Gladstone teaching storyboarding for animation this summer

Lupus animation presents Storyboarding for animation by veteran animator, storyboard artist and producer Frank Gladstone. Frank is a world-class talent and an excellent teacher - last year I attended his storyboard class myself and learned a huge amount. He does lectures and workshops and tells lots and lots of (mostly terrible) jokes. Anyone looking for a crash course in Hollywood storyboarding would be well advised to sign up. The course runs from 28 July to 22 August. Full details below.

Friday, 13 June 2014

Bucks End of Year Show 2014 - starts tonight!

The Bucks End of Year Show 2014 starts tonigh. Come along to our High Wycombe Campus and see what our talented soon-to-be-graduates have been up to. The show will feature plenty of animation and digital artwork, but it also includes the work done by all the other creative disciplines which flourish at Bucks. Film, TV, Music, Design, Fine Art, Sound design, Dance and Performing Arts - we have everything you need to make creative media under one roof. The show runs until the 19th. It's also a great opportunity to take a tour of our campus and see the award-winning facilities available to our students.

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Where are the animation recruiters?

Where should animation graduates look for recruiters? Or, to put it another way, where do recruiters in the animation and visual effects industries go to find fresh talent? There are many festivals and events around the world which focus on animation and visual effects, and many of them feature jobs fairs where recruiters will take a stand. So where should the ambitious student and recent graduate go looking for work? Here is our list of the most promising places to attend.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Pixar's Renderman - now free for students!

Pixar's Renderman, which is arguably the leading industry software for rendering high quality animation images, will soon be released free to students on a non-commercial basis. You can register now to get your free copy, available in August. Pixar's RenderMan is used throughout the CGI industry for the creation of stunning visual effects, and is highly recommended for student use.

Monday, 9 June 2014

Tosin Oluyadi reports on the value of internships

Free Spirited Thinkers at work
Tosin Oluyadi, one of our graduating animation students, recently completed an internship at FST, a creative advertising agency who describe themselves as "free spirited thinkers whose sole purpose is to build, nurture and add value to your brand". We asked Tosin to talk about what the experience was like, and what she learned along the way.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Student Showcase: Jack Strood introduces "A Spring in her Step"

Jack Strood, one of our final year animation student at Bucks, presents "A Spring in her Step", a short animated film about a girl who wins a dance competition only to find that her celebration is short-lived, as she is faced with a demanding life challenge. The film combines stop-motion techniques with 2D animation, to create a unique blend of different styles. We asked Jack to tell us about the film and how he put it all together.

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Anton Alfy introduces Super Fergy in 3D

Anton "Alfy" Alfimenko was honing his skills as an animator and a digital artist long before he came to study Bucks, creating (among other projects) his online hit "Super Fergie", starring Sir Alex Ferguson as a video game character winning endless footballing triumphs. Anton's film, hosted at YouTube, scored over 300,000 hits, and won him international attention from fans of Manchester United. Now he has animated Super Fergy in 3D, working hard to showcase the new digital skills he has been learning here at Bucks. We asked him how he put it all together.

Monday, 2 June 2014

Bucks Dance Expo on Thursday - come and support your fellow students

Thursday June 5th is the big end-of-year show for our Dance & Performance students at Bucks. The show is called Danceit@Bucks, and will take place on Thursday 5th June at the High Wycombe Town Hall at 7:30pm.