Thursday, 21 September 2017

Access VFX in London Next Week

Access:VFX events are taking place next week, at visual effects studios across Soho. Access VFX is all about promoting diversity and inclusion in our industry.

Events are taking place at Framestore, Double Negative, MPC, Jellyfish Pictures, ILM, Blue Zoo Animation, Union VFX, Escape Technology, and UK Screen Alliance.

We're encouraging our students and recent graduates to attend these events; you can book your free tickets online through http://www.accessvfx.org/.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Why Does Maya Batch Render Too Dark?

Utah Teapot
Lighting your scene using Autodesk Maya can be a tricky process. You get your lights to look just the way you want them to, and when you render out a single frame, everything looks fine.

But then, when you come to do a Batch Render of your final frames, Maya gives you a very different result - the images look much darker. Which is not what you wanted at all.

So why does Maya do this - and what is the solution?

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

How To Get The Classic Graph Editor Back

New look Graph Editor
Not everyone is a fan of the Maya 2017 interface. In particular, the new-look Graph Editor isn't necessarily as easy to use as the old version.

Fortunately, it isn't difficult to get the Classic Graph Editor back.

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Bring Your Own Animation Monday 18 Sept

Calling all Bucks animators - "Bring Your Own Animation" is taking place in London on Monday 18th September.

BYOA is an animation event that takes place every month at a London pub, generally on a Monday night. This month the event is taking place at The Lukin pub in Fitzrovia.

If you are a student who is working on a shot or an updated reel (aren't we all?), bring your work on a USB or hard drive and get feedback from professional animators. You'll also hear the local gossip and find out the word on the street.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

100 Ways to Walk by Kevin Parry



Check out the excellent "100 Ways to Walk" by Kevin Parry, a collection of walk cycles intended as inspiration for animators. The key point of the video is that the way we walk says a lot about who we are, how we are feeling, how our day has been. A great walk cycle is the entry point for character animation - can the animator describe a character simply by the way he or she moves? It's one of the first things we teach at Bucks, but a good walk cycle can remain elusive even for an experienced animator. Acting one out yourself, and filming yourself doing it, is a great way to get started.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Keyframe MP - Video Playback for Animators

Keyframe MP Overview from Chris Zurbrigg on Vimeo.

KeyFrame MP - Video Playback for Animators - is an excellent video playback tool that does the job that QuickTime Pro used to do - only even better.  Most free video players, such as Media Player, won't give you frame-by-frame playback, making them of limited use to animators.  KeyFrame PM is a video player specially made for animators, with super useful features like scrubbing (with audio), single frame advance - all the stuff you need as an animator to play your work back frame by frame and trouble shoot the mistakes. At $79, KeyFrame MP isn't free, but it's much, much better than most of the free stuff out there. And, since Apple has stopped supporting the cheap and cheerful Quick Time Pro, KeyFrame MP now fills a big gap in the animator's tool kit.

Monday, 11 September 2017

All About Our Online MA in Animation



Anyone following this blog knows that Bucks is the home of an animation world-first: the first online MA in animation.  Building on our thriving undergraduate course in Animation and Visual Effects, we launched this new online post graduate degree back in 2015, enabling students to get their MA from anywhere in the world. Our first graduates, many of whom travelled to High Wycombe from overseas for the graduation ceremony, hailed from the UK, Canada, California, Australia and Kenya. Above is a short video that explains what it's all about. Scroll down to see more information - and more detail - about this unique ground-breaking course.

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Alexi Balian Animation Art & Design Academy

Alexi Balian was one of the first students to enroll in our Online MA in 3D animation at Bucks. He graduated last week, becoming one of the first-ever students anywhere in the world to receive his animation MA purely online.

Alexi has now made a career of teaching animation. In his capacity as Provincial and National Skills Canada Chair for 2D and 3D Character Animation, Alexi also runs workshops and seminars in Canada through his Animation Art & Design Academy.

Friday, 8 September 2017

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Bucks Graduates Make Animation History

Alexi Balian, Charlie Falconi, Tim Milson, Neil Whitman, Stephen Young. 
Today was Graduation Day at Bucks and our new MAs in Animation made a little piece of animation history.

Our first graduating cohort aren't the first animation MAs in the world, but they are the first to get their MA purely online.

And, despite living in far-flung parts of the world, many came to Bucks for the graduation ceremony, for the chance to wear a robe and a silly hat and - at last! - meet up in person for the first time.

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Questions about our Online MA

I often get asked questions about the online MA in 3D Animation from prospective students, seeking to know more about what is actually involved in this unique degree. Which isn't surprising - after all, it's a big committment of time, money and energy to embark on an MA. I always welcome questions and do my best to answer promptly. Below is a list of some of the most common questions, with answers.

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Animation Taster Day Sept 13 and 27

Learn to animate a bird in flight
Want to try computer animation, but not sure if it's right for you? Come along to an Animation Taster Day in London on Wednesday 13th September and Wednesday 27 September.

Animation Taster Days are a chance to learn about character and creature animation, and find out what an animator's job is all about.

The classes take place at Escape Studios in Shepherd's Bush, West London. 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, 29 August 2017

"Arc the Dragon", from Josh Sobel Rigs

Josh Sobel is an excellent rigger and animator who has brought animation students a number of excellent rigs, including the excellent Kayla rig, and also the very useful (and free) Bonnie rig.

He has now released a completely new rig - "Arc the Dragon", which isn't free, but is priced at a very reasonable $18.

Arc is described as "a full quadruped with expressive facial control, intuitive body setup, full picker, pose library and limitless customization."

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Bucks Animation & VFX Reel 2017



Check out our latest animation and VFX demo reel here at Bucks. This is our latest showcase of student work, and reflects the huge leap in both the quality and quantity of animation and visual effects work that has been going on at Bucks in recent years. Congratulations to all our graduating students, and to Rob Penhaligon and Sydney Padua for their sterling efforts to keep raising the bar at Bucks.  An animator's demo reel is never done. It is a constant work-in-progress, always being refined and updated to showcase your best work. Above is a compilation of some of the best animation that has been done at Bucks over the past year.

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

About Animation at Bucks



Curious to know more about studying animation and VFX at Buckinghamshire New University? The video above gives a general introduction to the undergraduate course in animation and VFX at Bucks, including interviews with our tutors. To find out more about the experience of studying with us, search through the blog to see what we're all about. We highly recommend that prospective students come and visit us at one of our Open Days. If you can't make it in for a visit, don't forget to take a virtual tour of one of our animation studios, and you can also check out what our students think of our course, and see why we're ranked in the top 12 creative universities in the UK.

Monday, 7 August 2017

Anton Alfimenko Animator at Bleacher Report

Anton Alfy | Showreel 2016 from Anton Alfy on Vimeo.
Chekc out the excellent demo reel of Bucks Animation graduate Anton "Alfy" Alfimenko. Anton graduated from Bucks last year, and immediately found work in the industry in London, securing a work visa as well as the start of a career in animation and VFX. Congratulations to Anton on his excellent work, and on his job working as a Motion Designer at Bleacher Report.

Friday, 4 August 2017

Stuart Penn Reveals Alien Secrets

Last night I was privileged to attend a talk in London 
by VFX Supervisor Stuart Penn, talking about his extraordinary visual effects work for Framestore, one of London's leading visual effects houses, and now a global company with locations in Canada and elsewhere.

Stuart, whose VFX work includes Avatar, The Dark Knight, Iron Man 3 Guardians of the Galaxy, was talking about his recent work as VFX supervisor on Ridley Scott’s Alien: Covenant.
 
So, what were the secrets behind this most coveted of VFX roles - working for one of the greatest living film directors on this legendary film franchise?

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

How To Prepare For Our Online MA In September

The best book on animation
What kind of preparation should students do before starting with us with our Online MA in 3D Animation in September? 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.

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Blue GFX Expo 9th November 2017

Save the date! Blue GFX Expo is taking place in London on 9th November 2017.

Last year speakers included the folks from Blue Zoo, one of the UK's biggest TV animation company, Stuart Penn from Framestore, and experts from Autodesk showing the latest tools. Curious to know what's inside Maya 2018? Blue GFX Expo will be the place to find out.

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Online MA in Animation - Our First Graduates!

Graduation Day at Bucks
Graduation Day takes place at Bucks on 6th September, and we are especially proud to welcome our new MAs in Animation.

Of course, the event is something of a formality - no-one actually has to turn up, but we hope that many of our online animation students will come and celebrate their achievement - graduating as Masters of Arts on the world's first online MA in Animation.

In a small way, everyone there will be making a little piece of animation history.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Stuart Penn Talks Alien Covenant on 3rd August

Stuart Penn
Framestore VFX Supervisor Stuart Penn will be talking about his work at a free event in London in two weeks, on Thursday 3rd August at 6.30pm.

Stuart's work includes the digital oil refinery "Hell's Gate" on James Cameron's Avatar, the Hong Kong sequence of Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight, the development of the Extremis effect for Marvel's Iron Man 3 and the "Knowhere" environment for Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy.

Stuart will be talking about his recent work as VFX supervisor on Ridley Scott’s Alien: Covenant. We encourage all our students to attend - and ask questions. This is a chance to meet a successful industry professional and ask him - how does a student artist break into this field?

Monday, 17 July 2017

Bring Your Own Animation Tonight!

Lukin pub, Fitzrovia
One of the great advantages of studying animation and VFX at Bucks is our close proximity to London and the expanding industry in our capital city.

One event we highly recommend our students attend is - "Bring Your Own Animation". The monthly event takes place tonight, Monday July 17th.

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Virtual Reality UK Today!

VR UK is at Ravensbourne today and tomorrow
The UK Virtual Reality Festival is taking place today and tomorrow, 6th and 7th July, at Ravensbourne in London. Sponsored by the Arts Council and the Lottery Fund, this event looks to be a great opportunity to break into the fastest-growing part of our industry - Virtual Reality.

Want to be an expert in a field that no-one really understands yet? Get yourself to Ravensourne. For our undergraduate students, being near London and the many opportunities to attend events like this one is one of the great advantages of studying at Bucks. For details, follow this link.

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

What's Inside our Online MA in 3D Animation?


What's inside our Online MA in 3D Animation? It's a question we get asked a lot; after all, anyone signing up for 18 months of study wants to know what they're actually committing themselves to.

Monday, 3 July 2017

Marcio Leiria Animator at Ampetronic

Marcio Leiria
Many congratulations to Bucks MA student Marcio Leiria who has just got a 3D animation job with Ampetronic, an engineering company who are "world leaders in the design and manufacture of audio induction loop systems". 

Mario's new job is a reminder that the animation industry is much more broad and diverse that it used to be, and that there are new opportunities in surprising places. 

We asked him a few questions about how he got the job.

Monday, 26 June 2017

Animation Taster Day Monday 24th July.

Learn to animate a bird in flight
Want to try computer animation, but not sure if it's right for you? Come along to an Animation Taster Day in London on Monday 24th July.

Animation Taster Days are a chance to learn about character and creature animation, and find out what an animator's job is all about.

The classes take place at Escape Studios in Shepherd's Bush, West London. 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?

Friday, 23 June 2017

Festivus is Back!

Festivus is back!  – with special guests! The Festivus animation event is an opportunity to get to know people in the London animation industry, find out who is hiring, and where the jobs are.

The event takes place on Thursday 13th July at The Comedy Pub in London.

There is a guest speaker from Animation UK, and Blue Zoo will also be there.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Endless Reference for Animators - at YouTube

Using live action reference to inform your animation can be one of the best ways to get started as an animator.

I have used live action reference many times on many films, especially movies with human characters, such as The Road to El Dorado and Spirit - Stallion of the Cimarron, and especially on action shots where the motion was complex and hard to get right.

Monday, 19 June 2017

BYOA Tonight!

Lukin pub, Fitzrovia
One of the great advantages of studying animation and VFX at Bucks is our close proximity to London and the expanding industry in our capital city.

One event we highly recommend our students attend is - "Bring Your Own Animation". The monthly event takes place tonight, Monday June 19th.

Friday, 16 June 2017

Mental Ray Is Back - And It's Free!

Mental Ray is back! 3D Render by Amaru Zeas
Mental Ray is Back! NVIDIA, makers of the classic ray tracer - it used to come bundled free with Autodesk Maya - have now released a version of their software which is free for student use.  This is great news for animation students, because Mental Ray has a number of advtantages over its successor Arnold.  In particular, you can achieve some very quick and attractive lighting setups in Mental ray using Physical Sun & Sky, the closest thing Maya has to a "Make It Look Cool" button.  So, how can our students get a free copy of Mental Ray?

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Government Loans for Post-Grad Study

Government help is available
The UK Government's student loan system for postgraduate master's degrees is now up and running.

These low interest loans now provide students in the UK with access to postgraduate university courses - including our Online MA in 3D Animation.

This is very good news indeed for prospective students who would like to go on to do post-graduate study with us.

So, how does the system actually work?

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Animal Logic - What's in a Demo Reel?

The folks who brought you Lego Movie
At a recent talk in London Patricia Kung, head of Recruitment at Animal Logic, explained what Animal Logic look for in an animation demo reel. 

Animal Logic is one of Australia's leading animation and VFX companies, responsible for global box office hits like the Oscar-nominated The Lego Movie. Other movie credits include Babe, Mouse Hunt, Face Off, The Matrix, Moulin Rouge, House of Flying Daggers, 300, The Great Gatsby, Happy Feet, Legend of the Guardians, and Walking with Dinosaurs 3D.

So, what is life like down under for animation and VFX graduates, and (most importantly) how can our animation graduates start their careers at Animal Logic?

Friday, 26 May 2017

Animation Taster Days 30th May & 14th June

Learn to animate a bird in flight
Want to try computer animation, but not sure if it's right for you? I'm running two Animation Taster Days in London on Tuesday 30th May and Tuesday 14th June, so that animation students can learn about character and creature animation, and find out what an animator's job is all about.

The classes take place at Escape Studios in Shepherd's Bush, West London. 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, 23 May 2017

Great Free Animation Rigs at Mothman TD

Here at Bucks we're pleased to recommend the superb Mothman TD website, packed with excellent free rigs for use by Maya animators.

Probably the single most useful rig for our students at Animation Apprentice is the horse, excellent for studying quadruped locomotion, but there are many other free rigs which are very useful for learning different aspects of character and creature animation.

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Bucks Animation: YouTube and a New Website

Where can you find examples of our students' work? At our YouTube channel, of course! 

At YouTube you'll find plenty of student work, including work done by undergraduates, studying animation and visual effects at our High Wycombe campus, and our MA students, who are learning the craft of animation entirely online, working from remote locations all over the world.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Bucks Animation Showcase 9-15 June

Bucks show 9-15 June 2017

It's time for our summer show! Buckinghamshire New University's School of Arts & Creative Industries End of Year Show is about to launch.  Come and visit our High Wycombe campus and see the fantastic work done by our students. This year Bucks is showcasing and celebrating the work of our final year students within the Departments of Art & Design, Media & Creative Industries and Performance & Dance. The show runs from June 9 to Jne 15. To find out more, follow this link.


Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Online MA Starts September

The world's first online MA in animation
It's not too late! We're still accepting applications for the September 2017 intake of our online MA in 3D animation.

The online MA is a unique degree - the first of its kind - 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.

Monday, 15 May 2017

BYOA Tonight!

Lukin pub, Fitzrovia
One of the great benefits of studying animation at Bucks is easy access to London and the growing animation and VFX industry.  The monthly event "Bring Your Own Animation" is taking place tonight, Monday May 15th.

BYOA is an animation event that takes place every month at a pub in London. Tonight the event is taking place at The Lukin pub in Fitzrovia.

If you are a student who is working on a shot or an updated reel (aren't we all?), bring your work on a USB or hard drive and get feedback from professional animators. You'll also hear the local gossip and find out the word on the street.

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Michael Morgan on Making it as an Animator

Our students at Bucks are fortunate in being so close to the thriving animation and VFX industry in London.  Last week animator Michael Morgan spoke at an event at Escape Studios in Shepherd's Bush, West London, where he talked about how animators can break into the industry.

Michael is an animator with an extensive list of credits in video games, TV Commercials and Feature films.  At the talk, Michael shared his experience of working on projects such as Star Wars - The Clone Wars, Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy vol 2, Jungle Book, Beauty and the Beast and Planet of the Apes. 

In particular, he talked about how to get "From the Classroom to the Studio".

Specifically, how do graduates break into the animation industry? What are the secrets of success?

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Blue Zoo Animation Internships

Applications for Blue Zoo's summer internship roles are now open. The 6-8 week paid placements are "like a real job but without the demands & expectations, allowing participants to develop and learn how a big animation studio works and real projects are run".

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