|The best book on animation|
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.
The Animator's Survival Kit
Any serious student of animation should buy a copy of The Animator's Survival Kit, by Richard Williams. It is now the standard textbook for animators and easily the most comprehensive book available for learning animation.
Animation Methods by David Rodriguez
Animation Methods by David Rodriguez is a very useful overall guide to all the processes involved in digital animation and film-making. It is especially good for the technical bits that the older books don't cover. It takes you through Autodesk Maya and shows you what all the tools do, and how to apply them to your animation.
OK - so you've bought a book or two - what else? The next thing to do is get yourself a free copy of Autodesk Maya. Maya is the main software we animate with, nowadays it's the industry standard. You can find a free educational license here. We assume you will have a decent laptop, either a Mac or PC. To see which is best, Mac or PC, see this blog post.
Watch some tutorials
Start to learn the Maya interface. Below is a free tutorial in the Maya tools (there are tons of similar ones) hosted at YouTube, to get you started.
Don't be daunted - just take a quick look! Maya is a very powerful piece of software and it can be a bit confusing at first. However, it's good to get familiar with the layout, and learn where the main hotkeys are, and how the interface works. You can register with Autodesk and get a free Maya student license here.
Start watching our free videos
Once you have done that, take a look at the week 1 videos at the Animation Apprentice website. The week 1 videos are all free and this gives you a general introduction to animation, helping you to get familiar with the language of the medium.
Welcome to Bucks New University!
If you do some or all the things on this list - you will have a great head start! We look forward to meeting you in September!
For more on the experience of studying at Bucks New University, come and visit us at one of our Open Days, take a virtual tour of one of our animation studios, check out what our students think of our course, and see why we're ranked in the top 12 creative universities in the UK.