Thursday, 22 February 2018

This Rig Goes to Eleven

Here at Bucks New Uni we are recommending the Eleven Rig to all our student animators. "Eleven" is available for free download at the Resources page of the Eleven Second Club (the clue is in the name).
Eleven is one of the most popular rigs used by our students, and can be used for some great character animation. It's also a very good rig for lipsync, body poses, and facial expressions, and is dependable and easy to learn.

Eleven does, however, have a few quirks. So, what are they and how can we navigate around them?

Monday, 19 February 2018

BYOA Tonight February 19th

Calling all Bucks animators and recent gradautes - "Bring Your Own Animation" is taking place tonight, Monday 19th February, at the Lkin pub in Fitzrovia.

BYOA is an animation event that takes place every month at a pub in London, generally on a Monday night.

If you are a student who is working on a shot or an updated reel, 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; there is often useful intel like - who is hiring?

Thursday, 15 February 2018

How to Get Started With 3D Animation

Free Blender Tutorial at YouTube
How do you find out if 3D animation is for you? One way of finding out is to do a couple of tutorials online.

A great place to start is with the 3D software Blender - it's completely free, and there are many free tutorials out there to get you started.

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Get Ready for the Rookies

This year at Bucks we are encouraging all of our students to enter The Rookies Awards, the international competition for young creatives.

The Rookies was founded in 2009 to "showcase the most talented student designers, illustrators, film makers, animators, developers, digital artists, and launch them into the career of their dreams."

This year's deadline is May 15th, so there is plenty of time to start crafting a great project.

Monday, 12 February 2018

Who Needs a Business Card?

At the VFX Festival this past week I bumped into a number of my students, many of whom were taking the opportunity to talk to recruiters from the UK Animation and VFX industry, all scouting for rising talent.

So I asked them - I hope you've brought some business cards? Almost none had.  Now, you might think that business cards are a little old-fashioned, a bit out-of-date. But actually, you'd be wrong.

Friday, 9 February 2018

Free Storyboarding Event in London Feb 22nd

Francesca "Chess" Adams
Storyboarding is one of the most competitive but also one of the most rewarding parts of the pre-production process. It's where drawing meets storytelling, and no animation project can get made without it.

A great board artist needs to draw well, to understand cameras, cutting, characters, emotions, and acting. Not surprisingly, it's an area where there is a significant skills shortage - good board artists are very much in demand.

Thursday, 8 February 2018

Jack Hubbard 3D Artist at Mandala FX

Many congratulations to Jack Hubbard,  one of our recent graduates from the Animation and VFX course at Bucks, who has landed a job as a 3D Artist at Mandala FX in High Wycombe.

Mandala FX describe themselves as a "full service, end to end creative studio...specialising in high end 3D renders and motion graphics". We congratulate Jack on a great start to his digital career. To see more of Jack's work, check out his graduation demo reel at our YouTube channel.

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

VFX Recruiters at the VFX festival

MPC's Sara-Laila Francis
The London VFX Festival kicked off at Rich Mix in Shoreditch yesterday. This is London's biggest animation, games and VFX event, and we strongly recommend all our students attend.

For many of our students, the biggest advantage of being there may not be the talks and lectures (though these are excellent), but the opportunity to meet some of London's biggest talent recruiters.

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Thinking Animation - Free Rigs

We're liking the animation resources website "Thinking Animation". Among other things, the site is a great source of free animation rigs, including some cool stuff you can't easily find elsewhere.

Fancy working on Rocket from Guardians of the Galaxy or even Elsa from Frozen? You can download the fan-made rigs, and test them out, perhaps even animating a line of dialogue from the film.

Monday, 5 February 2018

Tracked Plates for VFX Animators

Here at Bucks we're very much liking this new website that offers tracked plates for animators at afforable prices.

One of the challenges of creating animation within a VFX environment is working with the existing photography, know as the "plate" in VFX parlance.

In effect, animators have to move a 3D object within a flat, 2D environment - and still make it look real and believable.

Sunday, 4 February 2018

VFX Festival in London Next Week

Next week in London Escape Studios are hosting their annual VFX festival, the capital's most important event for animation, games and VFX.

As ever, they have a great line-up of speakers, and there are still a few tickets left.

We recommend that all our students and Escapees attend the VFX Festival; it's a great way to find out the latest news in our industry. Best of all, it's a chance to meet in person some of the recruiters from the big London animation and VFX houses.

Friday, 2 February 2018

Lyuboslav Angelov 3D Artist at Mandala FX

Many congratulations to Lyuboslav Angelov,  one of our recent graduates from the Animation and VFX course at Bucks, who has landed a job as a 3D Artist at Mandala FX in High Wycombe.

Mandala FX describe themselves as a "full service, end to end creative studio...specialising in high end 3D renders and motion graphics". We congratulate Lyuboslav on a great start to his digital career. To see more of Lyuboslav's work, check out his graduation demo reel at our YouTube channel.

Thursday, 1 February 2018

Don't Break the 4th Wall

Don't look at the camera
One of the most common mistakes made by student animators is to have their characters talk directly to the camera.

Inexperienced animators often do this, at least at first. We pose out our character and we think - who is she talking to? I know - she's talking to me! But in a film, or a play, or a TV Series, the camera (ie the audience) is almost always an observer, never a participant.

Part of the principle of the Willing Suspension of Disbelief is that the characters acting for us on the screen don't know we are there.

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

UCAS Deadline - 15 January?

UCAS - still enough time left - but hurry!
Thinking of applying to Bucks to study a BA in Animation & Visual Effects, or for our unique Online MA in 3D animation - the only one of its kind? It's not too late!

The UCAS deadline for undergraduate study (that's the BA course) was 15 January, but we are sill welcoming applications from talented students even past the official deadline.

Below are some good reasons why we believe we are building one of the best places to study animation in the country, and how you can get started on your new career as a digital animator

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Why NDAs Matter

23 year old digital artist Joel Butcher was recently sued for contempt of court by his employer, the Soho-based VFX house Double Negative.

Butcher, like all VFX artists working for the company, had signed an NDA (Non-disclosure agreement) stating that, among other things, he would not upload confidential materials to the internet.  Unfortunately, Butcher shared some of the footage he was working on with a friend who - apparently without his knowledge - posted the footage online.

Sunday, 28 January 2018

50 Ways to Sit by Kevin Parry

50 Ways to Sit by Kevin Parry follows on from 100 Ways to Walk, an inventive and clever imagining on the many different ways in which people move, and what this tells us about their character and personality. 50 Ways to Sit takes the same idea, and shows how much variation there in the way that different people might carry out a normal, simple action, like sitting down. It also shows how important it is for animators to get used to acting out their shots, filming themselves, and then using the footage as reference for their work. It's one of the most important, and least well understood, parts of the animation process.

Friday, 26 January 2018

Back Up Your Data!

Hard Drive - full of moving parts
There are few things more depressing than being told by a student that their hard drive has died, and they have lost all their work.

Losing your data means starting afresh, going back to the beginning to start again the long, slow slog of building up a demo reel.  It's hard to over-stress the importance of backing up your data. It's a pain in the neck, and it takes time, but never forget that a hard drive is a delicate piece of technology filled with vulnerable moving parts.

Hard drives don't last for ever and, like all tech, will (eventually) let you down. The secret is to back up your data. But how best to do this? We take a quick look at some of the options.

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Craimer Jones CG Modeller at Burrows

Many congratulations to Bucks Animation Graduate Craimer Jones, who has recently started a new job as a CGI Data Modeller Specialist at Burrows.

Craimer studied Animation and Visual Effects at Bucks, successfully creating an industry-ready portfolio of quality work, which has now been rewarded with a career in the creative industries.  

Friday, 5 January 2018

Wolfdog Rig - Free Animation Rig

We're liking this Wolfdog rig, available for free download from Wolfdog is loosely based on the character Balto from the movie, and has a good range of controls and even facial expressions.

The rig does have some limitations, especially in the way the wrists and feet have been rigged, but you can get some really nice character work out of Wolf dog.

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

2018 VFX Festival Lineup

Escape Studios' annual VFX Festival takes place in February 2018.  As in previous years, Escape has got some great speakers coming to talk about the latest developments in Animation, Games and VFX.

Here at Bucks we strongly recommend our students attend events like this one. It's a great way to find out what's going on in our industry and, best of all, to meet the recruiters from London's leading animation and VFX houses. Below are some of the VFX, games and animation companies who will be speaking in February.

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Free Horse Rig for Maya Animators

horse rig by Motorman TD
We're liking this horse rig available for free download from the Mothman TD website.

It's an excellent choice for animating quadruped locomotion, a useful alternative to the (also very good) Rhett the Clydesdale rig.

So, how can our students get the most out of this rig?