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.

We're looking for candidates with good all-round art skills, including drawing, design and animation. Add to this a familiarity with and a desire to know more about computers, and a creative spirit - and you have the perfect portfolio.

Here's a list of things that might go into a good art portfolio:

  • Sketch books, including doodles, drawings and ideas.
  • Examples of artwork. This could include life drawings, paintings, and character designs. 
  • Any animation, whether digital, hand-drawn, or stop-motion. These can be brought as a digital file such as a QuickTime or avi, on a memory stick or CD. 
  • Fine art portfolio 
  • Digital artwork, on a CD or memory stick 
  • Film, video or TV work, on a CD or memory stick.
We're also looking for evidence of 3D animation, not because it is necessary to have done this in advance of the course, but because it is the best way for a student to find out if this is really what they want to do for a living. Computer animation involves many hours in front of a screen and the best way to discover if you enjoy doing to do it.

Of course, the best kind of portfolio is an online portfolio. Check out our post here on creating a free blog and/or website, and start uploading your work.

One last note on interviews: well-prepared candidates should always make sure they check that any digital files they bring can actually be opened! Always do a quick tech-check before you come in.


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. Find out why we're giving free laptops to all our students, and why we give all our students free access to videos at Also, see what financial assistance might be available to you. Learn which is better for animation, a PC or a Mac? Get hold of a copy of a map so you can find your way around campus, and learn about motion capture at Bucks. And find out about how our online video tutorials work.

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