Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Masters Students Tackle Character Walks

"Monty" character walks by MA graduate Neil Whitman
Our masters students' first assessed animation exercise, the assignment brief for DA701 PR1 (the first practical assignment for the first animation module), is to create a scene based on character walks. 

Character walks are one of the most important parts of the animator's toolkit. Using the online materials at Animation Apprentice, students learn how to take a basic walk cycle and, with just a few tweaks, completely change the character's mood and personality.

The students' first assessed brief is to take these character walks and turn it into an entertaining scene. 

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

What Kind of Laptop Should Our Students Buy?

laptop computer - will travel
"What kind of laptop should I buy?" is a question that gets asked whenever we start a new class of Masters' students at Bucks.

Our online MA in animation is a purely distance learning course, and that means that our students have to provide their own hardware and software.
The main software we use, Autodesk Maya, can be downloaded for free from the Autodesk education site.

Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Welcome to Our New MA Animation Students

A very warm welcome all our new post-graduate students who are starting their journey with us on our online MA in animation, in partnership with Animation Apprentice.

This 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.

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Tuesday, 11 September 2018

BYOA Monday 17th September

BYOA (Bring Your Own Animation) is taking place on Monday 17th September.

BYOA is an animation event that is held every month at a pub in London, generally on a Monday night. This month the event is taking place at a new location - the Smugglers Tavern in London's Fitzrovia.

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?

Tuesday, 4 September 2018

Graduation Day!

Graduation Day at Bucks
Many congratulations to all our animation and VFX graduates - today is Graduation Day at Bucks, and the ceremony for our newest animation graduates takes place at Bucks today, Tuesday 4th September at 2.30pm.

We congratulate all our animation graduates who are celebrating their achievement today.

This year, our latest graduates include masters' students Anna Zielinska, Julien Rashti, Marcio Leiria, Darius O'Neill, Brendan Hobbs, and Victoria Bailey. Congratulations to all of them - our second graduating class of MA students.

Monday, 20 August 2018

Producing Animation Webinar Wed 23 August

Learn from the producer of Ultramarines
Veteran animation Producer Bob Thompson is hosting a webinar on Producing Animation on Wednesday 23 August.

The webinar, which is completely free, is titled "An Artist's guide to Animation Producers".  

Bob Thompson is an industry veteran with a long and successful track record of producing animated feature films, commercials and VFX projects, including Ultramarines and the Bionicle series.

The purpose of the webinar is to introduce artists to the business side of animation, which artists often don't understand, or tend to ignore.

But a good artist needs to get the business side of animation. After all, producers need artists who can be relied upon to deliver quality work, on time and on budget.
 

Monday, 30 July 2018

Free Motion Graphics Webinar Tomorrow

Thiago Maia - Motion Graphics expert
Motion Graphics guru Thiago Maia is hosting a free webinar in Motion Graphics tomorrow, Tuesday 31st July.

In this webinar Thiago will show how to apply the famous "12 Principles of Animation" to motion graphics work in Adobe After Effects, to create better and more flexible animation.

The webinar takes place at 6pm. We always recommend that our students at Bucks sign up for webinars such as this one - it's always a good idea to expland your skillset and learn new tools.

To sign up for this free webinar, follow this link.

Monday, 23 July 2018

Craimer Jones CG Artist at Burrows FX

Bucks Animation & VFX graduate Craimer Jones is a lead CGI artist at Burrows, a UK based production visualisation company which describes itself as "bringing products to life via high quality visualisation, personalisation, configuration, engaging storytelling and immersive experiences".

We asked Crainer to talk about his job, how he got it, and what advice he would give to students and recent graduates hoping to break into the digital industries.

Friday, 20 July 2018

Free Webinar: "Animating Non-Humans" 24 July

Sea Serpent - Voyage of the Dawn Treader
I'll be hosting a webinar on animating non-human characters on Tuesday July 24th.

The webinar is completely free, and there will be plenty of time to take questions during the talk.

How does an animator approach the challenge of animating non-human characters? After all, you probably can't film yourself acting out the scene, so you will need to find other solutions.

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

How to Get Ready for September

The book every animator should own
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.

Friday, 29 June 2018

Disney's Kevin Hudson in London on 2nd July

"Weeds" by Kevin Hudson
Kevin Hudson, asset artist at Walt Disney Animation Studios, is in London on July 2nd at 4.30pm to talk about his multi-award-winning short film "Weeds" 

“Weeds” is the story of a dandelion, rooted on the wrong side of the driveway in a barren yard surrounded by dry dirt and dead grass.

Thursday, 28 June 2018

Acting for Animators in London from Sept 24

Sarah Perry of Shapes in Motion is teaching an 8 week evening class in London, titled "Acting for Animators", starting on Monday 24th September.

The course runs from 7-10pm once a week, for 8 weeks, until Monday 18th November.

The class is a practical, physical workshop in acting skills, aimed specifically at helping animators to  create more believable, authentic acting choices in their work.

Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Still Time to Apply for Our Online MA

The world's first online MA in animation
It's not too late! There is still time to apply for our online MA in animation, currently enrolling for September 2018.

This 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 (using Autodesk Maya, the industry-standard software), but you will engage at Masters' level with the underpinning theory and structure behind the art form.

Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Bucks Students Lead "The Rookies"

Turing by Bucks New Uni students
Each year at Bucks we are encourage 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 we're proud that our students' film "Turing" is the most popular (ie most watched) film of the year.

Thursday, 21 June 2018

Pixar's Royce Wesley to London

Royce Wesley
Escape Studios in London are running a free competition - you could win a chance to meet Royce Wesley from Pixar.

Royce is visiting London from Los Angeles to give an animation masterclass at Escape Studios on Thursday 28 June.

Royce has worked on some of Pixar’s biggest hits including Toy Story 3, Brave, Cars 3, Coco, and - most recently - Incredibles 2.

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Character Walks Webinar Escape Studios 5 June

"Monty" character walks
I'll be hosting a free webinar on character walks at Escape Studios at 6pm on Tuesday June 5th.

The event is completely free, and there will be plenty of time to take questions during the demonstration.

Character walks are one of the most important parts of the animator's toolkit, and I will be showing how you can take a basic walk cycle and, with just a few tweaks, completely change the character's mood and personality.

Friday, 27 April 2018

Bucks Graduate Anthony Smith - Private Eye Cartoonist

Anthony Smith
Anthony Smith is a Bucks graduate who has forged a successful career in cartoons and animation.

Anthony is best known in the animation industry for his ads for the Dairylea Cow, but he also does regular cartoons for Metro, the Spectator and Private Eye.

You may not know Anthony Smith - but you are very likely to have come across his work.

We asked him a few questions about his work, and how he got started in the industry.

Thursday, 12 April 2018

Graduation Day 2018 - Tuesday 4th September

Graduation Day at Bucks
Graduation Day for our newest animation graduates takes place at Bucks on Tuesday 4th September at 2.30pm.

On that day, we will be welcoming all our animation graduates (both animation & vfx, and online MA grads) to come and celebrate their achievement.

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.

Friday, 6 April 2018

Bring Your Own Animation Monday 16th April

Lukin pub, Fitzrovia
Calling all Bucks animation graduates - "Bring Your Own Animation" is taking place on Monday 16th April.

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

If you are a student, or a animation graduate, 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?

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

David Wheeler Graphic Designer at ICE London

Many congratulations to Bucks animation graduate David Wheeler, who is the in-house graphic designer at ICE London, responsible for producing digital & print ready artwork files for product visuals, packaging design & marketing artwork.

David took on a number of freelance jobs while he was still an undergraduate at Bucks, learning his craft and getting better at both animation and graphic design and, of course , learning to deal with clients. David is celebrating two years at ICE London - and we congratulate him on forging a career in which he able to apply his artistic and digital skills.

Saturday, 31 March 2018

Check Out Our YouTube Channel

The see the best student work being done here at Bucks New University, visit our Bucks Animation & VFX channel at YouTube.

You'll see the excellent work done by both our undergraduate and graduate (MA) animation students, work done both in-house at Bucks and also online. 

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Antoni Zakheos at Phenomen Films UK

Many congratulations to Bucks animation graduate Antoni Zakheos, who has just started a new position as a 3D artist at Phenomen Films UK.

Phenomen Films UK is a post-production company located in London, part of the wider Phenomen Films group of companies, based in Berlin, Moscow, Kharkov and Kiev.

Friday, 16 March 2018

Lyuboslav 3D Artist at Double Negative

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 Runner at London VFX powerhouse Double Negative, now know simply as DNeg.

Thursday, 8 March 2018

Free Rigging Webinar Tonight at 7pm

Mike Davies - the man who rigged Smaug
Rigging expert Mike Davies, a veteran rigger whose film credits include The Hobbit and also The Minions, is hosting a free webinar on the art of rigging tonight, Thursday 8 March at 7pm.

If you're interested in learning rigging, be sure to sign up for this free webinar hosted by London's Escape Studios.

If you'd like to register (it is completely free), follow the link here to sign up.

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Jack Hubbard at Framestore

Many congratulations to Jack Hubbard,  one of our recent graduates from the Animation and VFX course at Bucks, who has landed a job at Framestore, one of London's leading animation and VFX houses.

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.

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

Wolfdog
We're liking this Wolfdog rig, available for free download from highend3d.com. 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.