Friday, 8 November 2019

Adobe Premiere For Animators

At some point every animator needs to learn the basics of video editing.  Premiere Pro, made by Adobe,  comes bundled as part of the Adobe Creative Suite.

Animators need Adobe Premiere mainly to cut (and re-cut) their demo reels and - of course - to make short film projects.

Premiere is also needed to create movie files from a batch render of images. Let's say you are lighting and rendering your scene with Arnold, the ray tracer that is currently bundled with Maya. Arnold will not render out a movie file (such as a avi or mov) directly; instead, you must render still images in a sequence.  To turn those still images into a movie file, you need Premiere (or some other editing software). Here is how to do it.

Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Submit Your Film Idea to Cartoon Movie

Our student animators at Bucks New Uni are film-makers as well as animators, and many are developing their own ideas for original films and TV Series.

Of course, financing idea projects isn't easy, but the annual Cartoon Movie event in France is a good place to begin. The deadline to submit your project to Cartoon Movie is 20 November.

Saturday, 2 November 2019

El Suliman on The Making of The Lion King

El Suliman
Recently MPC lead animator El Suliman was in London talking about his work on the Disney blockbuster "The Lion King".

El was speaking at Escape Studios, at one of their regular "Evening With" events.  El Suliman was an animation lead on The Lion King, and he animated many of the key shots on the film.

El explained how the animators approached the animation on this hugely complex and ground-breaking movie, which raises the bar for creature animation

Friday, 1 November 2019

Why Animators Need to Be on LinkedIn

Tiffany Feeny, Ted Ty, Alex Williams, Jan-Bart Van Beek
How do animation graduates break into the industry? At this week's VIEW conference in Turin I was invited onto a recruitment panel hosted by New York's School of Visual Arts, hosted by SVA's Director of Career Development Angie Wojak.

Also on the panel was the recruiter Tiffany Feeney of Talent Outpost, an independent recruitment agency based in Switzerland.

Tiffany's big message to recent graduates looking for work?  "Be on Linkedin".

Thursday, 31 October 2019

Bucks New Uni Animation Showcase 2018-19



Check out the latest Bucks New Uni animation demo reel; this one is a compilation of the best work done by our undergraduate animation students at Bucks between 2018 and 2019.  Congratulations to all our animators on their excellent work; standards keep rising at Bucks and this is very encouraging; as we strive to help more and more of our graduates break into careers in the animation, games and VFX industries. 

Wednesday, 30 October 2019

Bucks Welcomes Back Sydney Padua

Bucks New University is delighted to welcome back new veteran animator and graphic novelist Sydney Padua who, following a year's absense to work on Disney's The Lion King, is back at Bucks.

Sydeny is a lecturer in animation on the undergraduate animation course at Bucks. Her animation career includes a roster of Hollywood hits, animation classics such as The Iron Giant, and many visual effects blockbusters.

Sydeny has also published the award-winning graphic novel The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage.  So, some very good news then for animation and VFX students at Bucks.

Tuesday, 29 October 2019

"Funny Fail Stories" in London Tonight

Funny Fail Stories is back in London tonight - book your seats for tonight, Tuesday 29 October for tales of failure from the world of animation and VFX.

Hosted by animator and director Simone Giampaolo, this event takes place at Zigfried Von Underbelly at 11 Hoxton Square, London N1, just a 5 minute walk from Old St Tube station.

Speakers bringing tales of disaster and near-disaster in the animation and VFX industry include Alina Bopele from Studio AKA,  Sabina Janetzka from Cinesite, and Stefano Marrone from Nucco Brain.

The event is also supported by the London chapter of SIGGRAPH.  Tickets are free and you can book them here.

Wednesday, 23 October 2019

Welcome to our new MA students!

Welcome!
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.

The online MA started on 30 September 2019 and lasts for 18 months, with the final assignment being due in May 2021, and degrees awarded in the summer of 2020.

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.

Monday, 21 October 2019

Moby Gratis - Free Music for Animators



Mobygratis.com is a great free resource for independent film-makers. The American musician Moby has released tons of free tracks for use in independent film projects, including student demo reels.  Moby's site is an excellent resource for independent and non-profit filmmakers, film students, and anyone in need of free music for their independent, non-profit film, video, or short.

Friday, 18 October 2019

Blue GFX Expo in London on 12th November

Blue GFX Expo 2019 taked place this year in London on Tuesday 12th November.

As ever, we strongly recommend that our students attend, so that they can catch up with latest in animation, VFX & Games.  The all-day event takes place near Waterloo on London's South Bank, and you can buy student tickets for just £15 here.

Thursday, 17 October 2019

Meet Thep! Free Mummy Rig from Squiggly Rigs

We're liking this cartoon mummy rig named Thep; he's fun and cartoony and you can get a great performance out of him. You can find him here for free download at the Squiggly Rigs official site.

Thep is the first character made with the Squiggly rig system.  Built to allow plenty of flexibility and exaggeration, Thep comes "equipped with some cool features to allow him to act as cartoony as possible without losing appeal".

Thep is a good choice for students starting on acting and lipsync; he works well with a cartoony voice, such as one from the Sesame Street wav archive.

Consider Thep for acting and pantomime shots, or for short dialogue scenes; he has good facial expressions and a wide variety of mouth shapes.

Friday, 11 October 2019

Aardman Model Making Workshop on Saturday

Aardman animation are coming to London, bringing two model making workshops tomorrow, Saturday 12th October.

The workshops are one hour long and take place at 4pm at the Hackney Picturehouse (see flyer below) and at 3.45pm at The Ritzy in Brixton (see flyer left).

The workshops form a part of the Aardman Animation day, which includes screenings and activities for kids, starting at 10.30am.

The afternoon workshops are for adults only and will be led by Claire Cohen and Ellie Hugill, Senior Modelmakers at Aardman.

Claire and Ellie will give students an insight into stop-motion animation and what it is like to work at one of the UK's most enduring and well-loved animation houses.

Monday, 7 October 2019

Dinosaur Masterclass at VIEW October 24

VIEW is the 20th International VFX & Computer Graphics Conference that takes place every year in Turin.

This year the VIEW conference runs from Monday 21st October until Friday 25th October.

On Wednesday October 23 at 2.30pm I'll be on a panel with SVA titled "Starting Your Animation Career: How to Get Noticed and Get Hired".

On Thursday October 24th I'll be teaching a one-day masterclass in Maya demonstrating how to animate dinosaurs, from 9.30am at Piazza Mestiere.

The class is aimed at complete beginners and requires no prior experience with Maya.

Friday, 4 October 2019

Notes on Academic Writing from Dr Fil

Fil Ieropolous
Dr Fil Ieropolous is the academic lead for our Online MA in 3D Animation.

Fil is the main point of contact for all academic questions on the course, and responsible for the delivery and assessment of the academic content.  Any questions about academic content or academic marking should be directed to Fil (He can be reached on fil.ieropoulos@bucks.ac.uk).

Below are some of Fil's helpful notes on some of the common problems with academic writing, and how to fix them.

Tuesday, 1 October 2019

Autodesk Launches Maya Indie License

Great news for all our animation students at Bucks - Autodesk has launched the "Maya Indie License", allowing students who have learned to animate using the free student version of the software to enter the marketplace at a much-reduced price.

This is great news for our graduates; Autodesk offers junior animators the chance to "become a pro at a price you can afford". No longer are digital artists and animators blocked from entering the market for making animated films in Maya by the high price tag for a commercial license.

Monday, 30 September 2019

Making of Lion King in London Tonight - Free

Tonight in Central London MPC artist Gabriel Arnold is giving a talk about the making of The Lion King, the recent Disney blockbuster that has become one of the most successful animated films of all time.

The event is one of a series of "Evening with..." events hosted by Escape Studios at their Central London campus.  As ever, we recommend that any of our students who can attend, do so, as this is a great opportunity to meet in person a lead artist from one of London's leading animation studios, and find out about the reality of the industry pipeline.

Friday, 27 September 2019

Bucks New Uni Online MA Animation: Who's Who

Bucks New University by Jeton Lakna
Who's Who on our Online Master of Arts in Animation?

For our new animation students just starting with us, there is a good deal of information to take on board, including who does what at Bucks.

There are a number of people involved in delivering our MA - the first (and still the only) online MA in animation in the world.

Below is a brief guide to help our new cohort of students figure who's who, who does what, and how to get in touch with the key people whose job it is to help our students get excellent results.

Wednesday, 25 September 2019

Education Charities and How to Find Them

One question we often get asked at Bucks is what kind of scholarships are available for study. We don't have a dedicated scholarship for studying animation at Bucks (perhaps we should) but there are many other ways to finance your studies.

As well as the existing system of loans and grants put in place by the Government a few years ago for the funding of higher education, there are also many other sources of charitable funding out there.

You'd be surprised how many charities and trusts provide grants for educational study.

One great place to look is the Guide to Educational Grants, published by the NUS (National Union of Students), and which is updated every year. 


Friday, 20 September 2019

Bucks MA Academic Deadlines 2019-21

2019-2021 deadlines
Below is a list of deadlines for the online MA in 3D animation. This list is for our 2019 cohort of students, that is to say all our student animators who are joining us in September 2019, and will graduate "Master of Arts" in the summer of 2021.

This list of deadlines is a draft list only, and is subject to change. Students should always check the appropriate Module Guide and Assignment Brief to be certain of the correct submission date. And, of course, check with your tutor.

However, this list gives our students a broad idea of what to expect over the coming year and a half.

Wednesday, 18 September 2019

DA701 - Animation Mechanics Starts on 30 Sept

DA701 PR1 "School Run" by Lee Caller
DA701 Animation Mechanics is the first module that our MA students will encounter at Bucks.

DA701 is taught primarily in Autodesk Maya, and deals with animation basics, such locomotion and mechanics.

It starts with simple actions such as a bouncing ball, and builds up to simple physical actions, such as jumps and throws.

Tuesday, 10 September 2019

Animation Reading List: Animator's Survival Kit

Classes at Bucks start on 30 September, so now is the time to get ready, and start doing some general reading about animation.

We recommend one key textbook - all our students should get a copy of  The Animator's Survival Kit by Richard Williams.

The ASK was first published in 2002 as a book, and a few years later was released as a DVD set, and later as an iPad app.

Today the ASK is the leading resource for students wanting to learn animation.

Friday, 6 September 2019

Improv for Animators Starts on 7th October

Improv with Bruce MacKinnon and Framestore
Actor and comedian Bruce MacKinnon, (The Office, Guardians of The Galaxy, Bohemian Rhapsody, Inside No.9, Black Mirror) has teamed up with Ross Burgess, Head of animation at Framestore, to create a new acting improv course, specifically designed for animators, starting on 7th October in Central London.

The purpose of the class is to "push animators creatively and explore through workshop how actors approach character movement and comedic storytelling."

As we know, animators are actors, and we strongly recommend our students take acting classes in order to improve their acting skills and choices.

London is a short train journey away from our High Wycombe campus, and courses like this offer a great opportunity for networking and career development.

Tuesday, 3 September 2019

Get Ready for September

What kind of preparation should animation students do before starting with us at Bucks in late 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.

Below is a short reading list to get you started. We've narrowed it down to just one key books that we recommend for all our students.

We also recommend a number of free online resources to begin your journey into digital animation.

Thursday, 15 August 2019

Lion King's El Suliman in London on 27 August

El Suliman, animation lead on The Lion King, is giving a talk in London on 27th August about his work on the film.

El works for MPC, the VFX powerhouse that did all the animation on the smash hit movie.

As ever, we recommend that all our students attend events like this one; they are a window into the animation production process and also great opportunities for industry networking. 

Monday, 12 August 2019

Animation MA Module and Grade Structure

Kiwi by Oliver Canovas
Our online MA in 3D Animation at Bucks New University is a unique course, still the only online MA in animation in the world.

Priced at just £7,200 for the full 18 months, it is a gateway to a career in the animation industry and also a passport to teaching animation at university level.

Inside the MA are five modules; four run consecutively throughout the year, and the final module runs for the full 18 months of the course.

Friday, 9 August 2019

Last Call for our Online MA in 3D Animation

Last call for applications for our online MA in animation; we still have a couple of spots open for September 2019.

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.

Students learn how to animate to a professional industry standard using Autodesk Maya, the industry-standard software, and also learn to engage with the underpinning theory and structure behind the art form.

Tuesday, 6 August 2019

The Making of "Venom"

Venom
Troy Saliba, animation director at Double Negative, gave a talk in London earlier this year, to talk about his work on the blockbuster release: Venom.

Troy was my animation director on "Monster House", way back in 2005, so it was a pleasure for me to see him again, and welcome him to London, where he is now working for DNeg in Soho.

Troy's talk was a masterclass in how animators work alongside VFX artists on FX-heavy films, where the final result, with all the FX work added, can often look quite different to the animator's initial keyframe animation.

The result is that, on films like Venom, animation and FX are heavily interlaced, requiring careful collaboration between departments, and plenty of back-and-forth to get the right final result.

Saturday, 3 August 2019

Animation Taster Day in London on 7th August

Eagle by Lee Caller
Interested in learning 3D animation, but not sure you want to commit to an entire course of study? I'm running an Animation Taster Day in London on 7th August, hosted at Escape Studios in Central London, for anyone who wants to try out the software and see if it's for them.

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

You will learn how to use Autodesk Maya and get a hands-on introduction to 3D Animation techniques; the full day costs just £25, and by the end of the day you'll have your own piece of creature animation uploaded to your YouTube channel.  No prior knowledge of Maya - or any software - is required.

Friday, 2 August 2019

Student Loans for Animation Master's Degree

The UK Government's student loan system for postgraduate master's degrees is now well established.  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, who can borrow up to £10,906, if the course starts on or after 1 August 2019.  So, how does the system actually work?

Thursday, 1 August 2019

Nickelodeon Explains The Art of The Pitch

David Steinberg at Annecy
Animation veteran David Steinberg from Nickelodeon made a great presentation at this year's Annecy animation festival, on how to pitch animation ideas to Nickelodeon.

Nickelodeon (known as "Nick") does most of its design and creation in house, but the "meat and potatoes" of animation is usually subcontracted out to other studios, often overseas, around the world.

Our animation students at Bucks don't just learn how to be competent, industry-ready animators. They also learn creativity, and how to generate ideas. After all, it's up to our students to create the next big thing - the next Peppa Pig or Bob the Builder.  Animation is about stories, characters, and creativity.  So, what does Nickelodeon ("Nick", for short) look for in an animation pitch?

Wednesday, 31 July 2019

What is The Animator's Resource Kit?

We're recommending this very useful animation blog - The Animator's Resource Kit, a useful one-stop-shop for lots of animation materials, including reviews of some of the best and most useful animation rigs.

It has plenty of information on subjects like links to animation forums, communities, animation competitions, Maya rigs, tools - and places to submit work.

Friday, 26 July 2019

Turin VIEW Conference

VIEW Conference 2019
We're recommending our students attend VIEW, the 20th International VFX & Computer Graphics Conference that takes place every year in Turin.

This year the conference runs from Monday 21st October until Friday 25th October.

I'll be there, participating in panel talks and also running a series of one-day masterclasses in Maya demonstrating character and creature animation techniques.

My class is aimed at complete beginners and requires no prior experience with Maya.

Thursday, 25 July 2019

Introducing The 12 Principles of Animation



Starting with us in September, on either our BA in animation or our MA in animation? For our new starters, we are recommending this introductory video outlining the 12 Principles of Animation.  If you're studying animation for the first time, and starting to learn the basics, then this video is a very helpful introduction to the medium.  Unlock the secrets of Squash and stretch, Anticipation, Staging, Straight ahead action & pose to pose, Follow through & overlapping action, Slow in and slow out, Arcs & Paths of Action, Secondary action, Timing, Exaggeration, Solid drawing and Appeal.  Sounds like a long list? You don't have to memorise them all. Just be aware of the principles, and then gradually start to apply them in your animation.

Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Will Studying Animation at Bucks Get You a Job?

Will studying 3D animation at Bucks New University get you a job? This is a question we get asked a lot - understandably - and it is always a tough question to answer.

Our goal is to make every student job-ready by the end of the course, prepared to tackle a role as junior animator at a studio, ready to do excellent work on client-facing projects.

That said, Bucks cannot actually guarantee jobs for students, but we can do our very best to provide all our students - including animation students - with practical skills that prepare them for the workplace and help them to get hired.

Thursday, 18 July 2019

"Prepare to Board" by Nancy Beiman

There is a good deal of cross-over between animation and storyboarding. In the days of traditional 2D animation, many animators were board artists, and vice versa.

Even today, where most of the work we do is digital, traditional drawing skills are very useful for planning animation, by doing quick thumbnail sketches that set out all the key poses in the shot.

One traditional Disney animator who mastered both animation and storyboarding is Nancy Beiman, whose excellent book Prepare to Board! is the main book we recommend to our students.

It is an excellent book from a master animator, who now teaches at Sheridan College in Canada.

Wednesday, 17 July 2019

Lion King - Film Review

On Monday night the Empire Leicester Square hosted a preview of The Lion King for BAFTA members. I went along fully prepared to dislike the new film - how could anyone top the original? And why bother with a re-make of such a great movie, other than to please the Disney shareholders?

Of course, I am very biased, having worked on the original film back in 1993, so I was doing my best not to enjoy it, and to persuade myself that the original film would still be the One True King.

But MPC, the London VFX house that did all the animation, have raised the bar for animal and creature animation to such a level that it's impossible not to be impressed by the sheer skill of the digital artistry.

The Lion King is a triumph not just of technology but of great storytelling, as the film-makers kept most of the original film but wove in new elements to keep the story fresh.

Monday, 15 July 2019

Time to Enter the 2020 BAA

British Animation Awards
It's that time again - time for our students and recent graduates to get ready for the British Animation Awards 2020. The awards come around every two years, and this year the ceremony will take place on March 19th 2020 (coincidentally, the birthday of veteran animator Richard Williams), at the BFI Southbank.

The British Animation Awards (BAA) invites all kinds of animation submissions, from student work to commercials, children’s entertainment, short films, experimental films, music videos and new technologies.

There is a student category, and admission is free.  The student entry deadline is 25th October.

Wednesday, 10 July 2019

ILMxLAB Presents the Future of VR

Vikki Dobbs Beck
Vikki Dobbs Beck from Industrial Light and Magic (ILM) was in London recently giving a talk  about her company ILMxLab, the virtual reality pioneer that "invites audiences to step inside the world of our stories".

ILMxLab is all about immersive experiences. Their challenge as a startup venture within ILM is to leverage their in-house talent and create new experiences, using VR to tell stories in a fresh, innovative way.

As Vikki put it, we are "entering an age of experiential storytelling". To create this new reality, ILMxLab needed to "take risks, to learn, explore and discover new ideas".

Thursday, 4 July 2019

Cartoon Museum Re-Opens in London

For our undergraduate students, one of the great advantages of  studying at Bucks New University is our proximity to London, with its wealth of cultural events and experiences.

London's Cartoon Museum, which closed last year when rising rents forced it out of its former home in Little Russell St, is back - and better than ever.

Last week the Cartoon Museum re-opened at its new home at 63 Wells St in Fitzrovia, a roomy basement space dedicated to the history of British cartooning.

Tuesday, 2 July 2019

Ross Anderson Pulls a Rabbit from His Hat

Ross Anderson
Canadian author and animation historian Ross Anderson has finished his long-anticipated book - Pulling a Rabbit Out of a Hat - The Story Behind the Making of Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

Ross was first interviewed by animation blog FLiP back in 2013, about writing of the book, which has taken six years to bring to fruition.

Ross's book has finally hit the bookshelves; he was signing copies this week at this year's Annecy film festival.

Ross's book aims to be the definitive history of the making of the film. I've been looking forward to buying my copy for years. Among the highlights are Tom Sito's hilarious sketches and scribbles that documented the roller coaster ride that was the making of the film.

Tuesday, 25 June 2019

DA704 - Demo Reel and Final Project


Our Master's degree animation students are tackling their final animation project, part of DA704, the penultimate module on the course, and the last module which is primarily of a practical nature. The final project is titled "Demo Reel and Final Project" and, as the name suggests, students are expected to do one last piece of character or creature animation, and also cut a demo reel that will be their showcase as they begin their search for work in the animation industry.

Tuesday, 18 June 2019

Graduation Advice from Pixar Animation Studio



Pixar have released a new video offering tips for animation graduates, including advice on how to break into the industry, and land that crucial first job.  Some of it is a bit fluffy (eg "take time to breathe" - who knew?) but there is also plenty of useful, practical advice, especially on the importance of reliance and toughness in a competitive world. .Among the most interesting comments from people at Pixar: "I applied....three times; friends and family told me to give up, saying, 'they're just not that into you'." (she made it in the end).  Another one says "Every time you get rejected...is an opportunity for you to improve yourself". And also "the learning didn't stop in college, there are still opportunities to improve yourself".  Great advice from some great talent. To see why animation graduates need to be the rhino, read this blog post.

Monday, 17 June 2019

How Do Publishers Work With Animators?

Bloomsbury, the London publishing house who brought the world Harry Potter, are hosting a special event for animators and video editors on 20 June at 6.30pm at their 50 Bedford Square HQ.

Step inside Bloomsbury, as they explain how publishers work with animators and filmmakers to create inspiring films about their books and authors.

If you're an animator interested in working with publishers, and using animation to create innovative publishing content, this could be the event for you.

Sunday, 16 June 2019

Bucks MA Academic Deadlines 2018-2020

2018-2020 deadlines
Below is a list of deadlines for the online MA in 3D animation. This list is for our 2018 cohort of students, that is to say all our student animators who joined us in September 2018, and will graduate in the summer of 2020.

This list of deadlines is a draft list only, and is subject to change. Students should always check the appropriate Module Guide and Assignment Brief to be certain of the correct submission date. However, this list should give all our students a pretty good idea of what to expect over the coming year.

Friday, 14 June 2019

Free Animation Summer School 8-10 August

Getting experience in learning 3D animation for younger students can be tricky.

Fortunately, London VFX training facility Escape Studios is running a free 3 day Animation Summer School from 8-10 August to help get youngsters hands-on experience of 3D animation.

Thursday, 13 June 2019

The Making of Detective Pikachu

Detective Pikachu
At last week's VFX festival in London, Framestore's Jonathan Fawkner gave a talk on the Making of Detective Pikachu, a movie which was filmed in London and which used the talents of two of the UK's top VFX houses, Framestore and MPC.

It's the kind of talk that we encourage all our students to attend, because of the insights to be gained from understanding the challenges of the animation pipeline within a big VFX project.

One of the big challenges on the film was the take the original Pokemon 2D artwork, and create characters which could be fitted into a photoreal VFX environment.

Wednesday, 12 June 2019

BAFTA Guru 14-15 Sept

Mark your calendars, BAFTA Guru Live is taking place on the weekend of Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th September.

We strongly encourage our students to attend at least some of the workshops; tickets are very inexpensive (just £6 for each masterclass) and are aimed at students and rising talent.

Tuesday, 4 June 2019

ILM Explains How to Animate Dinosaurs

Fallen Kingdom
One of the highlights of today's VFX Festival at Escape Studios in London was the presentation by Jance Rubinchik, animation supervisor at ILM, on the making of Jurassic World, and Fallen Kingdom.

Animating animals and creatures is something that ILM has pioneered since the first Jurassic Park movie. Each new Jurassic film has sought to raise the bar for animal and creature work.

Animators who do this kind of work have to become experts in animal and creature locomotion, understanding how the animals would have moved, in order to create a believable performance.

Wednesday, 29 May 2019

Still Time to Apply for our MA in 3D Animation

"School Run" by Bucks student Lee Caller
There is still time to apply for our online MA in animation, currently enrolling for September 2019.

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.

Students learn how to animate to a professional industry standard using Autodesk Maya, the industry-standard software, and also learn to engage with the underpinning theory and structure behind the art form.

Wednesday, 22 May 2019

VFX Festival in London June 5-6

The VFX, Games and Animation Festival 2019 is back again, hosted at 190 High Holborn WC1 in central London, by Escape Studios.

This year the VFX festival has been split into three separate but overlapping events. All of the events are well worth attending, and we strongly recommend that any of our students in the London area attend.

Thursday, 16 May 2019

Learning To Take Critique - at Facebook

One of the hardest skills for animation students to learn is how give and receive criticism.  We all tend to be shy about our work (especially when we are learning something new) and, when our work is criticised, that criticism can feel very personal.

Thursday, 2 May 2019

How to Plan Out a Creature Animation Shot

Kiwi by Oliver Canovas
Our master's degree animators are embarking on their third animation assignment, DA703 PR1, which involves the creation of a piece of animal or creature animation, combined with a performance.

Animal and  creature animation is among the most challenging work an animator can tackle, because it involves creating believable animation - usually based on live-action reference - and also an element of anthropormisation - making the animal or creature act in a believable way, perhaps including dialogue and lipsync.

So, how should our students plan out a piece of animal or creature animation? Start by watching the 10 minute video below.

Saturday, 27 April 2019

Do Animators Need a Master's Degree?

Do Animators Need a Master's Degree? It's a question I get asked often, mainly by prospective students who want to know if the committment of time and effort that is necessary to complete an MA is worth the investment.

The simple answer is, it depends on what you want to do. Academia cares about academic qualifications. Industry cares about demo reels.

If your focus is purely on industry, and finding work there, you don't really need a masters' level qualification. But if you are hoping to teach, especially in higher education, a masters' degree is more or less a necessity.

Friday, 26 April 2019

Deadline for Cartoon Forum is 8 May

Most of our students at Bucks have an idea for an animated TV series in development; even if they don't know it yet. 

Our animation students are not just technicians, they are creators, brainstorming new ideas and concepts in animation, searching for the next Peppa Pig or Charlie and Lola.

But you can't do it alone - animation is a team sport.  A successful TV series needs co-producers, financing, broadcasters and new media partners. And where do you find those? Cartoon Forum is where. The deadline to apply for this year's forum is 8 May.

Thursday, 25 April 2019

Marking The Animation Masters Degree at Bucks

How does the Marking Work on our MA in Animation at Bucks? Marking can be appear to be a rather opaque process, so it's helpful to clarify some of the basics for our students.

The Master's Degree at Bucks is worth 180 credits overall, and has two components, academic and practical, with a roughly even balance between the two.

There are five Modules in the MA, each worth 30 credits, apart from the 18 month long dissertation module which is worth 60 credits.