Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Bucks Students visit Pinewood Studios and Centroid - home of Europe's Largest Motion Capture Studio

Yesterday a group of students from Bucks went to visit the Motion Capture studio Centroid, based in Pinewood Studios. Motion Capture, sometimes called "Performance Capture", is an animation technique which captures real-time actor's performances and turns them into digital data which can be used to create animated characters - like the character "Gollum" played by Andy Serkis in The Lord of The Rings.

Bucks and Centroid are pioneering a partnership that will offer Centroid opportunities for research and development, and also give the students a chance to use a leading industry facility for their student films. It's just the kind of thing that universities should be doing - partnering with industry to create a mutually beneficial relationship.
Pinewood Studios - home of 007

Monday, 3 December 2012

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Motion Capture comes to Bucks

Animators don't like Motion Capture. We fear it because it threatens us, threatens to replace what we do so carefully and painstakingly and slowly with fast, inexpensive, automated technology. I first heard about it way back in 1987 on the set of "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" when it was rumoured that a technology existed whereby a computer could capture an actor's motion and express it instantly as a piece of 3D animation. Well, that'll never catch on, I thought (or hoped, more likely). Phil Nibbelink, one of the most talented animators on The Rabbit, called Motion Capture "the battle cry of the untalented". How we laughed.
Andy Serkis at Comic Con 2011, photographed by Gerald Geronimo

Friday, 9 November 2012

About Animation & VFX at Bucks

Here is a short video (5 mins) about our new Animation and VFX course at Bucks. This helps to give a flavour of what we are up to. In short, we want to create the best animation and visual effects course in the country.


How long does it take to become a good animator?

Animation is a complex craft and it takes a long time to master.  I have been teaching animation since 1996 and I have spent a good deal of time trying to figure out what should go into a really good animation course. How does a school get its students to a professional level of skill within the shortest possible period of time? Many students emerge from 3 years of animation study at prestigious schools with only basic skills, which most likely says more about the quality of training they received than it does about them.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Come to Our Next Open Day!

The Gateway Building at Bucks - a state-of-the-art media hub
Our next open day at Bucks is November 21st 2012 from 11am to 4pm at our High Wycombe campus. Full details here. Come and meet me and the other course tutors - we'll tell you about the new course here at Bucks and answer any questions you have. You can also look around our state-of-the-art media building where we teach not just animation but music, sound design, green screen, live action film-making and dance.

One of the best things about studying animation at Bucks is the opportunity to work with other film-makers and artists in different departments. Film-making is a collaborative art form and we strongly encourage students to share their skills and work together as a team.

--- Alex

Student film showcase - Georgia Woods, aged 13

Above is an excellent short film done by a recent graduate of the Bucks New University animation course. The film is by Clare Hunt and is narrated by Georgia Woods, a 13 year old girl who was subjected to cyber bullying at her new school.

Clare's film packs a strong emotional punch and she shows how animation can be used not just to entertain an audience but also to tackle important social issues. I also love the simple animation style, which does exactly what it needs to do.

Many congratulations to Clare on an excellent piece of work.

--- Alex