Friday, 29 March 2013

Does Education Kill Creativity?

Sir Ken Robinson is an educator who believes passionately in the importance of teaching creativity in our schools. In this fascinating (and very entertaining) 2007 TED talk Robinson explains why he thinks our system of education is broken and needs fixing.

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Who needs a website?

Create a blog - it's free!
Who needs a blog or a website? Only everyone who is a freelancer. And, in the entertainment industry, we are all freelancers. Jobs for life, if they ever existed, are long gone, and for most of us a gig that lasts a few years is a long one.

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Student Showcase - SyFy Channel Ident by Krzysztof Michalski.

This is an ident (that is to say, a "station identification") created for the SyFy channel by Krzysztof Michalski, now in his third year at Bucks. Krzysztof completed this short piece in his second year; the brief was to do an ident for a TV channel. Broadcasters use idents to remind viewers what they are watching and also to help develop their brand identities. Motion Graphics work is a big and growing market for animators and digital artists.

Sunday, 24 March 2013

The Twelve Principles of Animation - start learning today!

What is Animation all about? For a general introduction to the medium, and a beginners guide to the language and basic principles of animation, watch this video above.

Saturday, 23 March 2013

The 10,000 Hour Rule - why practice makes perfect

It is a cliche that practice makes perfect, but in his 2008 book Outliers author Malcolm Gladwell argues that in order for any person to become really good at any cognitively-challenging task, they have to practice a lot. 10,000 hours-worth of practice, in fact.

Friday, 22 March 2013

Animated Film Festival in Spain seeks entries - for free!

Entry is free!
Calling all animators! Taking place this summer, from 4-6 July in A Coruña Spain, The "Mundos Digitales" festival is an International Animated Short Films Festival which includes conferences on 3D Animation, VFX, videogames and digital architectural visualisation.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Alex York comes to Bucks on Friday 22nd March

Architectural Visualisation by Alex York
This is a reminder to all our digital artists that Alex York, who specialises in 3D architectural visualisation, is coming to Bucks tomorrow, Friday 22nd March at 9.30am, to talk about his work and career.

Open Day at Bucks - April 27th

Our next Open Day at Bucks is April 27th. Open Days are all about meeting the tutors (for Animation & VFX - that's me and Dave), finding out about the courses, and also exploring our campus.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Student Showcase - Jens Kopke's "highly commended" work for AD&D

This very stylish short video is by Bucks graduate Jens Kopke, who entered it for the Design and Art Direction (D&AD) awards and was "highly commended" for his work.

The Bucks "Big Deal" - free stuff!

What's it like studying at Bucks? One of the University's big selling points is the "Bucks Big Deal", a package of free stuff (yay!) and general support for students.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Student Showcase - The Art of Monika Dzikowicz

Monika Dzikowicz is a 3rd year student at Bucks who has developed a very strong portfolio in visual development and concept design. She draws well and has practiced her craft to develop her skills as a concept designer, visual development artist and storyboard artist.

Bucks - in One Word

Here is a video Bucks put up last year in which a group of students were asked to sum up the university in one word.

Monday, 18 March 2013

Virtual Tours of Bucks

The Gateway building - crammed with state-of-the-art equipment
The best way to figure out if Bucks is the right place for you to study is to come in a visit us. We have regular Open Days (watch this blog to find out more about the latest one - coming up soon on April 25th).

But in case you can't make it in to see us in person, check out our virtual tours instead from the comfort of your keyboard.

Friday, 15 March 2013

Tom Sito's new book on the History of Computer Animation

FLIP: Tom Sito's History of Computer Animation: Ivan Sutherland demonstrates Sketchpad, 1963. Being of a generation for which computers represented the future, it is a bit unset...

How Much Does Our Course Cost?

As the cost of higher education rises dramatically, the issue of costs and fees is more important than ever. The Animation and VFX course costs £8,000 per annum (at the time of writing) but this includes a free laptop loaded with all the right software, so that every student starts the course with the tools they need to start making their own short films and even take on freelance work.

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Building a great animation reel - the problem of weight

The secret of a great animation reel is simple - it must be completely free of mistakes. As Aardman animator Matt Rees puts it: "you are only as good as the worst thing on your reel".

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Bringing the Digital World to Life

Modeling, texturing and lighting by Mike Swan
Here at Bucks we don't just tackle animation - we also train our students to be experts in a full range of digital skills. Students often ask "should I become a specialist - or a generalist? Which is best?". The answer of course - is both.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Take a virtual tour of the student accomodation at Bucks

All this could be yours
One question I get asked a lot at interview is - "what kind of housing is available for students?" Since I'm an animator, not a housing expert, I usually say something like "er...I'll get back to you on that...".

Monday, 11 March 2013

Bucks Careers Fair - Tuesday 12 March

Tuesday 12 March is the Jobs, Careers & Volunteers Fair at Bucks New University. This is an opportunity to speak directly to employers and voluntary organisations who are offering employment opportunities to graduates.

Sunday, 10 March 2013

The Martial Art of Kendo by Lydon Fleisig

Lydon Fleisig is studying animation at Bucks in his final year, and has just completed an excellent short film, The Martial Art of Kendo, for one of his final year projects. 

Friday, 8 March 2013

Disney kills 2D Animation - Official

The Princess and the Frog - Disney's last 2D feature
According to an article in yesterday's Guardian, 2D animation is officially dead at Disney, the studio which took the medium to its greatest-ever heights. At the annual shareholder meeting in Phoenix Arizona, CEO Bob Iger said:

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Animation Magazine features our new course at Bucks

Animation Magazine, one of the longest-established publications on the animation business, has written about our new course at Bucks New University. The article by Mercedes Milligan explains what we're up to at Bucks, and how we are going about trying to create one of the best and most accomplished animation and vfx courses in the country.

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Bucks Animation - Maya "Taster Day"

Autodesk Maya
We just finished our animation "taster day" here at Bucks - showing students the basics of Autodesk Maya, the leading software now being used in the animation, games and VFX industries.

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Animation History Quiz!

Call yourself an animator? Think you know the history of animation? Sharpen your pencil, get yourself a piece of paper, and test your knowledge with our brand-new animation history quiz! The story begins 18,000 years BC....

Friday, 1 March 2013

Our new YouTube Channel

As part of our push to showcase the best student work being done here at Bucks New University, we have started a new Bucks Animation & VFX channel at YouTube, providing our students with a platform for their best work.