Thursday, 19 September 2013

Welcome to Bucks! - A Brief Guide for our New Students

Gateway building - home to animation and many other media resources
A big, warm welcome to our new cohort of animators and visual effects artists! Your first days at Bucks will likely be a little confusing and overwhelming, with a complete overload of information to digest in a big hurry. To make it all a little easier, here is a selection of links that will help you find your way around campus, so you can find the information and resources you need:

First piece of advice - get yourself a map. You can find handy plans of the campus at reception. Grab one and carry it with you for the next few weeks until you get the hang of the geography.

The Library
Here's a handy guide to how the library works and where you can find the books and other resources you need. The library staff are super helpful, and we have recently stocked up considerably on the latest animation and digital media books. If there is a book you need that isn't there - let us know - we'll put it on our order list!

Top of your reading list

Reading List
Here is a list of useful books to get you started. Number one is The Animator's Survival Kit - every student should have a copy. By Richard Williams, and published by Faber. The library has multiple copies.

Where are my tutors?
Myself (Alex Williams), Dave Creighton and Nick Brown are all located in E.402, which is on the 4th floor of East Block. Find our very scruffy office and say hello!

E.402. Winner of the Scruffiest Office on Campus Award 2013
If we're not around, email us at or

Where are the online resources?
Online content is a big priority for us at Bucks. You can access our online tutorials at our Vimeo site here - but you'll have to log in first. We have well over 100 videos to watch, taking you through the essentials of digital animation, step by step. You will find Theory Videos, Technical Videos, and Tutorials, on every aspect of animation.

Our teaching philosophy
You can also read about our philosophy of blending learning - that is combining classroom time with online content - here. At Bucks, as at any University, classroom time is a precious resource, so the more you can learn through online tutorials the more you can get the most out of classroom time. To read more about how long it takes (10,000 hours!) to become an accomplished animator, click here.
Corkboards in G1.13 - showcasing our students' awesome work
Where are the classrooms? 
Most of our teaching is done in G.113, G.112 and G1.11 in the Gateway Building (that's the big blue building pictured above). You'll find rows of PCs, Macs, and even (finally!) some nice artwork on the walls, to keep you inspired. You should never find yourself without the tools to do your work.

How do I book a study room?
Need a quiet room to study in? Perhaps you need to have a private meeting about a project with some other students? You can book a study room simply by going to Reception and presenting your ID.

I need a bit of extra help - how do I get it?
The Learning Development Unit (LDU) is here to help with all kinds of challenges including general academic skills. If you find it hard to take notes in class, do library research, or write essays, or if English is not your first language - they can help. Find out more about the LDU here.

Can I get a mentor to help me out?
Bucks has a dedicated mentoring find out more, visit this page.

What do we expect of our students?
To find out more about what we expect of our students, and what you can expect from us, see this article here.

I need to scan a document - where can I find a scanner?
We have photocopiers in the library which will scan an A3 document, and then email it to you. Click "scan to email" and you should be sorted. There are also some scanners available in the Timberlake building.

Get inspired! checking out some of the awesome work done by our recent graduates, such as Monika Dzikowicz, Krzysztof Michalski, Lydon Fleisig, Jens Kopke, Mike Swan and Clare Hunt. Take a look at our page at YouTube and have a look at some of the videos. Your job is to study hard, learn your craft and do even better.

Check out the Bucks Welcome page
The Bucks Welcome page is a good place to start to find resources at Bucks, including timetabling and other important practical stuff.

Once again, welcome to Bucks! We want this to be the beginning of the best three years of your life.



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