Friday, 25 July 2014

Bucks Lecturer Allen Stroud introduces Lave Revolution

Lave Revolution by Allen Stroud
Bucks lecturer Allen Stroud is a man of many talents. Among his many duties at Bucks, he teaches our first year animators Flash, the 2D animation software that can be used to create excellent animated films. He also has a number of media projects in development, including Lave Revolution, based on the pioneering early 1980s video game. We asked Allen to talk about his work inside and out of the university.

Film and TV students at Bucks
Bucks: You run the Film & TV course at Bucks – what does that involve?

Allen: We've been a full degree programme since 2008. My role in that is to organise course-related things. So, induction week, module options and stuff that is about the overview of the programme. I also run the course team meetings and am the student's port of call for assignment extension requests. I'm sure there's a few more things on top of that - as it all keeps me busy.

Adobe Flash
Bucks: You also teach Flash to the animation students at Bucks – what is it about Flash that makes it good for animation?

For me, Flash has been more of a design tool than an animation device, but the way in which it emulates a video editor whilst giving you tools that animators need to create their images is a nice touch. The incorporation with more advanced graphic packages, like Adobe Photoshop and more advanced animation suites, like Toon Boom Studio make it a good starting point. The pen and pencil tools also make my rubbish drawings look vaguely recogniseable too!
Allen Stroud

Bucks: What projects outside Bucks are you working on?

Allen: I'm a writer and academic researcher. Currently I'm working on a PhD that covers the design of fantasy and science fiction worlds.

I also worked on the forthcoming Elite: Dangerous ( as a concept writer and the official novelist. The project is based on the early 1980s video game Elite that was made for the 32k BBC computer. It was a classic of its time, and it's very exciting to be helping to revive it. We managed to raise the budget needed to get it started on Kickstarter - which was a great experience. Crowd funding is a very promising way to get new projects off the ground.

Elite Dangerous - production artwork
Right now I am working on Chaos Reborn ( as the fiction world designer and, again, as the official novelist.

Chaos Reborn

I also review science fiction books for - ( and I am running a variety of different workshops for conventions over the summer whilst working on further novels.

Elite Dangerous - production artwork
Bucks: How can animators get more involved in other areas of film production at Uni?

Allen: Like most things, there is a need for individuals on both courses to see the advantage working together will bring. We have a wide variety of films being produced by our students, with many animation and VFX outputs.

To get in on the Level 6 films, animators need to demonstrate how they can add something to the ideas the Film maker may have. That means getting involved at the planning stage and having some work to show. Ultimately, working relationships among the students come down to trust, quality and reliability. You don't work with people who let you down or do a bad job.

Gateway Building - our media hub at Bucks
Bucks: What are you most proud of here at Bucks?

Allen: I think I am most proud of the fact that Film and TV has proved to be a successful course, and also of course I am proud of the work our students produce. I am continually amazed at the ways in which they are able to create and innovate from the ideas we give them in class. It really is fantastic to see.

Allen Stroud, Course Leader for Film and Television Production, is donating ten per cent of the proceeds from his new sci-fi ebook Elite: Lave Revolution to the charity Ehlers-Danlos Support UK. Allen said: “The book is written under official licence from the creators of, and based in the vast universe of, the space trading computer game Elite: Dangerous. I am hoping to raise as much possible for charity through sales.” Find out more about the book and how to buy it at the Fantastic Books Publishing website. Allen is also co-delivering a presentation with well-known BBC technology reporter Kate Russell at the science fiction and fantasy Nine Worlds Convention in London on Friday 8 August on ‘How to get an idea crowdfunded’.

To see the impressive work done by our students and recent graduates here at Bucks, check out SuperFergy in 3D by Anton Alfy, see the work of Jens KopkeBen Gray's Moonbeam, and the architectural visualisations of Sabah Masood and Anton Alfimenko. Also take a look at the work of Andy Thomas here, see our latest commercial project for Rocketseed, our short film done for a global aid agency, and take a look at the excellent work of designer Monika Dzikowicz, architectural visualisation specialist Krsytof Michalski, Alex Whitfield and the 3D artwork of Mike Swan. And don't forget to see the simulation work of our students done in RealFlow. To see our student demo reel, click here.

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