Wednesday, 17 September 2014

A Warm Welcome to our new Animation & Visual Effects Students!

Welcome to Bucks!
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, and to help you to find all 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. If you can't find one, print this one out, and tuck it in your jacket pocket.

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. To see more useful books, check out the reading list here at the blog.

Alex and Dave
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, marked number 3 on the map above. Find our very scruffy office and say hello!

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

Contact Details for Media Production
Bucks isn't just about animation - there is all sorts of media production going on. Feel free to introduce yourself to all of our staff. We encourage co-operation and collaboration between departments so the staff are here to help. Below are some contact details.

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 (ask us for the password). 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.

We also have a free subscription to for all our students, so you can learn and study new software in your own time.

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 to become an accomplished animator, click here.
Corkboards in G1.13 - showcasing our students' work
Where are the animation 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.

G1.13 - our main animation classroom. G stands for Gateway - our new media hub
You should never find yourself without the tools to do your work. To see more, take a tour of the animation classroom.

Library at Bucks - plenty of study rooms available to students and staff alike

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. In short, if you would like a student mentor to help guide you through your first year at Bucks - just ask. It will be done.

Bucks Learning Partnership Agreement (LPA)

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 about the Bucks Learning Partnership Agreement (LPA) 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.

Where is my laptop?
We are getting free laptops for all our Animation and VFX students. Bear with us though - we will only know how many to order once all our freshmen have registered, and the laptops will take a couple of weeks to arrive. Be patient - you will get them soon!

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.


For more on the experience of studying at Bucks New University, come and visit us at one of our Open Days,  take a virtual tour of one of our animation studios, check out what our students think of our course, and see why we're ranked in the top 12 creative universities in the UK. Find out why we're giving free laptops to all our students, and why we give all our students free access to videos at Also, see what financial assistance might be available to you. Learn which is better for animation, a PC or a Mac? Get hold of a copy of a map so you can find your way around campus, and learn about motion capture at Bucks. Finally, find out about how to use our free online training videos here at Vimeo.


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