Saturday, 28 February 2015

Instant Rigging at Instant rigging!
Rigging is one of the more complex and technical parts of the animation pipeline. In brief, rigging is the process of putting skeletons into our digital models. It is the way we bring them to life with controls that can be used to give a performance. The rig in a CG model is a bit like the armature that goes into a puppet. But what if we could automate the process, and speed it up? This would eleminate (at least in theory) hours of labour. One company that is leading the field is Mixamo, creating automated rigs through their Auto-Rigger tool.

Friday, 27 February 2015

Josh Sobel Releases Kayla Maya Rig for Just $12

Kayla Rig by Josh Sobel

OK, Kayla isn't free, but who can argue with $12 for a nice, fully functioning Maya rig? Kayla is sweet and charming and could be just the ticket for any student looking for an attractive rig for animating a young or pre-teen girl. Kayla even has an aging function so you can scale her older or younger according to the context of your shot.

Thursday, 26 February 2015

We're Famous! Bucks Animation Featured at Skwigly Magazine

We're famous! Animation and Visual Effects at Bucks is featured in the January edition of Skwigly, the online animation magazine, as one of their featured animation courses at universities in the UK. We're keeping good company with Hertfordshire and Bournemouth both worthy competitors in the world of animation and visual effects.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Paul Cooper Freelance Career in Animation

Artwork by Paul Cooper
Bucks animation graduate Paul Cooper has forged a successful career in the animation industry since leaving Bucks.

We asked him to talk about his work, how he has made a success of it, and what advice he can offer to our current undergraduates to make sure they get the most out of their time in High Wycombe.

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Finding Your Way To And Around Bucks New University

Buckinghamshire New University has a relatively small campus by university standards, but our sprawling complex of buildings in High Wycombe can be still hard to navigate, especially in your first semester or two. Lost at Bucks? Find our fabulous map below.

Monday, 23 February 2015

World Animation Masterclass Comes to London on 10 April

Jason Schleifer of DreamWorks
This Spring from 10-12 April London will play host to the "World Animation Masterclass", featuring distinguished animation guests including Jason Schleifer, Head of Animation at DreamWorks, Ed Hooks, author of Acting for Animators,  Eamon Butler from Cinesite, and many other animation experts.  It looks like being an excellent way to gain an insight into the modern animation industry. So what can delegates to the conference expect?

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Adam Lucas To Teach Rigging Masterclass at Bucks on 27th February 2015

300 - one of Adam Lucas' many VFX credits

World-class rigger Adam Lucas is coming to Bucks on Friday 27th February to give our students a masterclass in rigging for visual effects. Adam's credits include: 300, World War Z, John Carter, X-Men, Pirates of the Caribbean, Battle LA, Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows, Prince of Persia, Clash of the Titans, and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.  We don't think there is anyone with better industry credentials to help give our students the cutting-edge skills they need to succeed in the VFX industry. 

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Sir John Hegarty Speaking at Bucks

On Thursday 12th March (11.00 - 12.00 am Owen Harris 1 Lecture Theater if you are local) Sir John Hegarty will be continuing in our series of talks on advertising, marketing and creativity. Sir John was the founder of top advertising agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty, which has worked with clients such as Levis, BA, Weetabix, and The Guardian.  The advert featuring Nick Kamen undressing in a Launderette was a breakthrough for Levi's classic 501 brand.

DreamWorks is Coming To Bucks On March 9th! Time To Polish Your CV....

DreamWorks Comes to Bucks on 9th March
On Monday March 9th at 11am we're hosting a two-hour industry panel here at Bucks to launch our new online MA in animation.  We're welcoming some leading figures in the animation and visual effects industry including Shelley page of DreamWorks Animation SKG. Shelley will be talking about current trends in the industry and - most crucially for our students - where the graduate jobs are, and what skills you need to get them.  So come along and Tuesday and find out how you can secure your niche in this fast-growing but highly competitive sector.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

More Free Life Drawing Classes For Our Students at Bucks

Calling all Bucks animators and digital artists! Today is the day to sign up with the Bucks Students' Union for their next round of life drawing classes, starting in March. We strongly recommend that everyone sign up. It's a great skill to acquire and will help all our animators become better artists. Drawing skills help with design, storyboards, thumbnails - all necessary parts of the animation process.  So how do you sign up?

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

The Float Folks Have Their Own Tumbler!

The Float Folks - coming soon!

The Float Folks have their own Tumbler!  The Float Folks - a teaser for a new TV Series, was designed by Bucks Animation graduate Monika Dzikowicz, and animated by a number of recent Bucks graduates and current animation students. We're excited to see this project come to life, and thrilled to have been a part of making it happen. The Float Folks invites the viewer into a world of fishing floats; a small town by the reed beds where everyone gets along (mostly) and the only way to travel is by dragonfly or dogfish.

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Why Animators Should Go To Annecy on June 15th

Annecy is to animation as Cannes is to Film. Like Cannes, there is no particular reason why this small and rather attractive town on a lake in the French Alps should host the world's biggest animation festival - except for the fact that they have always done so. They got there first, and while many towns and cities now have animation festivals, Annecy is the first, the original, the biggest and still the best.

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Finding Work at Film & TV Pro

Film and TV Pro - worth signing up for
Film and TV Pro is a great website, and one we recommend all our graduates sign up for. You can get updates on jobs, both paid and unpaid, and connect with industry professionals. Looking for that first job can be the trickiest part of launching your career in animation and visual effects, and being connected is part of the solution.

Friday, 13 February 2015

Animation Industry Panel at Bucks on Monday March 9th 2015

Industry panel at Bucks
On Monday March 9th at 11am we're hosting a two-hour industry panel here at Bucks to launch our new online MA in animation.  We're welcoming some leading figures in the animation and visual effects industry who will talk about current trends in the business and - most crucially for our students - where the graduate jobs are, and what skills you need to get them.  So come along and Tuesday and see where the industry is headed, and find out how you can secure your niche in this fast-growing but highly competitive sector.

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Online Q&A About our new online MA in Animation at Twitter - 4pm today!

Join us at Twiiter on Thursday!
Today at 4pm we're hosting an online Twitter Q&A - #BucksAskAlex  - to answer questions about the new online MA in animation we're launching in September.  Got questions about the course?  What's involved? How do you learn and progress? What can you expect to do with an MA anyway? Login on Thursday and join the conversation!

Monday, 9 February 2015

Free Compositing Software!

Nuke is the Industry Standard Compositing software used in UK Film and VFX studios.  At Bucks we know how important it is to train students on the correct software.  For that reason, we help all our second year students by buying them a one year license of Nuke as part of the 'Big Deal'.

However, what if you are an aspiring VFX student and want to get started but don't have the funds.

Well, we might have the answer!

Free VFX Tutorials at Our Next Open Day at Bucks - Saturday 21 February

Model your own Gul Dukat at Bucks for free! Image: Wikipedia
Saturday 21 February is not just any old Open Day at Bucks. As well as the usual tour of our state-of-the-art facilities, Bucks tutors Dave Creighton and Nick Brown are offering free tutorials in specialist VFX software Mudbox and RealFlow, giving our prospective students a unique insight into the digital pipeline of the growing animation and visual effects industry.  So, if you come along on Saturday, what exactly can you expect to learn?

Sunday, 8 February 2015

£10,000 Scholarships for Post-Graduate Study at Bucks!

Image: Wikipedia
Bucks is offering nineteen postgraduate bursaries to support students progressing directly from their undergraduate degree course and starting a postgraduate programme at Bucks in September 2015 or early 2016. Each bursary will be worth up to £10,000.  What are you waiting for? Apply now!

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Handbrake - a Great Way to Reduce Video File Sizes

Handbrake. Free to download.
What is Handbrake? Handbrake is a video transcoder,  a tool for converting video from nearly any format to a selection of modern, widely supported codecs. It's super useful for reducing the size of big video files without losing quality, and best of all - it's completely free.

Friday, 6 February 2015

Akshay Ohari's Online Business - Futpacks by Akshay Ohari
Akshay Ohari is a student at Bucks who has launched his own online business, carving out an entrepreneurial niche for himself in the rapidly expanding world of online digital media. already has 45,000 subscribers, appealing to fans of the wildly popular FIFA video game, made by EA games.

We asked Akshay to talk about his new business career, and how he got started.

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Student Showcase - What Have Our Students at Bucks Done?

3D Droid by Kris Michalski
One of the most important things to look at when choosing an animation course is to check out what other students on the course have already done. If they have done excellent work, the chances are that you will too. Why? Because few students produce great work by themselves.  Most of us require motivation, inspiration, and the discipline of a well structured curriculum to guide us through, and help us do the best work we are capable of.  We're proud of the work our students have done at Bucks. Check out some of their excellent work below.

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Sarah Perry Brings "Acting for Animators" Masterclass to Bucks in S0.01

Acting and Movement for animators
We're excited to be welcoming Sarah Perry of Shapes in Motion to teach our students a workshop in "acting for animators" here at Bucks on Monday 2nd March.  Everyone knows that animators are actors - but what does that really mean in practice? Sarah's workshop will help our animation students unlock the secrets of acting methodology, and help them to become better actors themselves.  So, what can our animation students at Bucks expect?

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

How To Make a Batch Render of Your Frames in Maya, and Export a Movie File

How do we make beautiful renders in Maya? "Utah teapot" - Wikimedia Commons
How do you make a Batch Render of your frames in Maya?  Remember that computers will drive you crazy, and when it comes to technology, things rarely go to plan. Google is always your friend when it comes to troubleshooting technical problems. Someone out there will have the answer - if you can just ask the right question.  Below is a technical cheat sheet that should help you to create beautiful, final rendered images - and a movie file - without too many tears.

Monday, 2 February 2015

Portfolio Guidelines - Online MA in Animation

Life drawing
Thinking of applying for our new online MA in animation at Bucks? One of the most common questions we get asked by prospectivestudents is: What should go into my portfolio?

The answer is - a bit of anything and everything. Drawings, Painting, Life drawing, sketches, scribbles - anything you've got. But most especially - 3D digital artwork. 

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Pink Panther Released as a Free Maya Rig!

More and more Maya users are developing free rigs for use by animation students, to help them learn their craft.  Of course, Karim Kashefi doesn't own the rights to the Pink Panther, so do watch out when using anything of this nature for commercial gain (strictly forbidden) and make sure it's just to practice your animation skills.  We have not yet road-tested this rig, but we're looking forward to seeing what our talented students can do with it!