Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Simon Maddocks Brings Lighting Masterclass to Bucks on Monday 20th April

Visual Effects Lighting specialist Simon Maddocks will bring a Masterclass in Lighting for Animators to Bucks on Monday 20th April. We're excited to welcome Simon to High Wycombe; he is a highly accomplished veteran of London's visual effects industry and he brings a wealth of experience to our VFX classroom. Simon's visual effects credits include Godzilla, 300: Rise of an Empire, World War Z, Iron Man 3, John Carter, Moon, Beverly Hills Chihuahua, The Golden Compass, Underdog, The Omen, V for Vendetta, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, King Arthur, The Day After Tomorrow, Star Trek: Nemesis and, well, you get the general idea.

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Learn The Art of Film at www.lavideofilmmaker.com

We live in an age in which it is possible to learn almost anything online. All you really need is the determination to concentrate - free of distractions - and dedicate enough time to learn the subject properly. Film is no exception to this, and one excellent site that we highly recommend is www.lavideofilmmaker.com, a free website with all kinds of excellent resources on how to make movies. Any serious student of film should navigate to it, bookmark it, and drink deep from the well.

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Bucks Art Foundation Course Has Lift Off

Foundation course student work
One of the best things about studying at Bucks is the wide variety of creative work being done here at the university. Yesterday I was looking for a room on campus and I stumbled into the workshop of the Fine Art Foundation Course - where someone appears to be building a scale model of a WW2 biplane. How cool is this? It looks like someone is having a great deal of fun. In fact, the Foundation Course in Fine Art is one of our most popular and successful courses at Bucks, and a great way for a student to experiment in all different kinds of creative media. Which, apparently, includes building scale models of WW2 biplanes.

Friday, 27 March 2015

Bucks Animation Students Invited To Free Harry Potter Studio Tour on May 13th

Harry Potter Leavesden Entrance. Photo by Karen Roe
We're excited to announce that Bucks animation & VFX students will be taking the Harry Potter Studio Tour at Leavesden on May 13th! Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden is a 80-hectare studio complex in Hertfordshire and a major film and media complex, used for filming the Harry Potter series of films. Obviously, this trip is purely about helping our students to learn about animation and visual effects, and has nothing to do with wanting to have fun at a movie theme park. We'll be working really hard, I promise.

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Spartan Spear Throw by Jack Hubbard

Jack Hubbard, one of our first year animators, did this animation of a Spartan warrior throwing a spear as part of his first year animation module. The brief was simple - animate a character throwing something. As with all the best animation, the animator has here gone beyond the brief to give us a performance that isn't just technically impressive but also entertaining, in part by collaborating with one of our sound design students, George Jones. Congratulations to Jack and George on an excellent piece of work.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

How Our New Online MA in Animation Will Actually Work

We're excited to be launching an animation world-first here at Bucks - the first online MA in Animation. Building on our new course in Animation and Visual Effects, we're launching a new online post graduate degree which can be undertaken by students anywhere in the world. It is a unique blend of practical training and Masters-level academic content. Above is a short video that explains how the new course will actually work in practice.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Animation Masterclass at Bucks on Friday 27th March

This coming Friday 27 March we welcome veteran VFX animator Marc Stevenson who will be coming to Bucks to teach a masterclass in animal locomotion. Marc's credits include Moon, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, X-Men Last Stand, and Charlie and The Chocolate Factory. Marc is an expert animator with a wealth of professional experience who will be teaching our students some special techniques for animal locomotion, strategies that are directly relevant to finding work in the growing VFX industry in Soho.

Performing Arts At Bucks Tonight

All in the best possible taste
This week at Bucks you can see two plays being performed, Fugee by Aby Morgan on March 24 at 7.30pm in the The Courtyard Theatre  (also playing on Thursday 26 March at 7.30pm in the BNU Drama Studio 1). The second play is Pornography by Simon Stephens, playing on Tuesday 24 March, at 7.30pm in BNU Drama Studio 1 (and also on 25 March at 7.30pm in The Courtyard Theatre). Both the plays will cost our students just £2 to attend - less than the price of a large cappuccino. So why should animation students go and see plays? Well, apart from the entertainment, it's all about the talent.

Renderman, Free At Last!

Pixar's Renderman, one of the leading industry software packages for rendering high quality animation images has at last been released free to students on a non-commercial basis.  Pixar's RenderMan is used throughout the CGI industry for the creation of stunning visual effects, and is highly recommended for student use. So what are you waiting for? Download it here now!

Monday, 23 March 2015

What is Transmedia?

The Internet. Image: Wikipedia
Once Upon a Time there was Media. Then, there was Multi Media. Then, there was New Media. Later, there was Cross Media, and eventually 360 Media.  But nowadays, it's all about your TransMedia strategy. And yes, you really do need one - at least, anyone with a product to sell. At a recent conference on the business of making animated films, Mahesh Ramachandra, Transmedia Producer & Strategist, explained what a Transmedia strategy is, and why we all need one.

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Turn Your Phone Into a Scanner With Scanner Pro

Scanner pro at iTunes App store
Researching your project in the library at Bucks just got a lot easier with a new app - Scanner Pro. You can find it at iTunes for $2.99. What does it do? It will scan a document for you using your phone camera, and then automatically size it correctly, and adjust the levels so you don't have to clean it up in Photoshop. What you get is an image which is presentation-ready, perfect to drop into your research document for uni. And the whole process takes just a few seconds.

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Autodesk CG Student Awards - $360,000 To Be Won - Deadline May 13th 2015

Yes, you read that number right. Autodesk, creators of Maya and 3D Studio Max (among much else besides) have launched the CG Student Awards, featuring an astonishing $360,000 prize pool to be won by student animators and VFX artists. Not only is the potential prize money enormous, but once you enter, you still qualify for $96 worth of prizes - just for entering! Any student who is serious about a career in the animation and visual effects industry should not miss the chance to take part in this competition.  

Friday, 20 March 2015

Academic Citations Made Easy at www.citethemright.com

Academic citations just got much easier with www.citethemright.com. It's a free website which helps students to cite journals, books and other academic sources properly. Part of what our students learn at university is the art of academic writing, and this means proper referencing with inline citations. The advantage of using www.citethemright.com is that it automates the process, and makes sure that you cite your sources correctly, and completely painlessly.

Thursday, 19 March 2015

DreamWorks Came to Bucks! Now Watch The Video....

On Monday March 9th we hosted an animation industry panel here at Bucks to launch our new online MA in animation.  We welcomed some leading figures in the animation and visual effects industry including Shelley page of DreamWorks Animation SKG, Bob Thompson of Film London, and Adam Lucas of Cinesite.  Our panelists talked about current trends in the animation industry and - most crucially for our students - where the graduate jobs are, and what skills you need to get them.  Anyone who missed the panel discussion can now watch the video above, and find out about the latest in feature animation in the UK and overseas.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Working International Expo in London This Weekend - Animation Jobs in Canada!

Working International Expo , a jobs fair for opportunities in Australia, New Zealand and Canada, is taking place in London this coming weekend.  Why might Bucks animators and recent Bucks graduates be interested? Because the Expo has two Canadian animation and games studios looking to recruit international talent - Copernicus Studios and HB Studios

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Summer Internships at FrameStore!

FrameStore are offering summer internships

Framestore, one of London (and the world's) leading visual effects houses, have announced that they are taking applications for their Summer Internship program, newly branded as "Launchpad". So what are you waiting for? Time to start applying!

Monday, 16 March 2015

Bucks New University Animation Demo Reel 2015

An animator's demo reel is never done. It is a constant work-in-progress, always being refined and updated to include your best work and weed out the less impressive material. Above is a compilation of some of the best animation that has been done at Bucks over the past year.

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Project Research - And How To Do It

The Library at Bucks - easy to use!
What is research and why do we do it? For animation students, research has a practical as well as an intellectual purpose. It's about figuring out what you are trying to do, by identifying the brief, taking a look at artists whose work inspires you, reading around the subject - and then setting out what your own creative goals are. In short, it's about defining the project, analysing it, thinking about it, and developing your own ideas.

Friday, 13 March 2015

Free Tutorials at animationmethods.com

Animation Methods
One of the biggest changes in recent years in the study of animation has been the vast quantity of resources available on the web, either for free or at very low cost.  One site that looks very interesting is animationmethods.com, which has tons of free tutorials on how to carry out a large variety of animation tasks.  For anyone studying animation and trying to engage seriously with the medium, this looks like a great place to learn new skills.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Nickelodeon Launches Animation Scholarship Worth $25,000

New scholarship for animators
Nickelodeon is launching a new animation scholarship worth $25,000. Nick has partnered with the US non-profit organisation Get Schooled, which was co-founded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation — to award an innovative animator with a $25,000 scholarship by creating an original animated short.

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Postgraduate Bursaries for Studying at Bucks Worth £10,000

Scholarships! Image: Wikipedia
The Postgraduate Bursary Fund for 2015-16 academic year is now open for applications. What does this mean? It means financial support for post-graduate students at Bucks, worth up to £10,000. So if you are interested in doing a post-graduate degree here at Bucks, get your application in now!

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

New Creative Writing Course Comes to Bucks

Could you write a best-selling book?
Fancy your chances as a successful published author? You're in luck. Bucks is launching a new creative writing course, a BA (Hons) in Creative Writing for Publication. The goal is to nurture the next generation of successful authors, writers who will create imaginative content for books, plays, film and Television.

Monday, 9 March 2015

Free Maya Rigs at Animation Buffet

Animation Buffet http://animationbuffet.blogspot.co.uk/is one of the best places to go for free rigs for animation students working in Maya. Alongside the Resources page of the Eleven Second Club, Animation Buffet is probably your first stop to find character and creature rigs that are fully functioning, reliable - and free.  One of the pleasures of doing animation in Maya is the growing quantity of freeware produced by Maya animators all around the world. So bookmark the page now, and start downloading and experimenting with new rigs. Who knows, it might inspire you to do the best piece of animation you've ever done!

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Bucks Discovers Fresh Music Talent with BBC Introducing

Our head of department Steve Partridge recently attended a showcase for our Audio & Music Production and Film & TV Production undergraduates, organized by UK Music. Bucks has pioneered and led the pilot initiative with BBC Introducing, shining the spotlight on fresh music talent, and discovering new bands, and Bucks has now been invited to help lead similar projects at other Universities and Colleges in the UK.

Friday, 6 March 2015

Film London Coming to Bucks on Monday 9th March

We're delighted to welcome Bob Thompson of Film London to our industry panel discussion on monday 9th March at 11am to launch our new online MA in animation. Bob’s role at Film London is to "attract US, international and UK television and animation companies to base their productions in London through trade missions, events and other promotional initiatives". There is no-one better placed to advise our students on who is hiring in London and what skills are needed to land that vital first job.

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Activities Week at Bucks Starts on Monday 9th March! What's Going On?

DreamWorks comes to Bucks on Monday 9 March at 11am in S3.01
Yay! Next week starting Monday 9th March is Activities Week at Bucks! That means, at last, a chance to try new stuff, like, for example, going home for a week to do your laundry. Noooo! Please Don't! Activities Week is full of great stuff, and worth sticking around for.  For one thing, Monday March 9th at 11am in S3.01 is our Industry Panel featuring the head of international recruitment for DreamWorks Animation - an unmissable event for all our animation students. And that's just the start of it.

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Bucks Animators Enter The March Eleven Second Club Competition!

This month, our second year animators are entering The 11 Second Cluba monthly character animation competition in which aspiring animators practice their skills and get their work noticed. Animators from all over the world participate, animating a character speaking a line of dialogue, which is provided every month by the club.

Throughout the competition, participants can share their progress with one another and critique each other's work - just like in a real animation studio. At the end of the month, all the participants vote for the submission that they consider the best for that month - so it's a very democratic process. The idea of the 11 Second Club is "to give animators a chance to practice their skills in a fun, challenging environment".

Monday, 2 March 2015

Why Animators Should Go To Siggraph

Siggraph 2015
This year Siggraph is taking place in the Los Angeles Convention Center, from 9-13 August. Siggraph is the world's biggest conference on computer graphics. Like FMX in Stuttgart, or the Annecy animation festival, it is the perfect place to find out about the latest technologies, meet other animators, find the big recruiters, and figure out where the industry is heading. It is, in short, a window into the digital future. We recommend that all our students attend events like Siggraph whenever they can - nothing will give you a better insight into the animation industry.