Friday, 29 September 2017

Cinesite's Eamonn Butler in London 4th October

Eamonn Butler, head of animation at Cinesite, will be giving a talk at Escape Studios' High Holborn Campus in Central London on wednesday 4th October.

Eamonn is a director of Cinesite, one of London's major VFX houses, and a founder of the growing animated features side of the business. The event is hosted by Escape Studios and is free for anyone interested in studying with them (no commitment is required).

Here at Bucks we strongly recommend that all our students and recent graduates attend events like this one. This is a great chance to meet one of the major players in our industry.

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Access VFX in London Next Week

Access:VFX events are taking place next week, at visual effects studios across Soho. Access VFX is all about promoting diversity and inclusion in our industry.

Events are taking place at Framestore, Double Negative, MPC, Jellyfish Pictures, ILM, Blue Zoo Animation, Union VFX, Escape Technology, and UK Screen Alliance.

We're encouraging our students and recent graduates to attend these events; you can book your free tickets online through

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Why Does Maya Batch Render Too Dark?

Utah Teapot
Lighting your scene using Autodesk Maya can be a tricky process. You get your lights to look just the way you want them to, and when you render out a single frame, everything looks fine.

But then, when you come to do a Batch Render of your final frames, Maya gives you a very different result - the images look much darker. Which is not what you wanted at all.

So why does Maya do this - and what is the solution?

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

How To Get The Classic Graph Editor Back

New look Graph Editor
Not everyone is a fan of the Maya 2017 interface. In particular, the new-look Graph Editor isn't necessarily as easy to use as the old version.

Fortunately, it isn't difficult to get the Classic Graph Editor back.

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Bring Your Own Animation Monday 18 Sept

Calling all Bucks animators - "Bring Your Own Animation" is taking place in London on Monday 18th September.

BYOA is an animation event that takes place every month at a London pub, generally on a Monday night. This month the event is taking place at The Lukin pub in Fitzrovia.

If you are a student who is working on a shot or an updated reel (aren't we all?), bring your work on a USB or hard drive and get feedback from professional animators. You'll also hear the local gossip and find out the word on the street.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

100 Ways to Walk by Kevin Parry

Check out the excellent "100 Ways to Walk" by Kevin Parry, a collection of walk cycles intended as inspiration for animators. The key point of the video is that the way we walk says a lot about who we are, how we are feeling, how our day has been. A great walk cycle is the entry point for character animation - can the animator describe a character simply by the way he or she moves? It's one of the first things we teach at Bucks, but a good walk cycle can remain elusive even for an experienced animator. Acting one out yourself, and filming yourself doing it, is a great way to get started.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Keyframe MP - Video Playback for Animators

Keyframe MP Overview from Chris Zurbrigg on Vimeo.

KeyFrame MP - Video Playback for Animators - is an excellent video playback tool that does the job that QuickTime Pro used to do - only even better.  Most free video players, such as Media Player, won't give you frame-by-frame playback, making them of limited use to animators.  KeyFrame PM is a video player specially made for animators, with super useful features like scrubbing (with audio), single frame advance - all the stuff you need as an animator to play your work back frame by frame and trouble shoot the mistakes. At $79, KeyFrame MP isn't free, but it's much, much better than most of the free stuff out there. And, since Apple has stopped supporting the cheap and cheerful Quick Time Pro, KeyFrame MP now fills a big gap in the animator's tool kit.

Monday, 11 September 2017

All About Our Online MA in Animation

Anyone following this blog knows that Bucks is the home of an animation world-first: the first online MA in animation.  Building on our thriving undergraduate course in Animation and Visual Effects, we launched this new online post graduate degree back in 2015, enabling students to get their MA from anywhere in the world. Our first graduates, many of whom travelled to High Wycombe from overseas for the graduation ceremony, hailed from the UK, Canada, California, Australia and Kenya. Above is a short video that explains what it's all about. Scroll down to see more information - and more detail - about this unique ground-breaking course.

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Alexi Balian Animation Art & Design Academy

Alexi Balian was one of the first students to enroll in our Online MA in 3D animation at Bucks. He graduated last week, becoming one of the first-ever students anywhere in the world to receive his animation MA purely online.

Alexi has now made a career of teaching animation. In his capacity as Provincial and National Skills Canada Chair for 2D and 3D Character Animation, Alexi also runs workshops and seminars in Canada through his Animation Art & Design Academy.

Friday, 8 September 2017

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Bucks Graduates Make Animation History

Alexi Balian, Charlie Falconi, Tim Milson, Neil Whitman, Stephen Young. 
Today was Graduation Day at Bucks and our new MAs in Animation made a little piece of animation history.

Our first graduating cohort aren't the first animation MAs in the world, but they are the first to get their MA purely online.

And, despite living in far-flung parts of the world, many came to Bucks for the graduation ceremony, for the chance to wear a robe and a silly hat and - at last! - meet up in person for the first time.

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Questions about our Online MA

I often get asked questions about the online MA in 3D Animation from prospective students, seeking to know more about what is actually involved in this unique degree. Which isn't surprising - after all, it's a big committment of time, money and energy to embark on an MA. I always welcome questions and do my best to answer promptly. Below is a list of some of the most common questions, with answers.