Monday, 30 December 2019

Bucks New Uni Masters Animation Reel 2019

We're proud to present the 2019 Buckinghamshire New University Animation Masters' Reel. All the work shown above was completed by our Masters' degree students, who study online at Animation Apprentice, which delivers the practical content for the master's degree at Bucks. Many congratulations to Joe Gamble, Lee Caller, Amedeo Beretta, Jonathan Humphries and Anna Zielinska on their excellent work.

Sunday, 29 December 2019

Second Marking with Sydney Padua

Over the Christmas break I have been marking the MA work done by our Master's Degree students at Bucks and, of course, also making sure that the work has been Second Marked.

Second marking at Bucks is part of the process by which we ensure that our academic standards are being rigorously applied. Was the marking fair? Is it reasonable? Were the correct criterial applied?

Looking at your students' work through the eyes of another lecturer is a valuable exercise; it is a reminder of how personal marking can be, and how important it is to apply objective criteria. We don't always get it right, which is why 2nd marking - also known as moderation - is so important.

Friday, 27 December 2019

Why Animators Need Early Feedback

Our online Classroom is hosted at Facebook
One of the hardest skills for animation students to learn is how give and receive criticism.  We all tend to be shy about our work (especially when we are learning something new) and, when our work is criticised, that criticism can feel very personal.

But being able to take criticism ("notes" in the industry) is part of the process of creating great animation. When you first show your work to a client, they will have comments, and they won't always love your first efforts. Whether you're working at a studio, or doing private client work, or just working on your own personal work, animators need to learn to incorporate criticism in order to make your work the best it can be.

Thursday, 26 December 2019

Why Animators Need Sound Design

A sound designer at work
Animators need sound design. If you're animating a shot, remember that the visuals are just 50% of the experience; the rest is audio.

Audio is made up of music, sound effects, dialogue and - sometimes - narration.

Occasionally, good sound design means having no sound at all, or very little. But there is usually some work to be done, and animators neglect sound design altogether at their peril.

Tuesday, 24 December 2019

Andreas Deja, The Lion King, and Animal Locomotion

Andreas Deja and Alex Williams outside the Disney Animation Building
A few weeks ago at Disney in Los Angeles I met up with Andreas Deja, Disney lead animator and the man responsible for bringing "Scar" to life.

I was lucky enough to work on Andreas' team on Lion King back in 1992, when he took me under his wing and helped train me as a Disney animator.

I got to animate a few memorable shots on Scar, but it was Andreas who designed the character and, working with actor Jeremy Irons, gave him life and personality, creating one of Disney's most memorable villains.

Friday, 20 December 2019

Apply Now for Our Online MA in 3D Animation

"School Run" by Bucks student Lee Caller
We are now taking applications for for our online MA in animation, currently enrolling for September 2020.

This online MA is a unique degree which can be undertaken by students anywhere in the world, leading to a formal qualification in the field.

Students learn how to animate to a professional industry standard using Autodesk Maya, the industry-standard software, and also learn to engage with the underpinning theory and structure behind the art form.

Thursday, 19 December 2019

Meet The Jelly Cars - by Lee Caller

Bucks New University animation student Lee Caller has recently completed his short film Jelly Cars, a short story about perseverance in the urban jungle.   

"Jelly Cars" is an inventive piece of film-making;  it's a charming story, entertaining and fun - and beautifully animated.

Lee took a simple exercise - animating a vehicle in motion, (in this case, animating a cartoon car, using the free yellow Beetle rig by Aaron Parker), and turned it into a short film, which has already been accepted into its first film festival - the annual KRAF film festival in Croatia.

Congratulations to Lee on his excellent work; we wish him every success in film festivals around the world.

Wednesday, 18 December 2019

DA702 - Character Perf Module Starts 6 Jan

11 Second Club Entry by Victoria Bailey
Starting in the New Year our masters' students tackle DA702, the second animation module on our online masters' degree in 3D animation. Classes start on 6 January 2020.

The module is titled DA702 - Character Performance, and builds up to an entry into the April 11 Second Club competition.  On April 1st 2020 the line of dialogue will be released, and our students have just under 3 weeks to animate their shots.

Monday, 16 December 2019

What's in a "One Sheet"?

Jelly Cars by MA student Lee Caller
Our Student Animators at Bucks don't just learn animation, they also learn the art and craft of film-making, creating new and original stories for entry into film festivals.

Part of the process of making short animated films at Bucks involves putting together a "One Sheet" to help promote the finished films.

A One Sheet is a movie poster, a single image that encapsulates what the film is all about and entices the audience to want to go and see the film.

Think of the posters you see on the wall as you leave your movie theatre. You walk down a hallway, past a wall of posters, and you think: "that movie looks cool, I might just go and see that".

So what's in a One Sheet? And how do our students go about making one?

Thursday, 12 December 2019

Miles Skarin Animator at Crystal Spotlight

Animation image by Miles Skarin
Bucks animation graduate Miles Skarin founded the animaton company Crystal Spotlight with his brother Rob when he was still a first year animator at Bucks New Uni.

From the beginning, Miles and Rob were tackling professional freelance work, creating websites and animation for musicians, bands, and record labels.

Crystal Spotlight has an impressive client list - including major artists such as Jethro Tull.

Friday, 6 December 2019

Bucks New Uni Students Study at Pinewood

Pinewood Studios
Bucks New Uni undergraduate film & TV (including animation) students are benefiting from a new partnership with Creative Media Skills (CMS) at Pinewood Studios.

We're delighted to be able to offer a meaningful industry partnership that allows our students to get access to one of the world's leading film studios during their studies at Bucks. 

Wednesday, 4 December 2019

Roger Rabbit Reunion at Disney

Doy, Alex, Nik Ranieri, Ross Anderson, Burny Mattinson, Max Howard, Charles Fleischer, Andreas Deja
Who Framed Roger Rabbit was released in the summer of 1988, making the movie 31 years old this year.  Last week at Disney in Los Angeles we had an informal reunion with some the people who worked at the film, hosted in the Rotunda Building by Disney marketing head Howard Green.  Lead animator Andreas Deja was there, as well as Burny Mattinson, officially the longest serving employee of The Walt Disney Company,  Producer Max Howard, Charles Fleischer, the voice of Roger Rabbit, Ross Anderson, who has written the history of the film, animator Nik Ranieri, and me.

Monday, 2 December 2019

The VFX Festival is Back: 16-18 March 2020

The VFX Festival is back. The annual festival hosted by Escape Studios is returning to London from 16-18 March 2020.  As in previous years, the festival hosts industry speakers to come and talk about the latest developments in Animation, Games and VFX.  In 2020, the festival will focus on discovering and developing new and emerging talent.  Two parts of The VFX Festival 2020 - EDU and Emerging Talent - will take place on 16 - 18 March at the Southbank Centre - the UK’s largest arts centre on the South Bank of the Thames.