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.

Notes being given at our Facebook Group
Facebook Classroom
Here at Bucks New University we create a Facebook classroom (a closed group, only our students can join) for each cohort of animation students. It's where our students post their work for critique, ask technical questions, and also share the latest job openings.

Closed Group - Safe Space
Because it's a closed group, everyone can post their work safe in the knowledge that the only people who can see it are other students on the course. This means students can make their mistakes without feeling too shy.

We all start off feeling shy about our work, but as we grow in confidence it gets easier to post test animation and get constructive feedback.

Assessed Work - Work in Progress
Students at Bucks are strongly encouraged to submit their work-in-progress early at the Fb Classroom for feedback, prior to the submission of assessed work. This is very much how industry works, and our course is designed to mirror as closely as possible the methods used in industry.  At animation dailies, an animator's work is critiqued by the director, and by other animators, to make sure every shot is of the highest possible standard.

Learning to take criticism
At the FB Classroom students learn to take criticism, and they also learn how to give useful critique on the work done by other students. It is good practice for working in industry, not just to solicit comments, but also to learn to be able to give constructive criticism. Animators help each other out on production all the time by giving one another tips and suggestions, and your best resource at a new studio is often the person sitting next to you.

So, for all our students, don't be shy, make the best use you can of our Fb Classroom.

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.

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