Tuesday, 29 December 2020

Second Marking with BNU Tutor Sydney Padua

Over the Christmas break I have been marking the MA work done by our Master's Degree students at Bucks and also ensuring that the students' animation has been second marked, in accordance with BNU Academic Regulations.

Second marking at Bucks is an important part of the marking process; it is  how we ensure that our academic standards are being rigorously applied. Was the marking fair? Was it reasonable? Were the correct criteria applied?

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

Monday, 14 December 2020

DA702 Character Performance Starts 5 Jan 2021

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 5 January 2021.

The module is titled DA702 - Character Performance, and builds up to an entry into the March 11 Second Club competition.  

On March 1st 2021 the club's official line of dialogue will be released, and our students have until March 29 to submit their finished work.

Friday, 11 December 2020

How Feedback Works at Bucks New Uni

How do students get feedback at Bucks New University? Animation students on our online MA in 3D Animation receive a weekly bespoke feedback tutorial on their work, showing how to fix mistakes and how to improve.  In addition, we have an online classroom where students post their work, receive positive feedback, and give creative criticism to others.  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, 3 December 2020

Meet Victoria Bailey's "Turtley In Love"

Many congratulations to BNU Animation Graduate Victoria Bailey, who has just published her new book: "Turtley In Love", a short animated story for children.

"Turtley In Love" was written and animated by Victoria through her new publishing venture Wonky Pictures.

Join Tommy the Turtle as he battles the elements and journeys through the unknown in his quest to find Celia, his one true turtle love.

Wednesday, 2 December 2020

How Do You Fix a Floaty Walk Cycle?

How do you fix a floaty walk cycle? Walk cycles tend to be floaty because junior animators often (make that usually) forget to add the "squash" or "down" position in which both feet are bearing the weight of the body. It's an easy mistake to make, especially if you are animating a walk "on the spot", on an imaginary treadmill, where the character's body stays still and the feet travel backwards.  In this ten minute video I show exactly what the problem is, and how to solve it. The solution is simple - but only when you know how to fix it. 

Wednesday, 18 November 2020

"Flame" Best Director at Prague Festival

"Best Director" - Super Short Film
Many congratulations to BNU animation graduate Amedeo Beretta  whose short film "Flame" has won Best Director - Super Short Film at the Prague Film Festival.

"Flame" has won multiple awards in recent months, including Best Animation at the LISFFBest Editor at the "We Make Films Festival" in London and a Five-Star Award at the British International Amateur Film Festival.  Flame was executive produced by BNU graduate Amedeo Beretta.

Friday, 13 November 2020

Lee Caller Wins "Special Mention" at ANSFF

"Jelly Cars": Special Mention at ANSFF
Bucks New University is proud to congratulate animation MA Student Lee Caller whose short film Jelly Cars has won a "Special Mention" Award at the Arte Non Stop Film Festival in Argentina. 

This is the second award for Jelly Cars; earlier this year Lee's short won a "Five Stars" Award at the British International Amateur Film Festival. 

Wednesday, 11 November 2020

"Charlie & Yip" Nominated "Best Trailer" at Bucharest Film Festival

Bucks New Uni tutor Alex Williams' short film "Charlie and Yip" has won an award nomination for Best Trailer at the Bucharest Film Festival.   Charlie and Yip is a short film about a kid who takes his pet to school for Show and Tell, which turns out to be a bad idea.

The short is really a teaser/trailer for Alex's indie feature film project "My Haunted House", which is still in development.  Recently it won the "Scream Award" at the Berlin Flash Film Festival, Best Animation at the Flicks Film Festival in London,  Best Trailer at the Changing Face International's Film Festival (CFIFF) in Australia, "Best Trailer" at the Lisbon Monthly Film Festival, Best Trailer at the Halicarnassus Film Festival, and Best Film at the Film One Film Fest in July.

Wednesday, 28 October 2020

Animating Walks for DA701 PR1

"Monty" by Bucks graduate Neil Whitman
Our MA animation students' first assessed animation exercise, the assignment brief for DA701 PR1 (the first practical assignment for the first animation module), is to create a scene based on character walks. 

Character walks are one of the most important parts of the animator's toolkit. Using the online materials at Animation Apprentice, students learn how to take a basic walk cycle and, with just a few tweaks, completely change the character's mood and personality.

The students' first assessed brief is to take these character walks and turn it into an entertaining scene. 

Friday, 23 October 2020

Young Cartoonists of the Year Competition

The Young Cartoonists of the Year Competition is back. 

Hosted by the Cartoon Museum, which has at last re-opened after its long Covid-19-slumber, the annual competition seeks to reward rising cartoon talent. 

Judges include leading cartoonists such as Martin Rowson (The Guardian), Christian Adams (Evening Standard), Banx (FT), Peter Brookes (The Times), Nick Newman (Private Eye), and Matt from the Daily Telegraph. 

If you can think of a more eminent list of cartoonists, I'd like to see it. 

There are two categories: Under 18 and Under 30; the deadline is 23 November 2020, and entries should be mailed in (old school Royal Mail) to the Cartoon Museum.  

Friday, 16 October 2020

Webinar with Emmy-Award-Winning Animator Rich Jeffery on 26 October

Rich Jeffery
We're recommending our students sign up for this free animation webinar on Monday 26 October at 10am with Emmy-award-winning animator Rich Jeffery

Rich will be talking about his career in animation, what it has been like working on the Australian TV series "Bluey" , which won an International Emmy at the 8th International Emmy Kids Awards this year. 

Rich was animation director on "Bluey" Series One, and director on the Series Two. Rich will be sharing his insights into the animation industry, how we got where he is today, and what students and graduates need to do to succeed.

Thursday, 15 October 2020

Why Animators Should Walk on a Treadmill

Our new MA Animation students are learning the art and craft of human locomotion in their first module, DA701, which teaches basic mechanics, including walks, runs and jumps. The module builds up to a character walk performance, which is due in mid-December.  Animating walk cycles can be tricky; it can be especially troublesome to get the character's feet moving backwards at a steady speed, without bumps or wobbles. This is especially true for animators animating a walk cycle "on the spot", where the body stays in place but the feet move backwards underneath the body. To help solve the problem, it makes a lot of sense to import a treadmill into the shot. The treadmill helps to clarify the mechanics of shot, and allows the animator to visualise what is going on when the feet travel backwards.

Friday, 25 September 2020

"Charlie & Yip" Best Trailer at CFIFF

"Charlie & Yip" - winner at CFIFF
Bucks New Uni animation tutor Alex Williams' short film "Charlie and Yip" has won an award for

Charlie and Yip is a short film about a kid who takes his pet to school for Show and Tell, which turns out to be a bad idea.

The short is really a teaser/trailer for Alex's indie feature film project "My Haunted House", which is still in development.  Recently the short won "Best Trailer" at the Lisbon Monthly Film Festival, Best Trailer at the Halicarnassus Film Festival, and Best Film at the Film One Film Fest in July.

Wednesday, 23 September 2020

Paul Amiras Lead Layout Artist at Brown Bag

Paul Amiras
Many congratulations to Bucks animation graduate Paul Amiras on his new position as a lead layout artist at Brown Bag Animation.  Brown Bag is one of the UK's leading animation studios, responsible for numerous well-loved TV series projects. 

Prior to working at Brown Bag, Paul worked as a Layout Artist TD at Double Negative, one of the Soho's leading animation and visual effects companies, and now a global brand, with offices in Vancouver, Mumbai, Los Angeles, Chennai, Montréal, Hyderabad, Chandigarh, and Goa.

3D Layout is one of the first interesting and challenging parts of the production process, working closely with the director to establish the cinematic look and feel of the project.

Wednesday, 16 September 2020

"Charlie and Yip" Best Trailer at Lisbon Film Fest

"Charlie & Yip" wins Best Super Short at the Lisbon Film Fest
I am pleased to announce that my short film "Charlie and Yip" has won "Best Trailer" at the Lisbon Monthly Film Festival.

Charlie and Yip is a short film about a kid who takes his pet to school for Show and Tell, which turns out to be a bad idea.

The short is really a teaser/trailer for my indie feature film project "My Haunted House", which is still in development.  Recently the short won Best Trailer at the Halicarnassus Film Festival, and Best Film at the Film One Film Fest in July.

Monday, 14 September 2020

Can You Do Our Online MA and Work Full-Time?

One of the most common questions I get asked about our Online MA in 3D Animation is this: Can I take the MA and also hold down a full-time job? The short answer is yes, though the MA is a rigorous degree and it does involve a fair amount of work. That said, the whole point of doing a part-time degree online is that it fits around life, work and families; when we set up the Online MA at Bucks five years ago in 2015, it was designed to be as flexible as possible. Watch the short video above to find out more.

How to Find an Internship in Animation

How do animation students find summer internships and placements in the industry? Jobs in the entertainment industry have always been highly competitive, and even unpaid internships can be hard to find, So how do you track them down? There are many ways - official jobs postings, word of mouth, rumours in the pub, personal contacts, even cold-calling - all of these can be effective ways to find a summer placement in the business. Below are the seven key rules we think are vital for success.

Thursday, 10 September 2020

Welcome to Bucks!

It's time for our new students at Bucks to start learning the art and craft of animation. Below are some Joining Instructions for our students starting with us on the Online MA in 3D Animation.  There is a fair bit to do to get started, but once you're underway you should find the course a well-oiled machine. If you have problems, email me at alex@animationapprentice.org and I'll get back to you right away.

Wednesday, 9 September 2020

Why Time Zones Don't Matter for Our Online MA

One question we often get asked at Bucks is this: "I'm in a different time zone to the UK, can I still do the Online MA in 3D Animation?" The answer is yes.  For the past five years we have taught students all over the world - on every continent except Antarctica. The MA course relies mainly on pre-recorded videos and learning materials, and therefore avoids the need for hard-to-schedule live delivery.  Wherever you live in the world, you can take our MA - as long as you have a decent laptop and a good broadband connection.

Tuesday, 8 September 2020

Last Call to Apply: Online MA in Animation

Transformer animation by BNU Masters' student Amedeo Beretta
Last call for applications for our online MA in animation; we still have a couple of spots open 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.

Monday, 7 September 2020

Do You Need a BA to Apply for an MA?

One question I get asked a lot at Bucks is this: "Do I need a BA in order to apply for the MA in animation?". The answer is yes, but also no. Ideally, candidates for our Online MA in 3D Animation will already have a BA in an arts-related subject. However, those without a BA can still go through what is called the APEL process.  APEL stands for "Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning", and is the formal recognition of prior learning by UK universities. APEL is the means by which students who do not have an undergraduate degree can gain entry onto a masters' level course, such as our master's programme in 3D animation.

Wednesday, 2 September 2020

Joining Instructions - Online MA in 3D Animation

It's time for our new students at Bucks to get started on their animation journey. Below are some Joining Instructions for our students starting with us on the Online MA in 3D Animation.

There is a fair bit to do to get started, but once you're underway you should find the course a fairly well-oiled machine.  If in doubt, send me an email at alex@animationapprentice.org and I'll get back to you right away.  To find out more about how the course works, see this blog post. And also read this welcome page.

Tuesday, 1 September 2020

Welcome to Our New MA Animation Students!

A very warm welcome all our new post-graduate students who will soon starting their journey with us on our online MA in animation, launched in 2015 in partnership with the online animation school Animation Apprentice.

Teaching on the online MA in 3D Animation starts on Monday 28 September 2020 and lasts for 18 months, with the final assignment being due in May 2022, and degrees awarded in the summer of 2022.

This is a unique degree - the first of its kind - which can be undertaken by students anywhere in the world, leading to a formal qualification in the field.

Sunday, 30 August 2020

Animation Jobs in the Corona Economy

How do our animation graduates at Bucks find work in the animation industry? It's important not to be too worried by Covid-19.  The virus has certainly changed the jobs landscape, but the good news is that animation continues to flourish. Unlike live action filming, animation can be done remotely, and there is a large and growing demand for fresh animation content.  Here in the UK, many animation studios are still actively looking for talent.  Remote working is booming - consider the case of one of my former students, Dominic Rayner, who took the online course at Animation Apprentice and is working remotely in the UK for a studio in Ireland.

Friday, 28 August 2020

Why Animators Still Need to Draw

Fast sketches to capture a pose
In the old 2D days, life drawing was an essential skill for animators. Today, 3D animation is a blend of creative and technical skills, and life drawing is less important than it used to be.

However, it still helps to be able to draw to a basic level of skill, especially for creating thumbnail sketches which can be used to plan animation.

Nowadays there are many opportunities to learn animation online, at sites such as pixelovely and promo. You can also draw friends and family - models don't need to be nude, and gesture drawing clothed models is just as useful for animation, and in some ways more practical, as most animated characters tend to be wearing clothing.

So, how do animators learn the basics of life drawing?

Sunday, 23 August 2020

DA701 Locomotion & Mechanics Starts 28 Sept

Zombie Walk by Amedeo Beretta
DA701 Animation Mechanics is the first module that our new MA animation students (those starting with us in September) will encounter at Bucks.

DA701 is taught primarily in Autodesk Maya, and deals with animation basics, such locomotion and mechanics.

It starts with simple actions such as a bouncing ball, and builds up to more complex physical actions, such as jumps and throws. There are two assignments due: DA701 PR1, and DA701 CW1. DA701 PR1 is due on Friday 11th December at 11pm - don't be late!

Wednesday, 12 August 2020

"Flame" Wins Best Animation at LISFF

Best Animation LISFF
Many congratulations to BNU animation student Amedeo Beretta, whose short film "Flame", has won Best Animation at the London International Student Film Festival (LISFF).

"Flame" has won multiple awards in recent months, including Best Editor at the "We Make Films Festival" in London and a Five-Star Award at the British International Amateur Film FestivalFlame was directed by Cherelle Owusu, produced by Carolina Xavier, and overseen by Amedeo Beretta.

Sunday, 9 August 2020

Module DA704 Starts September 2020

Amedeo Beretta - CG Animation Reel - VFX, Cine, TV from Amedeo Beretta on Vimeo.

Our Master's Degree animation students will soon start their final animation module: DA704. Their final animation assignment, DA704 PR1, is titled "Demo Reel and Final Project" and students are expected to do a piece of character or creature animation, showing the skills they have learned over the last 18 months, and also cut a demo reel that will help them to find work in the animation industry.  The demo reel above is by Bucks New Uni MA animation student Amedeo Beretta.

Wednesday, 5 August 2020

Webinar with Disney Writer Evgenia Golubeva

Evgenia Golubeva
Join me on 13th August at Noon for an animation webinar titled "From Animation Student to Disney - How Evgenia Golubeva became a writer at Disney TV Animation".

In this free webinar I'll be asking my former student Evgenia Golubeva some questions about her remarkable animation career.

Evgenia is an award-winning animator, writer and director who is currently working as a writer at Walt Disney Animation in London.

Evgenia has forged a career as a writer and independent film-maker, entering her animated films in festivals around the world and winning international prizes for her work. You can sign up for the webinar here.

Tuesday, 4 August 2020

Charlie and Yip" Wins "Best Animation"

We're proud to announce that Bucks New Uni tutor Alex Williams' short film "Charlie and Yip" has won "Best Animation" at the Film One Fest.

Charlie and Yip is a short film about a kid who takes his pet to school for Show and Tell, with unfortunate consequences.

It's a really a teaser for Alex's indie feature film project "My Haunted House", which is still in development.

Sunday, 2 August 2020

Jinng Hwee Tan Animation Reel

Animation Reel 2020 from Jinng Hwee Tan on Vimeo.

Check out the latest demo reel cut by Bucks New Uni MA animation student Jinng Hwee Tan, now an animator at Industrial Light and Magic in Singapore. Jing Hwee Tan's new reel contains some excellent work on many feature films, including Transformers: Age of Extinction, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Hitman: Agent 47, Warcraft, The Great Wall, Skull Island, and Ready Player One. Many congratulations to Jinng Hwee Tan on his continued career success.

Thursday, 30 July 2020

Academic Deadlines MA Animation 2020-22

2020-2022 deadlines
Below is a list of deadlines for the online MA in 3D animation. This list is for our 2020 cohort of students, that is to say all our student animators who are joining us in September 2020, and will graduate "Master of Arts" in the summer of 2022.

Note that this list of deadlines is a draft list only, and is subject to change. Students should always check the appropriate Module Guide and Assignment Brief to be certain of the correct submission date. And, of course, check with your tutor.

However, this list gives our MA students a broad idea of what to expect over the coming 18 months.  But always double-check these dates! If in doubt, email your tutor!

Tuesday, 14 July 2020

"Meet the Scottish Studios" with Animated Women on July 23

The Scottish animation industry is hiring - so it's time find out about job opportunities north of the border.

Animated Women UK are hosting a free online event for recent graduates titled "Meet the Studios", featuring representatives of some of Scotland's most successful animation studios, including Axis, SellOut and Wild Child.  The event takes place online on Thursday July 23rd from 3-5pm.

Monday, 13 July 2020

Who's Who on the Online MA in Animation 2020

Alex Williams at Bucks New University
Who's Who on our Online Master of Arts in Animation?

For our new animation students starting with us in September, there is a good deal of information to take on board, including who does what at Bucks.

There are a number of people involved in delivering our MA - the first online MA in animation in the world.

Below is a brief guide to help our new cohort of students figure out who's who, who does what, and how to get in touch with the key people whose job it is to help our students get excellent results.

Friday, 10 July 2020

Online MA in 3D Animation - Latest FAQs

"Flame" by Amedeo Beretta
We 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.

This isn't surprising; it's a big committment of time, money and energy to embark on an MA. Below is a list of some of the most common questions, with answers.

Wednesday, 8 July 2020

How to Choose Your Dissertation Subject

How do students pick the right subject for their dissertation? It's not an easy question to answer. Our online MA students, studying for their masters' degree in 3D animation, engage with both the practical and theoretical sides of the art of animation.

Part of this involves writing a dissertation, but it isn't always easy to select a suitable subject.  Fortunately, course leader and academic lead Fil Ieropolous is here to help. Below are our top tips for choosing a dissertation subject.

Tuesday, 23 June 2020

How to Get Ready for September

What kind of preparation should animation students do before starting with us at Bucks in September?

It's always good to do a little preparation and get a bit of a head start.

Below is a brief list of stuff to get you under way. You don't have to do all of it, but tick off a few of the things on this list and you will be a making a great start on your animation career.

Below is a short reading list to get you started. We've narrowed it down to just one key books that we recommend for all our students.

We also recommend a number of free online resources to begin your journey into digital animation.

Tuesday, 16 June 2020

"Flame" Wins "Best Editor" at WMF Fest

"Flame" wins Best Editor
Many congratulations to Bucks New University student Amedeo Beretta whose short film "Flame" has won an award at the recent "We Make Films Festival" in London.

"Flame" won Best Editor, a welcome addition to both films' trophy cabinet, which already includes a number of festival prizes.

Friday, 12 June 2020

What Does an Animation Editor Do, Exactly?

The editor is one of the most important and creative roles on any production. On an animated film the editor is no less important than in live action - he or she is involved in every process of planning and production, from the earliest stages, including cutting and editing the storyboard animatic.

Making an animated film is a collaborative effort and is almost always completed with a team of people; the editor is one of the key creative roles on any production.

We encourage all our students at Bucks to try their hand at film editing, it's an important job and one of the most interesting seats to occupy on any production.

Tuesday, 9 June 2020

"Flame" in Multiple Film Festivals

Still image from "Flame"
"Flame", the short film made by Bucks New University MA student Amedeo Beretta, has been winning awards in film festivals, and continues to enjoy festival success, despite the Corona Lockdown.

Flame is a short film produced by BNU student Amedeo Beretta, currently studying for our online MA in 3D Animation.

Flame was an award winner at the British International Amateur Film Festival, and was awarded a "Special Mention" at the London Student Short Film Festival. Despite the challenges caused by the lockdown, we're delighted that our students' films continue to enjoy growing festival success.

Tuesday, 2 June 2020

Animation Industry Booms Under Lockdown

"Trolls on Tour" earned $100m on streaming devices
According to a recent piece in The Guardian, the animation industry is thriving despite the Corona Lockdown.

Unlike live action shoots, which have been shut down due to Covid-19, the animation industry is expanding, as programmers scramble to replace live-action content with animation.

Thursday, 21 May 2020

Agricultural Report By Bucks Tutor Sydney Padua

Agricultural Report By Bucks Tutor Sydney Padua.

The Corona virus isn't the first health scare in our lifetimes; don't forget the dreaded mad cow disease from which we were all going to die in the 90s. As a reminder of that now mostly forgotten panic, watch the short animated film "Agricultural Report" by Bucks New University's very own animation tutor Sydney Padua. Sydney is an accomplished animator, film-maker and graphic novelist, with an impressive career across many media.  Agricultural Report is a charming film, well animated and very funny. 

Monday, 18 May 2020

VFX Festival Online Starts Tomorrow

The VFX Festival is back. Hosted by Escape Studios, the VFX festival is a celebration of visual effects, animation, games and motion graphics.

For the last seven years the festival has been hosted in London, most recently at the South Bank Centre, but now, for the first time, the VFX festival is going virtual, with online talks and panel discussions.

This week there are two free events, part of the Virtual Series for Schools and Colleges. First up is We Have Lift-Off!: Your first steps to a career in VFX, Animation and Games, which takes place on Tuesday, 19th May at 2pm.  To sign up for the event, follow this link.

Thursday, 14 May 2020

Webinar with Robert Valley Today

Artwork by Robert Valley
Today at 4pm Oscar-nominated Director, Animator and Character Designer Robert Valley will be making a webinar appearance to talk about his work. 

Robert Valley is an animator with a remarkable career that includes hits such as Aeon Flux,Tron: Uprising, Netflix’s Love, Death & Robots and ‘Zima Blue’.

Saturday, 9 May 2020

What is the BNU Hardship Fund?

For our students in financial trouble, it's important to remember that Bucks New University does have a Hardship Fund, which is open to all our students.

The fund can provide emergency payments for unexpected financial crises. To find the BNU Hardship fund, which gives discretionary grants, follow this link.

There are also many charities which offer grants and funding for higher education. To find these charities, read this blog post

Wednesday, 6 May 2020

LinkedIn Webinar on Thursday 7th May

Steve Vasco
LinkedIn is an important resource for animation graduates; in recent years it has become one of the principal ways in which aspiring animators can get their work notice and - crucially - land that elusive first job in the industry.

Tomorrow Thursday 7 May at 5pm Steve Vasko from LinkedIn is giving a free webinar on personal branding.

Steve Vasko is the Manager of Customer Success at Linkedin and has over 20 years of experience in high tech industries. In this webinar Steve will explain how to build your personal brand at Linkedin - something we recommend all our students do.

Monday, 4 May 2020

"Flame" Wins "Special Mention" at LSSFF

Many congratulations to Bucks New University MA student Amedeo Beretta, whose short film  "Flame" has won an award at the London Seasonal Short Film Festival (LSSFF).

Flame is a short film produced by BNU student Amedeo Beretta, currently studying for our online MA in 3D Animation.

Flame was awarded a "Special Mention" at the LSSFF.

Despite the challenges caused by the lockdown, we're delighted that our student films continue to enjoy growing festival success.

Saturday, 2 May 2020

Free Animation Taster on Wed 6 May

Lee Caller
Animation interested in learning the art of 3D animation should sign up for this free online Animation Taster on Wednesday 6 May at Noon.

The class is taught by veteran animator Lee Caller, who is also taking the MA in 3D Animation at Bucks New Uni.

Taster Classes are a great chance to learn about character and creature animation, and find out what an animator's job is all about.  No prior knowledge of Maya - or any software - is required.

Tuesday, 28 April 2020

Module DA703 PR1- Animals and Creatures

Hermit crab animation by Joe Gamble
This week our students begin DA703 - Animals and Creatures - the third module tackled by our students studying our online MA in 3D Animation.

DA703 focuses on animal and creature animation, with an emphasis on the kind of photo-realistic animation in which London studios like Framestore, MPC and DNeg specialise.

Sunday, 26 April 2020

Webinar with VFX Legend Scott Ross 30 April

Scott Ross
VFX Legend Scott Ross is taking part in a free webinar on Thursday 30th April at 5pm; this is a great opportunity to hear the insights of one of the legendary pioneers of digital media and entertainment.

With a career spanning three decades, Ross was involved in the birth of the compositing software NUKE, was part of leading George Lucas’ ILM, and helped to found the digital production company Digital Domain along with James Cameron and Stan Winston. In addition, Scott Ross has worked on a number of Academy Award winning films.

Friday, 24 April 2020

Animation Career Webinar with Max Howard

Max Howard
Veteran animation producer and Hollywood studio executive Max Howard, will be appearing in a webinar on Tuesday 19th May from 11am -1pm.

In this free event Max Howard, who last visited our animation students at Bucks back in 2014, will talk about some of the most important ingredients for a successful career in animation, such as the importance of understanding story, and the art of the pitch.

To enroll in this free event, which is highly recommended,  you can sign up here.

Wednesday, 22 April 2020

Six Tips to Make Maya Run Faster

Tip Number 6 - stay low poly
One of the most common problems students encounter, especially when working from home, is their Maya scene slowing down so much that they can't animate anymore.

Or, not quite as drastic but almost as frustrating, their scene becomes so slow that animation becomes a burden. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to speed up your scene and make it run faster.  Below are our Six Tips to make Maya work at optimal speed.

Saturday, 18 April 2020

Free Sound Effects for Film-Makers from the BBC

For our student film-makers at Bucks, one excellent (and free) resource for sound design and sound effects is the BBC Free Sound Effects for Film-Makers.

Around 16,000 BBC Sound Effects have been made available by the BBC in WAV format for free download for use under the terms of the RemArc Licence. The Sound Effects are BBC copyright, but they may be used for personal, educational or research purposes, as detailed in the license. We're recommending this for all our students.

Wednesday, 15 April 2020

Cartoon Forum - Europe's Animation Pitch-Fest

Cartoon Forum 2020
Cartoon Forum is Europe's biggest TV pitch-fest for animation, and takes place in Toulouse, France, from 14 – 17 September.

If you have an idea for a TV series in your head, Cartoon Forum is the place to pitch it.

The deadline to submit your series project this year is 6 May. So, you have a little more time to sharpen your pencils, fill out some forms - and make your pitch perfect.

Tuesday, 14 April 2020

Framestore's Andrew Schlussel: Future of VFX

Framestore's Andrew Schlussel
We're recommending this free webinar tomorrow to all our animation students at Bucks.

Tomorrow, Wednesday 15th April from 11:00am until 11:30am, London's Escape Studios are hosting a free webinar with Andrew Schlussel, Director of Global Talent Development at Framestore, one of the world's leading animation and VFX houses.

Covid-19 is causing a lot of trouble for us all these days, but during tomorrow's webinar "The Schlussel Show", Andrew will explain that "Crisis Creates Opportunity".  Registration is free.

Unlike live action shoots, which have effectively ended entirely pending the lifting of the lockdown in the UK and Los Angeles, animation continues to thrive and flourish, even in dark times.

Monday, 13 April 2020

ASIFA Hollywood Animation Scholarship Opens

ASIFA Hollywood has launched an animation scholarship for animation students; the deadline this year is June 1st 2020.  To find the application form, visit the Animation Educators Forum.

ASIFA-Hollywood’s Animation Educators Forum (AEF) provides a valuable link between the animation industry and animation students, and will provide well-deserved scholarships to students in their journey towards membership in the global animation community.

Sunday, 12 April 2020

What is the Purpose of Animation Dailies?

Animation dailies take place each morning, when artists working on a project meet-up to share their work in its current state. The purpose is to make sure everyone is moving in the right direction and to get feedback from the director, client, producer or supervisor. Think of it as a critique session where everyone watches everyone else's work.

Dailies can take some time to get used to. For newbie animators, having your work critiqued on a big screen in front of all your colleagues and peers can be very intimidating.

Your first instinct will be to hide under your chair, and say nothing. But to thrive and prosper, animators must learn how dailies works, and how to make the system work for them.

Below are our tips to get the best out of animation dailies.

Saturday, 11 April 2020

Webinar with Kevin McDowell on April 16th

Kevin McDowell
For our students at Bucks interested in entering the games industry, there are still many online ways of connecting with the industry.

On April 16th, London-based Escape Studios is hosting an "Evening With... " the leading games designer Kevin McDowell.

Kevin McDowell has been the Art Director for SEGA’s Massive PC strategy game series “Total War” for the past 20 years and has been working in video games for 23 years.

Kevin's games have sold over 27 million copies, and in 2012 he won a BAFTA for Total War: Shogun 2.

Friday, 10 April 2020

Maya Educational License

For newcomers to the animation industry, it's important to remember that Autodesk, who make the software Maya, offer an education copy of Maya for free, which can be downloaded from the official Autodesk site.

Autodesk Maya has been the dominant software package in 3D animation for over 20 years. I first used Maya 1.0 on "The Iron Giant", back in 1998. And today it remains the most powerful package for the creation of 3D animation, widely used in industry.

Thursday, 9 April 2020

Storyboarder - Free Storyboarding Software

Now more than ever, animators need to be able to source the best (and cheapest) animation software for home use. 

We're recommending this free Storyboard Software from developers WonderUnit. Titled simply "Storyboarder", it works on both a Mac and a PC and is free to download for everyone.

Tuesday, 7 April 2020

Autodesk Certified Instructor

Recently I got an unexpected present in my Inbox - a badge of accreditation from Autodesk, the makers of Maya, as an official Autodesk Certified Instructor.

The badge of accreditation is a recognition of many years experience both using Maya on film productions (I learned to use the very first version, Maya 1.0, on Brad Bird's The Iron Giant) and also decades of experience in the classroom.

So thanks Autodesk for the vote of confidence, and the official accreditation - it is much appreciated.

Monday, 6 April 2020

How to Use Studio Library for Maya

Now that all our animation students at BNU are working remotely, it's more important than ever for our students to be aware of the many free plugins that are available to help them work from home in Autodesk Maya.

One of the weaknesses of Maya is the difficulty of copying and pasting your animation from one character rig to another, and Maya also lacks a user friendly interface for saving out and re-using your character poses.  To solve this problem, the free Studio Library tool offers Maya animators a Python script for managing poses and transferring animation in Maya.