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.

Sunday, 5 April 2020

How to Animate "Eye Darts"

Eyes - Window to the Soul
"Eye darts" are fast moving micro-changes of eye direction. Eyes are the window to the soul - it's the thing the audience will look at most, and one of the most common mistakes made by junior animators is fail to pay enough attention to their character's eyes.

Our eyes are very expressive, and the eyes are what we look at when we watch a character on the screen.  When we talk, we seek signals for how another person is thinking and feeling - we watch their eyes, and we often dart from one eye to another.  So, how does an animator animate eye darts?

Saturday, 4 April 2020

Flame Wins "5 Stars Award" at BIAFF

"Flame", the short animated film produced by Bucks New Uni MA student Amedeo Beretta, has won an "Five Stars" award at the British International Amateur Film Festival.

"Flame" has been competing into multiple film festivals, but this is its first festival win.

Flame is a short film produced by BNU student Amedeo Beretta, currently studying for our online MA in 3D Animation.  On a dark night in the desert, Flame is born, but she soon realizes that the storm that brought her life is now a threat to her survival.

Amedeo is an animation tutor at Escape Studios in London, and Flame is a project completed by his students, carefully overseen by him, and is an excellent example of the superb work being done by our online students at Bucks.

Friday, 3 April 2020

ASIFA Animation Scholarship

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.

Thursday, 2 April 2020

"Jelly Cars" Wins Award at the BAIFF

Many congratulations to Bucks New University MA student Lee Caller, whose short film "Jelly Cars" has won an award at the British Amateur International Film Festival.

Lee Caller created the short film while studying at Bucks; submitting his film as one of the formally assessed modules on the Online MA in 3D Animation.

"Jelly Cars" has been selected for a number of animation festivals, but this is its first award.

Today, Lee teaches animation classes at Escape Studios in London and, assuming all goes well, he will graduate from Bucks this summer with his MA in 3D Animation.

You can see more of Lee's work at his website here.