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 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.

Online Student Enrolment at "Bucks Connect"
All students registering on Bucks courses for the academic year 2020/21 should enrol via the "Bucks Connect" Student Portal.  Academic Registry colleagues have been working with the Bucks IS&T Directorate to further develop the Portal functionality to include Online Enrolment, as well as students’ results.  Please read the full details here.

Enrollment at Bucks

Course Structure
Familiarise yourself with the course structure; there are five modules to tackle over the course of 18 months. To see how the course works in detail, see this blog post.  To see what the main academic deadlines are over the next year and a half, see this blog post

The Animator's Survival Kit.
All our students should buy a copy of The Animator's Survival Kit, by Richard Williams. It is now the standard textbook for animators and the most comprehensive book available for learning animation.

Download your free educational license
Download your free copy of Autodesk Maya
Get yourself a free copy of Autodesk Maya. Maya is the main software we animate with, and still the industry standard. You can find a free educational license for Maya here.

Start watching our Videos
Get yourself a decent laptop
Take a look at the week 1 videos at the Animation Apprentice website. The week 1 videos give you a general introduction to animation, helping you to get familiar with the language of the medium. After that, you should start doing the animation tutorials, starting with basics such as the bouncing ball.

Free Tutorials at Animation Apprentice
Start animating! You will find a number of free animation tutorials at Bucks New Uni Animation YouTube Channel.

Buy a laptop
You will need a decent laptop to run Maya from home. Laptop specs change all the time but see this blog post for some useful advice

Log in to Animation Apprentice
Make sure you have a login to the Animation Apprentice official site, which hosts the bulk of the learning resources for the practical side of the Animation MA. If you don't yet have a login, email me at and I will get it sorted.

Bucks New Uni Email Address
All our students will be supplied by the Bucks IT Dept with a BNU email address once they are enrolled. Contact Bucks IT for assistance with this.

Facebook Classroom
Join our Facebook classroom - it's a closed group for all our new students, a place to post your work, get feedback, ask questions, and get answers. To find the classroom, which is only open to enrolled students starting this September, follow this link.

Below is the latest timetable for what to expect in September:

Getting Started Resources at Bucks
For more resources on getting started at Bucks, see the blog posts below:

For more on the experience of studying at Buckinghamshire 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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