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.
The Animator's Survival Kit.
Any serious student of animation should buy a copy of The Animator's Survival Kit, by Richard Williams. It is now the standard textbook for animators and easily the most comprehensive book available for learning animation.
OK - so you've bought a book or two - what else? The next thing to do, assuming you have a decent computer or laptop at home, is get yourself a free copy of Autodesk Maya. Maya is the main software we animate with, nowadays it's the industry standard. You can find a free educational license here. If Autodesk ask for evidence of enrollment - send me an email and I'll get a letter sent over.
Start to learn the Maya interface. Maya is complex, and it's a good idea to get familiar with it early on.
We recommend Mike Hermes' free Maya tutorials at YouTube. Mike Hermes offers tutorials in Animation, Modeling, Texturing, Lighting and Rendering. His video tutorials are short, easy to follow, and clear. The playlists are well organised and they all completely free.
Keith Lango - Free Animation Tutorials
|Keith Lango YouTube Channel|
Keith's animation tutorials include animating a James Brown dance, rigging and skinning animation, and how to approach the business of animating a scene.
It's a great resource, and a very useful supplement to the growing body of online resources available for learning animation.
Maya is confusing at first but it's good to get familiar with the layout, and learn where the main hotkeys are, and how the interface works. You can register and get a free Maya student license here.
Start watching our free videos
Take a look at the week 1 videos at the Animation Apprentice website. The week 1 videos are all free and this gives you a general introduction to animation, helping you to get familiar with the language of the medium.
Welcome to Bucks New University!
If you do some or all the things on this list - you will have a great head start! We look forward to meeting you!
Resources at Bucks
For more resources on getting started in animation at Bucks, see the blog posts below:
- MA Joining Instructions September 2020
- Welcome to Bucks MA Animation - September 2020
- Getting Started in 3D Animation in September 2020
- DA701 Locomotion & Mechanics - Starts 28 September 2020
- Who's Who on the Online MA at Bucks
- Download your free copy of Maya (Educational License)
- Online Animation Resources at BNU
- What Kind of Laptop Should You Buy?
- What's in Our Online MA in 3D Animation?
- Welcome to the Online MA in 3D Animation
- Online MA Animation - FAQs
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.