Friday, 24 June 2022

DA704 Animation Module Starts 12 Sept 2022

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

Our Master's Degree animation students start their final animation module, DA704, on Monday 12th September 2022.  The final animation assignment, DA704 PR1, is titled "Demo Reel and Final Project" and students will create a piece of character or creature animation, showing the skills they have learned over the last year, 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. DA704 PR1 is due on Monday 5th December 2022 at 2pm.

Thursday, 2 June 2022

Journey of Life Wins Best Director Award

"Journey of Life" wins Best Director (Short Film) at FOFA
Many congratulations to BNU student Robin Herrman whose short film "Journey of Life" has won award for Best Director (Super Short Film) at the Future of Film Awards.

"Journey of Life" was written, produced and directed by Robin, currently studying for his MA in 3D Animation at Buckinghamshire New University.  

"Journey of Life" has won many festival awards. 

Monday, 30 May 2022

Walt – The Man Behind the Myth


Sometimes it's time to down tools and learn a bit about the history of animation. The pioneering giant upon whose shoulders all animators stand was Walt Disney. To understand why Disney was such a transformative figure in the history of the animation industry, watch "Walt – The Man Behind the Myth" -  a biographical documentary on the man who founded the Walt Disney Studios.  The documentary was narrated by Dick Van Dyke and directed by Jean-Pierre Isbouts.

Tuesday, 17 May 2022

Online Animation MA Returns in Sept 2022

Sci-Fi scene by Joe Gamble
We are now taking applications for our online MA in Animation - recruiting for September 2022.

Our online MA in animation was launched in 2015 and was the very first of its kind - the first online MA in animation which could be undertaken by students anywhere in the world.  The MA in animation partners with the online animation school www.animationapprentice.org

Friday, 13 May 2022

Key Creative Roles on an Animated Short

 

What are the key creative roles on a short animated film? Or, simply put, what are the jobs that absolutely have to get done in order to finish the project?  Below are the key roles that we believe must be filled in order to achieve a successful outcome.

Friday, 6 May 2022

BAFTA Scholarships Close on 20 May 2022

BAFTA is now taking applications for three UK based post-graduate scholarships in film, TV and Games (and animation, of course) worth up to £12,000 each. The deadline is May 20th 2022.

The BAFTA scholarships are supported by Warner Bros and the Duke of Cambridge, and include a work placement and also free access to BAFTA events. They can also be used to help finance post-graduate study in the creative arts.

Friday, 29 April 2022

How To Create Thumbnail Sketches for Animation


How do you create thumbnail sketches for character animation? Learning how to create thumbnail sketches is a very important skill, even for animators who don't draw well, because thumbnail sketches are an important tool for planning animation.  Even 3D animators who aren't that comfortable with drawing are encouraged to have a go at the thumbnailing process.  Watch the video above to see how we would go about creating some rough thumbnail sketches for this month's "11 Second Club"

Sunday, 24 April 2022

Archie Dennis Special Projects Coordinator DNEG

Archie Dennis
Many congratulations to BNU Graduate Archie Dennis who is now working as a Special Projects Coordinator at DNEG in London.

Archie graduated from BNU with a first class degree in Animation & VFX, and is now working at one of the UK's leading VFX houses.

DNEG are responsible for multiple blockbuster hits and recently won their seventh Academy Award for their VFX on "Dune".

Saturday, 23 April 2022

"Journey of Life" Wins Hon Mention at DSFF

"Journey of Life" wins Hon Mention at DSFF
Many congratulations to BNU student Robin Herrman whose short film "Journey of Life" has won an Honourable Mention for Best No Budget Film at the Dreamer's Short Film Festival (DSFF).

"Journey of Life" was written, produced and directed by Robin, currently studying for his MA in 3D Animation Buckinghamshire New University.  It has won many festival awards. 

Thursday, 21 April 2022

How Many Seconds Per Week?

How many seconds?
How much animation does a studio expect an animator to deliver each week? The answer depends on the studio, and what kind of work is being expected. On a high-end feature film such as the kind made by Disney and Pixar, an animator might be expected to complete around five seconds of animation each week - and sometimes even less.

On a TV series where budgets are tight and deadlines loom, an animator might be expected to complete as much as 30 seconds of completed animation each week.

Tuesday, 19 April 2022

Journey of Life Hon Mention at Florence Fest

"Journey of Life" wins Hon. Mention at Florence Awards
Congratulations to BNU Animation student Robin Herrmann whose short film "Journey of Life" has won an Honourable Mention in the category of Animation at the Florence Film Awards.

"Journey of Life" was written, produced and directed by Robin, currently studying for his MA in 3D Animation at Buckinghamshire New University.  This is the film's third festival award. 

Wednesday, 13 April 2022

Paul Hilton External Examiner at BNU

Paul Hilton
We're extending a very warm welcome to Paul Hilton, our new External Examiner for our Online MA in 3D animation.  Paul is a Senior Lecturer on the BA (Hons) in Animation at The Arts University Bournemouth (AUB), making him well qualified to keep an eye on our animation work here at Bucks.

External examiners ensure that standards are consistent across the animation sector. They check our grades, making sure we're awarding marks appropriately, and that our standards are consistent with other universities and colleges in the UK.

Of course, we also second mark all the grades at MA level at Bucks, but the role of the external examiner is to add a third layer of quality control to make sure everything is done right.

Tuesday, 12 April 2022

Graduation Day at BNU: 5-9 September 2022

Graduation Day at BNU
Graduation Day is back! After a long Corona hiatus, in-person graduation is returning to High Wycombe, at long last.  Graduation Day for our animation graduates takes place at Bucks from 5-9th September 2022.

On that day, we will be welcoming all our animation graduates to come and celebrate their achievement.

Monday, 11 April 2022

Who's Who in Animation at BNU in 2022

Alex and Rusty at BNU
Who's Who on our Online Master of Arts in Animation?

For our new animation students, 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 ever online MA in animation.

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.

Sunday, 10 April 2022

Why Lipsync Should be "Two Frames Ahead"

Cliff Nordberg
Why should your lipsync always be at least two frames ahead of the audio? Because there is a very slight time delay between our mouths making a shape, and the sound being expelled from our lips.

For your audience to be able to read the lip sync clearly you'll want to offset the jaw opening at least two frames before the audio is actually heard. 

If you have the jaw opening and closing exactly on the frame that the audio is heard, your lip sync will feel slightly "off sync", ie a little late. 

Saturday, 9 April 2022

Journey of Life Best Director at Halicarnassus

Congratulations to BNU student Robin Herrman whose short film "Journey of Life" has won an award for "Best First Time Director" at the Halicarnassus Film Festival.  

"Journey of Life" was written, produced and directed by Robin, currently studying for his MA in 3D Animation at Bucks.   "Journey of Life"  was completed during the course of Robin's studies at BNU.  This is the film's second festival award. 

Friday, 8 April 2022

BNU Graduate Lee Caller Hon Mention in Tokyo

Jelly Cars Hon. Mention for Best Cinematography at TIMFF
Buckinghamshire New University is proud to congratulate animation graduate Lee Caller whose short film Jelly Cars has won an Honourable Mention for "Best Cinematography" at the Halicarnassus Film Festival. 

This is the latest award for Jelly Cars, a short comedy about a cartoon car trying to find a parking space.  Jelly Cars has won many festival awards.

Thursday, 7 April 2022

Robin Herrmann Wins March 11 Second Club

Robin Herrmann wins 11 Second Club
Congratulations to BNU student Robin Herrmann who has won the monthly 11 Second Club for March 2022

Robin Herrmann's superb animation was created as part of Module DA702 - the character animation module taught as part of the MA in 3D Animation.

This is the latest success for Robin whose short film "Journey of Life" has been winning festival awards. 

Saturday, 2 April 2022

DA703 Starts on Monday 4 April 2022

Gorilla rig and animation by Michael Davies
Module DA703 - Animals and Creatures - starts on Monday 4th April 2022, and is the third module tackled by our students on our Online MA in Animation.

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

DA703 PR1 is due on Friday 3rd June at 2pm.

Friday, 1 April 2022

Rookies Deadline 1 June 2022

At Bucks New University we encourage all of our students to enter The Rookies Awards, the international competition for young creatives, which and closes on 1st June 2022.

The Rookies was founded in 2009 to "showcase the most talented student designers, illustrators, film makers, animators, developers, digital artists, and launch them into the career of their dreams."

This year the deadline is 1st June 2022, so there is plenty of time to start crafting a great project.

Wednesday, 30 March 2022

Arcs and Paths of Action in Animation

Path of Action
Animators always need to keep an eye on the Path of Action in their animation. Paths of Animation, also known as Arcs, are one of the original 12 Principles of Animation identified by Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnstone in their classic work "The Illusion of Life".

A moving object should follow a smooth flowing arc, with no sudden abrupt changes of direction.

Saturday, 26 March 2022

How We Tackle External Projects at BNU

At BNU we often get asked if our animation students can take on external projects. Our students are very busy with their own work, but on occasion we can tackle "live briefs" for outside clients.

There are however a few things we need in advance, most important of which is a brief (ideally a single page PDF), explaining what the client wants and expects.  Below is a list of things for clients to think about to make sure that the project is a success. 

Thursday, 24 March 2022

Journey of Life Wins Best 1st Time Director

Journey of Life Wins Best 1st Time Director at Vesuvius
Congratulations to BNU student Robin Herrman whose short film "Journey of Life" has won an award for "Best First Time Director" at the Vesuvius Film Festival.  

"Journey of Life" was written, produced and directed by Robin, currently studying for his MA in 3D Animation at Bucks.   "Journey of Life"  was completed during the course of Robin's studies at BNU, and is currently being entered into film festivals. 

Sunday, 20 March 2022

Artifact Wins Best No Budget Film at DSFF

Artifact wins Best No Budget Film at DSFF
Congratulations to BNU animation student Kristis Bandzevicius whose animated short "Artifact" has won "Best No Budget Film" at the Dreamer's Film Festival

"Artifact" is a short film created by BNU animation student Kristis Bandzevicius.   "Artifact" was written, produced and directed by Kristis, currently studying for his MA in 3D Animation at Bucks.   This is the film's fourth festival award. 

Friday, 11 March 2022

Anton Alfimenko Nominated for BAA Award

Anton Nominated for "Best Animation in a Commercial"

The BAAs, which were held last night at the BFA South Bank, celebrate the very best of British Animation. 

Thursday, 10 March 2022

Nine Ways to Create a Great Pose


How do you create a great pose in animation? Creating great poses is a necessary skill for all animators to learn. In the video above, I suggest nine ways that an animator can create a great pose - the key starting point for a great acting scene. 

Sunday, 27 February 2022

Why Using Live Action Reference Can Lead to Floaty Animation - And How to Fix It

Leopard Animation by Daniel Amor
The use of live action reference to create great animation is one of the key techniques that students learn at BNU. But one of the dangers of using live action is that, if you follow it too closely, the animation can seem floaty and weightless.

Live action reference helps animators to create believable, realistic animation. Once you have done that, push it further. Go beyond the live action, push the poses, make the transitions snappier. Give the audience a reason to watch your work - give a performance

Friday, 25 February 2022

Artifact Wins Special Mention at One Reeler Fest

Artifact wins Special Mention at One Reeler Fest
Congratulations to BNU animation student Kristis Bandzevicius whose animated short "Artifact" has won a "Special Mention" at the One Reeler Film Festival. 

"Artifact" is a short film created by BNU animation student Kristis Bandzevicius.   "Artifact" was written, produced and directed by Kristis, currently studying for his MA in 3D Animation at Bucks.   This is the film's third festival award. 

Tuesday, 22 February 2022

Meet "Journey of Life" by Robin Herrman

 
Meet "Journey of Life", a new short film created by BNU animation student Robin Herrman.  "Journey of Life" was written, produced and directed by Robin, currently studying for his MA in 3D Animation at Bucks.   "Journey of Life"  was completed during the course of Robin's studies at BNU, and is currently being entered into film festivals. 

Saturday, 19 February 2022

BNU Short "Best No Budget" at Dreamer's Fest

"What is Wrong...?" Wins Best No Budget at Dreamer's Fest
Congratulations to the makers of the short film "What is Wrong With The Global Development Organisation?" which has won "Best No Budget" film at the Dreamer's Film Festival.

Directed by BNU animation graduate Monika Dzikowicz and animated by BNU graduates, the two minute micro-documentary tells the story of an aid organisation which has lost sight of its founding principles.  

Friday, 18 February 2022

Paul Amiras Head of Layout at Framestore

Paul Amiras
Many congratulations to Bucks animation graduate Paul Amiras on his new position as Head of Layout & Tracking at London VFX Powerhouse Framestore. 

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.

Framestore is a global VFX success story, responsible for multiple blockbuster films and series.   

Thursday, 17 February 2022

VFX Festival in London 9-10 March 2022

VFX Festival 2022
Escape Studios' VFX Festival is back in March 2022, this year taking place as a hybrid event, both online and also in person.

Escape Studios will host the event at their midTown Campus at 190 High Holborn, also streaming the events for a live online audience.

To book your tickets, follow this link to thevfxfestival.com.

Friday, 11 February 2022

"Artifact" Wins Best Sci-Fi at Art Film Awards

"Artifact" wins Best Sci-Fi
Congratulations to BNU animation student Kristis Bandzevicius whose animated short "Artifact" has won Best Sci-Fi film at the Art Film Awards.

"Artifact" is a new short film created by BNU animation student Kristis Bandzevicius.  

"Artifact" was written, produced and directed by Kristis, currently studying for his MA in 3D Animation at Bucks.  

Wednesday, 9 February 2022

2022 BNU Animation Demo Reel


Above is our latest edit of the best work done by animation students at Buckinghamshire New University, specifically those enrolled in our MA in 3D Animation, delivered in partnership with the online school Animation Apprentice. Many thanks to Robin Herrmann, Kristis Bandzevicius, Alex Southcombe, Brandon Barwise, Michael Davies, Liam Devinney, Carla Narvaez, and Michael Acosta on their excellent work.

Tuesday, 8 February 2022

How to Simulate Weight in Animation

Weight lift from the Animator's Survival Kit
One of the hardest things to achieve in 3D animation is the creation a sense of weight. Weight is hard to simulate because our characters are just pixels - they have no intrinsic weight, so we have to create it from nothing. 

One of the more tricky exercises our students at BNU have to tackle is to animate a character lifting a heavy object, such as a box. The box is just a bunch of pixels - it has no weight. So the challenge is to make it appear heavy.

To get started, take a look at the thumbnail sketches on the left, taken from the book we recommend all our students buy - The Animator's Survival Kit. 

The thumbnails show how important it is for the character to get their feet right underneath the object they are going to lift. That way, the weight of the object falls directly over the character's heels - and the object feels heavy. 

Monday, 7 February 2022

How to Finance an Animated Film or TV Series

How to find finance?
Our animation students at BNU aren't just technicians, they are creative artists developing their own ideas. Many will be pitching original content for games, films and TV series.  

Of course, the business of content creation involves finance, and one of the most common questions we get asked at BNU is how to secure project finance for an animated film or TV series. 

Film finance is never easy, but it can be done, if you follow the right steps. 

Tuesday, 1 February 2022

"Artifact" Wins Best Micro Short at Vesuvius Fest

Congratulations to BNU animation student Kristis Bandzevicius whose animated short "Artifact" has won Best Micro Short at the Vesuvius Film Festival.

"Artifact" is a new short film created by BNU animation student Kristis Bandzevicius. "Artifact" was written, produced and directed by Kristis, currently studying for his MA in 3D Animation at Bucks.  

Monday, 24 January 2022

Why Animators Need Good Titles

artofthetitle.com
Part of making any short film is thinking about titles, and typography.  A good title sets the tone and style for the forthcoming film.

For all our students working on titles and title sequences for their short films, we recommend visiting theartofthetitle.com, a website dedicated entirely to the art and craft of movie titles.

Monday, 17 January 2022

Why Animators Should Record Audio First

Voice actors come first - then animation
One of the rules of animation film-making is that the audio comes first, plus sound effects (and music) - then you do the animation. 

The voice recording for the actors is done first, cut into the edit, and then the animators create their performance to match the dialogue.

Sometimes film-makers will try doing it the other way around, animating the characters first and then adding the voice-over, but this is almost always a mistake. The reason for this is that it is very hard to post-sync the dialogue.

The rule of animation film-making is always this: record your dialogue first, then do the animation.

Wednesday, 5 January 2022

2022 New Year's Resolutions for Animators

Happy New Year to all our Students!
Happy New Year to all our students at BNU, past present and future. What should an animator's new year's resolutions be for 2022?

The animation industry is growing fast, despite the pandemic, and despite Brexit.  There are plenty of jobs out there for those with the right skills.

But the world of animation and visual effects is a competitive one, and animators need to be well-trained - and smart - to stay on top of their game.  

So, what are some simple ways to maintain your edge in 2022?