Friday, 22 May 2015

Finding a Summer Internship in Animation & VFX - Twelve Rules for Success

Interview, a short animated film by Mikkel Okholm and Mikkel Brons-Frandsen
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 twelve key rules we think are vital for success.

Thursday, 21 May 2015

How to Apply For Our New Online MA in Animation

The world's first online MA in animation
Our new online MA in Animation is now taking applications and, if you hurry, you can still get a 10% discount on the fee. We're excited to be launching the world's first degree of this kind, and we're getting applications from all over the world, including the UK, USA, Canada and Australia. So how does the application process work, and what can applicants expect?

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Bucks Graduation Show at The Curzon Soho on 4th June

Curzon Soho
All graduating students at Bucks are invited to the Bucks Graduation Show at The Curzon, Soho, on 4th June 2015.  Come to the heart of London's film industry and see the best creative media being done by students at Bucks this past year.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Reminder - Producing Animation Workshop with Steve Burch on Tuesday 26 May!

Steve Burch
Don't forget! On Tuesday 26 May we welcome Steve Burch visit Bucks for a lecture and workshop on Producing Animation.  Steve has 26 years experience in the animation industry, having worked on around dozen animated features including Brad Bird’s The Iron Giant.  His roles have included Special Effects Supervisor for Dreamworks and Warner Bros Feature Animation. Steve has worked with three Oscar winning directors and has produced and directed many commercials and animated shorts. So, what can our students expect on Tuesday?

Monday, 18 May 2015

How Did Animators on Disney's Big Hero Six Plan Their Shots?


Shot Breakdown: Fred basketball test from trent correy on Vimeo.

Above is an excellent shot breakdown video by Disney animator Trent Correy about how he planned out one of his shots on Big Hero Six. How does an animator actually plan their shot? There is, of course, no single answer to this question - every animator has their own workflow that works for them.  That said, most animators approach a shot in fairly similar ways, thinking about it, planning it, thumbnailing it, making a road map for their destination. Watch Trent's video above and see how a skilled animator approaches their subject. You can also click here, or follow the link below:
http://trentanimation.tumblr.com/post/112765648590/ive-had-a-few-requests-lately-to-do-a-shot

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Wednesday 17 June - Our Next Open Day at Bucks


Wednesday 17 June is our next Open Day at Bucks, and the last one for the current academic year. Open Days are a great way for prospective students to get a feeling for what it is like studying at Bucks. Come and see our campus, take the tour and see the state-of-the-art facilities that we offer. Meet the Animation & VFX course team, and find out what we can do to start your career in this most exciting, challenging, and rapidly-expanding industry. We'll even give you free coffee and muffins.

Friday, 15 May 2015

Introducing the Animus Rig!

Animus rig by Nick Miller and Lin Xiong
Finding great rigs to study creature performance isn't easy. Here at Bucks we've just started to use the Animus Rig, created by the very talented Nick Miller and Lin Xiong, and released as freeware into the Maya community. It's a great rig for a number of reasons, one of the most important being the wide range of facial controls, which makes it perfect for sophisticated creature dialogue and lipsync. So, how does it all work?

Thursday, 14 May 2015

"White Walker" Sculpt by Phaedrus Byskou

White Walker by Phaedrus Byskou
Here is an excellent 3D sculpture by Bucks Animation student Phaedrus Byskou, who has created a White Walker from the Game of Thrones TV series.  It's an excellent piece of work, and inspiring to see our students doing such high quality CG modelling.

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Reminder - Still Time to Sign Up For Annecy 2015!

Annecy - still time to sign up
Annecy is to animation as Cannes is to Film.  Annecy is the first, the original, the biggest and still the best international animation festival. So, should animators go all the way to the French Alps to find out about animation, and what will they find when they get there?

Monday, 11 May 2015

CGMeetUp post Free Maya Rigs

CG MeetUp - full of great resources for animators
CGMeetup have posted a list of free rigs for animators to download and start using themselves. Here at Bucks we encourage all our students to try out new rigs and see where inspiration leads you. There are more and more excellent free rigs being released into the Maya community and this only helps our students to produce more and better work. To find the list of free rigs, follow this link.

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Harvard Referencing by Sara Eaglesfield


What is Harvard Referencing? Referencing is defined by Wikipedia as follows: "Parenthetical referencing, also known as Harvard referencing is a citation style in which partial citations—for example, "(Smith 2010, p. 1)"—are enclosed within parentheses and embedded in the text, either within or after a sentence. They are accompanied by a full, alphabetized list of citations in an end section, usually titled "references", "reference list", "works cited", or "end-text citations". Confused? Well, Harvard Referencing can seem a bit tricky at first. The good news for our students is - help is now at hand.

Friday, 8 May 2015

Reminder - Harry Potter Tour on May 13th! Be at Lily's Walk at 9.30am

Harry Potter Leavesden Entrance. Photo by Karen Roe
Bucks animation & VFX students will be taking the Harry Potter Studio Tour at Leavesden on May 13th. Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden is a 80-hectare studio complex in Hertfordshire and a major film and media complex, used for filming the Harry Potter series of films. So what can our students expect on the day?

Thursday, 7 May 2015

One Week Left to Submit Your Project to Cartoon Forum!


Do you have an animated TV series or TV special in development? And if not, why not? Our animation students at Bucks are not just technicians, they are creators, brainstorming new ideas and concepts in animation, searching for the next Peppa Pig or Charlie and Lola.  But you can't do it alone - animation is a team sport.  A successful TV series needs co-producers, financing, broadcasters and new media partners. And where do you find those? Well, Cartoon Forum is where.

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Framestore Animation Masterclass Comes To Bucks on May 29

Framestore did the character animation for Paddington
We're delighted to welcome an expert in character and creature animation from Framestore, one of London (and the world's) leading visual effects houses, and the people did the animation for Golden Compass, Paddington, Gravity, and dozens of other VFX movies.  Marion Strunck, a graduate of the excellent Animation Workshop in Denmark and a rising talent at Framestore, will be coming to Bucks on May 29th to give our students a masterclass in creature work. So, what can our students at Bucks expect?

Monday, 4 May 2015

Bucks New Uni and The Hornets Show - by Rob Kelly

Hornets Show - by Bucks students
What is the Hornets Show?  The Hornets Show is a monthly football magazine show revolving around the fortunes of Watford Football Club, who are partners with Bucks, and who have recently been promoted to the Premier League.  Bucks students shoot The Hornets Show against green screen backgrounds and then composite the shots onto CGI backgrounds to make it look like it’s been shot in a shiny high tech studio. It’s a complicated and ambitious project that our university has been running for 3 years. So, how does it all work? Animation & VFX lecturer Rob Kelly explains.

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Internship at Leading London VFX House for Bucks Students

Soho VFX
The Animation & VFX Course at Bucks has been contacted recently by a leading London animation and VFX house looking to arrange for some Motion Graphics/Animation students to do internships, at two to four week intervals, starting in May and continuing through the Summer. The company in question specialises in "high-end moving image design".  Their recent work includes Eurovision Greatest Hits, Sunday Night at the Palladium, The Voice, Strictly Come Dancing and The BBC Music Awards.

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Free Textures from Pixar!


Pixar have recently released a number of free repeating textures from their archives - for use in 3D animation. The archive was first created in 1993, and is now free for use by the rest of us - for the first time ever.  Included in the free release are bricks, metals, fabrics, skins, ground surfaces, and tons of other stuff. All of them are designed to repeat seamlessly with no nasty visible joins.

Friday, 1 May 2015

Still Time to Apply for our Online MA in Animation!

The world's first online MA in animation
It's not too late! There is still time to apply for our brand new online MA in animation, launching here at Bucks in September 2015. This is a unique degree which can be undertaken by students anywhere in the world, leading to a formal qualification in the field. You will not only learn how to animate, but you will engage at Masters' level with the underpinning theory and structure behind the art form. So, what is this degree all about?

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Finding Animation Work at Facebook

VFX Jobs at Facebook

Finding that crucial first job can be one of the toughest parts of a career in animation. To get there, you need to keep an eye on various company websites, sign up for their Twitter feed (Aardman for example seems to recruit largely through Twitter these days), and keep you ear to the ground. One useful group is the VFX jobs Group at Facebook, a community of VFX artists to post jobs, information, and generally help one another out.

Monday, 27 April 2015

How Do DreamWorks Animators Train Their Dragons?


How do animators train their dragons? Or, rather, how do they approach the complex and daunting business of creating a beautifully animated flying dragon? All animators start with a blank screen, and as professional artists we need methods that we can rely on to produce work we can be proud of, every time.  In this excellent documentary about the making of How To Train Your Dragon, DreamWorks animators talk about going to Flight School, analysing reference, and making sure that their animation was based on real, credible material that helped to bring their fantasy creatures to life.

Saturday, 25 April 2015

How Do Pixar Animators Plan Their Shots?

The secret of good animation lies in the planning, and experienced animators know that by drawing clear thumbnails to plan out their work, they can save a ton of time in executing their shots. I have always used thumbnail drawings to plan my work, but seldom (to my regret) have I saved my sketches - most of them hit the bin long ago.  But one animator who has saved a ton of his planning sketches is Pixar's Victor Navone, and you can see his thumbnail gallery here.