Sunday, 7 February 2016

Craimer Jones. Sci Fi environment WIP

Hello! I am Rob Penhaligon, the new Course Leader for Animation & VFX. I thought I would get my Bucks blogging career started with a really nice work in progress from our 3rd Yr student Craimer Jones.

He has been developing a sci fi environment for the Experimental phase of his major project. The next phase is to develop an animation with some atmospheric effects. This may take the form of an over the shoulder shot of a poor soul, running in fear for their life. Whatever happens, I am really looking forward to seeing what Craimer comes up with.

The major 3rd yr Honours project consists of 2 phases, the first Experimental phase involves taking an idea that directly relates to your intended career. You experiment with it and refine it into to something that works. The second phase is Production, which has just started. This involves developing and pushing your idea to a really high standard, ready to take to prospective employers, or if you wish, as the starting point for your own freelance company.

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Government Funding for Post-Graduate Study in the UK

There is good news this year for students in the UK hoping to secure funding for post-graduate study, including our pioneering Online MA in 3D Animation - the first of its kind anywhere in the world.

Prospective students will soon (from this summer) be able to secure Government funding for postgraduate study through loans, studentships, bursaries and grants.

If you are a UK-based student and you start a full-time or part-time master’s degree after 1 August 2016, you can now apply for a Postgraduate Loan. You will be able to borrow up to £10,000 to pay your fees and also help with living costs. So, how does the system work?

Sunday, 31 January 2016

Bucks Animation: The Force Awakens!

Hello Bucks Animation Blog readers! I'm finally getting settled in as the new animation lecturer here, so it's time for me to start blogging! Just a quick one to warm up with...

We just wrapped up a semester of creature work with the second years, and I loved this fun production from Lyuboslav Angelov. Wolfdog isn't the easiest rig for action scenes but Lyuboslav got a lot out of him, and modelled and rigged a friend for him to play with!

Monday, 28 December 2015

Student Showcase - Online MA in 3D Animation!

Our brand-new online MA in 3D animation (the first of its kind anywhere in the world) has only been up and running for a few months now, but we are already starting to see some excellent results. The short clip above was created by MA student Neil Whitman, and shows perfectly how important it is for animators not only to master the technical side of our craft, but also to entertain an audience. Neil does this perfectly, creating an imaginative use of different walk cycles to create an interesting and funny story.

Sunday, 27 December 2015

UCAS Deadline looms for 2016!

UCAS - still enough time left - but hurry!
Thinking of applying to Bucks to study Animation & Visual Effects, or for our unique online MA in 3D animation - the only one of its kind? It's not too late!

The next UCAS deadline is 15 January 2016, and we're still welcoming applications for our fast-growing courses.

Below are some good reasons why we believe we are building one of the best places to study animation in the country, and how you can get started on your new career as a digital animator. Why wait? Apply now!

Friday, 25 September 2015

Bucks New University Welcomes Our New Students To The Online MA in Animation!

The world's first online MA in animation
We're excited to welcome all our new students who have just started the journey with us on our brand-new online MA in animation, launched this week here at Bucks in partnership with Animation Apprentice.

This is a unique degree - the first of its kind - 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, and what can our new students expect?

Saturday, 29 August 2015

Sydney Padua - Our New Animation Lecturer!

Bucks New University is proud to announce our new lecturer in Animation - industry veteran Sydney Padua, whose animation career not only includes a roster of Hollywood hits but also encompasses countless visual effects blockbusters.

If that's not enough for you, she has even published highly successful graphic novels.  So, some very good news then for animation and VFX students at Bucks.

Friday, 21 August 2015

A New Demo Reel from Miles Skarin

CRYSTAL SPOTLIGHT VIDEO SHOWREEL 2015 from Crystal Spotlight on Vimeo.

Check out the latest demo from Crystal Spotlight, the work of Miles Skarin, one of our many talented students at Bucks. Miles will be entering the second year of his studies in September, and is already doing work that any graduate would be proud of. Congratulations to Miles on an excellent piece of work.


Friday, 31 July 2015

Moving On

Like Dick Whittington, I'm off to London
Working at Bucks and launching the new course in Animation and Visual Effects has been one of the highlights of my professional career.  After all, Bucks is a university with excellent facilities in new media and a strong focus on the creative arts.

Sad to say, today is my last day at Bucks, and I am moving to a new job in London with Escape Studios. However, the excellent work done at Bucks by our talented students will continue, and I wish the very best to whoever takes on the running of Animation and VFX course.

Saturday, 25 July 2015

Book Recommendation - Animation Methods by David Rodriguez

Animation Methods by David Rodriguez is a very, very good book on learning animation in Maya.  It's a book that focuses primarily on 3D Character Animation, a step-by-step guide for learning Maya, and the Maya animation tools. It also has useful sections on how to get into the industry, how to make a great demo reel, and how to get a job in animation. We think this is a very useful companion book to the animation and VFX course at Bucks.

It is also an unusual book in that it makes extensive use of QR codes - meaning you can use your smartphone to scan the codes and then view a 3D animated clip of the lesson. So, not only can you read the lesson, but you can also see and understand it through a video demonstration. 

Friday, 24 July 2015

CTN hosts Animation Masterclass with Pixar's Michal Makarewicz.

Animation masterclass with Pixar's Michal Makarewicz

This weekend the Creative Talent Network (CTN) hosts an animation masterclass with Pixar's Michal Makarewicz. There are still some spots available - the only catch is you will need to be in Los Angeles. For any of our students in the area, we highly recommend attending this event - and others like it. Time spent seeing the work methods of master animators is never wasted, and will help you to polish and refine your own workflow.

Thursday, 23 July 2015

An Awesome Reel from Studio AKA

STUDIO AKA Montage Reel 2015 from STUDIO AKA on Vimeo.

Check out the latest work by STUDIO AKA, a multi-BAFTA winning & Oscar-nominated independent animation studio & production company based in London. This is just the sort of small studio we love to see, boutique houses doing creative and interesting work in animation. Most interestingly, Studio AKA do a mixture of 2D and 3D work, showing that the medium isn't really what matters - it's what you do with it that counts. Animation is all about creating an entertaining and believable performance. We train our students to master these skills so that they can use any software to create great animation.

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Why Animators Should Go To Siggraph in August

Siggraph 2015
This year Siggraph is taking place in the Los Angeles Convention Center, from 9-13 August. Siggraph is the world's biggest conference on computer graphics. Like FMX in Stuttgart, or the Annecy animation festival, it is the perfect place to find out about the latest technologies, meet other animators, find the big recruiters, and figure out where the industry is heading. It is, in short, a window into the digital future. Obviously, not many of our students will find themselves in LA this summer, but for those luckily few that are, we highly recommend attending Siggraph - and events like it.  There is nothing quite like it to give you a unique insight into the the new technology that is driving the development of the animation industry.

Monday, 20 July 2015

David Thompson Explains How to Produce Movies

David Thompson at BAFTA
BAFTA recently held a series of lectures and masterclasses on film production, welcoming members of the public to hear industry professionals give lectures on all aspects of the business.  One of the best presentations was a talk by David Thompson, formerly head of films and single drama at BBC, and a producer with a clutch of BAFTAs and Golden Globes on his shelf. Most importantly, he has over 100 screen credits, including Billy Elliot and Mandela. Here at Bucks we recommend that all our students attend industry events like this whenever possible. You never know who you will meet, and what you will learn about the way the industry actually works.

Thursday, 9 July 2015

10% Discount On Our Online MA in Animation Extended Until End of August

Learn Character and Creature Animation
Our new online MA in Animation is still welcoming applications and, if you hurry, you can still get a 10% discount on the fee - we've extended the deadline until the end of August. 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. Some of the applicants are very talented indeed, many of them professional animators looking to broaden their skills and also gain a qualification suitable for teaching in higher education around the world. So how does the application process work, and what can applicants expect?

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

"Chappie" Student Art Competition

"Chappie" Film Competition
Sony Pictures is offering students a chance to enter an art competition for a new film "Chappie", being released on Blu-Ray. The contest is open for two weeks, and the winner gets a pack of goodies and film-related prizes.

Monday, 6 July 2015

Charlotte - a New Free Maya Rig!

Digital artist Ahmed Elmatarawi has just released his newest baby - Charlotte - a free Maya rig available for student and non-commercial use around the world. We haven't tested it yet, but the video below takes you through the rig in detail, and we look forward to seeing what our students can do with her. One of the great benefits of working in Maya is its growing user base, bringing us new and better animation rigs for student use all the time. So who and what is Charlotte?

Thursday, 2 July 2015

What Do Sales Agents Do, Exactly?

Sola Media - Sales Agents with a focus on animation
Any animator with dreams to bring their own project to the big screen will eventually need to understand the business of making and financing animated films. This includes the question of who, exactly, is going to sell your film for you. Are you going to do it yourself? Or are you going to bring in experts who know the business? Probably, you will do the latter. As part of our series on the business of animation, we take a look at what exactly a sales agent is and what they do.

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Blue Zoo Summer Internships

This year Blue Zoo are offering two six week internships in their London studio; one working in their commercials team, ideal for someone with bold ambitions to be an animated commercials director, and another in their TV series department for someone starting out on a mission to become an expert CG character animator! To apply head to

Friday, 26 June 2015

Bucks New Uni's Annecy Survival Guide

Annecy - an ancient medieval town in the French Alps
The International Festival of Animation at Annecy is the world’s biggest animation festival. It can be a slightly overwhelming experience; there are so many things going on at once that it can be hard to feel like you really get to make the most of being there. Alongside the film festival is MIFA – the world’s biggest animation marketplace, a brain-boiling congress of industry types furiously buying and selling. But Annecy is an event that we believe that every animator should go to at least once – if only to get a feeling for the sheer size and diversity of the modern animation industry.