Sunday, 19 October 2014

How to Make a Quick Time Movie in Adobe Premiere

In this short video Bucks tutor Dave Creighton explains how to import images into Adobe Premiere and then export a movie file. For anyone who has not used Premiere before, this simple video explains the basics in a very clear way, and show you how to export a movie file in simple steps.  It is especially useful for animation students who have created a series of images in Maya, using the batch render procedure, and want to turn those images into a movie file that can be uploaded to YouTube. Thanks Dave!

Industrial Light and Magic is Opening a Brand New UK studio

Coming to London
Industrial Light and Magic is opening a brand new UK studio to work on a new Star Wars trilogy. Disney’s special effects firm was founded by George Lucas back in the early days of VFX, and now ILM is coming to London even as Pinewood Studios' filming of Star Wars VII nears completion.

Friday, 17 October 2014

VES Student Awards Now Accepting Entries - Deadline 23 November 2014

The VES Student Award for
Outstanding Visual Effects as Presented by Autodesk

Calling all Visual Effects Animators at Bucks! The annual VES awards are now open. The Visual Effects Society is the organisation that brings digital artists together from all over the globe - it's our professional community organisation. 

The student awards represent a unique opportunity to showcase your work and have it reviewed by the industry’s leading VFX artists. If you win, you will have a chance to take the stage in Beverly Hills, California at the annual VES Awards.

It’s now time to submit your best visual effects or animation work from school projects completed this year. The deadline is 23 November 2014.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Bucks Animation Tutor Alex Williams Launches Free Movie App

Yesterday Bucks animation tutor Alex Williams launched a new free app at the iTunes store. The app is for his indie animated feature film My Haunted House, and this is the first release of an official iPad game for the movie. The game is completely free - you can download it now from the iTunes store. If you beat Level 1 you can unlock and watch the award winning short animation teaser - Charlie and Yip. Here is the link to download

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Deadline to submit a feature film project to Cartoon Movie: 26 Nov 2014

Cartoon Movie 2014
The Deadline to submit a feature film project to Cartoon Movie is 26 November 2014. Are you looking for co-producers, financing and distributors for your animated feature film project? If so, you should submit it to Cartoon Movie! If your film gets selected, you will be able to pitch it to almost 1,000 animation and industry professionals from forty countries. Present at Cartoon Movie are 200 buyers, including 120 distributors & sales agents.

Saturday, 11 October 2014

The Cheapest Way from High Wycombe to London - Revealed at Last!

Bucks SU Inter-Campus Link Bus
Getting to and from London can be expensive for our students in High Wycombe, but finally we can reveal The Cheapest Way to travel from High Wycombe to London. Instead of taking the train from the main station, all you have to do is catch the free Bucks Students' Union Inter-Campus Link Bus. It goes to (and from) our High Wycombe campus to the Uxbridge campus. From Uxbridge, catch the Tube from Uxbridge station into Central London on the Metropolitan line or the Piccadilly line using your Oyster card. If you travel off-peak, a return ticket to central London is just £6, and you won't pay more than £8.90 for a whole day's travel within the capital.

Friday, 10 October 2014

Our Next Open Day at Bucks - Tomorrow!

Tomorrow Saturday 11th October is our next Open Day at Bucks. Open Days are a great way to meet the Course Leaders (for Animation & VFX - that's me and Dave Creighton) here at Bucks, find out about our courses, and also explore our campus.

We're sure you'll be impressed by the state-of-the-art technical equipment we have in the brand new Gateway Building; the result of a £40m investment program completed just a couple of years ago, aimed at turning Bucks into a creative hub for media production of all kinds.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Meet VFX Supervisor Paul Franklin at Escape Studios on Wednesday 15 October

Heath ledger in Dark Knight - VFX supervised by Paul Franklin
On Wednesday 15 October at 10am VFX Supervisor Paul Franklin, who has worked on Inception, the Dark Knight Trilogy and most recently Interstellar, will be giving a talk at Escape Studios in London. The event is completely free, and is a unique opportunity to meet one of London's leading visual effects experts. A VFX Supervisor has responsibility for all the visual effects on a film - these folks really know their stuff, and can give a unique insight into how the visual effects on a film actually gets put together.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Free Zombie Rig from Hotel Transylvania!

Free zombie rig from Sony Pictures
Sony Pictures have just released a free zombie rig from Hotel Transylvania - created in Maya. This is a great opportunity for animation students to use a production-quality rig, one which has been used on a beautifully animated Hollywood blockbuster. Production rigs are more complex than the training rigs that we use at Bucks - so it is strictly for experienced animators. We have not tested it out yet ourselves, so we welcome input from our students on its strengths and weaknesses. Below are the terms of the license offered by Sony Pictures.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Film & TV and Audio & Music at Bucks Join the Blogosphere

Gateway Building at Bucks - our modern media hub
One of the best things about studying at Bucks is the opportunity to collaborate across creative media with other departments.  Film & TV and Audio & Music are two of the most successful departments at Bucks, and both have now launched their own blogs, talking about what they are up to and the work that the students are creating. Their students have been producing short films (and even feature films) for years, winning awards, and offering animators a chance to collaborate and make even better films than they would achieve by working alone. To see more about what Film and TV are up to, visit To find out what Audio and Music are doing, visit this page. You can also see both blogs featured in the RSS feed at the top left hand corner of this blog - just click on their latest feed to find out their news.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Bucks Tutor Alex Williams Introduces his Animated Feature Film: My Haunted House

Alex Williams is Co-Course Leader of Animation & Visual Effects at Bucks New University. He is also working on an independent film project, My Haunted House, which is currently in development, aiming for a 2016 release. We asked him to tell us about the project, and what still needs to be done to bring it to the big screen.

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Keep in Touch - a Message to all Our Graduates

Gateway Building
Three years sounds like a long time, but your degree in Animation and VFX will fly past. One of the best things about studying at Bucks is the amazing resources for media production that we have in the Gateway Building - our modern media hub, completed just a few years ago.  The great benefit of easy access to all this university equipment - and also the access to fellow students who are also interested in creative media - may not be fully obvious to you until you graduate, and it's not there anymore.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

bluegfx expo - 6th November 2014

Blue GFX - in London 6th November
Blue GFX Expo is taking place in London on 6th November 2014. Last year's event was superb - in attendance were the founders of Blue Zoo, the UK's biggest TV animation company, the guys from Framestore who did the animation for the Skyfall title sequence, and representatives from Autodesk showing the latest hair simulation tools. There were so many talks on cutting edge CG tools that it was hard to choose which ones to attend. For all our students, this is a not-to-be-missed chance to catch up with the latest technology and meet in person the people who run the UK's top animation and visual effects houses.

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Madrid Studio ILION is looking for animators

Madrid based animation studio ILION is crewing up for a big new project. To find their jobs page, go to When a studio is looking to recruit large numbers of digital artists for a film, this creates opportunities for students and graduates looking for entry-level positions. Time to polish your CV and make sure your demo reel is as good as it possibly can be. Remember that a great demo reel is your calling card - it is how employers will judge your work. And don't worry about not speaking Spanish - almost all studios speak English nowadays - the international language of new media.

Monday, 29 September 2014

It All Started With a Mouse - The History of Disney Animation

It All Started With a Mouse
Below is an excellent documentary on the History of Disney Animation, titled It All Started With a Mouse.  It was broadcast in 1989 - so it does not include anything from the digital era - but much of what the Disney Studio achieved is timeless, and still withstands close scrutiny today. In short, this is an excellent documentary on the history hand-drawn animation at the studio up until the late 1980s.  The video is hosted at YouTube (for some reason I can't embed the video here) but if you follow this link you'll find it OK. It runs an hour and a half, and is an excellent introduction to the medium of animation.



Sunday, 28 September 2014

UK Creative industries are "worth £71.4 billion per year"

Creative industries are worth £71 billion a year
The UK Creative industries are "worth £71.4 billion per year", according to the UK's Business Secretary Vince Cable. In an article in Wired news two days ago, the British Government announced a big new investment in a NextGen Skills Academy to help close the skills gap in creative industries in the UK.  The story was also covered by the BBC. What does this mean for students at Bucks? Hopefully, big new opportunities in employment in the future.

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Bucks IT - Quick Start Guide - How to Log In

Welcome to Bucks! For all our new students, the first weeks at Uni will bring a huge rush of new information to process. One of the first things you need to figure out is how to log in to our network, so you can start learning and start creating awesome animation. Below is our handy guide from IT to help you get started.

Friday, 26 September 2014

Career advice from our Latest Graduate Panel at Bucks

our graduate panel at Bucks
Yesterday, Thursday September 25th, we welcomed our latest graduate panel. These are Bucks graduates who have made it in the creative industries who come back to tell us about the latest trends in creative media, and to help our students gain an early understanding of what it takes to launch their own careers. Our guests this time were cinematographer Barry Gross, Matt Harris, Tammy Riley-Smith, who has just directed the feature film Delicious, BBC Producer Simon Fox, John Osbourne of Brassneck TV,  and TV director Lorna Gibbs.  A number of the panelists will be coming back to Bucks to teach our students the latest skills in new media.

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Mery Rig Now Live! And Free!

The Mery rig is now live! One of the many benefits of animating with Autodesk Maya (the main animation software we use at Bucks) is the large and growing global community of artists who collaborate on freeware projects, bringing to life excellent animation rigs like Norman and Morpheus. The latest character rig to be released is The Mery Project - now available to Maya users free of charge. Of course there will be bugs and glitches - but all rigs have their strengths and weaknesses. We're excited to see what our students can do with this new, free download.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Enterprise at Bucks - animated by Anton Alfimenko

Enterprise at Bucks is the department of our University which is dedicated to helping students learn real-life skills. Stuff like how to set up a business, how to invoice a client, and how to survive in the commercial world. Many of our students will launch their own freelance careers (even if they also have a day job) when they leave uni - and a good working knowledge of the realities of the marketplace is a vital tool for survival.

To help get their message across about how they can help our students, Enterprise at Bucks has created a short film to communicate clearly what it is that they do. The animation was done over the summer vacation by our very own Anton Alfimenko - now entering his second year of studies at Bucks. Scroll down to see the finished film.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Graduate Panel at Bucks on Thursday at 3pm - Who's Coming?

A recent Graduate Panel at Bucks
Thursday September 25th is our latest graduate panel, where we bring back Bucks graduates who have made it in the creative industries to hear about the latest trends in creative media, and to help our students gain an early understanding of what it takes to launch their own careers. It takes place at 3pm in the Gateway Lecture Theatre. Talks like this can be vital in terms of bridging the gap between university and the world of commerce. So, who is coming on Thursday?