Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Free Horse Rig for Maya Animators

horse rig by Motorman TD
We're liking this horse rig available for free download from the Mothman TD website.

It's an excellent choice for animating quadruped locomotion, a useful alternative to the (also very good) Rhett the Clydesdale rig.

So, how can our students get the most out of this rig?

Friday, 1 December 2017

London International Animation Festival Now On

The London International Animation Festival (LIAF), the UK’s largest animation festival, returns for its 14th year with a series of screenings of the best shorts and features, both domestic and international, including children’s screenings and the Best of the Fest.

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Archie Dennis at Double Negative

Many congratulations to Bucks alumnus Archie Dennis, who recently graduated from Bucks with a First Class Degree in Animation & Visual Effects.

After polishing his demo reel and applying for various jobs, Archie secured a position as a runner at London based VFX giant Double Negative. DNeg are the largest vendors of visual effects in Europe and their London studio can house over 1000 artists. We asked Archie to talk a little about his new job and how it came about.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Panel Forge Pro - Free Storyboard Software

At last week's Blue GFX Expo, Blue Zoo’s Tom Box announced that Panel Forge Pro, their new storyboard and pipeline tool, is now available for free for student use.

Panel Forge Pro, extensively tested at Blue Zoo on Miffy the Rabbit and Digby Dragon, makes use of 3D Layouts to save time in Storyboarding, allowing board artists to use low resolution 3D assets to help set up camera angles and layouts.  Good news then for storyboard artists, who can now learn to use this new software for free.

Friday, 3 November 2017

How to Reach Animation Recruiters

VIEW panel. From left: Amy Smith, Giorgio Xhaxho, Alex Williams, Tiffany Feeney, Angie Wojak

What do Animation recruiters look for from recent graduates?  How do they find fresh talent? At last week's VIEW conference in Turin I was invited onto a recruitment panel hosted by New York's School of Visual Arts (SVA). Also on the panel were two recruiters, Amy Smith from Framestore and Tiffany Feeney of Talent Outpost, an independent recruitment agency based in Switzerland.  Both of them had a lot to say on the subject of student demo reels. But most of all, it turns out that recruiters want one thing from animation graduates...

Friday, 27 October 2017

Sydney Padua at the Natural History Museum

Animating Nature by Sydney Padua
Bucks Animation lecturer Sydney Padua is giving a talk today at the Natural History Museum in London.  Sydney Padua is an accomplished animator, graphic novelist (The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage) and, of course, an animation teacher.

Sydney’s work has covered many formats including feature films and graphic novels. Join her today in London at the Natural History Museum from 6.30 to 9.30 pm for an interactive demonstration of the art of animation in the Images of Nature gallery. You can sign up for this free event here.

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

How Pixar Light a Movie

Kim White, Director of Photography on Cars 3
At this week's VIEW Conference in Turin, Cars 3 Director of Photography Kim White talked about the challenges involved in lighting a Pixar film.

As you'd expect, lighting a Pixar movie isn't just about technical skill - it's about helping to tell the story, supporting the narrative and solving visual problems along the way.

As Pixar movies get more and more realistic in their visualisation, the lighting department has had to draw on sophisticated reference and resources to make their work believable.

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

16th Annual VES Awards Now Open

The 16th Annual VES Awards are now taking entries. Here at Bucks we encourage all our students to enter Category 23: Outstanding Visual Effects in a Student Project. 

The award is sponsored by Autodesk, who make Maya, the leading animation and VFX software, and is a great opportunity for any ambitious student to kick-start their career.

Friday, 6 October 2017

BAA! Deadline: 13th October

British Animation Awards
It's time for our students and recent graduates to get ready for the British Animation Awards 2018. The awards come around every two years, and this year the ceremony will take place on March 15th 2018, at the BFI Southbank.

The British Animation Awards (BAA) invites all kinds of animation submissions, from student work to commercials, children’s entertainment, short films, experimental films, music videos and new technologies.

If you've done some animation, there's a category for you. And yes, there is a category for student films, and admission is free.  But don't wait - the deadline is friday 13th October.

Friday, 29 September 2017

Cinesite's Eamonn Butler in London 4th October

Eamonn Butler, head of animation at Cinesite, will be giving a talk at Escape Studios' High Holborn Campus in Central London on wednesday 4th October.

Eamonn is a director of Cinesite, one of London's major VFX houses, and a founder of the growing animated features side of the business. The event is hosted by Escape Studios and is free for anyone interested in studying with them (no commitment is required).

Here at Bucks we strongly recommend that all our students and recent graduates attend events like this one. This is a great chance to meet one of the major players in our industry.

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Access VFX in London Next Week

Access:VFX events are taking place next week, at visual effects studios across Soho. Access VFX is all about promoting diversity and inclusion in our industry.

Events are taking place at Framestore, Double Negative, MPC, Jellyfish Pictures, ILM, Blue Zoo Animation, Union VFX, Escape Technology, and UK Screen Alliance.

We're encouraging our students and recent graduates to attend these events; you can book your free tickets online through http://www.accessvfx.org/.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Why Does Maya Batch Render Too Dark?

Utah Teapot
Lighting your scene using Autodesk Maya can be a tricky process. You get your lights to look just the way you want them to, and when you render out a single frame, everything looks fine.

But then, when you come to do a Batch Render of your final frames, Maya gives you a very different result - the images look much darker. Which is not what you wanted at all.

So why does Maya do this - and what is the solution?

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

How To Get The Classic Graph Editor Back

New look Graph Editor
Not everyone is a fan of the Maya 2017 interface. In particular, the new-look Graph Editor isn't necessarily as easy to use as the old version.

Fortunately, it isn't difficult to get the Classic Graph Editor back.

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Bring Your Own Animation Monday 18 Sept

Calling all Bucks animators - "Bring Your Own Animation" is taking place in London on Monday 18th September.

BYOA is an animation event that takes place every month at a London pub, generally on a Monday night. This month the event is taking place at The Lukin pub in Fitzrovia.

If you are a student who is working on a shot or an updated reel (aren't we all?), bring your work on a USB or hard drive and get feedback from professional animators. You'll also hear the local gossip and find out the word on the street.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

100 Ways to Walk by Kevin Parry



Check out the excellent "100 Ways to Walk" by Kevin Parry, a collection of walk cycles intended as inspiration for animators. The key point of the video is that the way we walk says a lot about who we are, how we are feeling, how our day has been. A great walk cycle is the entry point for character animation - can the animator describe a character simply by the way he or she moves? It's one of the first things we teach at Bucks, but a good walk cycle can remain elusive even for an experienced animator. Acting one out yourself, and filming yourself doing it, is a great way to get started.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Keyframe MP - Video Playback for Animators

Keyframe MP Overview from Chris Zurbrigg on Vimeo.

KeyFrame MP - Video Playback for Animators - is an excellent video playback tool that does the job that QuickTime Pro used to do - only even better.  Most free video players, such as Media Player, won't give you frame-by-frame playback, making them of limited use to animators.  KeyFrame PM is a video player specially made for animators, with super useful features like scrubbing (with audio), single frame advance - all the stuff you need as an animator to play your work back frame by frame and trouble shoot the mistakes. At $79, KeyFrame MP isn't free, but it's much, much better than most of the free stuff out there. And, since Apple has stopped supporting the cheap and cheerful Quick Time Pro, KeyFrame MP now fills a big gap in the animator's tool kit.

Monday, 11 September 2017

All About Our Online MA in Animation



Anyone following this blog knows that Bucks is the home of an animation world-first: the first online MA in animation.  Building on our thriving undergraduate course in Animation and Visual Effects, we launched this new online post graduate degree back in 2015, enabling students to get their MA from anywhere in the world. Our first graduates, many of whom travelled to High Wycombe from overseas for the graduation ceremony, hailed from the UK, Canada, California, Australia and Kenya. Above is a short video that explains what it's all about. Scroll down to see more information - and more detail - about this unique ground-breaking course.

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Alexi Balian Animation Art & Design Academy

Alexi Balian was one of the first students to enroll in our Online MA in 3D animation at Bucks. He graduated last week, becoming one of the first-ever students anywhere in the world to receive his animation MA purely online.

Alexi has now made a career of teaching animation. In his capacity as Provincial and National Skills Canada Chair for 2D and 3D Character Animation, Alexi also runs workshops and seminars in Canada through his Animation Art & Design Academy.

Friday, 8 September 2017

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Bucks Graduates Make Animation History

Alexi Balian, Charlie Falconi, Tim Milson, Neil Whitman, Stephen Young. 
Today was Graduation Day at Bucks and our new MAs in Animation made a little piece of animation history.

Our first graduating cohort aren't the first animation MAs in the world, but they are the first to get their MA purely online.

And, despite living in far-flung parts of the world, many came to Bucks for the graduation ceremony, for the chance to wear a robe and a silly hat and - at last! - meet up in person for the first time.