Friday, 26 May 2017

Animation Taster Days 30th May & 14th June

Learn to animate a bird in flight
Want to try computer animation, but not sure if it's right for you? I'm running two Animation Taster Days in London on Tuesday 30th May and Tuesday 14th June, so that students can learn about character and creature animation, and find out what an animator's job is all about.

The classes take place at Escape Studios in Shepherd's Bush, West London. You will work with Autodesk Maya and the Adobe Creative Suite, and you’ll get a hands-on introduction to 3D Animation techniques, all for just £25!  By the end of the day you'll have your own piece of animation uploaded to your YouTube channel.  So, how do you sign up?

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Animal Logic: Advice on Animation Demo Reels

The folks who brought you Lego Movie
You can never meet too many recruiters in the animation industry. Recently Patricia Kung, head of Recruitment at Australia's Animal Logic, came to London to talk to animation students about how to get hired by one of Australia's leading animation and VFX companies.

Animal Logic are responsible for global box office hits like the Oscar-nominated The Lego Movie. Other movie credits include Babe, Mouse Hunt, Face Off, The Matrix, Moulin Rouge, House of Flying Daggers, 300, The Great Gatsby, Happy Feet, Legend of the Guardians, and Walking with Dinosaurs 3D.

So, what is life like down under for animation and VFX graduates, and (most importantly) how can our animation graduates start their careers at Animal Logic?

Monday, 22 May 2017

Henry Fenwick Animator at Jellyfish Pictures

Many congratulations to Animation Apprentice graduate Henry Fenwick, who is back at Jellyfish Pictures, working on the new Dennis the Menace  TV series for the BBC.

Henry got his first job at Jellyfish back in 2015, and getting asked back to the studio to work on further series work is a testament to Henry's skills as an animator.

Jellyfish was founded in 2001 and since then has grown into one of the leading boutique visual effects and animation houses in London, starting from VFX origins and expanding into TV character animation work.

Free Rigs from Mothman TD

Here at Animation Apprentice we're pleased to recommend the superb Mothman TD website, packed with excellent free rigs for use by Maya animators.

Probably the most useful rig for our students at Animation Apprentice is the horse, which is an excellent choice for quadruped locomotion, but there are many other free rigs which are very useful for learning different aspects of character and creature animation.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Apply For Our Online MA in 3D Animation

The world's first online MA in animation
It's not too late! There is still time to apply for our online MA in animation, which launched here at Animation Apprentice in partnership with Bucks New University in September 2015.

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 to a professional level, but you will engage at Masters' level with the underpinning theory and structure behind the art form.  So, what can our students expect?

Monday, 15 May 2017

Bring Your Own Animation Tonight!

Lukin pub, Fitzrovia
For all of our animation students in the London area - "Bring Your Own Animation" is taking place tonight, Monday May 15th.

BYOA is an animation event that takes place every month at a pub in London. 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.

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Michael Morgan: Jobs, Careers & Getting Hired

Last week I attended an event at London's Escape Studios with animator Michael Morgan.

Michael is an animator with an extensive list of credits in video games, TV Commercials and Feature films.  Michael shared his experience of working on projects such as Star Wars - The Clone Wars, Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy vol 2, Jungle Book, Beauty and the Beast and Planet of the Apes. 

In particular, he talked about how to get "From the Classroom to the Studio".

Specifically, how do graduates break into the animation industry? What are the secrets of success?

Friday, 5 May 2017

The Hidden Secret of Animation!


animation tutorial part. 1 AKA "the secret of animation" from giovanni braggio on Vimeo. 
In this concise video animator Giovanni Braggio reveals the hidden secrets of computer animation. After all: animation is easy - the computer does it all for you! Forget the tedious business of learning timing and spacing - you just pick your language, ask the character to perform for you, and Maya does the rest. So, if animation really is as easy as Giovanni says it is, why aren't we all doing it this way?

Friday, 28 April 2017

Michael Morgan at Escape Studios on 4th May

Meet the man behind "Guardians"
London's Escape Studios is hosting a free animation event on Thursday 4th May at their Shepherd's Bush studio, with animator Michael Morgan.

Michael is an animator with extensive experience in video games, TV Commercials and Feature films, including VFX blockbusters like Guardians of the Galaxy 2.

This will be a superb event for everyone who would like to find out more about careers in animation.

And if that isn't enough for you, there will - as ever - be free pizza and beer.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Blue Zoo Summer Internships

Applications for Blue Zoo's summer internship roles are now open. The 6-8 week paid placements are "like a real job but without the demands & expectations, allowing participants to develop and learn how a big animation studio works and real projects are run".

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Dominic Rayner Animator at Ace Image Factory

Many congratulation to Animation Apprentice graduate Dominic Rayner who has just started a job as an animator with Ace Image Factory in Brussels, Belgium. 

Dominic took the character performance module at Animation Apprentice, in order to polish his character animation skills. 

Friday, 21 April 2017

Virtual Reality Show This Weekend

Virtual Reality Show
The Virtual Reality Show is coming to Islington, North London, this weekend. With an impressive array of attendees and speakers, this could be the perfect event to find out the future of VR and - crucially for our students - who is hiring talent, and what skills are in demand. What software will you need to learn to join the VR Revolution?

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Re-Makes - Are They a Good Thing?

I was asked by Digital Arts magazine to do a piece on the new trend for live action re-makes of the Disney back catalogue, like "Jungle Book" and "Beauty and The Beast".

On balance, I'm in favour, in part because I don't think the re-makes detract from the original movies, but also (of course!) because big new animation projects create new jobs for Animation Apprentice graduates - which can only be a good thing.  To read the full article, follow this link----Alex

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Get Ready for Our May Classroom

The book we recommend for studying animation
What kind of preparation should students do before starting with us in our May classroom, starting on Tuesday 8 May.  It's always good to do a little preparation and get a bit of a head start.

Below is a brief list of stuff to get you under way. You don't have to do all of it, but tick off a few of the things on this list and you will be a making a great start on your animation career.

First, here is a short reading list to get you started. We've narrowed it down to just two key books that we recommend for all our students.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Bring Your Own Animation on Tuesday 18th April

Calling all Animation Apprentice students in the London area - why not come to "Bring Your Own Animation" on Tuesday 18th April? BYOA is an animation event that takes place every month at a pub in London.

This month the event is being organised by the London branch of SIGGRAPH, at The Lukin pub in Fitzrovia.

If you are a student who is working on a shot or a reel (isn't everyone?), bring your work on a USB or hard drive and get feedback from Professional Animators.

Monday, 10 April 2017

Peter Stringer Story Artist with Heromation

Many congratulations to Animation Apprentice graduate Peter Stringer,  who has just landed a new job as a story board artist at Heromation animation studio in Cambridgeshire.

Saturday, 8 April 2017

How to Find Your Crashed Maya File

Autodesk Maya may be the leading 3D animation software package but it can also be a tricky beast, with a nasty tendency to crash when you least expect it, usually just before the client comes in to check your work.

But fear not, even when Maya crashes, all is not lost. It is (sometimes) possible to find your scene file, even when Maya goes down. Below is a short video put together by student Jack Wright, which explains how to hunt down and (hopefully) find your recovered scene file.

Thursday, 6 April 2017

BAFTA Scholarship for Post-Graduate Study

Want to do an MA in animation - but short on cash? Why not apply for a a BAFTA scholarship?

BAFTA has opened applications for its scholarship programmes, worth up to £12,000. So what's stopping you? Apply now!

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Rory Marchant Studio Assistant at Escape Studios

Animation Reel 2016 from Rory B Marchant on Vimeo.

Rory Marchant will shortly start a new animation job at London's Escape Studios as a studio assistant, helping to support students learning 3D animation in Maya. Rory took the Animation Apprentice online course, and since then he has been working as a freelance animator, doing superb work - such as this excellent commercial for a French client. We congratulate Rory on this next stage of his animation career.

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

London Animation Club Meetup 4th April 2017

Calling all animators at Animation Apprentice in the London area - why not come to the next London Animation Club meetup tonight - 4th April 2017?

The LAC will be screening a little known animated film titled "Know Your Europeans", in honour (or not) of the UK triggering Article 50 on Wednesday 29 March and announcing its intention to leave the European Union.

More importantly, informal societies like LAC offer the opportunity to meet other London-based animators and find out the latest news and gossip. There isn't a better place to find out who is hiring animators than in the pub over a pint of London Pride.

Monday, 3 April 2017

Meet Willy!

Willy is an excellent free rig, created by Matthew Moore, and free to download for use by Maya animators.

Willy is a broad, flexible and cartoony rig, very simple to use and great for the early stages of learning animation - especially lip-sync.

Like all rigs, Willy has his quirks. So, how can our animation students get the most out of Willy?