Thursday, 8 December 2016

Character Design Challenge!

Character Design Challenge!
Why not polish your design skills by entering the monthly Character Design Challenge?

It's a bit like the Eleven Second Club, but for character designers. The group started up in January 2015 and it already has over twenty five thousand members.

This month's design challenge is .....Harry Potter! So what are you waiting for? Let's get designing!

Friday, 2 December 2016

Animated Women UK launch "The Achieve Programme"

This week, Animated Women UK launch "The Achieve Programme" - their first ever programme focused on helping women in animation and VFX to achieve their full potential.

Official sponsors of the programme include Creative Skillset, Disney, Turner, Escape Studios and The Mill. For any of our students in the London area, this could be a great opportunity to break into the industry, and make connections with leading companies.

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Animation Taster Day Wednesday 14 December

Learn to animate a bird in flight
I'm running an Animation Taster Day at Escape Studios in Shepherd's Bush, London on Wednesday 14 December - a great chance for anyone in the London area to come and learn about character and creature animation.

The purpose of an animation taster day to give future animators an idea of what it's like to work in the  industry, and find out if this is a career that's right for them.

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?

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Curve Digital's Brynley Gibson Explains Virtual Reality

At last week's BlueGFX Expo, one of the most interesting presentations was by Brynley Gibson from indie games developer Curve Digital on the subject of Virtual Reality.

Gibson posed a number of questions to the audience about what exactly VR is about, and how digital artists should approach VR projects.

And the first question anyone attempting a VR project should ask is a simple one: why does this need to be VR?

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Screening of “Kubo and the Two Strings” in London on 6 December

SIGGRAPH's London chapter is hosting a local screening of Laika's latest Stop Motion triumph - the Annie-nominated “Kubo and the Two Strings” on December 6th.

After the movie screening I'll be hosting a Q&A with Director Travis Knight and Producer Arianne Sutner who will talk about the making of the film.

Events like this are a great chance to meet the talent behind a major motion picture, ask questions, and find out how the industry works.

Monday, 28 November 2016

UK Govt Funding Now Available for Masters Degrees

Government help is available
The new student loan system for postgraduate master's degrees has now been launched.  From August of this year, low interest loans will now provide students in the UK (check the website for precise details of eligibility) with access to postgraduate university courses.

This is very good news indeed for students who would like to do our pioneering master's degree in 3D animation - the first of its kind - launched last year in partnership with Bucks New University. The degree can be done from anywhere in the world.

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Awesome Animation by Joris Van Laar



We're enjoying this beautiful pantomime animation of a pro wrestler celebrating his victory by Animation Apprentice student Joris Van Laar.  Boris used the Norman rig (a very adaptable and dependable rig) for this shot, and used as his reference and inspiration the superb animation of "Spanish Buzz" by Pixar's Carlos Baena, on Toy Story 3.  Using other animator's work as a reference for your own shot is a great way to learn the art and craft of animation. Study the work of masters, and you can't help but get better yourself.

Monday, 21 November 2016

Blue Zoo Launches New StoryBoard Software

One of the highlights of last week's Blue GFX Expo was a presentation of Panel Forge Pro (the first public demonstration of the software), a new storyboard and pipeline tool which has now been extensively road tested at Blue Zoo on the Miffy the Rabbit and Digby Dragon TV Series.

Panel Forge uses 3D Layouts – much like its rival Redboard (also developed here in London) – to save time in Storyboarding.  Panel Forge allows board artists to use low resolution 3D assets to help set up camera angles and layouts, and has been used on “10,000 shots” to date.  So, what is Panel Forge all about, and why should our students be interested?

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Escape Studios to Host "Evening With" talk Tonight, Wednesday November 16th

Escape Studios is hosting a free "Evening With" talk tonight, Wednesday November 16th at their mid-town campus at 190 High Holborn.

Escape are welcoming Lewis Young, animation director at Polar Media, and Alastair Cross, a visual effects artist who has worked on many vfx hits including The Martian, Pan and the forthcoming must-see movie of the year: Fantastic Beasts - And Where to Find Them.

We recommend coming along to free events like this one - it's a chance to find out about these amazing movies from two of the people who helped put them together.

The event starts at 6.30pm and lasts until 8pm.

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

ASIFA Hollywood Helps Rescue Thief Artwork

Some good news at last for Richard Williams' lost masterpiece - The Thief and The Cobbler.  LA animation chapter ASIFA-Hollywood has donated the not-insignificant sum of $20,000 to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences to assist with the curation and documentation of a big chunk of the movie's original production artwork.

Friday, 11 November 2016

Free Dinosaur Tutorial!



We're excited to announce a new free week at Animation Apprentice - Dinosaurs! Using the excellent  free Dino rig by Harry Geoghegan, available for free download at Creative Crash, our animators can create a believable dinosaur walk cycle and performance. To get a flavour of the exercise, watch the free theory video above.

Thursday, 10 November 2016

Chuck Jones Animation Tutorial



In this excellent 13 minute animation tutorial, actor and director Ron Howard introduces the work of animation legend Chuck Jones, the creative master behing the Road Runner and Bugs Bunny. There are other great voices here too - such as Disney animation stars Glen Keane and Eric Goldberg (the latter the author of the excellent "Character Animation Crash Course" - one of the books on our rstudent eading list).  The video is a great introduction to the basic principles of animation, such as anticipation, squash and stretch, secondary action and overlapping action. We're recommending it to all our students.

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Bring Your Own Animation Monday 21st November

The Lukin - BYOA!
"Bring Your Own Animation" (BYOA) is an animation event that takes place every month in London.

This month it is being held on Monday 21st November at 6.30pm at the Lukin pub, 4 Conway Street in central London W1T 6BB.

Anyone can bring their animation or just come along for drinks.  If you are a student, or a professional who's working on a shot or a reel, bring your work and get feedback from Professional Animators.

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Book Recommendation: Prepare to Board! by Nancy Beiman

Prepare to Board! by Nancy Beiman is the book we are recommending to students of storyboarding here at Animation Apprentice. This is an excellent book from a master animator, who teaches at Sheridan College in Canada. It is arguably the best book you can buy on animation storyboarding.

Nancy Beiman was for many years a supervising animator at Disney (most notably on Hercules) and, like many old-school 2D animators, she does storyboards and character design as well as animation.

There is also a companion site online which has extra resources, and a free downloadable PDF Learning Guide.

Friday, 4 November 2016

"Creating Open Worlds" by Ubisoft at BAFTA on 9 November

BAFTA is a superb resource for all our students with easy access to central London. The BAFTA clubhouse is at 195 Piccadilly, and increasingly BAFTA is supporting not just film and TV but the games industry as well.

On Wednesday 9 November, BAFTA is hosting a games event titled "Creating Open Worlds", hosted by games titan Ubisoft.

This will be an amazing chance for animators with an interest in video games - a rapidly expanding sector - to meet the creative team behind Ghost Recon: Wildlands, Watch Dogs 2 and Steep. Tickets aren't free, but at £7.50 it's cheaper than a movie, and far more rewarding.

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Sean Danischevsky at Escape Studios Tomorrow

Tomorrow, Thursday 3rd November, Escape Studios is hosting a free evening with Sean Danischevsky, a visual effects supervisor with over 20 years' experience working in film and television. Highlights of his career include Dark Knight, Batman Begins and Harry Potter.  Sean has worked for some of the biggest studios in London including Double Negative, The Mill and Framestore.

Events like this are a great way to find out how big VFX movies actually get made, by the people who made them. The event is free, so come along on thursday to Escape Studios' MidTown campus (190 High Holborn in London) and find out the secrets behind some of the biggest VFX hits of recent years.

Plus, there will be free beer and pizza!

Friday, 28 October 2016

Animation Apprentice at VIEW

Dan Sarto, Byron Howard, Simone Giampaulo and Conrad Vernon
Animation Apprentice was in Italy this week participaing in VIEW, the 17th International VFX & Computer Graphics Conference.

VIEW takes place every year in the beautiful Italian town of Torino (Turin), and yesterday I was there running a one-day workshop in Maya, demonstrating some cool creature animation techniques.

Meanwhile, plenty of big hitters in the animation and VFX industries were giving talks and sitting on panels, including my old DreamWorks colleague Conrad Vernon (Sausage Party) and Byron Howard (Zootopia).

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Dishonored 2 at BAFTA on Saturday 22 October

BAFTA is a great resource for our students studying in or near London. The BAFTA clubhouse is at 195 Piccadilly, a short walk from Piccadilly tube station and Green Park.

On Saturday 22 October at 5.30pm BAFTA is hosting the creative team behind the game Dishonored 2 - an amazing chance for any of our students interested in getting into games animation to meet the creative team behind this blockbuster game, and get to know the talent that put it together. Tickets aren't free, but at £7.50 it's cheaper than a movie.

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Free Careers Webinar with Framestore Tonight from 6.30pm - 7.30pm

London's Escape Studios is hosting a Careers Webinar with Framestore Tonight from 6.30pm - 7.30pm. Framestore are a multi-awarding studio, one of London's leading centres for visual effects excellence. The webinar is all about careers in the industry, specifically focusing on demo reels and how to break into this competitive but highly rewarding industry.

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Cartoon Movie 2017: Submit Your Project by 25 November

Do you have an idea for an animated feature film project you'd like to get off the ground?  If so, you should submit it to Cartoon Movie!

The Deadline to submit a feature film project to Cartoon Movie is 25 November 2016.  If your project gets selected, you will be able to pitch it to almost 1,000 animation and industry professionals from forty countries.

Present at Cartoon Movie will be around 200 buyers, including 120 distributors & sales agents.

But why should animation students want to pitch their feature film ideas? Because we think all our students should aim high - you could be the next Walt Disney or Jeffrey Katzenberg - an animation mogul!  Most of all...you'll never find out if you don't try.

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Blue GFX Expo is Back! Thursday 17th November 2016

Blue GFX Expo is taking place in London on 17th November 2016

Last year speakers included Tom Box from Blue Zoo, one of the UK's biggest TV animation companies, Stuart Penn from Framestore, and representatives from Autodesk showing the latest Maya tools.