Friday, 23 June 2017

Cinesite Internships Now Open!

Cinesite, one of London's biggest animation and VFX houses, is now accepting entries for paid Summer internships at their London studios.

The programme is open to individuals over the age of 18, with little or no experience of working in the VFX industry, who are eligible to work in the UK.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Festivus is Back! Thursday 13 July

Festivus is back!  – with special guests! The Festivus animation event is an opportunity to get to know people in the London animation industry, find out who is hiring, and where the jobs are.

The event takes place on Thursday 13th July at The Comedy Pub in London.

There is a guest speaker from Animation UK, and Blue Zoo will also be there.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Endless Reference - Free Live Action Reference!

Using live action reference to inform your animation can be one of the best ways to get started as an animator.

I have used live action reference many times on many films, especially movies with human characters, such as The Road to El Dorado and Spirit - Stallion of the Cimarron, and especially on action shots where the motion was complex and hard to get right.

Monday, 19 June 2017

Bring Your Own Animation - Tonight!

Lukin pub, Fitzrovia
This one is for our animators in the London area: the monthly event "Bring Your Own Animation" is taking place tonight, Monday June 19th.

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. Who is hiring, and what skills are in demand?

Friday, 16 June 2017

Mental Ray Free For Student Use

Mental Ray is back! 3D Render by Amaru Zeas
Mental Ray is Back! NVIDIA, makers of the classic ray tracer - it used to come bundled free with Autodesk Maya - have now released a version of their software which is free for student use.  This is great news for animation students, because Mental Ray has a number of advtantages over its successor Arnold.  In particular, you can achieve some very quick and attractive lighting setups in Mental ray using Physical Sun & Sky, the closest thing Maya has to a "Make It Look Cool" button.  So, how can our students get a free copy of Mental Ray?

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Get Ready For Our July Class!

The book we recommend for studying animation
What kind of preparation should students do before starting with us in our summer classroom, starting on Tuesday 3 July?  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.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Rory Marchant Animator at Jellyfish

Animation Reel 2016 from Rory B Marchant on Vimeo.

Many Congratulations to Escapee Rory Marchant who has recently finished working as a studio assistant at Escape Studios, and has now landed himself a job as a Junior Animator at Jellyfish Pictures. Rory has also been working as a freelance animator, doing superb work - such as this excellent commercial for a French client.

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Govt Loans For Post-Grad Study

Government help is available
The UK Government's student loan system for postgraduate master's degrees is now up and running.

These low interest loans now provide students in the UK with access to postgraduate university courses - including our Online MA in 3D Animation.

This is very good news indeed for prospective students who would like to go on to do post-graduate study with us.

So, how does the system actually work?

Monday, 5 June 2017

Marcio Leiria 3D Animator at Ampetronic

Marcio Leiria
Many congratulations to Animation Apprentice student Marcio Leiria who has just got a 3D animation job with Ampetronic, an engineering company who are "world leaders in the design and manufacture of audio induction loop systems". 

Mario's new job is a reminder that the animation industry is much more broad and diverse that it used to be, and that there are new opportunities in surprising places. 

We asked him a few questions about how he got the job.

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Tokyo Rex by Lee Caller

Check out this excellent dinosaur animation by Animation Apprentice student Lee Caller.  You can also view his other videos at website here - all of Lee's work has a strong storytelling element as well as great technical qualities - the perfect ingredients for a great animation performance.  Lee has been teaching classes at Escape Studios lately, introducing animation students to the art and craft of character animation. So, not just a great animator - but a great teacher too.

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.