Tuesday, 27 July 2021

Charlie & Yip Best Film at Micro Minute Fest

My short film "Charlie and Yip" has won another festival award - Best Film at the Micro Minute Film Festival. 

 Best Trailer at the "Short & To The Point" Film Festival.
 
Charlie and Yip is a short film about a kid who takes his pet to school for Show and Tell, which turns out to be a bad idea.

Saturday, 24 July 2021

Animation Careers Event on 5 August 2021

We're recommending that all our animation students and recent graduates sign up for this free Animation and Careers Event on 5th August at 4.30pm.

Hosted by Escape Studios, this free online Animation Careers Evening includes animation industry leaders Blue Zoo and Jellyfish Pictures.   To sign up for this free event, follow this link.

Friday, 23 July 2021

New Animation Apprentice Website Launched

Yesterday we launched our new website at Animation Apprentice, the first re-design since we started work in 2012 offering bespoke training for the growing animation and visual effects industries in London, the UK and overseas. 

Since 2012 over 150 students have been trained by us to work in the industry, enjoying successful careers at studios such as ILM, Blue Zoo and Jellyfish.  

Tuesday, 20 July 2021

What Kind of Laptop to Buy in 2021

What kind of laptop?
"What kind of laptop should I buy?" is a question that we are often asked at Animation Apprentice. 

Computer specifications change regularly and much depends on exactly what you want to use your laptop for.  But let's say you want to buy a laptop capable of running Autodesk Maya, for computer animation and to render out your shots.

What sort of laptop should you buy, and how much do you need to spend? Veteran animator and animation teacher Amedeo Beretta offers some advice to our students.

Monday, 12 July 2021

Animator's Survival Kit "Minis" Launch 5 August

Here at Animation Apprentice we recommend one key textbook for learning animation - The Animator's Survival Kit by Richard Williams.

It is a big book, heavy to carry around, and has now been published as a series of "mini" editions, breaking the book up into four sections, and available from August 5th. 

The ASK was first published in 2002 as a book, and a few years later was released as a DVD set, and later as an iPad app.

Thursday, 8 July 2021

Finding Work in the 2021 Animation Boom


On 7th July I hosted a webinar - courtesy of Escape Studios - on finding work in the animation industry.  The animation industry is booming right now, with the job market busier than it has been since the 1990s, when "Lion King" caused an explosion in demand for animators.  The animation business is hiring and, since Brexit has reduced the flow of European talent, UK animators are more in demand than ever.  But, standards are high, and you still need to put your best foot forward to find work in the industry.   In this free one hour webinar, I covered the ten key steps every animation graduate needs to take to get hired.  Follow these ten steps, and you'll have your own foot in the door.

Monday, 5 July 2021

Should You Run the Latest Version of Maya?


Should You Run the Latest Version of Maya? This is a question recently asked by a student at Animation Apprentice. You would think the answer would be obvious - run the latest version, which (as of today) is Maya 2022.  However, there is a simple reason why this isn't necessarily a great idea. 

Sunday, 4 July 2021

James Baxter Animation Webinar at YouTube


On 30 June at I hosted a live animation webinar with legendary Disney and DreamWorks animator James Baxter.  James began his animation career on Who Framed Roger Rabbit? and has since worked on dozens of animated films, designing and supervising many memorable characters.  In this two hour webinar, James demonstrates how to take a traditional 2D animation scene from start to finish.

Friday, 2 July 2021

Webinar on Animation Jobs 7th July

Finding work
On 7th July at 5pm (UK time) I'm hosting a webinar courtesy of Escape Studios on finding work in the animation industry.  The animation industry is booming right now, with the job market busier than it has been since the 1990s, when "Lion King" caused an explosion in demand for animators.  

The animation business is hiring and, since Brexit has reduced the flow of European talent, UK animators are more in demand than ever.  But, standards are high, and you still need to put your best foot forward to find work in the industry.  

In this free one hour webinar, I will cover the ten steps every animation graduate needs to take to get hired.  Follow these ten steps, and you'll have your own foot in the door.

Thursday, 1 July 2021

Henry Fenwick Animator at Blue Zoo

Many congratulations to Animation Apprentice graduate Henry Fenwick, who is currently working as an Animator at London's Blue Zoo Animation

Blue Zoo is one of the UK's most successful independent animation studios. Founded in 2000 by a group of university graduates, they have gone on to produce award-winning commercials and TV Series, and creative independent short films.

Henry Fenwick took our online course in 3D Animation, and used the skills he learned to polish his reel and find work in the rapidly-expanding animation industry.

Saturday, 26 June 2021

Leopard Walk Tutorial at Vimeo

We've uploaded a new series of video tutorials on animating quadrupeds, a "Leopard Walk Tutorial" using the free Leopard Rig by Truong CG, which is available for free download at Gumroad

The leopard is an attractive, well-structured rig with simple controls. 

The tutorial is password-protected but available to all our current students.

Friday, 25 June 2021

Do Animated Shorts Make Money?

 
A student animator recently asked me if animated shorts make money.  Or rather, specifically, he asked "Is there an international business for animated shorts?"  The answer, unfortunately, is not really.  No-one (or hardly anyone) makes money making animated shorts, largely because no-one (or hardly anyone) actually pays to watch animated shorts. If you doubt me, ask yourself - when was the last time you paid to watch a short film? I'm guessing the answer is "never".  But, if it is true that shorts don't make money, why then do animators bother to make animated shorts? The answer is, for the love of it. And, also, to learn the craft of animation and film-making.

Wednesday, 23 June 2021

Belgis Al-Mahdiova Animator at Blue Zoo

Many congratulations to Belgis Al-Mahdiova who has begun work as a junior animator at Blue Zoo, one of the UK's most successful animation houses.

Prior to this, Bella worked as an animator at Polar Media and TikTokRobot, a UK animation studio.

Belgis took our 30 week course at Animation Apprentice, developed her demo reel, and then applied for positions as an animator. 

Tuesday, 22 June 2021

To Find Work in the Industry - Stay in Touch


The animation industry is booming right now - I have never seen so many studios hiring animators. There is a shortage of talent, especially at mid and senior levels - but this also creates opportunities at entry level - studios are willing and able to take on more untrained talent and invest the time and effort needed to bring them up to speed.  This is the kind of opportunity that our graduates don't want to miss; the key to success is to polish your demo reel, be easy to find, and apply early and often. And, crucially, keep in touch.  I can put in a personal recommendation for students seeking work in the industry - but only if I know that you are actively applying for jobs. So, don't be a stranger, keep in touch, and help me to help you land that crucial first job in the industry.

Monday, 21 June 2021

James Baxter Animation Webinar 30 June

James Baxter
On 30 June at 6pm Escape Studios is hosting a live animation webinar with legendary Disney and DreamWorks animator James Baxter.  

The event is free, and we are recommending that all our students register and sign up. 

James began his animation career on Who Framed Roger Rabbit? and has since worked on dozens of animated films.  

Tuesday, 8 June 2021

How Do You Find a Mentor?

 
Over the course of your animation career you are likely to have a number of mentors. Very few of these will be formal mentorship roles; most will be informal, and you might not even realise these people were mentors until many years later.   In the course of my animation career I have been lucky enough to be mentored by animators such as James Baxter (Road to El Dorado), Andreas Deja (Lion King), Duncan Marjoribanks (Pocahontas) and even Glen Keane, whose notes on planning animation I still refer to today.  But mentorship is, in each and every case, very much what you make of it.

Thursday, 3 June 2021

"I Won't Apply Because I Don't Qualify" Arggh!!!!


Recently a superb graduate opportunity landed on my desk, a paid internship at a leading UK studio, and one which was not widely publicised. In fact, it was just for my students.  I posted the job at our Facebook Classroom so that around 150 students, past and present, could see it, and apply for the position.  It was a great opportunity, a paid gig with a prestigious company.  So, you might think that dozens of students would apply - but you'd be wrong. How many students do you think actually applied for the position? The correct answer is....one. 

Wednesday, 2 June 2021

Jobs and Careers Playlist at YouTube

One of the most common question I get asked from students is "how do I find work in the animation industry?" The answer is deceptively simple - have a great demo reel, and then apply for as many jobs as you can find. In practice, things are a little more complex.

To dig deeper into the subject, follow this link to our blog post on "12 Rules to Find Work in the Animation Industry".  And, if you'd rather listen than read, check out our jobs playlist at our YouTube Channel, where we discuss in detail what you need to do to break into the expanding but still competitive animation industry.

Tuesday, 25 May 2021

Always Test Your Rig in Close-Up

Low poly spider "Raa" animated by Alex Southcombe
There are many many free rigs and sets now available to students on an educational or freeware license for use in short films, creating a wide variety of creative choices for student film-makers.  


But not all rigs are created equal, and many problems only become evident when the film calls for a close-up, such as this image of the spider "Raa" shown on the left. 

Monday, 17 May 2021

Nik Couzens Junior Animator at BBC Studios

Many congratulations to Nik Couzens, who has recently started work as a Junior Animator at BBC Studios. Nik took our 30 week course at Animation Apprentice, working hard to develop his demo reel and apply for work in the expanding UK animation industry. 

BBC Studios is "home to the very best of British creativity". It is UK’s "most-awarded production company" and also a "world-class distributor" of original creative content.

We are delighted that Nik has landed his first job in the animation business.

Sunday, 16 May 2021

Kristis Bandzevicius Animator at Quadmark

Kristis Bandzevicius
Animation Apprentice congratulates our student Kristis Bandzevicius on his new job as a Motion Designer at Quadmark. Kristis took our MA in 3D Animation, delivered through our academic partner Buckinghamshire New University. 

Quadmark is a creative training and enablement agency that builds learning experiences for companies.

"Motion Designer" is really another way of saying "animator", and we're delighted that Kristis is using the skills learned at Animation Apprentice and BNU to forge a career in the creative industries.