Thursday, 30 October 2014

Is It Worth Taking a Job as a Runner? - Henry Fenwick Reports

Prime Focus

Working as a runner doesn't sound glamorous - but it can be a great way to break into the industry. Last year Animation Apprentice student Henry Fenwick finished a three week work experience at Prime Focus Film in London's Soho. We asked him to share his experience and advice, with a view to helping other animation students know what to expect when becoming a runner at a Soho studio. In short - is it worth being a runner?

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Free Animation MasterClass from Brown Bag Films

Brown Bag Films

It's amazing how much free material is available online nowadays for learning animation. Studying at at a course like Animation Apprentice gives you a formal curriculum, a properly thought out program for your studies and your eventual maturity as a well-rounded digital artist. But we thoroughly support students who like to do other tutorials online - broadening the scope of your studies is a great way to learn and improve your work. Below is a free animation masterclass by Jason Ryan, offered through Brown Bag Films from Ireland. Jason Ryan is a gifted animator who is also a great teacher - a superb combination for any student.

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

What Makes a Great Animator? Director and Animator Mike Nguyen Offers a Personal View

Korean Goshawk - animation by Mike Nguyen
Mike Nguyen is a veteran animator who has worked on many classic Hollywood feature films such as "Beauty and The Beast" and "Space Jam".  He was a lead animator on Brad Bird's classic "The Iron Giant" and also on "Osmosis Jones", and has been working for a number of years on his own independent animated feature film  "My Little World".  We asked him to talk about what makes a great animator.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Still Time to Sign Up for Our Class Starting on Monday 3 November!

The clock is ticking to sign up for our new class beginning on Monday 3rd November 2014. We are working hard to make sure that we provide the very best animation training that money can buy, for a price that is far more affordable than traditional education. We're even cheaper than the vast majority of our online competitors. If you find someone who offers a better deal - let us know. We'll beat it on quality and on price.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

VFX Legend Paul Franklin Explains the Work of a Visual Effects Supervisor

VFX Supervised by Paul Franklin

Paul Franklin gave a free lecture at Escape Studios in London on 15th October about the work of a visual effects supervisor. He talked about what goes into the making of the sophisticated films he has supervised, such as Dark Knight, Inception, and Interstellar - coming out this November. Franklin is an Oscar nominated VFX supervisor with two BAFTAs on his shelf. Clearly, he is a man who knows VFX inside out, offering a unique insight into how big budget visual effects blockbusters get made.

Monday, 20 October 2014

Industrial Light and Magic Opens New UK Studio in Covent Garden

Coming to London
Industrial Light and Magic is opening a brand new UK studio to work on a new Star Wars trilogy. Disney’s special effects firm was founded by George Lucas back in the early days of VFX, and now ILM is coming to London even as Pinewood Studios' filming of Star Wars VII nears completion.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Get Ready for Our November Class by Watching Our Free Videos!

What is Animation all about? And what should our students starting with us in November do to get ready? For a general introduction to the medium, and a beginners guide to the language and the basic principles of animation, watch this series of free videos at Animation Apprentice. Start with The Twelve Principles of Animation, and move on to Keys, Extremes and Inbetweens - the Language of Animation. Like all art forms, animation has its very own special jargon, and you will need to know the basic grammar and some of the key terms. Plus, you'll start to get a good feel for what our course is like and how it all works.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

My Haunted House App is launched!

Yesterday Animation Apprentice founder Alex Williams' indie animated feature film My Haunted House hit a major milestone - the release of the first official iPad game. The game is completely free - you can download it now from the iTunes store. If you beat Level 1 you can unlock and watch the award winning short animation teaser - Charlie and Yip. Hats off to the whole team who pulled this off, especially Producer Nathan Erasmus and Phil Menni for the programming. Here is the link to download

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

The Animation Student Who Created His Own Job in The Theatre

Marc Godfrey is an animation student with a passion to work in the entertainment industry. At a time when finding work can be hard even for seasoned professionals, let alone students with less well-established credentials, an entrepreneurial approach to finding work is more important than ever. Marc was one of the first students to learn with Animation Apprentice - he is currently doing an animation masterclass at Aardman Animation in Bristol. We asked him how he managed to create his own job in the theatre.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

VFX Supe Paul Franklin (Dark Knight, Inception) is at Escape Studios on Wednesday October 15

Heath ledger in Dark Knight - VFX supervised by Paul Franklin
On Wednesday 15 October at 10am VFX Supervisor Paul Franklin, who has worked on Inception, the Dark Knight Trilogy and most recently Interstellar, will be giving a talk at Escape Studios in London. The event is completely free, and is a unique opportunity to meet one of London's leading visual effects experts. A VFX Supervisor has responsibility for all the visual effects on a film - these folks really know their stuff, and can give a unique insight into how the visual effects on a film actually gets put together.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Free Zombie rig from Sony Pictures' Hotel Transylvania

Free zombie rig from Sony Pictures
Sony Pictures have released a free zombie rig from Hotel Transylvania - created in Maya.

This is a great opportunity for animation students to use a production-quality rig, one which has been used on a beautifully animated Hollywood blockbuster.

Production rigs are more complex than the training rigs that we use at Animation Apprentice - so it is strictly for experienced animators.

The biggest weakness of this rig is that Sony have removed the facial controls, so it is only really useful for walk cycles or wide shots.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Got an Idea for a Feature Film? Submit it to Cartoon Movie by 26 November

Cartoon Movie 2014
The Deadline to submit a feature film project to Cartoon Movie is 26 November 2014. Are you looking for co-producers, financing and distributors for your animated feature film project? If so, you should submit it to Cartoon Movie! If your film gets selected, you will be able to pitch it to almost 1,000 animation and industry professionals from forty countries. Present at Cartoon Movie are 200 buyers, including 120 distributors & sales agents.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Animation Apprentice Founder Alex Williams Talks About His Indie Film Project

My Haunted House

Alex Williams is an animator, cartoonist and the founder of Animation Apprentice. He is also working on an independent film project, My Haunted House, which is currently in development, aiming for a 2016 release. We asked him to tell us about the project, and what still needs to be done to bring it to the big screen.

Saturday, 4 October 2014

What Makes Animation Apprentice Different?

Welcome to Animation Apprentice
Nowadays there are lots of places where you can learn animation, both online and in the classroom. So what is it that makes Animation Apprentice unique among animation schools? The answer is - it's all about the way our course is structured, and the personal feedback you get. We don't just give you general notes on how to fix your shot and make it better - we fix it for you. It's like taking your car to a mechanic and getting it back mended, with a video showing you how it was done, so that next time around you can do it yourself, getting better and better all the time.

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Studio ILION is crewing up in Madrid

Madrid based animation studio ILION is currently crewing up for a big new project. To find their jobs page, go to When a studio is looking to recruit large numbers of digital artists for a new film, this creates big opportunities for students and graduates looking for entry-level positions. Time to polish your CV and make sure your demo reel is as good as it possibly can be. Remember that a great demo reel is your calling card - it is how employers will judge your work. And don't worry about not speaking Spanish - almost all studios speak English nowadays - the international language of new media.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Calling all UK animators - Blue GFX is on 6th November

Blue GFX - in London 6th November
Blue GFX Expo is taking place in London on 6th November 2014. Last year's event was superb - in attendance were the founders of Blue Zoo, the UK's biggest TV animation company, the guys from Framestore who did the animation for the Skyfall title sequence, and representatives from Autodesk showing the latest hair simulation tools. There were so many talks on cutting edge CG tools that it was hard to choose which ones to attend. For all our students, this is a not-to-be-missed chance to catch up with the latest technology and meet in person the people who run the UK's top animation and visual effects houses. And it's completely free.