Sunday, 30 August 2015

Queen's Counsel Cartoons Published in China!

Queen's Counsel Goes to China
Animation Apprentice founder Alex Williams also does a cartoon strip which runs weekly in The (London) Times. It's a satire on law and lawyers called Queen's Counsel, and you can see the cartoons here. Alex's latest book, The Queen's Counsel Lawyer's Omnibus, has been translated into Chinese (who knew there were fans of QC in china?) and is now the subject of a kickstarter campaign to raise enough Renminbi to secure Chinese publication. To join in the kickstarter campaign, follow this link.

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Cartoon Saloon seeks "Key Posing Artist"

Cartoon Saloon
Cartoon Saloon in Kilkenny, Ireland, seeks a "Key Posing Artist" for their new feature film "Breadwinner".

According to the job description, "You’ll be responsible for finding storytelling poses from the board, improving upon them, putting them on model, and spelling out complex actions in a variety of ways for the next stage in the pipeline (animation) using existing character and prop model-sheets. We require artists with strong drawing skills to fulfill these roles."

So, what is this job exactly?

Monday, 24 August 2015

Book Recommendation - Animated Performance by Nancy Beiman

Animated Performance by Nancy Beiman is just published in its second edition. This is an excellent book from a master animator, one who now teaches at Sheridan College, often regarded as one of the top places in the world to study animation.

Nancy was a supervising animator at DreamWorks and she really knows her stuff. And, as a full-time professor, she knows how to communicate her knowledge.

Any serious animator should have this book on their shelf.

You can buy it here.

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Radio 4 Series on the Business of Film

BBC Radio Four ran a recent series by Mark Kermode on the Business of Film, which you can still catch up with via podcast.

Specifically, how do films get developed, financed and then distributed? It's a handy and informative series which simplifies much of the apparent complexity of the film business. We recommend that any student who is interested in making their own independent animated film (why not? We should all aim high) listen carefully. And take notes!

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Escape Studios Integrated BA/MA in Computer Animation Launches in September 2016

Escape Studios Integrated BA/MA in Computer Animation
Escape Studios are London's leading provider of short courses for the visual effects industry. They have an excellent track record in placing students in the growing animation and VFX industry in London and around the globe. Now, as a part of Pearson college, they are launching a new four-year BA/MA in computer animation in September 2016. I will be designing, running and teaching the course. I am very pleased to be going back to teach at Escape, where my animation students will benefit from the very deep understanding of visual effects work that Escape can provide.

Monday, 17 August 2015

Spiders! by Lee Caller

Here is a great piece of animation by one of our students, Lee Caller.  Lee did an excellent job of creating a looping spider walk cycle, and then added a performance to make it fun and interesting to watch. He has added some nice textures and lighting, and a sound track to make it spooky. Best of all, the shot tells a story, showing that Lee can make his work visually interesting, that he is not just a technician. This is just the kind of work we like to see on our students' demo reels - the kind of work which will help them find work in the fast-growing animation and visual effects industry.

Friday, 14 August 2015

Mac vs PC - Which is Best for Animation?

Anyone thinking of starting with us at Animation Apprentice is September might be asking themselves - What platform is best for animation in Maya - a PC or a Mac? The good news is - you can use either one.  The bad news (for Mac users anyway) is - the PC is probably better.

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Escape Studios to Host Free VR Webinar on Wednesday 19 August at 6pm GMT

VR Webinar from Escape Studios
On Wednesday 19 August at 6pm Escape Studios are hosting a free webinar, inviting students to step inside the world of Virtual Reality.

The guys from Hamilton&Kidd will take you behind the scenes of their 1 million YouTube hits 360 film for Nissan, from concept, right through to delivery. To sign up (it's free), follow this link.

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Shaun The Sheep At Large in Bristol

"Starstruck" by Richard Williams
Yesterday I went to visit Dad in Bristol.  Little did I know the city has an outbreak of decorated sheep - specifically Shaun The Sheep. Dad has an office at Aardman Animation, and he designed this one, which is currently on show at Bristol Parkway railway station. There are others scattered all over the city, and on 8 October they will be auctioned off to raise money for charity.

A few years ago I painted a giant egg in London for The Big Egg Hunt, a charity auction which raised money for various good causes. It was fun to do and involved using real stuff like actual paint and brushes. No computer trickery to fall back on.


Tuesday, 11 August 2015

How to Create a Great Animation Reel - 12 Steps to Success

What goes into a great demo reel? Putting together a superb animation reel is the ultimate goal for all of our students here at Animation Apprentice. It is how our graduates like Marc Godfrey, Rory Marchant and Henry Fenwick found work in the industry.

At Animation Apprentice we spend a full month at the end of the course working on the students’ demo reels, because they are so important. We suggest that there are twelve rules for success.

Saturday, 8 August 2015

Nitrogen Studios in Vancouver is Hiring Junior Animators

Nitrogen Studios in Vancouver is hiring Animators at all levels! It's always tough to get those entry level jobs, but a young studio crewing up for a new movie is a great place to get a head start in the business. Follow this link to see details of how and where to apply.

The project is Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg's Animated Comedy 'Sausage Party'. Presumably this one is not for kids. To see the whole story, follow this link.

Friday, 7 August 2015

Bournemouth University Seeks "Demonstrator in Computer Animation"

Bournemouth University
Bournemouth University is looking for a "Demonstrator in Computer Animation". The National Centre for Computer Animation (NCCA) is one of the leading university departments for computer animation in the UK. Among their alumni are the guys who founded Blue Zoo, where Animation Apprentice graduate Marc Godfrey is now working.  To find the jobs page at Bournemouth University, visit this page.

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Cinematography with Ben Davis at BAFTA

One of the best things about BAFTA is its focus on regular lectures and seminars on filmmaking. 

A recent event at the Picture house Central on London’s Shaftesbury Avenue featured an interview with Cinematographer Ben Davis, whose screen credits include Kick-Ass, Before I Go to Sleep and Guardians of the Galaxy. But why should an animator need to know about cinematography? Because animators are film- makers, and anything that helps you to understand the art of visual story telling will make you better at your craft. And who better to learn from than one of the UK’s best cinematographers?

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

How To Get Ready For Our September Class!

What kind of preparation should students do before starting with us in our Autumn classroom at Animation Apprentice on September 7th?   We don't want to spoil your summer, but it's always good to get a little bit of a head start.

Below is a brief list of stuff to get you under way. It's not comprehensive, and 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.

Sunday, 2 August 2015

Why Not Enter the August Eleven Second Club Competition?

What are you doing to polish your animation skills over the summer? Here at Animation Apprentice we encourage all our student animators to enter The 11 Second Cluba monthly character animation competition in which aspiring animators practice their skills and get their work noticed. Animators from all over the world participate, animating a character speaking a line of dialogue, which is provided every month by the club.