Monday, 29 February 2016

Sky Academy Arts Scholarships For Young Artists in the UK

Sky Academy Arts Scholarships, running in partnership with Hiive, are offering financial support and mentoring for five talented young artists (that includes animators!) aged 18-30 from across the UK and Ireland.

If you've every wanted to do a personal arts project, but lack the funding to make it happen - this might be for you.

The aim of the scholarships is to "give young people the time, space and money they need to develop their creative practice and unlock their potential".

Friday, 26 February 2016

An Amazing Week at the VFX Festival

Industry Panel
It's been an extraordinary ride at the Escape Studios VFX Festival this past week.

Industry royalty turned out in force at London's O2, including a spectacular presentation yesterday by ILM on the making of Star Wars.

Anyone who was looking for insights into the state of our industry, how VFX movies and games get made, and what the future holds - will not have been disappointed. And the industry stands were buzzing with recruiters - animation and VFX in London is hiring fresh talent.

Yesterday's industry panel saw some of the leaders in animation and VFX talk about the latest trends in the business, and what the future will bring.

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

What is FMX?

FMX is the visual effects industry's biggest annual shindig. It takes place in Stuttgart every year - this year from April 26th to April 29th.

FMX is big, bustling and crowded. It's a super-busy congress of people who work in the global visual effects industry, getting together to show their best work and hang out with their friends and colleagues.  Everyone shows up - including recruiters - and there are lectures, screenings and panel talks on every imaginable aspect of the visual effects process.

Monday, 22 February 2016

Cogswell College Release New Free Rigs For Student Use

Cogswell College have released more free rigs for student use!  Following on from the free dragon rig, they have just released two human bipeds - male and female - and it looks like they have others planned.

We've not had a chance to road-test them yet, but they look pretty sweet.

We're encouraging our students to test them out - and see what kind of performances they can get from these new Maya rigs.

Friday, 19 February 2016

Facial Expressions Made Easy - By The Grimace Project!

Stuck for a good facial expression for your animation? Check out this cool website at the Grimace Project, which allows you to use a slider to dial in basic facial expressions like joy, sadness and anger.

You can't combine all of the expressions (though some of them do work in combination) but this is still a good starting point for getting facial expressions right, especially if you're feeling stuck on a character pose.

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Interview at London Live With Claudia-Liza Armah

Above is an interview I did on Saturday with London Live, talking about the BAFTA nominees, and also about breaking into the animation and VFX industry. It was a fun interview, and it's always interesting to hear the kind of questions that interviewers want to know about how animation gets made. Claudia-Liza Armah wanted to know about The Lion King, which just goes to show how evergreen that film is, and how well it is still liked and admired - even 23 years on.

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Free Animation Webinar Tonight at 5PM!

Spider animation by Steve Woodhouse
I'm doing a live animation webinar tonight, hosted by Escape Studios, at 5pm UK time, teaching students how to do some creature animation using Autodesk Maya.

We'll be tackling spiders - demonstrating how to break down complex motion into simple parts - to get a sophisticated result.

So if you fancy animating some creepy crawlies join me tonight, Wednesday 17th February at 5PM. To sign up, follow this link!

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Meet Mike and Tina!

One of the many character rigs that we recommend here at Animation Apprentice is Mike and Tina - available for free download at Creative Crash.

Mike and Tina get 5 Stars at Creative crash and 41 positive ratings - not bad at all for a free rig!

Best of all, Mike and Tina are highly customisable, so you can adapt the rig to suit the style of your shot.

Monday, 15 February 2016

"Bring Your Own Animation" in London's Green Man Pub Tonight.

The Green Man Pub, London
"Bring Your Own Animation" is an animation event that takes place every month at the Green Man pub in London.

Anyone can bring their animation or just come to share their passion and have a few 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. Bring your work in a USB or external harddisk. They won't have a good internet connection!

Friday, 12 February 2016

Ultimate Foxy Tail Rig from CGMeetUp

"Ultimate" Tail
We're recommending this free "Ultimate Tail" Rig for all our students, available for download from CGMeetUp.

The "Ultimate" series are all well-tested rigs, which are specifically designed for learning animation.

We especially like the foxy "ultimate tail" rig, great for learning overlapping action.

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Still Time To Apply For Our Online MA in 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 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, but you will engage at Masters' level with the underpinning theory and structure behind the art form.

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Monday, 8 February 2016

February Eleven Second Club!

Here at Animation Apprentice we encourage all our student animators to enter The 11 Second Club, the 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 (or sometimes singing) a line of dialogue, which is provided every month by the club.  This month's line of dialogue is all about....vegetarianism!

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Meet Bonnie!

Bonnie is a free character rig from Josh Sobel, creator of the excellent Kayla rig which can be downloaded for just $12.  Bonnie by contrast is absolutely free, and is an excellent rig for learning character performance and dialogue.

Josh Sobel describes Bonnie as "a free legacy rig. Bonnie has been downloaded and animated over 20,000 times, and though she's a bit dated, you can still pull a decent performance out of her for the low, low price of free".

Bonnie can be downloaded for free from Josh Sobel's website. We're recommending her to all our students for character performance and dialogue animation.

Friday, 5 February 2016

Scorpion Rig! by Kiel Figgins

Scorpion by Kiel Figgins
We're recommending this excellent scorpion rig by the very talented Kiel Figgins, free for download at his official site.

It's a great rig, not necessarily for realistic scorpion animation (it's mechanical - made of shiny metal) but perhaps more like a giant monster scorpion, suitable for roaming city streets and destroying civilisations.

So, where can animators find Kiel Figgins' scorpion and how does it work?

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Postgraduate Funding Now Available for Master’s Degrees in the UK

There is good news this year for students in the UK hoping to secure funding for post-graduate study, including our pioneering Online MA in 3D Animation - the first of its kind anywhere in the world.

Prospective students will soon (from this summer) be able to secure Government funding for postgraduate study through loans, studentships, bursaries and grants.

If you are a UK-based student and you start a full-time or part-time master’s degree after 1 August 2016, you can now apply for a Postgraduate Loan. You will be able to borrow up to £10,000 to pay your fees and also help with living costs. So, how does the system work?

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Get Ready for Our Next Class By Watching Our Free Videos!

What is 3D Animation all about? And what should our students starting out with us 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.