Friday, 29 April 2016

Eleven Rig - How to Use It

One of the most popular rigs used by our students, often for entry into the monthly Eleven Second Club Competition is the Eleven Rig, available for free download at the Resources page of the club.

"Eleven" is a great, well-tested rig and perfect for getting a really nice character performances. It's good for lipsync, body poses, and facial expressions. It's also relatively easy to learn and reasonably logical in its setup.

Eleven does, however, have a few quirks. So, what are they and how can we solve them?

Monday, 25 April 2016

Still Time To Sign Up For Our May 9 Summer Class!

There is still time to sign up for our new class beginning next week on Monday 9 May 2015.  We believe that we provide the very best animation training in the world, for the lowest possible price.

Our students at Animation Apprentice are finding jobs with leading studios like Blue Zoo and Jellyfish Pictures, proving that our teaching methods work.  So what's stopping you? Sign up now and kick-start your animation career!

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Careers Spotlight - Animation Apprentice Goes to Annecy!

Beautiful Annecy
Animation Apprentice will be at Annecy animation festival this summer, attending the world's biggest animation festival to take a look at the current state of the animation industry, spot the latest trends and - most important of all - figure out what skills our students need in today's market, and who is hiring.

I'll be one of the speakers at the School of Visual Arts (SVA) panel at Annecy, sharing the stage with Pixar and Nickelodeon, and talking about the current state of the industry and how we can help our students to find jobs and kick-start their careers in the global animation industry.

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Jason Thompson Breaks Into The Games Industry with Man O' War: Corsair

Man O' War: Corsair.
Jason Thompson is a graduate of Animation Apprentice who has recently broken into the games industry, working on the newly released game Man O' War: Corsair. 

We asked Jason to talk about his experience, and what advice he might give to other students hoping to break into this fast-growing but highly competitive industry.

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

April Eleven Second Club - Psych!

Here at Animation Apprentice we encourage all our student animators to enter The 11 Second Clubthe 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 on the first day of every month by the club.

This month the line of dialogue is taken from the TV Series Psych.

Monday, 11 April 2016

Some Notes on Dissertations

One of the most important pieces of work that our online MA students have to grapple with on our pioneering MA in 3D animation (the first of its kind) is a dissertation.

The dissertation is the academic part of the Master's degree and, while it's not always the favourite part for most digital artists, it's something we have to get to grips with in order to be awarded a degree.

Below are some of the common errors made in the course of dissertation writing, and some tips on how to fix them. The list was compiled by Dr Fil Ieropolus, who is in charge of the academic writing at Bucks New University. It's a great starting point for anyone taking our course who is a bit rusty with their written work.

Friday, 8 April 2016

Why Animators Should Go To FMX

FMX is coming! Germany's annual FMX festival is the place to be if you want to break into the visual effects industry.

It takes place in Stuttgart every year - this year from April 26 to 29. It's a big, bustling, crowded congress of students and professionals who work - or want to work - in the global visual effects industry, getting together for their annual festival. Everyone shows up - and there are lectures, screenings and panel talks on every imaginable aspect of the visual effects process.

For students, it costs €150 to get in to the whole event (€75 for the day), plus you will have travel and accommodation to deal with. But as a window into the VFX world - there is nothing like it. It is the biggest event in the Europe. Below is a teaser to get you into the mood.

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Apply Now For Our Online MA in 3D Animation - Starting in September!

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 - our second graduate cohort starts in September 2016.

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.

So, if you want to learn how to animate to a professional level, and also get a proper qualification in the field - this course is for you.

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Free Redboard Tutorial!

Redboard is a great new piece of animation software, designed to help close the gap between 3D layout and storyboards, and generally to make storyboard artists' lives easier. Instead of starting with a blank piece of paper, or a blank screen, the story artist starts with a 3D layout, and you then draw over the top with a pen. So, it's just like traditional storyboards - but a lot of the 3D camera work and set layout is done for you. This short video demonstrates how Redboard works.

Monday, 4 April 2016

How To Make a Playblast in Maya

Autodesk Maya
Sooner or later every student of animation needs to know how to use the playblast tool in Maya. A playblast is a way of playing back your animation so you can see it play back in real-time. 

But why not just press play in the timeline? Doesn't that do the same thing? Unfortunately, we rarely get real-time playback of our animation in the Maya timeline, especially when we are using complex production rigs. So, to see how our animation is working (or not) we really need to know how to use the Playblast tool.

Here is how it works.

Friday, 1 April 2016

An Introduction to The Art of Storyboards

Storyboarding is a vital part of the animation process, and in the old 2D days of traditional animation, many animators did both. Nowadays, with drawing skills less necessary for 3D animation, storyboarding has tended to separate out into a different discipline. But even animators who don't like to draw should understand a bit about how the storyboard process works. This short ten minute video explores what storyboards are all about - and what the different kinds of storyboards are.