Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Anna Zielinska and Giuseppe Candido Junior Animators at Touch Surgery

Many congratulations to Anna Laura Zielinska and Giuseppe Candido on their new jobs as animators at Touch Surgery, a London (and New York City) based company that specialises in medical animation - bringing surgical procedures to life, helping to teach the next generation of surgeons their life-saving skills.

Monday, 27 February 2017

MPC Reveals The Secrets of the Jungle Book

The Jungle Book was one of the most impressive films of 2016, and its secrets were recently revealed at the Escape Studios VFX Festival, with MPC's Ben Jones (CG Supervisor) explaining how the London VFX house brought the characters and creatures of this classic tale to life, re-imagining one of the best-loved of the Walt Disney Studio's animated films.

So, how did MPC create this most extraordinarily ambitious movie?

Saturday, 25 February 2017

Get Ready For our March 6th Animation Class!

What kind of preparation should students do before starting with us  at Animation Apprentice on March 6th?   It's always good to do a little preparation and get a bit of a head start.

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

Friday, 24 February 2017

How Do You Get an Animated TV Series Launched? Giles Pilbrow Reveals All

On Wednesday 1st March Escape Studios is hosting an evening with Giles Pilbrow: cartoonist, animator and one of the writers of the UK's longest-running satirical magazine, Private Eye.

Giles also brought the Horrible Histories to TV, and is the creator of the CBBC series Scream Street.

So for any of our students in the London area, come along on March 1st - it's a free event - and find out how you could get your own animated TV series off the ground.

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Animation Jobs - Where Are They?

Careers and Recruitment Panel 2017
The Careers & Recruitment Panel at the recent Escape Studios VFX Festival was a packed house.

Where are the jobs in our industry? Who is hiring? What skills are in demand right now?

This year the panel was hosted by Andy Brassington. Guests included (from left) Harriet Finney from the Creative Industries Federation, Amy Smith from Framestore, Tom Box from Blue Zoo, Paul Wilkes, recruiter for MPC advertising, Jill Wallace from Axis, Henry Bull from The Mill, and Clare Norman from Milk FX.

So, where are the jobs in the animation industry today, and who is hiring?

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Dave Novis Studio Assistant at Escape Studios

Dave Novis Animation Reel from David Novis on Vimeo.

Dave Novis took the Escape Studios animation short course last summer, which also included access to the course materials at Animation Apprentice, and online support at our Facebook Classroom. Dave has just joined Escape Studios as an animation studio assistant this week, helping to support students learning 3D animation in Maya.

Monday, 20 February 2017

Animation Masterclass by Blue Zoo

At the recent VFX Festival in London, Blue Zoo's Tom Box introduced one of their animation directors to give a "Masterclass in Cartoony Animation".

Blue Zoo does many styles of animation, trying "not to get known for just one style", but much of their work is done for TV format, where schedules are punishing and animators have to work fast.

Blue Zoo have to be creative, efficient, and find ways to stay competitive - even in a high-cost city like London, where rents and wages are much higher than overseas.

They also encourage their staff to get involved creatively, developing in-house projects which can be brought to the screen, and also doing short films - BZ Shorts - within the studio, developing new styles of animation and experimenting with new ways of doing things.

So - what are their secrets for a fast, efficient animation workflow?

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Frame Store's Fantastic Beasts - And How They Made Them

At the VFX Festival last week, Framestore's Christian Manz talked about "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them", explaining how Framestore brought these amazing digital creatures to life.

The address followed on from a packed recruitment talk also given by Framestore - both events were standing-room only.  Framestore is one of London's leading VFX houses, one of the reasons why London is a global hub for high-end visual effects work.

So, what were the secrets behind this remarkable film, and how did Framestore bring photo-realistic goblins and other fantastical creatures to life?

Monday, 13 February 2017

Star Wars Rogue One at the VFX Festival

This past week the Rich Mix arts centre in Shoreditch played host to the London VFX Festival, and ILM's presentation of The making of "Star Wars Rogue One" was - unsurprisingly - one of the most popular events.

John Galloway - compositing supervisor at ILM, and Steve Ellis, CG Supervisor, were there to introduce the "Star Wars Rogue One" story, one of 2016's most successful VFX movies.

So, how did the London ILM team help to create such an impressive film, and how did they meet the expectations of the legions of Star Wars fans?

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Govt Industrial Strategy Highlights Creative Industries - Good News for Our Students

Support for "Creative Industries"
Theresa May's Government recently released an Industrial Strategy that highlights a number of sectors that they believe will lead to new jobs and growth in the future.

Among these are listed the creative industries, suggesting that our Government will continue to offer support to the business of - among other things - animation, games and visual effects.

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Sci Fi Animation by Joe Gamble.

Check out this excellent Sci Fi animation by Animation Apprentice student Joe Gamble, who has taken the basic brief of animating a walk cycle and pushed it to the next level. As with everything we do, animators are not just technicians - we are entertainers and story-tellers. Joe has created an intriguing world for his character and - best of all - makes us want to know "what will happen next?". Congratulations to Joe on some great work.

Friday, 3 February 2017

History of Pixar

Above is an excellent short film about the history of the Pixar studio. It's a promotional piece, but also a great introduction to the history of the modern medium, the second "Golden Age" of animation. Among the impressive insights into the story-telling process at Pixar are John Lasseter suggesting that "every Pixar film at one point in time was the worst motion picture ever made". Why? Because "it's a process". In other words, it's not the doing of the thing, it is the re-doing of it that really counts.

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Learn to Animate in Photoshop!

Here at Animation Apprentice we teach 3D animation, with a strong focus on the kind of skills needed to succeed in the demanding world of visual effects. That means a lot of animal and creature work, perfecting the kind of photo-real style that London studios such as Framestore and MPC specialise in.  But we also do 2D work as well, and recent releases of Photoshop now allow animators to animate with great flexibility in this most universal of software packages. In the video above you can watch a character walk cycle animated in Photoshop. Who needs Flash, After Effects or TV Paint when you can do it all with software that most digital artists already know how to use?