Friday, 29 September 2017

Eamonn Butler in London on Wed 4th October

Eamonn Butler, head of animation at Cinesite, will be giving a talk at Escape Studios' High Holborn Campus in Central London on wednesday 4th October.

Eamonn is a director of Cinesite, one of London's major VFX houses, and a founder of the growing animated features side of the business. The event is hosted by Escape Studios and is free for anyone interested in studying with them (no commitment is required).

Here at Animation Apprentice we strongly recommend that all our students attend events like this one. This is a great chance to meet one of the major players in our industry.

Thursday, 28 September 2017

Awesome Animation by Jinng Hwee Tan

JinngHwee Demo Reel 2017 from Jinng Hwee Tan on Vimeo.

Congratulations to Jinng Hwee Tan on his excellent animation demo reel, just recently released at Vimeo.  Jing Hwee Tan took our online MA in 3D animation in partnership with Bucks New University, where he continued to polish his animation skills, and of course developing a more academic approach to the medium.  One of his shots features in the latest Animation Apprentice compilation reel, an entry for the 11 Second Club competition which came out especially well. Many congratulations to Jinng Hwee for cutting a great reel - a beautiful body of work.

Monday, 25 September 2017

Access VFX in London this Week

Access:VFX events are taking place next week, at visual effects studios across Soho. Access VFX is all about promoting diversity and inclusion in our industry.

Events are being held at The Mill, Framestore, Double Negative, MPC, Jellyfish Pictures, ILM, Blue Zoo Animation, Union VFX, Escape Technology, and UK Screen Alliance.

We're encouraging our students to attend these events; they are great opportunities to network and meet working professionals in our business. You can book your free tickets online through

Sunday, 17 September 2017

100 Ways to Walk by Kevin Parry

"100 Ways to Walk" is an excellent video by Kevin Parry, a collection of walk cycles intended as inspiration for animators. The key point of the video is that the way we walk says a lot about who we are, how we are feeling, how our day has been. A great walk cycle is the entry point for character animation - can the animator describe a character simply by the way he or she moves? It's one of the first things we teach at Animation Apprentice, but a good walk cycle can remain elusive even for an experienced animator. Acting one out yourself, and filming yourself doing it, is a great way to get started.

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Animation Insider's eBook - Free from Squeeze

Animation Insider's Ebook - free from Squeeze!
Get your free copy of the Animation Insider's eBook, downloadable from Squeeze animation studio in Quebec.

This free digital download describes the workflow of talented animators such as Mike Nguyen, Victor Navone and Jason Ryan.

It 's a remarkable insight into how experienced animators approach a shot, and very useful for students looking to develop their own animation workflow.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Animation Apprentice Character Reel 2017

Check out our latest Character Animation Reel, featuring work by many of our talented students, some taking our 30 week course, others doing our online MA in animation. Animators aren't just technicians, they are entertainers, and the job of the animator is not just to master the art of character animation, but to craft an interesting and compelling performance. Congratulations to Steve Woodhouse, Victoria Bailey, Jinng Hwee Tan, Joe Gamble and Joris Van Laar on their excellent animation.

Monday, 11 September 2017

Animation Apprentice Masterclass at VIEW 2017

Animation Apprentice is hosting a creature animation masterclass at VIEW, the 18th International VFX & Computer Graphics Conference.

VIEW takes place every year in the beautiful Italian town of Torino (Turin), and we'll be there running a one-day masterclass in Maya on 25th October, demonstrating some cool creature animation techniques.

The class is aimed at complete beginners and requires no prior experience with Maya.

Friday, 8 September 2017

Classic Graph Editor in Maya 2017

New look Graph Editor
Not everyone loves the Maya 2017 interface. In particular, the new-look Graph Editor isn't necessarily as easy to use as the old version (or maybe it's just that I'm getting older and I don't like change).

So, if you want life to stay the same as it used to be - how do you get your Classic Graph Editor back?

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Celebrating Our New MA Graduates

Alexi Balian, Charlie Falconi, Tim Millson, Neil Whitman, Stephen Young. 
Today was Graduation Day at Bucks New University and our new MAs in Animation made a little piece of animation history.

Our first graduating cohort aren't the first animation MAs in the world, but they are the first to get their MA purely online.

And, despite living in far-flung parts of the world, many came to Bucks for the graduation ceremony, for the chance to wear a robe and a silly hat and - at last! - meet up in person for the first time.

KeyFrame MP - Video Playback for Animators

Keyframe MP Overview from Chris Zurbrigg on Vimeo.

KeyFrame MP - Video Playback for Animators - is an excellent video playback tool that we are recommending to all our students.  Unlike most free playback tools (such as Media Player), KeyFrame PM gives you super useful features like scrubbing (with audio), single frame advance - all the stuff you need as an animator to play your work back frame by frame and trouble shoot the mistakes. At $79, KeyFrame MP isn't free, but it's much, much better than most of the free stuff that is out there. And, since Apple has stopped supporting their very useful tool Quick Time Pro, KeyFrame MP now fills a gap in the animator's tool kit.

Saturday, 2 September 2017

Tripod for Filming Animation

Photo-R Tripod
One of the best ways to get live-action reference for a piece of animation is to film yourself acting it out, capture the footage on your phone, and then import the footage onto an image plane in Maya.

But how you film yourself acting it out, if it's just you? Someone has to operate the camera, after all. The answer is - you need a tripod. We're recommending this excellent (and inexpensive) tripod, made by Phot-R, for mounting your phone/camera, while you do the performance.