Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Everything Comes From The Core

Everything comes from the core
For animators, everything comes from the core. When you create motion, it should always come from the core of the character's body, usually the hips, often known as the Root Control, or COG (centre of gravity control).

When a character turns their head, you might not think this motion comes from their core, but in fact it does, and you need to make sure that the action is motivated from the character's core, else the motion will feel robotic. 

Thursday, 22 February 2018

The Making of Paddington Two

One of the best animation talks at the recent VFX festival in London  was the presentation by Framestore on the making of Paddington 2.

Lead animator Liam Russell presented breakdowns of several key sequences in the film, including the excellent prison sequence, and the hyper-kinetic train sequence at the end of the movie.

He also gave some great tips on what kind of animation demo reels Framestore looks for - scroll down to the bottom to find his personal take on this always-important subject.

Monday, 19 February 2018

Why Animators Need to Show Their Work

One of the hardest skills for animation students to learn is how give and receive criticism.  We all tend to be shy about our work (especially when we are learning something new) and, when our work is criticised, that criticism can feel very personal.

Thursday, 15 February 2018

Aaron Hartline Explains the Line of Action

Aaron Hartline
Pixar animator Aaron Hartline was in London last week, giving a talk at the VFX Festival in Shoreditch.

Later that day, Aaron gave a great talk at Escape Studios in Shepherd's Bush about some of the important principles of animation, including the Line of Action - a concept first developed by Disney animator Preston Blair, who published one of the first practical books on learning animation back in the 1950s.

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Free Storyboard Masterclass on Feb 22nd

Francesca "Chess" Adams
On Thursday February 22nd Escape Studios in London is hosting Blue Zoo storyboard artist Francesca "Chess" Adams, who will be talking about her work as a storyboard artist on TV series such as "Digby Dragon"

Storyboarding is one of the most interesting parts of the pre-production process. It's where drawing meets storytelling.

Monday, 12 February 2018

Mini Iron Giant Reunion in London Last Week

Barry O'Donoghue, me, Mike Nguyen and Sydney Padua
Last week we had a mini Iron Giant reunion; Mike Nguyen (who animated lots of great shots of Hogarth) was visiting London from Korea, via Ireland, where he has been working with Producer Barry O'Donoghue on "Little Caribou", an independent feature film that I personally can't wait to see on the big screen.

Friday, 9 February 2018

Get Ready for March 5th Spring Class

The book all animators need
Our next class at Animation Apprentice starts on 5th March. We're excited to welcome new students on their animation journey; junior animators are still very much in demand, especially in our home town of London, and my inbox is full of requests from studios for fresh talent.

So, how to get ready for March 5th? It's always good to do a little preparation and get a bit of a head start.

Thursday, 8 February 2018

Why Animators Still Need Business Cards

At the VFX Festival yesterday I found myself asking a number of my students - have you brought plenty of business cards?

Almost none had. In this digital age, you might think that business cards are a little old-fashioned, but actually, you'd be wrong.

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

MPC Recruiting Animators at the VFX Festival

Sara-Laila Francis of MPC
Who's at the VFX Festival this week?  Events like this are important to attend. Yes, the talks are interesting, but one of the most important reasons for turning up to an event like this is the chance to meet talent recruiters from animation and VFX houses.

MPC's Sara-Laila Francis was there yesterday, talking to students and graduates about opportunities with MPC, one of London's leading VFX houses.

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Great Free Maya Rigs at Thinking Animation

Thinking Animation is a great source of free animation rigs, including some really fun fan-made resources so that animators can work on characters like Rocket from Guardians of the Galaxy or even Elsa from Frozen.

The website, which describes itself as "an online animation portal, blog and learning resource where animators can inspire, share, and study" also has a lot of super useful resources, such as tips on finding work, and some free lessons too.

Some of the rigs you can find elsewhere at sites such as animationbuffet, but others are more or less unique to this site.

Monday, 5 February 2018

Steve Woodhouse Animator at Sister Pictures

Congratulations to Animation Apprentice graduate Steve Woodhouse, who has landed a position as a creature animator at Sister Pictures, an independent television production company based in Clerkenwell, London.

To see more of Steve's excellent animation, and the strong demo reel he developed at Animation Apprentice, visit his Vimeo channel here.

Saturday, 3 February 2018

Online MA in 3D Animation - New Course Video

Here's an updated course video for our Online MA in 3D Animation, explaining what's in the course and what makes it so unique. In a nutshell, it's the world's first online MA in Animation - a practical course which teaches both the practice and theory of 3D Animation, developed in partnership with Buckinghamshire New University. We are currently welcoming applications, and to apply for your place, just follow this link.

Friday, 2 February 2018

Dominic Rayner Animator at Operator's Creative

Operator's Creative, Old St, London
Many congratulation to Animation Apprentice graduate Dominic Rayner who has just started a job as an animator with The Operator's Creative, a creative agency based in London near Old Street

Prior to that, Dominic worked as a character animator at Lipsync Post, on a new feature film combining animated creatures with live action footage. 

To see more of Dominic' work, including his demo reel, follow this link.

Thursday, 1 February 2018

Lee Caller Teaching Animation at Escape

Many congratulations to Animation Apprentice graduate Lee Caller, who recently started a new job teaching animation at Escape Studios.

Lee is an excellent animator and also an excellent teacher, able to pace the class effectively and make sure that everyone gets to a professional level of skill.