Thursday, 30 January 2020

Falling Dice Tutorial with Dynamics

Pretty much all animation courses begin with a bouncing ball - and the course at Animation Apprentice is no exception.  The bouncing ball is where students first encounter the 12 Principles of Animation, including timing and spacing, arcs, weight and ease-in and ease-outs. Nowadays, the physics engine within Maya will give you quite a bit of this for free. Taking a look at the free tutorial above to see how to animate falling dice using the FX tools within Maya. Specifically, the tutorial covers how to use Active and Passive Rigid Bodies in Maya to simulate the effects of gravity and the collision of solid objects.

Wednesday, 29 January 2020

Learning From The Animation Workshop

The Animation Workshop in Viborg, Denmark
Earlier in January I was back at The Animation Workshop, working as a "Censor" or - as we would say in the UK - an External Examiner.

External Examiners exist to maintain standards across higher education and ensure that degree results are fairly awarded.

Standards at the Animation Workshop are very, very high.  Not only do their students achieve high levels of skills in both 2D and 3D animation, but many are also skilled character designers and storyboard artists.

Tuesday, 28 January 2020

QC is Back - For a Few Guineas More

At the end of 2019 I published my 10th "Queen's Counsel" book - "For a Few Guineas More", a collection of the best cartoons published over the last six years in law pages of The Times.

I started drawing Queen's Counsel back in 1993, when newspapers were still pretty much the only way that people got their news. And every self-respecting lawyer read the law pages of The Times on Tuesdays.

At a pupillage interview candidates would always be asked "what newspaper do you read?". It was a question with just one correct answer; only The Times covered the law in serious detail.

This is the book I'm most proud of - it's the first book in full colour throughout; the cartoon strip finally went into colour in The Times in 2010.

You can buy "For a Few Guineas More" from amazon here.

Monday, 27 January 2020

Horse Animation - Free Maya Rigs

Right now we're encouraging all our animation students at Animation Apprentice to make sure they have plenty of horse animation on their demo reels, as one of our favourite London studios crews up for a big horse-related project.

The Animation Apprentice official site (to which all our students have access) has a series of horse video tutorials, teaching students how to animate a walk, a trot and a run.

Tuesday, 14 January 2020

Why Animators Need Early Feedback

Our online Classroom is hosted at Facebook
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.

But being able to take criticism ("notes" in the industry) is part of the process of creating great animation. When you first show your work to a client, they will have comments, and they won't always love your first efforts. Whether you're working at a studio, or doing private client work, or just working on your own personal work, animators need to learn to incorporate criticism in order to make your work the best it can be.

Friday, 3 January 2020

January 2020 Demo Reel

Check out some of the great work done by our students over the past year; all the work shown above was completed by our students at Animation Apprentice. Many congratulations to Joe Gamble, Lee Caller, Amedeo Beretta, Jonathan Humphries and Anna Zielinska on their excellent work.

Thursday, 2 January 2020

Back to DreamWorks

DreamWorks Animation
Jeffrey Katzenberg may have left DreamWorks animation, the studio he founded back in the late 1990s, but the old place feels much the same, and just as busy as ever.

I was there recently visiting Stuart Sumida, the paleontologist-turned-movie consultant, who has advised on the science behind animal locomotion and behaviour since The Lion King back in 1993.