Wednesday, 26 February 2020

Grass Waving Tutorial Using Maya FX

Above a is a free tutorial on how to animate grass waving in Maya using the Paint Effects Tool. Also covered is how to convert the paint effect into polygons and export a geo cache so that you can re-import the grass animation back into Maya.

Sunday, 23 February 2020

Autodesk Certified Instructor

Recently I got an unexpected present in my Inbox - a badge of accreditation from Autodesk, the makers of Maya, as an official Autodesk Certified Instructor.

The badge of accreditation is a recognition of many years experience both using Maya on film productions (I learned to use the very first version, Maya 1.0, on Brad Bird's The Iron Giant) and also decades of experience in the classroom.

So thanks Autodesk for the vote of confidence - it is much appreciated.

Wednesday, 19 February 2020

Six Tips to Make Maya Work Faster

Tip Number 6 - stay low poly
One of the most common problems we encounter at Animation Apprentice is a student's Maya scene slowing down so much that they can't animate anymore, or their scene becomes so slow that animation becomes a burden - not a pleasure.

Below are our Six Tips to speed up your workflow, animate faster, and make Maya work at optimal speed.

Tuesday, 18 February 2020

Pitch Your Project at Animation Production Days

Animation Production Days in Stuttgart is an event that should be on every animator's radar.

Like Cartoon Movie and Cartoon Forum, APD offers a unique opportunity for animation graduates to pitch their ideas to producers, financiers and sales agents - the people who can bring original animation content to the market.

Monday, 17 February 2020

BYOA In London Tonight 17 February

BYOA (Bring Your Own Animation) is back - taking place in London on Monday 17th February.

Organised by the London chapter of SIGGRAPH, BYOA is an animation event that takes place every month at a pub in central London, always on the third Monday of the month, and almost always at the same location.

This month BYOA is taking place in a new location, The Newman Arms, Fitzrovia, near Goodge St and Tottenham Court Road Tube stations.

For any of our students or recent graduates in the neighbourhood, BYOA is a great way to get feedback on your reel.

Friday, 14 February 2020

Claire and Holly Williams Tribute at the Annies

The Annie Awards are an annual ceremony, best described as the "Oscars" for animation. This year the awards ceremony was dedicated to my father Richard Williams, who died in August 2019.  My sisters Holly and Claire were invited to the ceremony to introduce the event, and opened the awards by sharing a few selected memories of his life.  Neither of them spoke for long, but the stories they told are very personal and touching. You can see the full seven minute clip above.

Wednesday, 12 February 2020

Young Cartoonists of the Year Award

For all our students under 30 - it's time to enter the Young Cartoonists of the Year award.

The Young Cartoonists of the Year competition is in its 23rd year and attracts thousands of entries, giving budding cartoonists the chance to have their work judged by the best in the business.

Run by the British Cartoonists' Association, in association with London's Cartoon Museum, entries are now open for this year's competition.

Original entries should be submitted on paper by traditional mail to The Cartoon Museum, 63 Wells St, London W1A 3AE.

Animation and cartooning aren't quite the same thing, of course. But they are definitely cousins and, as an animator who has been dabbling in cartoons for many years, I can heartily recommend both.

The closing date for submissions is 15th March.

Friday, 7 February 2020

Spring Class Starts on Monday 4 March 2020

"School Run" by Lee Caller
Our Spring classroom starts on Monday 4th March 2020.  You don't need to know Maya beforehand (we teach everything from scratch), but it's always a good idea to do a little preparation.

Below is a brief list of stuff to get you under way. No need 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.

Sunday, 2 February 2020

How to Pitch an Animated TV Series

The Art of the Pitch
Here at Animation Apprentice we don't just teach the mechanics of animation, we also teach the art and craft of creativity and creative thinking.

Every great animation series began its life as a humble pitch - even mighty Peppa Pig started out as an idea in a sketch book.

There is nothing to stop our students creating the next Bob The Builder or Mr Bean.