Wednesday, 29 April 2020

Colour Scripts and Colour Theory for Animators

Finding Nemo Colour Script.
Colour Scripts are an important part of the animation process; they allow the director to get a feel for what the movie will look like, long before the animation and lighting is complete.

Colour Scripts form an important part of the development of a short film, and since our students at Animation Apprentice are film-makers as well as animators, it's important to understand what colour scripts are for.

Wednesday, 22 April 2020

Summer Class Starts on 5th May 2020

"School Run" by Lee Caller
Our Summer classroom starts on Monday 5th May 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.

Tuesday, 21 April 2020

Free Sound Effects From the BBC

For our student film-makers, one excellent (and free) resource for sound design and sound effects is the BBC Free Sound Effects for Film-Makers.

Around 16,000 BBC Sound Effects have been made available by the BBC in WAV format for free download for use under the terms of the RemArc Licence. The Sound Effects are BBC copyright, but they may be used for personal, educational or research purposes, as detailed in the license. We're recommending this for all our students.

Saturday, 18 April 2020

Why Animators Need Snappy Timing

Key pose by Joris Van Laar
One of the most common mistakes made by junior animators is to have even timing and spacing on their character performances.

Even timing and spacing produces soft, floaty animation, which lacks definition and feels mushy.  This is particularly the case when the animation is based on live action reference. Reference, if followed too closely, can end up feeling floaty and weightless.

The solution to this problem is to tighten up your key poses, and spend more time in the key poses, rather than transitioning slowly from one pose to another. Animators call this approach "snappy timing", or "tightening up the poses". Your goal is to make the motion feel dynamic and crisp.

Friday, 17 April 2020

Why Animators Should Avoid a Flat Horizon

Flat horizons are one of the curses of 3D animation - nothing gives the game away faster than a blank, flat ground plane extending into infinity. One of the most common mistakes made by junior animators is to animate a character on a flat ground plane - the sort of situation that occurs only in 3D - never in nature. After all, in life, our horizon lines are broken up by landscapes, buildings, trees - the jumble of modern urban and rural life. Watch the short video above for some tips on how to avoid the curse of the flat horizon.

Thursday, 16 April 2020

Animation Industry Post-Covid 19 - Free Webinar

Paul Wilkes - Technicolor
Tomorrow Friday 17th April at 12.30pm Escape Studios is hosting a free "work fitness" webinar. The webinar, with a panel of six industry guests, will focus on networking in the animation, games and VFX industries, and what the work landscape will look like once the Corona Pandemic is behind us.

At "Work Fit Townhall: Networking Part 2" Escape Studios will engage in a virtual conversation about making and nurturing professional networks in the Covid-19 era.

Subjects will include soft skills, networking - and (of course) how to find work in a disrupted industry. As ever, we recommend that our students attend events like this one - which is completely free.

Tuesday, 14 April 2020

Considered Character Design by Steve Sole

"Coffee Guy" by Natalya Ropotova
Steve Sole, character designer from Tiger Aspect Productions' “Mr Bean” offers his thoughts on the importance of making a considered approach to the art of character design.

Character design isn't just about creating cool characters. It is very much a client-facing process in which designers work together with art directors and directors to create characters that work in the overall content of a production.

The key to success, Steve argues, is to take the time to consider the process carefully.  In this guest post, Steve explains the principles behind "Considered Character Design".

Monday, 13 April 2020

ASIFA Hollywood Animation Scholarship

ASIFA Hollywood has launched an animation scholarship for animation students; the deadline this year is June 1st 2020.  To find the application form, visit the Animation Educators Forum.

ASIFA-Hollywood’s Animation Educators Forum (AEF) provides a valuable link between the animation industry and animation students, and will provide well-deserved scholarships to students in their journey towards membership in the global animation community.

Saturday, 11 April 2020

Cartoon Forum 2020: Deadline 6 May

Cartoon Forum 2020
Cartoon Forum is Europe's biggest TV pitch-fest for animation, and takes place in Toulouse, France, from 14 – 17 September.

If you have an idea for a TV series in your head, Cartoon Forum is the place to pitch it.

The deadline to submit your series project this year is 6 May. So, you have a little more time to sharpen your pencils, fill out some forms - and make your pitch perfect.

Friday, 10 April 2020

10 Rules to Survive Animation Dailies

Animation dailies take place each morning, when artists working on a project meet-up to share their work in its current state. The purpose is to make sure everyone is moving in the right direction and to get feedback from the director, client, producer or supervisor. Think of it as a critique session where everyone watches everyone else's work.

Dailies can take some time to get used to. For newbie animators, having your work critiqued on a big screen in front of all your colleagues and peers can be very intimidating.

Your first instinct will be to hide under your chair, and say nothing. But to thrive and prosper, animators must learn how dailies work, and how to make the system work for them.  Below are our tips to get the best out of animation dailies.

Thursday, 9 April 2020

Maya Education Licenses - Free From Autodesk

For newcomers to the animation industry, it's important to remember that Autodesk, who make the software Maya, offer an education copy of Maya for free, which can be downloaded from the official Autodesk site.

Autodesk Maya has been the dominant software package in 3D animation for over 20 years. I first used Maya 1.0 on "The Iron Giant", back in 1998. And today it remains the most powerful package for the creation of 3D animation, widely used in industry.

Saturday, 4 April 2020

Why It's Best to Animate Just One Character

"Two shot" by Jeton Lakna
Animating two characters acting is, obviously, more complex than animating one, and a lot more work.

So what if an animator has a line of dialogue that involves two characters talking? Do you need to animate both of them?  The answer is no. There are plenty of ways to animate the shot convincingly without having to work on two characters at once.

Thursday, 2 April 2020

"Jelly Cars" Wins Award at the BAIFF

Many congratulations to Animation Apprentice graduate Lee Caller, whose short film "Jelly Cars" has won an award at the British Amateur International Film Festival.

Lee Caller, created the short film while studying at Animation Apprentice; based on one of the weekly animation exercises completed all our students.

"Jelly Cars" has been selected for a number of animation festivals, but this is its first award.

Today, Lee teaches animation classes at Escape Studios in London, and is also studying for his MA in 3D Animation at Buckinghamshire New University.

You can see more of Lee's work at his website here.