Tuesday, 29 September 2020

Get Ready For Our November Class

Alien animation by Jeton Lakna
Our next classroom is now taking applications, and the new class begins on Monday 3 November 2020.

It's not too late to book a place; all you need to do is visit the main Animation Apprentice site and go through a few simple steps.

If you want to learn 3D animation to a professional level, and start your new career as an animator - your journey starts here.

Saturday, 26 September 2020

"Charlie & Yip" Wins Best Trailer at CFIFF

"Charlie & Yip" - winner at CFIFF
I am delighted to announce that my short film "Charlie and Yip" has won 

Charlie and Yip is a short film about a kid who takes his pet to school for Show and Tell, which turns out to be a bad idea.

The short is really a teaser/trailer for my indie feature film project "My Haunted House", which is still in development.  Recently the short won "Best Trailer" at the Lisbon Monthly Film Festival, Best Trailer at the Halicarnassus Film Festival, and Best Film at the Film One Film Fest in July.

Friday, 25 September 2020

Moon Rockz Wins "Best Sci-Fi" at Flicks

We are delighted to announce that the short film "Moon Rockz", written and directed by Molly Babington, has won an award for "Best Sci-Fi" at the Flicks Film Festival.

"Moon Rockz" was a collaboration between students at Animation Apprentice and Escape Studios, involving Animation Apprentice students Jonathan Humphries and Matt Neputin.

Monday, 21 September 2020

Do Animated Characters Need to Blink?

When do we blink?
One of the most common mistakes made by junior animators is to forget to add blinks on their characters, especially on a head turn. Everybody blinks, a lot. But since we do it without noticing, we're not really aware of it.

In the video below, I explain why it is that characters need to blink much more often than you might think.  Our eyelids act much like the shutter of a camera, cutting on motion and editing out everything but the important information that we actually need to see.

Wednesday, 16 September 2020

Why Animators Must Fail Upwards

Animators are made, not born.  All of us are likely fail in most of the things that we do, at least at first.  The key to success is to keep at it, and  fail faster.

Great animation doesn't emerge fully formed, it needs to be tweaked, revised and perfected. When you see a Pixar or Disney film, you see the finished, polished result - you don't see the pain the animator went through along the way.

Everything we do can be done better. If you don't keep trying, and practicing, and getting feedback, you will never create anything good.  Your animation does not have to be perfect; you just have to get on with it and keep practicing your craft.

Tuesday, 15 September 2020

Is 2D Animation Making a Comeback?



Is 2D Animation Making a Comeback? It's a question I get asked a great deal. It seems that in recent years the answer to the question is - at last - "yes".  2D Animation is booming all around the world, with studios such as Blue Zoo animation in London setting up a whole new 2D Animation division, using Toomboom Harmony for their pipeline. Nonetheless, in the end, it's all about getting the right skills. To be a successful animator, you need to learn how to animate.

Friday, 11 September 2020

"Charlie & Yip" Best Super Short Lisbon Film Fest

"Charlie & Yip" wins Best Super Short at the Lisbon Film Fest
I am pleased to announce that my short film "Charlie and Yip" has won "Best Trailer" at the Lisbon Monthly Film Festival.

Charlie and Yip is a short film about a kid who takes his pet to school for Show and Tell, which turns out to be a bad idea.

The short is really a teaser/trailer for my indie feature film project "My Haunted House", which is still in development.  Recently the short won Best Trailer at the Halicarnassus Film Festival, and Best Film at the Film One Film Fest in July.

Thursday, 10 September 2020

When (If Ever) Should Animators Work For Free?


When, if ever, should animation artists work for free? This is a controversial issue and a subject on which many people in our industry have strong feelings. Students and graduates do of course often work for free, taking work experience, unpaid jobs or internships which do not pay actual money, but which offer training in the industry and real-world experience of what the world of work is like. But it's also important to value your own time, avoid being exploited, and earn enough money to avoid going broke. So, when, exactly, should animators work for free?

Wednesday, 9 September 2020

Do Animators Need to Draw?



In the old days of hand-drawn animation, life drawing was an essential skill for animators. Today, 3D animation is a blend of creative and technical skills, and life drawing is less important than it used to be.  However, it still helps to be able to draw to a basic level of skill, especially for creating thumbnail sketches which can be used to plan animation.  Nowadays there are many opportunities to learn animation online, at sites such as Pixelovely and Proko. You can also draw friends and family - models don't need to be nude, and gesture drawing clothed models is just as useful for animation, and in some ways more practical, as most animated characters tend to be wearing clothing.

Tuesday, 8 September 2020

30 Week Course or MA - Which is Best?



One of the most common questions I get asked at Animation Apprentice is this: Should I take the 30 Week Course in 3D Animation, or do the Masters' Degree in partnership with Bucks New University? - Which is Best? The answer, of course, is that it depends on what you want to do.  If you want to be trained to be a 3D animator, and find work in the industry, you don't really need any letters after your name. But if you have an ambition to teach animation, especially in higher education, then you should do the MA. Watch the video above to find out more.

Sunday, 6 September 2020

How to Find an Internship in Animation



How do you find an internship in the animation industry? It's a question we often get asked here at Animation Apprentice. Internships can be an important stepping stone to a career in animation. If an internship goes well, it might lead to a job, and even if it doesn't, it still looks good on a graduate CV. Finding an internship is a lot like finding a job, though perhaps a little harder in some ways. Watch the short video above to see how to go about it.

Friday, 4 September 2020

Copyright Law for Artists & Animators



One common area of confusion for artists, including animators, is copyright law. What does copyright mean? How does it come about? What do terms like "public domain" mean? Many of these terms are commonly misunderstood, and copyright law forms part of a complex system of global laws which vary from one country to another. Fortunately, the basics of copyright law are easy to understand. Watch the short video about for a basic introduction to copyright law, and how it works for animators.

Wednesday, 2 September 2020

"Charlie & Yip" Wins Best Trailer at Halicarnassus

I'm proud to announce that my short film "Charlie and Yip" has won "Best Trailer" at the Halicarnassus Film Festival.

Charlie and Yip is a short film about a kid who takes his pet to school for Show and Tell, which turns out to be a bad idea.

The short is really a teaser/trailer for my indie feature film project "My Haunted House", which is still in development.

Tuesday, 1 September 2020

Creating a Great Demo Reel



How do animators create a great demo reel? And what goes into a great demo reel? Putting together a professional-quality animation reel is the ultimate goal for all of our students here at Animation Apprentice. It is the principle means by which our graduates find work in the industry. In this short video I suggest that there are seven key rules for success.