Monday, 12 April 2021

Cartoon Springboard 2021

Save the date! Submissions will open soon for Cartoon Springboard, the annual pitching event that takes place from October 27-29 in Valencia, Spain. 

Successful projects will pitch to industry delegates, including producers, broadcasters and sales agents, as our students seek ways to capitalise on the festival success of their films

Friday, 2 April 2021

Charlie and Yip Wins Best Trailer at Onkyo

I'm pleased to announce that my short film "Charlie and Yip" has won another festival award - Best Trailer at the Onkyo 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. 

Monday, 29 March 2021

Summer Class Starts on Monday 4th May 2021

Our Summer classroom starts on Monday 4th May 2021.  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, 28 March 2021

Speed Lipsync - How to Animate Dialogue Fast


In this short video (less than five minutes long) I set out the basic principles for animating dialogue and lipsync swiftly and cleanly. The trick is to avoid over-complicating the process.  Start by animating the jaw open and closed - open on the vowels, closed on the consonants (make sure you close the mouth for at least two frames on Ms Bs and Ps, or they won't "read"). Then, layer in the wide and narrow mouth shapes (narrow for "oo" and "w" shapes, wide for "a" and "ee" shapes). Tidy it all up, and you're done.  

Thursday, 25 March 2021

Why Animators Should Apply for Jobs Twice

In the short video below, I explain why student animators should apply for animation jobs more than once. 

Rejection is normal; not getting a job is always frustrating, but you should never be downhearted.  Instead, wait a while, update your demo reel, and then re-apply.  

Back in the '90s at Disney Animation it was said that no-one got into Disney the first time around - you had to apply two or three times for the company to believe that you really, really wanted the job. Being rejected is never a reason to give up; keep applying until you land that crucial first job in the industry. 

Wednesday, 24 March 2021

Priya Chitnis 3D Layout Artist at ILM

Priya Chitnis
Many congratulations to Animation Apprentice Graduate Priyanka Chitnis, who has a secured a new position as a Layout Artist at Industrial Lights & Magic (ILM) in Sydney, Australia.

Priya took our online MA in 3D Animation, delivered in partnership with Buckinghamshire New University, and this is her first role in the animation and VFX industry.

ILM is a global powerhouse in animation and vfx, the pioneering studio that created the animated dinosaurs for Jurassic Park and has since gone on to create the Star Wars franchise of films. 

Monday, 22 March 2021

Save The Date! Cartoon Forum 2021

Save the Date! Cartoon Forum is back - Europe's biggest TV pitch-fest for animation takes place in Toulouse, France, from 20 – 20 September 2021.

For all our students and graduates with an idea for an animated TV or web series, Cartoon Forum is the place to pitch it.

The deadline to submit your series project this year is in May. So, there is plenty of time to sharpen your pencils, fill out some forms - and make your pitch perfect.

Sunday, 21 March 2021

Dog Walk Cycle Reference


Above is a handy video showing different gaits when animating dogs in motion; walks, trots and runs. Being able to master the three basic animal gaits is an important part of studying at Animation Apprentice. Especially in the world of VFX animation, studios will expect animators to be able to handle quadruped locomotion, and also create an imaginative a believable performance. 

Thursday, 11 March 2021

Blue Zoo To Keep Remote Working Post-Covid

Tom Box (right) with animation students
In a recent interview at Cartoon Brew, Blue Zoo co-founder Tom Box explains why remote working is here to stay.  Since Covid-19 broke, around 700,000 people have left London, and this change is reflected at Blue Zoo animation, where many of their team have left the capital for good.  

According to Tom: "Blue Zoo is no longer really a London based company, even though we have (empty) offices there. Now, just 30% of our team live in London. Over last 10 months lots of staff relocated across the UK for a better work/life balance.  London has changed forever".

Friday, 5 March 2021

How Animators Work Under Direction

Sooner or later all animators have to learn to take direction. The short video above (9 minutes) explains in brief what it is like working in an animation studio, who you are likely to have to answer to, and how to take direction from directors, lead animators, and other supervisors.  It's a video about day to day survival and is aimed at anyone starting a studio job for the first time, or working on a team in a group project, where everyone has to pull together to achieve a successful result. The second part of the video is continued below. 

Wednesday, 3 March 2021

How to Use the Grid in Autodesk Maya


We've uploaded a new free video to our YouTube channel - how to use the grid in Autodesk Maya. The grid is what anchors us in 3D space, and stops us getting lost in the infinity of the X Y Z axis. The Grid, like everything in Maya, can be adjusted and tweaked, to make it work for you and the shot you are working on. Watch the video above to see how the Grid works in practice.

Tuesday, 2 March 2021

February 2021 Animation Demo Reel



Check out our latest animation demo reel, showcasing the best work done by our students in 2020 and early 2021. Many congratulations to all our talented students on their superb work. Our latest demo reel showcases some of the best work done by our animation students, including Kent Sunde, Kristis Bandzevicius, Michael Davies, Lisa Springett, Adam Sale, and Verity Clarke.

Tuesday, 23 February 2021

Spring Class Begins on 3 March 2021

Our Spring classroom starts on Monday 3rd 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 things to do 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.

Saturday, 13 February 2021

Why Animators Need an Animatic

"Giles and Rupert's Prehistoric Predicament"
What is an animatic? And why do animators need one? An Animatic is something that all animators need to create as a first step in making an animated short film .

An animatic is an essential first step in the creation of any animated content. Don't start animating until you have made your animatic - this is where you will test your material and make sure that your story makes sense. 

Friday, 12 February 2021

No Audio Playback in Maya 2020

One annoying bug in Maya 2020 is that audio playback can be troublesome. Scrub through the timeline and you get audio playback. However, press play and there is no audio playback. Fortunately, after Googling the problem I found a discussion thread that solves the problem

Assuming that your Evaluation
Mode is set to DG (check your preferences to find this. Go to Preferences / Settings / Animation / Evaluation / Evaluation Mode), then right-click on your timeline and disable "Cached Playback". Once this is done, you should get audio back in Maya when you press play. 

Wednesday, 10 February 2021

Charlie & Yip Wins Best Trailer at Fantastic

I'm pleased to announce that my short film "Charlie and Yip" has won another festival award - Best Trailer at the Fantastic Indie Film Festival of Los Angeles.

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. 

Wednesday, 3 February 2021

Charlie and Yip Wins "Best Trailer" at Art Awards

I'm delighted to announce that my short film "Charlie and Yip" has won another festival award -  Best Trailer at the Art Film Awards.  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. 

Sunday, 31 January 2021

Sarah Al Runner at ILM

Sarah Al
Many congratulations to Sahra Alsheekhamid (known as "Sarah Al"), who starts work as a runner for Industrial Light and Magic (ILM)  tomorrow, Monday 1st February.

Sara took our online course at Animation Apprentice, graduating from Buckinghamshire New University with an MA in 3D Animation

Working as a runner is a well proven path to break into the animation and visual effects industry.

ILM is of course one of the world's leading animation and VFX houses, responsible for the pioneering work on Jurassic Park and on the Star Wars series of box office hits. 

Tuesday, 19 January 2021

Getting Started with Stop-Motion Animation


My six year old daughter did her first animation over the Christmas holidays, with a little help from her Daddy.  To make it, we used the Lego Animation Studio, aimed at kids 8-12 years old, which you can buy here.  Father Christmas gave it to her for Christmas (how did he know?), and we did this short stop-motion animation on Boxing Day.  We also needed some kit that didn't come with the Lego pack - an iPhone, a tripod (we used this one here), and the app "I can Animate" which cost $3 to download from the App Store. 

Monday, 11 January 2021

Online MA in Animation - Apply Now

"School Run" by MA student Lee Caller
We are now taking applications through UCAS for the September 2021 intake of our unique online MA in 3D animation.

The online MA is a unique degree (the first of its kind) which can be undertaken by students anywhere in the world, leading to a formal qualification in the field.

You will not only learn how to animate, but you will engage at Masters' level with the underpinning theory and structure behind the art form.

Friday, 8 January 2021

Webinar with YouTube Animator and Entrepreneur Charlotte Gimbird 26 Jan

QC Animations at YouTube - the future of animation?
On Tuesday 26 January at 11.30am I'll be interviewing Charlotte Gimbird, one of my most entrepreneurial animation students. 

The webinar is hosted by Escape Studios, and features undergraduate animation student Charlotte Gimbird, creator of QC Animations.  QC Animations is a YouTube Channel with over 80,000 subscribers, and hundreds of thousands of views every month.  To see how Charlotte has created her own successful animation business out of thin air, sign up for the free webinar here

Friday, 1 January 2021

Last Call For Our January 4th Class!

Alien animation by Jeton Lakna
Last call for our 2021 New Year classroom; the new class begins on Monday 4 January 2021.

It's still 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.