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.