Monday, 7 January 2019

AN4001 - Animation 1 - at Escape Studios

First year undergraduate animation by Matt Wight
A big warm welcome back to Escape Studios to our first year undergraduates; this week (starting 7 January 2019) is "Directed Study Week", when our students get ready for the start of classes.

For our first year undergraduates, our core animation module - Animation 1 - starts soon at Escape Studios. AN4001 (as it is officially known) is a 15 Credit module that teaches the fundamental underpinnings of character and creature animation.


AN4001- Animation 1
AN4001 is a 4 week "introduction to animation" module, where our first year undergraduate students explore the basics of animation, from a bouncing ball through to sophisticated motion. Teaching starts on January 14th, depending on what group you are in, and assignments include walks, runs, jumps and the use of live action reference to animate complex action. The module builds up to a final industry-related brief (you can see an example of project work above, by then first year animator Maria Robertson).

AN4001 - Software
The software we teach is - of course - Autodesk Maya, now the global leader and industry standard for animation and visual effects.

AN4001 - Tutors
Amedeo Beretta
The two tutors for this first animation module are:
  • Industry veteran Amedeo Beretta, one of our newest animation tutors, who joined us last summer. Amedeo is a very skilled animator who worked on films such as "Paul" and "Planet 51".  Amedeo also has extensive teaching experience, having taught at Met Film School prior to coming to Escape. 
  • Lee Caller, one of our most experienced animation tutors who has been getting great results with our MA students. You can see Lee's excellent work at his website here.

Lee Caller
Week starting Monday 7th January
Today, Monday 7th January, is the start of Directed Study Week at Escape Studios. This means that our students are expected to attend campus, but there is no formal teaching. It's a great week to watch our video tutorials (of which more below) and get up to speed on the basics of Maya before formal teaching begins.

Week starting Monday 14th January
If you are in your first year of undergraduate studies and Escape Studios, during the week starting Monday 14th January you will be tackling a number of four week modules which are becoming more specialised and software-related.  One such module will be AN4001 Computer Animation - Core, where you will learn the basics of controlling animation in a 3D environment.

Where and when?
AN4001 runs on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesdays from 9.30am to 12.30pm and on Friday from 9.30 am to 4.30pm with a one-hour break from 12.30pm to 1.30pm. There is no class on Thursdays. The studio is Rapture (on the Third floor at 190 High Holborn) and the studio assistant is Harry.

Getting ready for AN4001
In order to make the best of the module, Amedeo's advice is to have a good look at Maya before coming to class, so that the interface won't come as a complete surprise. Your tutor will still - of course - go through the basics of Maya from the very beginning, but fortune favours those who come prepared. To get ready, have a look at the following YouTube links:

YouTube Animation Links

Also, it is a good idea to learn the basics of Maya's new Arnold renderer, now that Mental Ray has largely been replaced.

Escape Studios Vimeo Channel
Escape Studios has a Vimeo section dedicated to Arnold renderer: (this one is password protected, for our students only. Email me for the password)

Escape Studios YouTube Playlist
Escape Studios also has a Maya basics playlist (36 videos) which you can work through, which shows all the key tools in Maya, and what they do, in a series of very short videos.

First year at Escape Studios - and 2nd, 3rd & 4th years
And to see more detail about what's in the animation course at Escape Studios, follow these links:
The Escape Studios Animation Blog offers a personal view on the art of animation and visual effects. To apply for our BA/MArt in 3D Animation, follow this link.  To apply for our storyboarding evening class, visit this page here.  For the next 12 week animation course, click here.

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