Aardman and NFTS launch new character animation course

Today Aardman has launched a new animation course in partnership with the NFTS to meet the growing demand for animators in the UK.

The exciting new three-month Certificate in Character Animation course will be taught by industry professionals, including main tutors Loyd Price, Head of Animation at Aardman (Nightmare before Christmas, Chicken Run, The Curse of the WereRabbit, Flushed Away andPirates! In an Adventure with Scientists) and Mathew Rees, Supervising Senior CG Animator (commercials for clients such as Serta, Chevron, British Gas, Hershey’s as well as work onPirates!).

Loyd Price said: “The UK is very much a powerhouse of animation at the moment. Our continued success at Aardman and that of others such as the NFTS means that people are travelling to the UK from all over the world to learn our style of stop frame and CG animation. We’d like to build on that success by developing home-grown talent to work in this exciting entertainment industry.”

The Bristol based studio has enjoyed continued popularity at both the box office and the Academy Awards. It has won four Oscars and had 10 Oscar nominations including the animated feature film Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists, which was nominated for Best Animated Feature Film this year.

The NFTS’ stop-frame animated film Head Over Heels was nominated for Best Short Animation this year – the only film school nominated for an Oscar in 2013. The School’s stop-frame animated film Miss Todd is also a finalist in the Oscar qualifying 2013 student Academy Awards (a competition it has previously won 5 times) and its charcoal-drawn animated film Magnificent Lion Boy is the only UK film school film in Cinéfondation at the Cannes Film Festival this year.

Nik Powell, NFTS Director said: “We’re looking for applicants with a real passion for animation to join this flagship course.”

Jon Wardle, NFTS Director of Curriculum and Registrar added: “This course will give participants a chance in a life-time opportunity to train with Aardman animators and gain the highest level of animation skills that can help them get jobs in this growing industry.”

The 12 –week intensive course will take place at Aardman’s Bristol headquarters and provide the core practical skills needed to become professional animators. The majority of the course is practical with participants working on animation exercises to improve their skills, knowledge and experience. This will also be supported by animation theory. It culminates in a short character animation sequence – pre-planned and boarded – to showcase the skills learnt during the course.

Course Overview
The UK is a powerhouse for animation. In 2013 Aardman was nominated for the Oscar for Best Animated Feature Film and the NFTS was nominated for Best Short Animation. This course will take place at Aardman’s studio in Bristol and will be taught by practising Aardman animators who have worked on many productions including Wallace and Gromit, Chicken Run, Flushed Away and The Pirates! There will also be additional support from visiting lecturers from both the Stop-frame and CG animation disciplines. Participants will be taught in small groups to enable maximum contact time with staff and other visiting tutors and will work in either the Stop-frame or CG disciplines. The course will be taught in a series of weekly assignments, each focusing on a key technical aspect of animation performance. Participants will be encouraged to repeat and finesse each assignment during the week. The course will be based on learning technical and practical skills. These will provide a foundation on which participants can become technically proficient animators and thereby enable them to bring their characters to life. The course is structured to build from simpler exercises towards a short sequence demonstrating character-based performance, which will be animated within scheduled production deadlines.

Don’t miss out – Apply before the Friday 21st June 2013 deadline for the Certificate in Character Animation course that starts in September 2013. 

For more details and information on how to apply visit the NFTS site.

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