Hertfordshire University — Animation and 3D Suggestions from the Site

Copy / Summary of suggestions from the University website:


For applicants keen to create comics we’d like to see lots of examples of the comics you’ve created so far. If you’ve been thinking about starting a webcomic series then get started with publishing episodes online via a site like webtoons.com and include some examples of these in your portfolio. In the industry concept artists are also expected to be confident working with 3D, so we also wish to see some engagement with 3D software. We would recommend Blender or Zbrush for making digital sculptures of characters or creatures, for more details please read the 3D animation section.

Animate a human figure in a looping walk, run and also a jump animation. Consider trying two characters interacting with each other, or a character interacting with a prop.

  • Books
    Richard Williams’ ‘Animator’s Survival Kit’
    Preston Blair’s ‘Cartoon Animation’
    Tony White’s ‘The Animator’s Workbook’

3D Games Art & Design

Please create some real time 3D artwork, either a modification of an existing game where you might create your own playable level from game assets, or preferably examples of your own 3D models in a game editor. We recommend Unreal Engine, but Unity is also a good engine.

3D Animation

Other free 3D software that is worth looking into (especially if you are applying to 3D animation and visual effects or 3D games art and design) is SideFX’s Houdini Apprentice especially if you are interested in learning about effects such as fire, water, destruction simulations, cloth simulations and magical effects.

If you are new to 3D then try Blender first; Houdini has a steeper learning curve but is the industry standard for effects work and simulations. Try to build objects that you can get easy reference for (items in your home for example) and when you feel more confident then move onto buildings, vehicles or characters and consider texturing and lighting them if you can. Always model from reference – either photos or your own designs; don’t model from your imagination.

If you are interested in visual effects then make sure you have attempted some basic compositing of 3D renders into photos or preferably into live action film, and blend them as seamlessly as possible. We recommend Foundry Nuke for compositing (the only free version is currently function limited), but Black Magic Design’s Fusion is a good free alternative for learning node-based compositing . Photography is a real plus as a skill. Show evidence of composition and lighting in your photos, not holiday snaps.

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