NextGen Futures joins forces with Aardman and A-Productions to launch a 10-week Skills Bootcamp in 3D Animation for the West of England

NextGen Futures is excited to unveil an incredible opportunity for aspiring animators in the West of England. In collaboration with industry giants Aardman and A Productions, NextGen Futures is launching a 10-week Skills Bootcamp in 3D Animation using Blender designed to ignite the creative flames of animators within the West England Combined Authority region.

The Oscar and BAFTA winning Aardman has entertained and charmed the world, creating much loved characters and bringing unforgettable stories to life, for over 40 years. They are the creative force behind worldwide hits such as Wallace & Gromit, Shaun the Sheep, and Arthur Christmas.

A-Productions are a multi-award winning creative-led, animation studio based in central Bristol, who have worked on family favourites such as JoJo & Gran Gran, Pip and Posy Let’s Learn, and work with Sesame Workshop to bring beloved characters to life across their productions.

What sets the Accelerate in Animation Skills Bootcamp apart is backing from these two leading studios and the innovative delivery. Participants will work on a creative brief, approved in partnership with Aardman and A-Productions, and collaborate as a remote animation studio to deliver a short 3D animated film in just 10 weeks.

The Skills Bootcamp is hosted on the NextGen RISE platform, created by NextGen in collaboration with Tom Box, co-founder of Blue Zoo Animation Studio. RISE is revolutionising the animation learning experience by integrating the entire animation pipeline into one user-friendly platform. Lessons will take place in the evenings to help participants fit their learning around other commitments.

What are Skills Bootcamps?

Skills Bootcamps are part of the Government’s Lifetime Skills Guarantee, helping everyone gain skills for life. Skills Bootcamps are free, flexible courses of up to 16 weeks, giving people the opportunity to build up sector-specific skills and fast-track to an interview with an employer.

Accelerate in Animation is part of the Skills Bootcamps Programme funded and managed by the West of England Combined Authority, led by Metro Mayor Dan Norris, and delivered by NextGen Skills Academy.

Elevate your skills and understanding

The Accelerate in Animation Skills Bootcamp has been structured to give participants a comprehensive understanding of, and experience in, the animation production pipeline.

Guided by dedicated tutors and supported by industry, participants will get an exclusive peek behind the curtain with studio insights and masterclasses led by industry professionals. These experts will offer direct feedback on participant work, helping them to evolve into animation's future stars.

Alongside building technical skills, an experienced Career Coach will provide employability lessons and one-to-one support. These lessons are not just about getting a job; they're about building the confidence, professional skills, and resilience to launch a successful animation career.

The result? Participants will gain a deep understanding of the animation pipeline, enhanced technical skills, real industry experience, increased employability skills, and industry-relevant work for their professional portfolio.

Julain Cabrera, Co-Founder of NextGen, said of this opportunity:

"We are thrilled to launch the Accelerate in Animation Skills Bootcamp alongside Aardman and A-Productions. The remote delivery means that it is accessible to those that might overwise have missed out. It is an amazing opportunity for participants to experience the authentic demands of the animation industry, emerging as true industry-ready new entrants."

Who can apply?

This opportunity is open to anyone aged 19+ who lives in, or is intending to work in, the West of England Combined Authority Area. Successful applicants must be able to evidence pre-existing 3D animation skills. It's the perfect opportunity for recent animation graduates and self-taught animators looking to turn their passion into a career.

Applications are now open and will be accepted until midnight on Thursday 14th December 2023.

Accelerate in Animation is scheduled to commence on the week of 15th January 2024, and will run until the week of 22nd March 2024 (Lessons dates TBC).

There will be three hours of guided remote learning each week, complemented by three hours dedicated to independent work. There will be four days of in-person meet-ups over weekends to provide an opportunity for participants to connect and foster collaborations.

For more information and to apply for the NextGen 3D Animation Training Program, visit

Written by