Friday, 16 March 2018

Storyboard Summer Course 18 June - 13 July

Iliana Franklin teaches Storyboarding at Escape Studios
We're running an intensive four week storyboarding at Escape Studios over the summer. Story board artist Iliana Franklin, whose production credits include The Tale of Despereaux, is returning to Escape Studios to teach the art and craft of storyboarding, a vital part of the pre-production process that is currently experiencing a skills shortage here in the UK. The course is aimed at anyone who wants to learn storyboarding, whether for animation, live action, commercials, or your own personal projects, and runs from 18 June - 13 July.

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Evgenia Golubeva in Annecy Official Selection

"I want to live in the Zoo"
Many congratulations to Escapee Evgenia Golubeva, whose animated short film "I want to live in the Zoo" has been included in the Annecy Official Selection.

Annecy is arguably the most prestigious animation festival in the world, and being included in the selection (and therefore having a chance to win a prize) is a great honour.

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Sydney Padua Teaches Animals and Creatures

Sydney Padua talks animals & creatures
Escape Studios recently welcomed back veteran animator (and creature specialist) Sydney Padua, who has been teaching our animation students animal and creature locomotion, and performance.  Sydney's animation career includes classics like Brad Bird's The Iron Giant and - most recently - The Jungle Book, where she contributed to the hyper-realistic style of the hugely successful Disney remake. She also worked on the yet-to-be-released remake of The Lion King, which is largely being animated at London VFX powerhouse Framestore.

Friday, 9 March 2018

Francesca Adams on Storyboarding

Francesca Adams at Escape Studios
Blue Zoo storyboard artist Francesca "Chess" Adams was at Escape Studios recently to talk about her work as an animation board artist.

Chess showed some of her work at Blue Zoo, including scenes from Digby Dragon, made using PanelForge, an in-house storyboarding software platform that can be downloaded for free for student use.

We also asked Chess what tips she has for aspiring board artists hoping to break into the industry.

Monday, 5 March 2018

Jakob Parsons Sound Designer to Escape

Jakob Parsons
Next week on Monday 12th March Escape Studios welcomes sound specialist Jakob Parsons to teach sound design to our 2nd year undergraduate animators. They are currently working on their first group project - a teaser for an upcoming game, TV series or feature film.

Sound design is a vital part of the film-making process, and the only way to really learn it is to try making your own short film project.  Jakob will be coming in to Escape to share his workflow with the students, and to help them come up with inventive and creative solutions to the many problems they will face.

Friday, 2 March 2018

Michael Davies Rigging Webinar 8 March

Mike Davies - the man who rigged Smaug
Rigging Supremo Mike Davies, veteran rigger whose film credits include The Hobbit and The Minions, is hosting a free webinar on the art of rigging on Thursday 8 March at 7pm.

Mike will be teaching our evening class in rigging, so if you're interested in studying with Mike, be sure to sign up so you can a feeling for what the course is like.

If you'd like to register (it's completely free), follow the link here to sign up.

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Dennis the Menace at the VFX Festival

Jellyfish animation is one of London's leading animation studios, specialising in TV work such as the new Dennis the Menace series.

At the recent VFX Festival in Shoreditch,  Jellyfish's lead animator Denis Jose Francois introduced the series, and talked about some of the challenges faced by Jellyfish in bringing this well-loved comic character to the small screen.

And, at the end of his talk he also offered some useful tips on what Jellyfish looks for in an animation demo reel.

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Do Animators Still Need Business Cards?

At the recent VFX Festival in London's Shoreditch a number of our students were meeting with recruiters from some of the big VFX houses such as MPC and Framestore. I asked the students - have you brought business cards?

Almost none had. In this digital age, you might think that business cards might be a little old-fashioned, but actually, they're still an important part of the jobs toolkit.

Monday, 26 February 2018

Animation Producer Steve Burch to Visit Escape

Animation Producer Steve Burch
Escape Studios is welcoming Animation Producer Steve Burch to our High Holborn campus on wednesday 28 February to deliver a workshop on Producing Animation.

Our second year animators are working on their first group project, a short film - and one which simulates as closely as possible a live client brief.

Steve will be helping our students to navigate some of the challenges involved in successfully completely their first animation production. After all, being a successful animator isn't just about being good at animation; you also need to understand how group projects work, and learn how to collaborate with other artists in a studio environment.

Friday, 23 February 2018

Introducing The Eleven Rig

Meet the Eleven Rig, available for free download at the Resources page of the Eleven Second Club.  Eleven is one of the most popular rigs used by our students, and can be used to create some great character animation.

Eleven is also very good for lipsync, body poses, and facial expressions, and is also relatively easy to learn.

Eleven does, however, have a few quirks. So, what are they and how can we navigate around them?

Thursday, 22 February 2018

Enter the 2019 Rookies - Deadline May 15th

This year at Escape Studios we are encouraging all of our students to enter The Rookies Awards, the international competition for young creatives.

The Rookies was founded in 2009 to "showcase the most talented student designers, illustrators, film makers, animators, developers, digital artists, and launch them into the career of their dreams." This year entries open on March 7th, and the deadline is May 15th, so there is plenty of time to start crafting a great project.

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Aaron Hartline Explains The Line of Action

Aaron Hartline, front row, on right
Pixar animator Aaron Hartline visited us recently, mentoring our student animators, and generally helping to make sure we're hitting the highest possible standards in the teaching of character animation.

Aaron started his day with our students talking about some of the important principles of animation, including the Line of Action - a concept first developed by Disney animator Preston Blair, who published one of the first books on animation back in the 1950s.

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Creative Workshops at Escape Studios

If you have applied for one of our undergraduate Animation, Games or VFX courses, for entry in September 2018, you've probably had a letter by now inviting you to attend a Creative Workshop here at Escape Studios, and you might be feeling a bit worried.

Don't panic! A Creative Workshop is really a chance for us to get to know you, and for you to find out more about what we do at Escape Studios.  So, what specifically are our Creative Workshops all about?

Monday, 19 February 2018

Michael Davies Teaches Rigging at Escape

Michael Davies
This past week our animation guest tutor was 3D Artist and rigging specialist Michael Davies, who has worked on many VFX blockbusters such as Batman vs Superman, Doctor Strange and Thor Ragnarok.

Michael came in to visit us at our High Holborn campus for two days and gave our undergraduate animators a fast-paced introduction to the art of rigging

Friday, 16 February 2018

Michael Morgan Teaches Character Animation

Michael Morgan visits Escape Studios
Last week our second year undergraduate students welcome another Guest Tutor, the very talented Michael Morgan, whose work includes Guardians of the Galaxy, Beauty and the Beast, and also the recent much-anticipated release Black Panther.

Michael gave the class a number of ins​​ights into his personal Character Animation process, including the importance of filming your own live action reference and acting out your own shots.

Thursday, 15 February 2018

Time to Enter the Character Design Challenge!

Calling All Escape Studios Character Designers - the monthly Character Design Challenge competition is now open.

The CDC is a bit like the Eleven Second Club, but for the art and craft of character design. The competition was launched in 2015 and already has over 25,000 thousand members. Entering the CDC is a chance to raise your game and get your work noticed.

This month's design challenge is Alice in Wonderland.

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Stuart Sumida Comes to Escape Studios

Stuart Sumida
Paleontologist and animal locomotion expert Stuart Sumida was at Escape Studios yesterday; we hosted over 60 artists from Framestore at our Shepherd's Bush campus as they attended a masterclass in animal anatomy.

Stuart's lecture to our visiting animators and VFX artists was all about how to make more believable and authentic animals and creatures in film.

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Acting for Animators Wednesday 21st Feb

Sarah Perry of Shapes in Motion is returning to Escape Studios on Wednesday 21st February and thursday 22nd February to teach our animation students a practical, physical workshop in "acting for animators".

Of course, everyone knows that animators are actors - but what does that really mean in practice?

Sarah's workshop will help our animation students explore acting methodology, and help them to become better actors. 

Monday, 12 February 2018

An Evening With... Francesca Adams 22nd Feb

Blue Zoo storyboard artist Francesca "Chess" Adams is our guest for our next "An Evening with..." event. Every month we have a guest speaker from industry to come in for a talk, followed by a short Q&A with our students, past present and future.

It's a chance for students to catch up with industry professionals, find out how the industry works, and also - of course - enjoy some free beer and pizza.

Friday, 9 February 2018

Framestore and the Making of Paddington 2

One of the most anticipated talks at the VFX festival this week was the presentation by Framestore on the making of Paddington 2.

Lead animator Liam Russell presented some superbly edited breakdowns of a number of the key sequences in the film, including the prison sequence and the train - two of my favourite sequences from the movie.