Monday, 21 January 2019

Unreal Animation for 3rd Year Animators

Simon Fenton
Our third year animation students are getting schooled in the Unreal Engine pipeline next week. Simon Fenton, Head of Games at Escape Studios, has kindly agreed to run a week-long session, preparing our students for the next group project, which will be rendered using Unreal Engine.

The Unreal Engine class starts on Tuesday 29th January and continues into Wednesday 30th January and finishes on Thursday 31st January.

The class is also an opportunity for our animation students to explore collaborations with the games students at Escape Studios, breathing life into the characters and environments created by the game artists.

Friday, 18 January 2019

Storyboarding Returns to Escape Studios

Iliana Franklin teaches at Escape Studios
On Monday we are welcoming back special guest tutor Iliana Franklin to teach the art and craft of storyboarding to our second year animation students.

Iliana will teach a practical and industry-led approach to storyboarding, using both traditional drawing skills and also digital techniques.

Thursday, 17 January 2019

Evgenia Golubeva Writer at Blue Zoo

Evgenia Golubeva
Many congratulations to Escapee Evgenia Golubeva, who has recently been hired as writer at Blue Zoo Animation, one of the UK's leading producers of animated content.

Evgenia studied with us on our animation short course, and has since forged a career as an independent film-maker, entering her animated films in festivals around the world and winning international prizes for her work.

We're delighted to wish her every success at Blue Zoo, where she will bring her talent as an animator and storyteller to the commercial world of TV cartoons.

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Escape Studios 2019 VFX Festival February 6-7

The countdown to Escape Studios' 2019 VFX Festival is on.  As in previous years, we've got some great speakers coming to talk about the latest developments in Animation, Games and VFX.

This year the festival kicks off with our "Emerging Talent" event which runs for two days, from February 6-7th at London's South Bank Centre.

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Drawing Club Returns Tuesday Jan 15th

Drawing Club at Escape Studios
Drawing Club is returning to Escape Studios on Tuesday January 15th, starting off the year with a  class for absolute beginners.

Even if you can barely draw a stick figure - come along and get stuck in.

Our Studio Assistants, including Drawing Club supremo Steve Lall, will be on hand to lead the class, presenting drawing challenges such as quick gesture drawings to capture a fast pose.

Drawing club takes place on Tuesdays in the basement at 190 High Holborn from 4:30pm until 5:30pm. All are welcome.

Steve Lall Teaches Performance Capture

Steve Lall teaches MoCap at Escape Studios
Our Second year animation students are back at Escape Studios, and are now tackling their Animation Specialism module.

In this module we bring a variety of tutors in to the classroom to explore different parts of the animation pipeline.

Today and tomorrow our students will get a masterclass in Performance Capture animation, taught by our very own Studio Assistant Steven Lall.

Monday, 14 January 2019

2nd Year Specialism Module CR5001

Character animation by Chan Sagoo
A warm welcome back to all our undergraduate students, as formal classroom teaching resumes today. 

The second year of animation studies at Escape Studios is where our students begin to focus on proficiency in the craft of animation.

The second year is also an opportunity for students to choose what part of the animation industry they would like to specialise in.  The 2nd Year Specialism Module (Module Code CR5001) is worth 15 credits and runs for 8 weeks, culminating in a portfolio presentation.  So, what can our students expect?

Sunday, 13 January 2019

Steve Burch: Producing Animation Mon 14 Jan

Animation Producer Steve Burch
Escape Studios is welcoming back veteran animation producer Steve Burch to our High Holborn campus.

Steve, who has worked on animation classics such as The Iron Giant, Space Jam, and Osmosis Jones, is visiting us on Monday 14th January to deliver a workshop on Producing Animation to our second year animators.

He will be back on Tuesday January 15th for our Advanced Animation and MA students.

Friday, 11 January 2019

Part-Time Animation Starts 19th February

Karin Mattson
Our part-time evening class in animation is back, starting on 19th February at our High Holborn campus.

The class is taught by veteran animator Karin Mattsson, who is also our newest animation tutor.

Karin has worked on many Hollywood animation and visual effects blockbusters such as Transformers, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, John Carter, Clash of the Titans and The Chronicles of Narnia.

Thursday, 10 January 2019

Acting for Animators on Friday 18 January

Sarah Perry of Shapes in Motion is returning to Escape Studios to teach a one-day "Acting for Animators" workshop on Friday 18th January.  The workshop lasts all day and is primarily for our 2nd year animators, who are now embarking on their Specialism ModuleSarah is an expert on teaching acting skills to animators, having taught acting classes at MPC, Framestore, and many other leading UK animation and VFX houses.  To find out a little about the class, and about Shapes in Motion, watch the video above.

Wednesday, 9 January 2019

What is Film Freeway?

Film Freeway is a great way for students to enter short films into international competitions.

Rather than enter your film individually into lots of different festivals, film-makers can create one upload to a single portal, and then apply through Film Freeway for as many competitions as you like.

Film Freeway has over recent years come to replace IMDB's Withoutabox, which is being discontinued and will close down in October this year.

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.

Friday, 4 January 2019

Happy New Year from Escape Studios!

WIP Fight Sequence 2019 from Simone Giampaolo on Vimeo.

Happy New Year from Escape Studios and from our newest animation tutor, Simone Giampaolo, who is clearly so awesomely talented that he was able to knock out this animated tribute to 2019 in about 10 minutes, with his left hand, while fixing dinner and also calling his Mum (well, I exaggerate a little).  Simone has recently been teaching animation to our Short Course students and, starting on Monday 7th January, he will be teaching the Advanced Animation and Master's students the secrets of character acting and performance. Happy New Year to all our students; may it bring success and prosperity to us all.

Thursday, 3 January 2019

Plamen Ananiev Talks 2D Animation

Plamen Ananiev
Plamen Ananiev is our newest animation tutor, joining us next week for our very first evening class in 2D animation, teaching students to use the latest 2D animation software - Toonboom Harmony.

Why are we running classes in Harmony? Because Harmony is now one of the leading software packages for the creation of 2D animation, such as at London-based animation powerhouse Blue Zoo, which is currently crewing up a whole new division for 2D animation. 

We asked Plamen (currently working on Simon's Cat in London) to talk about his work in the field of 2D Animation - now experiencing a major revival here in the UK and elsewhere. In particular, how can students successfully break into this competitive part of the industry?

Wednesday, 2 January 2019

"Mend The Gap" on 4th February 2019

In February 2019 we're hosting Film London's Mend the Gap event: a debate on animation training and employment.

Here in the UK we have something of a disconnect between what industry needs, and what a lot of animation degree courses actually teach. As a result, many animation studios often recruit young talent primarily from European animation schools, not from the UK. So what is the cause of this problem, and what can be done to fix it?

Monday, 31 December 2018

Eight New Year's Resolutions for Animators

Bong! Happy 2019!
What should an animator's new year's resolutions be? The animation business continues to expand, bringing jobs and opportunities, but it's a competitive world, and good animators need to be smart to stay on top of their game.

So, apart from going on a post-Christmas diet,  what are some simple ways to maintain your edge in 2019?

Saturday, 29 December 2018

Toonboom Harmony Licenses at Escape Studios

We're in the processing of installing 13 new licenses in Toonboom Harmony for our new evening class in 2D Animation, which kicks off on 8 January.

Watching the amazing animation done by Ken Duncan's animation studio on Mary Poppins Returns underlines just how much 2D animation skills are still in demand.

It was also clear at last summer's Annecy animation festival in France that a big 2D animation revival is in progress. Here in London, Blue Zoo animation is expanding into 2D work and aggressively recruiting fresh animation talent. So, there are plenty of opportunities for 2D animators - as long as they are properly trained in the right software, of course.

Thursday, 27 December 2018

Producing For VFX Returns on 5 Feb 2019

Learn from the producer of Ultramarines
Producing for visual effects is returning to Escape Studios on 5th February. This six week intensive class, supported by Access VFX, ScreenSkills and the BFI, will take place at our 190 High Holborn campus.

The course will prepare VFX producers for the challenges of pitches, budgets, spreadsheets and all the commercial knowledge that underpins our industry. And, of course, the creative side of the business - because every blockbuster project starts with a great idea.

This unique class is taught by a variety of producers including Ultramarines producer Bob Thompson, an experienced industry veteran with a long and successful track record of producing animated feature films, commercials and VFX projects.

So, what can our students expect?

Saturday, 22 December 2018

UCAS Deadline - January 15th 2019

UCAS - time to apply
Thinking of applying to Escape Studios to study the Art of 3D Animation, Games or Visual effects?  The UCAS deadline of January 15th is fast approaching.  We are welcoming applications for the fourth intake of our new integrated BA/MArt in Animation, Games and VFX - launched in September 2016.

One of the most common questions I get asked by prospective students is this: "should I wait to apply until I have finished my portfolio?" The answer is a definite "no".  Get your application in early, and worry about your portfolio later. You'll have plenty of time before attending one of our Creative Workshops to pull your portfolio together.

Friday, 21 December 2018

What is APEL?

APEL: route to post-graduate study
What is APEL? APEL stands for "Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning", and is the formal recognition of prior learning by UK universities.

Why is it important? Because APEL is the mechanism by which students who do not have an undergraduate degree can gain entry onto a masters' level course, such as our master's programme in 3D animation.

For example, an animator with ten years' experience in the industry might not realise they can apply for our MA course in animation, because they need a BA first.  In fact, this would not necessarily be true.

We can consider a student's body of work, and their professional career, as a route into post-graduate study, permitting them to meet the necessary qualifications for entry onto a masters' programme.