Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Animation Taster Days Aug 24, 13 & 27th Sept

Learn to animate a bird in flight
We're running three more Animation Taster Days here at Escape Studios, on Thursday 24th August, Wednesday 13th September, and Wednesday 27th September. Taster Days are a great chance to learn about character and creature animation, and find out what an animator's job is all about.

We run animation taster days to give future animators an idea of what it's like to work in the  industry, and discover if this is a career that's right for them.

You will work with Autodesk Maya and the Adobe Creative Suite, and you’ll get a hands-on introduction to 3D Animation techniques, all for just £25!  By the end of the day you'll have your own piece of animation uploaded to your YouTube channel.  So, how do you sign up?

Friday, 11 August 2017

Pixabay.com - Free Stills and Videos!

Sooner or later every digital artist has to get to grips with copyright law. In particular, where can you find royalty-free images and video for use in your work? It's no use just grabbing stuff from Google. Copyright owners can and will hunt you down, especially the stock image companies like Getty Images. One excellent solution to the problem is Pixabay.com.

Pixabay.com describes itself as "a vibrant community of creatives, sharing copyright free images and videos. All contents are released under Creative Commons CC0, which makes them safe to use without asking for permission or giving credit to the artist - even for commercial purposes."

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Faster, Better, Rigging in Maya with Rapid Rig

"Rapid Rig: Modular" is a powerful automated rigging tool developed by Dustin Nelson and available for $90 at Highend3D.com.

Rapid Rigdoes what the name suggests - it allows you to build rigs rapidly, with speed and efficiency.

And it doesn't just rig bipeds. Rapid Rig will allow to rig characters with "four arms, two heads, twenty eyes, fourteen fingers, eight legs" - you get the picture. And all without having to understand anything much about rigging.

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

I Want To Live in the Zoo by Evgenia Golubeva


I Want To Live in the Zoo by Evgenia Golubeva

Check out this charming trailer for by Escapee Evgenia Golubeva, who has been pursuing a career as an independent film-maker and animator.  "I Want To Live in the Zoo" is Evgenia's latest film project, and comes on the heels of her award-winning short "I am not a Mouse", and the very funny "Hold Me Clothes", which was created in just four days at Film Festival Cinemadamare in 2011. Many congratulations to Evgenia on her beautiful animation.

Monday, 7 August 2017

New Dragon Rig from Josh Sobel

Josh Sobel is an excellent rigger and animator who has brought animation students a number of excellent rigs, including the excellent Kayla rig, and also the very useful (and free) Bonnie rig.

He has now released a completely new rig - "Arc the Dragon", which isn't free, but is priced at a very reasonable $18.

Arc is described as "a full quadruped with expressive facial control, intuitive body setup, full picker, pose library and limitless customization."

Friday, 4 August 2017

Stuart Penn Unlocks Alien Covenant

Last night Escape Studios was proud to welcome Framestore VFX Supervisor Stuart Penn to talk to students and guests about his visual effects work.

Framestore is one of London's leading visual effects houses, and is now a global company with locations in Canada and elsewhere.

Stuart, whose VFX work includes Avatar, The Dark Knight, Iron Man 3 Guardians of the Galaxy, was talking about his recent work as VFX supervisor on Ridley Scott’s Alien: Covenant.
 
So, what were the secrets behind this most coveted of VFX roles - working for one of the greatest living film directors on this legendary film franchise?

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

PC -v- Mac - Which Is Best For Animation?

Mac -v- PC. Which is best?
One question we get asked a lot by animation students looking to buy a new laptop is "which is best for animating in Maya - a PC or a Mac?"

It's an important question because you don't want to spend a lot of money on a machine that doesn't do the job properly. Of course, while you are studying at Escape Studios we provide you will all the hardware and software you need. But lots of students like to have their own workstation at home, so they can keep working on their projects out of hours, or on holiday.

So, which is best? A Mac or a PC?

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Find Your Future on 9 August 2017

Want a career in creative media, but not sure what route to travel? Get yourself to "Find Your Future 2017", right here in London on 9 August.

If you're interested in working in the creative industries, then Find Your Future is the careers event for you.

Best of all, it's completely free!

Friday, 28 July 2017

Blue GFX Expo 9 November 2017

Save the date! Blue GFX Expo is taking place in London on 9th November 2017.

Last year speakers included Tom Box from Blue Zoo, one of the UK's biggest TV animation company, Stuart Penn from Framestore, and the folks from Autodesk showing the latest tools.

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Farewell June Foray 1917-2017

June Foray
The Queen of Animation died yesterday. The extraordinarily talented June Foray, voice of countless cartoon characters in her long and varied career, has died just shy of her 100th birthday.  June was the go-to person for animation voice-over work for many, many decades. You may not recognise June's face, but you know her voice.

She was the voice of the Grandmother in Disney's Mulan, and did countless Granny voices for the Looney Tunes. She worked with animation greats like Chuck Jones and Mel Blanc (voice of Bugs Bunny and many others), and continued working well into her 90s. She was on the Board of Governors of the Motion Picture Academy, and ASIFA Hollywood. She helped to set up the Annie Awards (animation Oscars) in 1972.

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

7 Rules to Start Your Own Animation Business

How do you start a small animation business? At Escape Studios we don't just train animators to do excellent work, we help them to turn that knowledge into a successful career. And one way of dealing with the uncertainty of being an employee in the creative industries is to start up your own business.

Don't forget that today's big companies like Pixar and Blue Zoo all began life as small start-ups. But how, exactly, might you go about starting one up from scratch?  Below are the 7 Key Rules to start your own animation business.

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Why Does Maya's Batch Render Light Too Dark?

Utah Teapot
Lighting your scene using Autodesk Maya can be a tricky process. You finish your shot, light your scene, you get your lights to look just the way you want them to. And when you render out a single frame, everything looks fine. But then, when you come to do a batch render of your frames, Maya gives you something quite different - and much darker. And it's not what you wanted at all.

Why does Maya do this - and what is the solution?

Friday, 21 July 2017

Last Call! Animation Taster Day 24 July

Animate a crow in flight
Last chance to sign up! We're running an Animation Taster Day here at Escape Studios, on Monday 24th July. Taster Days are a great chance to learn about character and creature animation, and find out what an animator's job is all about.

We run animation taster days to give future animators an idea of what it's like to work in the  industry, and discover if this is a career that's right for them.

You will work with Autodesk Maya and the Adobe Creative Suite, and you’ll get a hands-on introduction to 3D Animation techniques, all for just £25!  By the end of the day you'll have your own piece of animation uploaded to your YouTube channel.  So, how do you sign up?

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Stuart Penn to Escape Studios on 3rd August

Stuart Penn
Escape Studios is proud to host another "Evening with..." event, this time with super-talented Framestore VFX Supervisor Stuart Penn, on Thursday 3rd August at 6.30pm.

Stuart's work includes the digital oil refinery "Hell's Gate" on James Cameron's Avatar, the Hong Kong sequence of Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight, the development of the Extremis effect for Marvel's Iron Man 3 and the Knowhere environment for Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy.

Stuart will be talking about his recent work as VFX supervisor on Ridley Scott’s Alien: Covenant.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Tools For Character Designers at Adobe Color

color.adobe.com
Check out Adobe Color, an excellent resource to help aspiring character designers deal with that trickiest of concepts - a colour palette that works.

Character designers tend to have their hands full dealing with design and drawing, and having to work in colour adds a whole extra layer of complexity.

The cool thing about Adobe Color is that it gives you colour palettes for free. Say you wanted to design a character using military colours - you might try this army colour palette here.

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

16 Rules of Animation Freelancing

If you work in the animation industry, the chances are that at some point you will be self-employed, either running your own small business or working as a freelancer. 

Even if you do land a job as an employee of a company, our industry tends to be project-driven, and most companies tend to expand and contract according to the size of their order book. 

So what’s an animator to do to stay afloat? First, you must understand the 16 Rules of Animation Freelancing

Monday, 17 July 2017

Bring Your Own Animation Tonight 17th July

Lukin pub, Fitzrovia
Calling all Escape animators - "Bring Your Own Animation" is taking place tonight, on Monday 17th July.

BYOA is an animation event that takes place every month at a pub in London. This month the event is taking place at The Lukin pub in Fitzrovia.

If you are a student who is working on a shot or an updated reel (aren't we all?), bring your work on a USB or hard drive and get feedback from professional animators. You'll also hear the local gossip and find out the word on the street.

Python is Back! New Course Starts 21 Nov 2017

Escape Studios recently launched a new Python Short Course, and its success means that we're running it again this November.

Python is a widely used high-level programming language for general-purpose programming, created by Guido van Rossum, and widely used in the VFX industry.

Most importantly for our students, Python is part of the architecture of Maya and Nuke, and an ability to master Python is a super-useful part of the digital artists' tool box.  Python is being taught at Escape Studios West (Shepherd's Bush), for five weeks from 21st November 2017.  It's a part-time course and costs £995.  To find out more, follow this link.

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Character Design Webinar Monday 31st July


Our next webinar at Escape Studios is on Monday 31st July at 4pm, and it's all about character design: how to design great characters, and how to find work as a character designer in the animation industry. 

If you'd like to find work as a character designer (and who wouldn't? It's one of the most fun jobs going in our industry) and you'd like to make your portfolio the best it possibly can be - sign up now for our webinar.

Best of all - it's completely free!

What's this webinar all about?
It's all about what's involved in forging a successful career as a character designer. Putting together an excellent portfolio of work is the ultimate goal for all of our students here at Escape Studios - and character design is no exception.

Thursday, 6 July 2017

The Best Animation Course in the World?

Blue Zoo Animation
What would the Best Animation Course in the world look like?

The question was recently asked by Tom Box, co-founder of Blue Zoo Animation Studio. Tom surveyed the artists and animators at Blue Zoo to find out what is right - and wrong - with university animation courses.

It's an important question, and one that colleges and universities need to keep asking, in order to make sure we're offering our students the right skills. So what is the answer?  How can universities design better courses that actually meet the needs of the industry?