Saturday, 17 August 2019

Movement & Narrative at Escape Studios

First year artwork by Ronnie Kaye
For our undergraduate students, Movement & Narrative is a two-week mini-module at Level 4 (ie the first year of undergraduate studies) exploring the basics of creativity, storytelling, design and even acting.

Movement & Narrative forms a part of CR4002, the Creative Foundations Craft Module, which is a foundation course in creativity and creative thinking, taken by all our first year students, whether they are studying games, animation or VFX.

Some software, such as Photoshop, is taught in this module; but students are mainly encouraged to explore creative ideas and creative ways of thinking. 

In their first year of studies, all our undergraduate students study a broad art and design curriculum, enabling them to understand the whole animation, games and VFX pipeline before committing to a single specialism in their second year.

Friday, 16 August 2019

Bird in Flight Tutorial at Vimeo

We've got a new animation tutorial uploaded to our Vimeo channel; showing how to animate a bird in flight, and the basics of avian locomotion. The tutorial also covers motion paths, set design, cameras, and basic lighting, teaching all the basic elements of the 3D animation pipeline in Maya in one exercise. The tutorial is aimed at beginners and no prior knowledge of Maya is needed.  You can find it here at our Vimeo channel

Thursday, 15 August 2019

"Evening With" The Lion King 22 August

MPC has recently confirmed our very special guest for our next "Evening With" event - with El Suliman, animation lead on The Lion King.

The event will be taking place at Escape Studios on the evening of 22nd August.

Like all our "Evening With..." events, all are welcome; the event is free and open to students and prospective students. 

Wednesday, 14 August 2019

Character Design with Sam Nassour 2 Sept

Sam Nassour
Our Character Design class is returning to Escape Studios on September 2nd, taught by leading character designer Sam Nassour.

Sam will be teaching our full-time intensive four week character design class, starting on Monday 2nd September and running until Friday 27th September.

Sam is an experienced visual development artist and character designer, lately working at Blue Zoo animation in London. Sam's work exhibits a beautiful range of styles with great versatility

Tuesday, 13 August 2019

Why Animators Should Be the Rhino

Durer's Rhino
Animators need thick hide - rhinoceros hide -  because applying for work in the animation industry can be daunting.

Even though the animation industry is booming, and there are many opportunities, searching for work can be a dispiriting process.

Once upon a time you'd get a rejection letter; nowadays the most common outcome is silence - just being (and feeling) ignored.

But it remains true that the success in our industry doesn't necessarily go to the most talented - it goes to the most determined.

Monday, 12 August 2019

Animation Thumbnails in Maya: Grease Pencil

Escape Studios animation tutor Amedeo Beretta has uploaded a  new tutorial to our Vimeo Channel about thumbnailing for animation straight in Maya.

Autodesk Maya's Grease Pencil tool offers the advantage of allowing the animator to gauge timing, as well as posing.

It also allows animators to plan out their shots in the traditional 2D manner, doing fast thumbnail sketches directly on the screen.

Saturday, 10 August 2019

Introducing "The Good Old Days"

Introducing The Good Old Days, a short film made by graduating animation student Sebastian Kuder, part of his final film project, and completed at Escape Studios. The Good Old Days is a short story about an elderly gentleman reliving the glory days of his youth, with unexpected consequences.

Friday, 9 August 2019

Last Call for Toonboom Harmony on 3 Sept

Our 2D Animation evening class in Toonboom Harmony is returning on 3rd September 2019.

The class runs for 8 weeks, one evening a week (Tuesdays), and is an introduction to animating in Toonboom Harmony, one of the leading software packages for the creation of 2D animation.

The class is taught by Harmony animator Plamen Ananiev, and mentored by London animation powerhouse Blue Zoo. Harmony animators are much in demand, as 2D animation experiences a significant revival, both overseas and also here in the UK.

Thursday, 8 August 2019

Jamie Floodgate Animator at Blue Zoo

Jamie Floodgate
Many congratulations to Escapee Jamie Floodgate, who has recently landed a position as a junior animator at London animation powerhouse Blue Zoo.

Jamie applied to Blue Zoo on the strength of his animation demo reel which he put together after taking our 12 week animation course at Escape Studios.

Jamie wasn't initially successful applying to Blue Zoo, and at first he was turned down.  Undaunted, he continued to polish his animation skills, working on an entry to the 11 Second Club monthly competition.  The second time around, everything fell into place.

Wednesday, 7 August 2019

Creature Animation Performance Tutorial by Escapee Maria Robertson

Mating Dance animation by Maria Robertson
Animation Escapee Maria Robertson has recorded a new creature performance video for our expanding Vimeo channel.

The tutorial uses the free Parasite crab rig by Truong, and explains how to animate a six legged creature doing a performance (in this case, a mating dance), based on live action reference.

Maria explains how she created her mating dance animation for the Xye Crab in the mockumentary short "Planet Mars", an award-winning second-year undergraduate film project directed by Sebastian Kuder.

Tuesday, 6 August 2019

Character Design Returns 11 November 2019

Artwork by Andrea Torrejon
Our Character Design Evening Class is returning to Escape Studios on 11th November 2019.

Character Design is an 8 week evening class taught by Andrea Torrejon, an experienced character designer whose recent work includes the Disney TV Series "101 Dalmation St".

Like all of our courses, this class is taught by a working industry professional; Andrea will guide students through the principles of character design, building up to a live industry brief.

Learning character design isn't just about drawing cool characters; it is also about learning what the industry actually needs from a character designer - turnarounds, model packs and an animation "bible".

Monday, 5 August 2019

Escape Studios Animation Reel Summer 2020

Check out our latest Escape Studios animation demo reel. This animation demo reel features work completed by students taking our Animation Short Course, Advanced Animation, and Masters' Degree in 3D Animation. Congratulations to Harry Pearson, Lucy Harris, Maciej Osuch, Titi-Marian Giusca, Sasha Batt, Jamie Floodgate, Luis Coronado, Elena Scala, Amanda Costa, Aaron Hopwood, Emily Lim-Sarrias, Billy Allen, Cherelle Owusu, Steven Lall, Edoardo Sartori, Petroc Menuhin, and Paloma Zhu on their excellent work. The reel was cut by animation tutor Amedeo Beretta.

Saturday, 3 August 2019

Animation 12 Week Course Starts 30 Sept

Escapee Chan Sagoo worked on Lion King
Our next animation short course - three months of intensive training in 3D animation - starts on 30th September 2019.

The course is aimed at anyone who wants to learn the art and craft of 3D Animation in Maya, and aims to take students to a professional level of skill, making them studio-ready talent.

Taught by veteran animation tutor Lee Caller, our animation is designed to help our students find employment in the rapidly expanding animation and VFX industry.

We teach the Escape Method - a unique blend of intensive in-class teaching supported by hundreds of online video tutorials, and a dedicated Facebook Classroom in which our students are encouraged to give and receive feedback, simulating a real studio environment.

To see some of our recent success stories, such as Chan Sagoo who worked on Lion King, follow this link.

Friday, 2 August 2019

Animation Taster Day Wednesday 7 August

Eagle by Lee Caller
We're running a new Animation Taster Day here at Escape Studios on Wednesday 7th August.

Taster Days are a great chance to learn about character and creature animation, and find out what an animator's job is all about.

You will learn how to use Autodesk Maya and get a hands-on introduction to 3D Animation techniques; the full day costs just £25, and by the end of the day you'll have your own piece of creature animation - a bird in flight - uploaded to your YouTube channel.  No prior knowledge of Maya - or any software - is required.

Thursday, 1 August 2019

Matt Wight Paint & Roto Artist at Framestore

Matt Wight
Many congratulations to Escapee Matt Wight, who has recently found work as a Paint & Roto Artist at London VFX powerhouse Framestore.

Matt is a visual effects artist who, among his many accomplishments at Escape Studios, produced the award-winning short film "Jericho" which was shortlisted for a student BAFTA, was Highly Commended at the Rookies, and has made the official selection for many short festivals around the world.

Jerich0 was a collaboration between visual effects artists and animation students at Escape Studios, working together to produce industry-quality work.

Matt's success is a fine example of what we call the Escape Method; intensive personal tuition in a feedback-rich environment, followed by group project work simulating the environment of a VFX animation studio.

Wednesday, 31 July 2019

Sarah Andrews Intern at Sliced Bread

Many congratulations to Sarah Andrews, third year undergraduate animation student at Escape Studios who has secured an 8 week summer internship storyboarding with Sliced Bread Animation in Bethnal Green.

Sliced Bread is a multi-disciplined, multi-award-winning digital animation studio based in London, creating animation for a wide variety of clients, including Sony, Coca-Cola, Microsoft and Unilever.

Sliced Bread produce "high-impact, bespoke animations and applications for marketing and corporate communications, including virtual and augmented reality projects."

Sarah Andrews is an award-winning animator and storyboard artist who has worked on many projects at Escape Studios; specialising in storyboarding in her final year. 

Tuesday, 30 July 2019

The Making of Who Framed Roger Rabbit

Canadian author and animation historian Ross Anderson's long-anticipated book - Pulling a Rabbit Out of a Hat - The Story Behind the Making of Who Framed Roger Rabbit? is finally in print.

Ross was first interviewed by animation blog FLiP back in 2013, about writing of the book, which has taken six years to bring to fruition.

Ross was signing copies at this year's Annecy film festival; his book aims to be the definitive history of the making of the film, which changed the animation industry and launched dozens of animation careers (including my own).

Among the book's highlights are Tom Sito's hilarious sketches and scribbles that documented the making of the film.

Saturday, 27 July 2019

Acting For Animators on 13 August

Sarah Perry of Shapes in Motion is returning to Escape Studios to teach a one-day "Acting for Animators" workshop on 13th August with our short course animatorsSarah is an expert on teaching acting skills to animators, having taught acting classes at MPC, Framestore, and many other UK animation and VFX houses.  To find out more about the class, and about Shapes in Motion, watch the short video above.

Friday, 26 July 2019

Rig Referencing in Maya Done Right

Amedeo Beretta
Escape Studios' animation tutor Amedeo Beretta has created a new video for us on the proper use of File Referencing in Maya, and how to set your shot up correctly.

The video is titled Setting Up Your Shot - File Referencing
and can be found at our Vimeo channel here.

It forms a part of a series of video tutorials on best practice in Maya - setting up your shot correctly and getting the most out of the software.

Thursday, 25 July 2019

Jack Thompson Animation Intern at Myriad

Jack Thompson
Many congratulations to second year undergraduate animation student Jack Thompson, who has recently began a summer animation Internship at Myriad Global Media in London.

Myriad Global Media is a global company with offices in London, Houston and Abu Dhabi, specialisingin in VR, AR, film production, 2D/3D animation, interactive media, events, and exhibition. 

Summer internships are not always easy to find but they are out there - for those with persistence and dedication.