Friday, 30 August 2019

Animation Taster Day 7th September

Animate a bird in flight
We're running a new Animation Taster Day here at Escape Studios on Saturday 7th 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.

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, 29 August 2019

Steven Sole To Teach Movement & Narrative

Steven Sole
We're delighted to welcome a new animation tutor at Escape Studios, character designer & visual development artist Steven Sole.

Steven will teach our first year undergraduate students Movement & Narrative, a mini-module in which students are invited to think about creativity, design, and visual narrative.

Steven Sole comes to us from Framestore and also from Tiger Aspect Productions, where he was Art Director on Mr Bean.

To see some of Steven's amazing work, visit his official site.

Wednesday, 28 August 2019

MoCap Retargeting with Amedeo Beretta

We've uploaded a new tutorial video to our Vimeo Channel - MoCap Retargeting with Amedeo Beretta.

Amedeo explains in detail the process of how to take a MoCap performance and re-target it onto an animation rig, so that the animation curves can be tweaked and polished.

Performance Capture, aka Motion Capture, aka "MoCap", is a growing part of the animation industry. It's something our students need to be able to work with effectively, as many animation studios - and especially games studios - rely heavily on MoCap for their animation pipeline.

You can find Amedeo's tutorial here. Like all our tutorials, it is password-protected, available for our current students and Escapees.

Tuesday, 27 August 2019

Getting Ready for September

September will soon be upon us, and our new cohort of animation undergraduates will join us in a few short weeks.

What kind of preparation should students do before starting with us on our BA/Mart in Animation in September?  It's always good to do a little preparation and get a bit of a head start.

Below is a brief list of stuff to get you under way. You don't have to do all of it, but tick off a few of the things on this list and you will be a making a great start on your animation career.

First, here is a short reading list to get you started.

Sunday, 25 August 2019

Aaron Hopwood Animator at Untold

Aaron Hopwood
Many congratulations to Escapee Aaron Hopwood, who has recently been hired as a VFX artist at Untold Studios in London.

Untold are a new studio formed in 2018 by a number of former executives at London VFX house The Mill, who left and set up their own independent creative studio, focusing on advertising, entertainment and technology.

Aaron completed the 3 year BA in 3D animation this summer, having led a number of successful animation projects during his time at Escape Studios.

Friday, 23 August 2019

El Suliman Reveals the Secrets of Lion King

Escape Studios was proud to welcome MPC lead animator El Suliman to Escape Studios last night to talk about his work on the Disney blockbuster "The Lion King", now one of the top ten most successful films ever made.

El spoke at one of our regular "Evening With" events.  El Suliman was an animation lead on The Lion King, and he animated many of the key shots on the film.

El explained how the animators approached the animation on this hugely complex and ground-breaking movie, which raises the bar for creature animation

Thursday, 22 August 2019

Animation Learning Resources at Escape

Blended Classroom
How do students learn animation at Escape Studios? Our courses focus on traditional classroom delivery, giving students all the skills they need to become professional animators.

But we also have many additional learning resources for our students, including traditional media such as books, magazines and journals (located just outside the animation classroom), a Facebook classroom where students can post videos and get feedback, and also dedicated a Vimeo channel with hundreds of tutorials on animation techniques.

The Vimeo channel digs deep into animation skills but also covers related disciplines such as modeling, rigging, lighting and rendering.

Wednesday, 21 August 2019

Last Call for 12 Week Animation Course 30 Sept

Escapee Chan Sagoo worked on Lion King (2019)
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, and Jamie Floodgate, who is an animator at Blue Zoo, follow this link.

Tuesday, 20 August 2019

Minuet in Golden Nugget Film Festival 11 Sept

Minuet
Congratulations to our student animators - the short films Minuet and The Golden Acorn are both finalists in the Golden Nugget Film Festival in London on Wednesday September 11th.

We'll be going along to cheer our students on, vote in the audience award, and offer applause and support.  

At just under 6 minutes, Minuet is our most ambitious film to date at Escape Studios, completed by recent animation graduates. Golden Acorn was completed by a group of talented second year students who will soon start their third year of studies at Escape Studios.

Good luck to all our student film-makers as they showcase their talent and skill on the wider stage

Monday, 19 August 2019

Matteo Sanna to Teach Animation 27 August

Matteo Sanna
We're delighted to welcome a new animation tutor, Matteo Sanna, who will be teaching Intermediate Animation at Escape Studios on Tuesday 27th August.

Matteo brings a wealth of animation experience to the classroom; his extensive animation and VFX film credits include Avengers: Endgame, Geostorm, Avengers: Infinity War, and Hellboy.

Matteo is currently working at Cinesite in Soho as a Senior Animator.

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. Classes start on Monday 30 September.

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"



We're proud to introduce 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 who tries to re-live the glory days of his youth, but things don't quite go to plan.

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 18th November 2019

Artwork by Andrea Torrejon
Our Character Design Evening Class is returning to Escape Studios on 18th 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 2019



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.