Tuesday, 18 February 2020

Escape Studios Animation Reel Feb 2020



We're proud to present the February 2020 Escape Studios Animation Demo Reel.  This latest edit of our best shots showcases the very best work our animation students have put together since we cut our last reel in the summer of 2019.  There is a great deal of high quality animation being made at Escape Studios today, and we have had to make some hard choices this time around, leaving out many excellent shots from this latest selection of our best character, creature and short film animation.

Monday, 17 February 2020

Character Design is Back on 24 August

Sam Nassour
Our full-time Character Design class is returning to Escape Studios on 24 August, taught by leading character designer Sam Nassour.

Sam will be teaching our full-time intensive four week character design class, starting on Monday 24th August.

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

Sunday, 16 February 2020

Evening With...Dave Ranyard 19 February

Join us on Wednesday night for one of our regular "Evening with..." events at Escape Studios.

The event takes place on Wednesday 19 February as we welcome Dave Ranyard from Dream Reality Interactive on the subject of VR (Virtual Reality) and AR (Augmented Reality).

Saturday, 15 February 2020

Pitch Your Project at APD: Apply by 20 Feb

Animation Production Days in Stuttgart is an event that should be on every animator's radar.

Like Cartoon Movie and Cartoon Forum, APD offers a unique opportunity for animation graduates to pitch their ideas to producers, financiers and sales agents - the people who can bring original animation content to the market.

Friday, 14 February 2020

Smash Bros Event at Escape 20 February

Smash Bros Event on 20 February at Escape Studios
Escape Studios is hosting a Smash Bros Games Night on Thursday 20th February, open to our year 3 undergraduate students and year 4 MA students.

We are also welcoming our industry friends, colleagues and partners to join us on the night.

The event takes place at 190 High Holborn WC1, and any profits from the night will be donated to Special Effect, the gamers' charity.

Thursday, 13 February 2020

PR5001 Studio Project Starts on 24 February

Golden Acorn - festival winner
On 24th February our 2nd year undergraduates embark on the Studio Project Module PR5001, where students collaborate to work together on group projects.

This module is the culmination of the second year of study at Escape Studios.

The Studio Projects are designed to simulate as closely as possible the experience of working on a live client project.

The Studio Project is worth 45 credits, starts on Monday 24 February, and runs until the end of May, with a week off for Easter.

The Studio Project is broken up into two projects, giving students the chance to practice digital film-making twice in a short space of time, and polish their story-telling skills.

Wednesday, 12 February 2020

Jerich0 Wins Best Animation in Budapest

Congratulations to the makers of Jerich0, which has won Best Animation at the Budapest Independent Film Festival 2020.

This is the latest in a long string of awards for the film, which was directed by Sarah Andrews and completed by our third year undergraduate animation students, as part of PR6001, a Studio Project module worth 60 credits.

Tuesday, 11 February 2020

Giles & Rupert's Prehistoric Predicament



Giles and Rupert's Prehistoric Predicament is a teaser/trailer for an original animated TV series created at Escape Studios by Toby Haslam, Denise Esposito, Louis Chevis, Cameron Haley, Joseph Dunn and Oriyarna Olaku. The project was created as part of CR4002 and PR4001, two first year modules in which students first create an original idea for a TV series, and then turn it into an animatic - a filmed version of the storyboard. In this case, Toby, Denise and their team have included the previs edit shown above, setting the bar even higher for what can be achieved in the first year at Escape.

Monday, 10 February 2020

The Art of the Pitch

The Art of the Pitch
Here at Escape Studios we don't just teach the mechanics of animation, we also teach the art and craft of creativity and film-making.

Every great animation series began its life as a humble concept - even mighty Peppa Pig started out as a pitch. 

There is nothing to stop our students creating the next Bob The Builder or Mr Bean.

Sunday, 9 February 2020

Escape Studios New Art of Video Games Blog

Meet the gang from The Art of Video Games, who have just started a new daily blog about the latest developments in the games industry.

The games industry, like animation and VFX, is a constantly shifting landscape, with new technology driving the changes. To find out what's going on in games both at Escape Studios and in the wider industry, check in regularly at their blog here. To see some of the great work done by our games students, scroll down below.

Saturday, 8 February 2020

Adam & Eve Mk II Double Winner at Wild Indie

Congratulations to Sebastian Kuder, director of "Adam & Eve Mk II", on a double win at last Saturday's Wild Indie Sci-fi & Fantasy Film Festival.
  
"Adam & Eve Mk II" picked up two laurels; Runner Up in the Category of "Short Film Under 5 minutes", and Runner Up in the category of "Best Digital VFX". 

Friday, 7 February 2020

Six Ways To Get Started in Animation

Animation Studio by Helen Piercy
How do you get started in animation? Fortunately for would-be animators, there are today plenty of cheap (and even free) resources to get you started.

Today, animation is a mix of art and technology.  Animators work at the crossover point between creative skills and techie skills - a good animator has both.

Below are our best tips on how to get started in animation, and how to prepare yourself for a career in the animation industry.

Thursday, 6 February 2020

Jessie Ilham to Teach Toonboom Harmony

Jessie Ilham
We're delighted to welcome our newest animation tutor Jessie Ilham to teach our summer class in Toonboom Harmony in June 2020.

Jessie was educated at Sheridan College in Canada, one of the world's leading animation schools, and was a Lead Breakdown Artist at BrownBag Films before moving to Blue Zoo animation in London. Her many credits include the Disney feature film "Princess and the Frog".

She is an experienced animator and rigger in ToonBoom Harmony, and has also trained teams of rigging artists, scene setup and layout artists.

Wednesday, 5 February 2020

Animation Showreel Clinic Tonight

The Demo Reel Doctor is back.  Our next Animation Showreel Clinic takes place at Escape Studios tonight, wednesday 5th February, from 5.30pm until 7pm, with a special guest from Framestore.

The event is all about animation demo reels: how to make them, how to perfect them, and how to use them to land your first job in the industry.

If you're working on your animation demo reel and you'd like to make your reel the best it possibly can be - come along this evening.

Tuesday, 4 February 2020

Taster Day at Escape Studios on Saturday 8 Feb

Eagle by Lee Caller
We're running a new Animation Taster Day here at Escape Studios on Saturday 8th February. taught by animation tutor Lee Caller.

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.

Monday, 3 February 2020

Mock Interviews at Escape Studios Today

Mock Interviews between industry and students
This afternoon at Escape Studios we're running a series of mock interviews with some of our industry partners and mentors, who have kindly offered their time to give our undergraduate students an idea of what a job interview is actually like.

Learning how to survive an interview is an important part of preparing our students for a career in industry.

Sunday, 2 February 2020

Storyboarding with Iliana Franklin 3 Feb

Iliana Franklin
Iliana Franklin, the newest member of the animation team at Escape Studios will teach a class in Storyboarding for Animators on Monday 3rd February, to our Second Year animation students.

Iliana teaches our new master's degree in Storyboarding and Previsualisation, which launched in September and is already producing some remarkably skilled and imaginative work.

Iliana's class will help our animation students learn the art and craft of storyboarding, a necessary part of the film-making process and a vital skill as our students get ready for their 2nd year studio projects.

Saturday, 1 February 2020

CR4002 - Showcase - "Animation Bibles"

Soap Opera by Bruno Urzi
At the end of 2019 our first year undergraduate animation students completed 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.

Part of the module was "Movement & Narrative", a two-week mini-module taught by character designer Steven Sole and exploring the basics of creativity, storytelling, and design, at the end of which our students pitched an idea for an original TV or web series, including a so-called "animation bible".

Friday, 31 January 2020

VFX Festival Lineup 16-18 March 2020



The countdown to Escape Studios' 2020 VFX Festival - the 8th edition - is on.  As in previous years, we've got some great speakers coming to talk about the latest developments in Animation, Games and VFX.  In 2020, the festival will focus on discovering and developing new and emerging talent.  Two parts of The VFX Festival 2020 - EDU and Emerging Talent - will take place on 16 - 18 March at the Southbank Centre - the UK’s largest arts centre on the South Bank of the Thames.

Thursday, 30 January 2020

2D Animation with Harmony Starts 29 June

Our newest animation course - three months of intensive training in 2D Animation with Toonboom Harmony - starts on 26th June 2020.

Our new 12 week course is aimed at anyone who wants to learn the art and craft of 2D Animation in Toonboom Harmony, a software package that is increasingly becoming the industry standard for 2D Animation. The course aims to take students to a professional level of skill, making them studio-ready talent.

Taught by veteran animator and animation tutor Jessie Ilham, currently working at Blue Zoo, our course is designed to help our students find employment in the rapidly expanding 2D animation industry, which is undergoing a major renaissance both in the UK and overseas.

Wednesday, 29 January 2020

Life Drawing is Back with Iliana Franklin

We're delighted to announce the return of life drawing classes to Escape Studios. Life Drawing is back, taught by veteran animator and board artist Iliana Franklin.

Iliana, who teaches our MA in storyboarding and previsualisation, will be booking professional life models for life drawing classes once a week on Wednesdays from 1pm until 6pm in Room B5 at 190 High Holborn.

Life drawing is still an important skill for our animators and storyboard artists. An understanding of human anatomy, and the ability to capture a pose or gesture in a few lines, is still a key skill - even in a digital world.

Fast sketches can be especially useful, helping animators to make quick thumbnails to plan animation - a technique which hasn't changed much since Disney's Golden Age. 

Tuesday, 28 January 2020

Anim Evening Class Returns on 1 Sept 2020

Animation by Jamie Floodgate
Mark your calendars - our 20 week part-time Animation evening class in 3D animation is back on 1st September 2020 at our High Holborn campus.

The class runs for 20 weeks on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, from 7-10pm, and is taught by Framestore animator Benoit Moranne, veteran of VFX hits such as Kingsman, Annihilation, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, and WonderWoman.

We're delighted to welcome Benoit back to Escape Studios to bring his skills as an animator to a new generation of artists.

Monday, 27 January 2020

Duncan Guymer Producer at Sliced Bread

Duncan Guymer - Studio Assistant at Escape Studios
Many congratulations to Escapee Duncan Guymer, who has recently started a new job as a production assistant at Sliced Bread Animation in London.

Duncan took our evening class in 3D animation, and soon joined us as a studio assistant, helping to teach our short course animation students.

Duncan quickly mastered the art and craft of animation, and made particularly effective use of our online resources, especially the Vimeo channel to which all our students and Escapees have access.

Sunday, 26 January 2020

"Golden Ticket" with Steve Burch on 7th Feb

Steve Burch's Golden Ticket
Escape Studios is welcoming back veteran animation producer Steve Burch to our High Holborn campus at 10am on the 7th Feb, this time with a "Golden Ticket" for our students.

Steve, who has worked on animation classics such as The Iron Giant, Space Jam, and Osmosis Jones, is visiting us on Monday to deliver a workshop on the so-called "soft skills" of freelancing, applying for jobs, getting hired, and interview technique.

Saturday, 25 January 2020

Steve Sole Teaches Character Design Jan 27-29

Steve Sole
We're delighted to welcome back character designer & visual development artist Steven Sole to teach the fundamentals of character design on Jan 27, 28 and 29.

Steven will be teaching our 2nd year undergraduate students, who are currently working on their 2nd year Specialism Module CR5001, where students start to choose their own specialism.

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

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

Friday, 24 January 2020

"Offcut" Wins Best Animation at Dirigo Festival

Many congratulations to the makers of "Offcut", which has won its first festival award for Best Animation at the Dirigo 6th International Student Film Festival 2020.

The Dirigo Film Festival takes place next Monday at the Arnolfini Arts Centre, Bristol on Monday,  January 27th 2020 from 18:45 pm. Tickets are free - so come along and support your fellow student film-makers. Let's make some noise!

Thursday, 23 January 2020

Lighting For Animators with Steve Lall

Steve Lall teaching at Escape Studios
Studio Assistant Steve Lall will teach our 2nd year animation students the fundamentals of lighting in animation today.

A basic understanding of lighting setups is an important part of the animator's toolkit, and a necessary part of the short films our students will shortly be making in PR5001, the 2nd year Studio Project Module which begins in a few weeks.

Steve will cover the fundamentals of lighting with Arnold, showing how our animators can achieve successful lighting setups with minimal complexity.

We also have a series of videos on lighting at our Vimeo Channel to support the classroom instruction.

Wednesday, 22 January 2020

Unreal Engine Tutorials at Vimeo

We've uploaded a new series of tutorials at our Vimeo Channel on how to use the Unreal Engine rendering pipeline.

Realtime rendering is a growing part of the animation production pipeline. Whether our students are studying VFX, animation, or games, Unreal Engine offers big savings in render times.

A number of our recent films have been rendered in Unreal Engine. The short films Planet Mars, Minuet and Adam & Eve Mk II were all rendered in Unreal Engine and enjoyed festival success, including winning many awards.

Tuesday, 21 January 2020

Introducing "Joe"

Escape Studios proudly presents "Joe", a short film directed by third year student Callum Reeve and produced by Aidan Lonergan. This short film was completed as part of the third year animation Module PR6001,  a Studio Project worth 60 Credits.

In this module our animation and VFX students join forces to produce a visual effects (VFX) project, with three months to take the project from initial pitch to final render.

The lead animator was Jack Thompson, and cinematography was by Clement Gharini. The 3D VFX Lead was Alfie Mitchell, and the Compositing Lead was George Randall.

Joe is currently being entered into film festivals, and we wish the team every success.

Monday, 20 January 2020

Laura Knight Animator at Jellyfish Pictures

Laura Knight
Many congratulations to Escapee Laura Knight who has started a new job as an animator at Jellyfish Pictures, one of London's leading animation houses.

Laura took our MA in 3D Animation and worked hard on polishing her demo reel (see below) to land the new job.

Laura joins Escapees Henry Fenwick and Rory Marchant who also found work as animators at Jellyfish after graduating from Escape Studios.

Sunday, 19 January 2020

Horse Locomotion Tutorials at Vimeo

We've uploaded a new series of horse locomotion videos to our Vimeo Channel, teaching students how to animate a walk, a trot and a run. 

We already have a series of quadruped locomotion videos, by Escape Maria Robertson, but this new series is specifically focused on animating horses.

Learning to animation quadrupeds is one of the key skills animators must master here at Escape Studios. Much of the animation being done in London is animal and creature work; such as the stunning animation of Disney's re-make of The Lion King, most of it completed at MPC in Soho.

Saturday, 18 January 2020

Michael O’Sullivan Explains the Art of the Pitch

Michael O'Sullivan
We were delighted to welcome Hollywood Movie executive and former Paramount CFO Michael O’Sullivan to Escape Studios this week.

On Wednesday 15th January Michael gave a talk on the art of finance in the creative industries.

How do our students create innovative ideas for film, TV and games that can become commercially viable? A good pitch is an art in itself; a successful pitch can make or break a project, and without one no animated film, game or TV Series has a chance of getting off the ground.

Our MA Students in Storyboarding and Previz got to meet Michael O’Sullivan and learn about film financing, and the art of preparing a commercially viable project pitch.

Friday, 17 January 2020

Rigging with Michael Davies on Jan 20th

Michael Davies teaches at Escape Studios
3D artist and undergraduate program leader Michael Davies will teach our second year animation students a class in "Character Rigging for Animators", starting Monday 20th January 2020.

For three days Michael will take our 2nd year animation students through the fundamentals of rigging their own characters.

The class is part of Module CR5001, a specialism module in which students begin to focus on a chosen specialism of their choice.

Thursday, 16 January 2020

Introducing the "March of the Potguins"

March of the Potguins
Escape Studios proudly presents March of the Potguins, a short film directed by third year student Michael Vodden and produced by Daniel Brooks. This mockumentary satrical short was completed as part of the third year animation Module PR6001,  a Studio Project worth 60 Credits.

In this module our animation and VFX students join forces to produce a visual effects (VFX) project, with three months to take the project from initial pitch to final render.

The lead animator was Lucy Harris, and cinematography was by Clement Gharini. The 3D VFX Lead was Adikah Patterson, and the Compositing Lead was Diogo Teixiera.

March of the Potguins is being entered into film festivals.

Wednesday, 15 January 2020

Acting for Animators is Back on Jan 16th



Sarah Perry of Shapes in Motion is returning to Escape Studios tomorrow, Thursday 16th January, to teach an all-day "Acting for Animators" class to our second year animation students, as they embark on their Animation Specialism module.  Sarah is an expert on teaching acting skills to animators, having taught 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.

Tuesday, 14 January 2020

Michael O’Sullivan Visits Escape Studios

Michael O'Sullivan
We're delighted to welcome Hollywood Movie executive and former Paramount CFO Michael O’Sullivan to Escape Studios tomorrow. On Wednesday 15th January Michael will deliver a talk on the art of finance in the creative industries.

How do our students create innovative ideas for film, TV and games that can become commercially viable?

Our MA Students in Storyboarding and Previz will meet Michael O’Sullivan and will have the opportunity to discuss topics on film financing. In particular, they will learn the art of preparing a commercially viable project pitch.

Introducing "Draw"

Escape Studios proudly presents "Draw", a short film directed by third year animation student Martin Kamminga, and completed as part of the third year animation Module PR6001, a Studio Project worth 60 Credits.

In this module our animation and VFX students join forces to produce a visual effects (VFX) project, with three months to take the project from initial pitch to final render.

Draw was produced by Conway Dobbs, and the lead animator was Maciej Osuch - who in 2019 directed the award-winning short Golden Acorn.  The 3D VFX Lead was Jake Newton and the 2D VFX Lead was Christopher Fernandes.

Draw is currently being entered into film festivals, and we wish Martin and his team every success.

Monday, 13 January 2020

"Offcut" Selected for Dirigo Film Festival

Many congratulations to the makers of "Offcut", whose film has been selected for its first festival entry - the Dirigo 6th International Student Film Festival 2020.

The event takes place at the Arnolfini Arts Centre, Bristol on Monday,  January 27th 2020 from 18:45 pm. Tickets are free.

Our short film Flame, directed by Cherelle Owusu, is a finalist at the Horsham Film Festival, which takes place on 13th February. You can buy tickets for £10 here.

And Sebastian Kuder's graduation film Adam & Eve Mk II has been selected for the Brussels Independent Film Festival on February 9th, and the Wild Indie Sci-fi & Fantasy Film Festival in Greenwich, which takes place on 1 February. Tickets are on sale now at Event Brite for £10.

Sunday, 12 January 2020

Producing Animation With Steve Burch 13 Jan

Animation Producer Steve Burch
Escape Studios is welcoming back veteran animation producer Steve Burch to our High Holborn campus on Monday 13th January.

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

Producing animation is an increasingly important part of what we teach at Escape Studios, as our students collaborate on short film projects, entering festivals and winning awards.

Friday, 10 January 2020

Olivia Unwin Production Asstnt at Framestore

Olivia Unwin
Many congratulations to Escapee Olivia Unwin who has recently started a new position as a Production Assistant at London VFX powerhouse Framestore.

Olivia took our BA in the Art of Video Games, and specialised in producing studio projects, where our students come together in groups to mimic as closely as possible the realities of working in industry.

Thursday, 9 January 2020

MoCap with Steve Lall on 14th January

Motion Capture with Steven Lall
Our Second Year animation students are back at Escape Studios, and will be soon be tackling their Animation Specialism module, in which students begin to focus on one particular aspect of the animation pipeline.

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

On 14th and 15th January our students will get a masterclass in Performance Capture animation, taught by our very own Studio Assistant Steven Lall.

Tuesday, 7 January 2020

Animation Taster Day Saturday 11th Jan

Learn to animate a bird in flight
We're running a new Animation Taster Day here at Escape Studios on Saturday 11th January. taught by veteran animator Marc Stevenson.

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.

New Substance Painter Tutorials at Vimeo

We've uploaded a new series of tutorials on the use of Substance Painter to our Vimeo Tutorial Channel, which is free for all our students and Escapees. The tutorials were recorded by our UG program leader Michael Davies.

You can find this new set of tutorials on Substance Painter here at our Vimeo channel: https://vimeo.com/showcase/5399159

Substance Painter is an important tool that in recent years has been used extensively for texturing, especially in the Games Industry. Recently the Substance Painter tools have developed to be used within the animation and VFX Pipeline, so it's more important than ever that our students are able to learn this increasingly important tool.

Monday, 6 January 2020

AN4001 - Anim 1 - Starts 13 January 2020

AN4001 starts with a bouncing ball
For our first year undergraduates, our core animation module - Animation 1 - starts on Monday 13th January 2020.

AN4001, as the module is officially known, is a 15 Credit module that teaches the fundamentals of character and creature animation. The module lasts four weeks, and covers all the basic principles of animation.

Sunday, 5 January 2020

Directed Study Week Starts Monday 6 Jan

Digital lighting
All our undergraduate students have a directed study week starting tomorrow, Monday January 6th. For our first year undergraduates, we have created an online project for all our students that will help them to learn about camera and lighting in Maya.

Lighting and camera are essential skills that will benefit all of our students during the course of their studies at Escape Studios.

Saturday, 4 January 2020

How to Animate a Dragon in Flight

Dragon in Flight Tutorial by Jamie Floodgate
We're delighted to announce a new animation tutorial at our growing Vimeo Tutorial Channel; showing students how to animate a dragon in flight.

The tutorial, recorded by Escapee Jamie Floodgate, uses the free Jaemin Dragon rig by Truong, which can be downloaded here.

The dragon flight tutorial can be found here at our Vimeo channel, and is free for all our students and Escapees.

Friday, 3 January 2020

MA Scholarships - Deadline Jan 6th 2020

Time is running out to apply for a scholarship to study on one of our postgraduate degrees in animation, games, 3D VFX, 2D VFX (compositing), and Storyboarding & Previsualisation.

At Escape Studios we offer a £8,000 scholarship to one applicant for each of our next 2020 postgraduate cohorts; significantly reducing the cost of a postgraduate degree in 2D VFX, 3D VFX, 3D Animation, Game Art or Storyboarding and Previsualisation. Don't wait - apply now.

Thursday, 2 January 2020

UCAS Deadline 15th January - Apply Now

UCAS - time to apply
If you're thinking of applying to study animation, games or VFX at Escape Studios, you have until January 15th to get your UCAS application in.

The main UCAS deadline is January 15th 2020.  We are now taking applications for the fourth intake of our integrated BA/MArt in Animation, Games and VFX - first launched in September 2016.  So don't delay - get your application in now.

Wednesday, 1 January 2020

Introducing "Offcut"



Escape Studios proudly presents "Offcut", a short film directed by third year animation student Petroc Menuhin, produced by Tosin Ogunleye and Ethen Dent, and completed as part of the third year animation Module PR6001,  a Studio Project worth 60 Credits.  In this module our animation and VFX students join forces to produce a visual effects (VFX) project, with three months to take the project from initial pitch to final render.