Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Meet Mery!

Meet Mery! We're recommending this excellent character rig for use by our students at Escape Studios.

Mery is now live and available to download, and - best of all - she is completely free.

One of the many benefits of animating with Autodesk Maya is the large and growing global community of artists who collaborate on freeware projects, bringing to life excellent animation rigs like this one.

Friday, 27 May 2016

Giuseppe Candido Freelance Animator

Giuseppe Candido at graphicchameleon.paintmine.com
Giuseppe Candido completed the Maya core and animation short course here at Escape Studios a few years ago.

Today, Giuseppe is one of the many Escapees who has built a successful career as an animator and 3D generalist, working on many and varied projects for a wide variety of clients.

So, what does it take to be a successful freelance animator?

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Escape Studios Online Animation Taster Now Live

Our new online animation taster, showing students how to do some cool creature locomotion (a crow in flight) is now live. It's a really useful taster because it teaches you the basics of animals in motion and also a bunch of other important stuff, such as motion paths, set design, cameras, simple lighting, batch render, and final export as a movie file.  So, you get to learn the basic elements of the whole 3D animation pipeline in Maya in just one exercise. The taster is aimed at beginners and no prior knowledge of Maya or animation is needed.  You can find it here at our official site

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

How to Get Ready for our Animation Short Course in June

Escape Studios, Shepherd's Bldg
What kind of preparation should students do before starting with us on our Animation Short Course in June?  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. We've narrowed it down to two books that we recommend for all our students.

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Blue Zoo at SIGGRAPH Wednesday May 25 at MPC

Why not come to the next SIGGRAPH event, on Wednesday May 25 at MPC in London's Soho, at 7pm.

The founders of Indie animation house BlueZoo will be talking about how they nurtured Blue Zoo from an idea into a multi-million pound animation powerhouse.  Best of all, the event is completely free!

Monday, 23 May 2016

Animation Demo Reel Clinic Wednesday 25th May

Our next webinar at Escape Studios 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 you animation demo reel (aren't we all?) and you'd like to make your reel the best it possibly can be - sign up now for our webinar.  Best of all - it's completely free!

Friday, 20 May 2016

Escapee Pedro Cabeleira Breaks Into TT Games

Traveller's Tales
Escapee Pedro Cabeleira took our animation short course at Escape Studios a few years ago and is now working as a character artist at Traveller’s Tales, a UK based games company which is owned by Warner Bros and specialises in Lego games.

We asked Pedro to talk about his career, how he broke into the games industry, and what advice he might offer to students hoping to enjoy similar career success.

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Glen Keane is Coming to London!

Glen Keane
Legendary Disney animator (Pocahontas, Rapunzel), Glen Keane is coming to London! Glen will be here tomorrow, Friday May 19, to talk about the "Principles of UX Choreography", a new piece of tech described as "a new paradigm", developed by Glen and by Rebecca Ussai of R/GA.

So, what can animators and fans of Glen's work expect to learn from this event?

Friday, 13 May 2016

3D Animation Taster Day at Escape Studios on Tuesday May 31st

Come and learn about character and creature animation at Escape Studios on Tuesday May 31st - we still have a few places available.

We're running this animation taster day to give prospective students an idea of what it's like to study animation at Escape Studios. Your career as a 3D animator begins here!

You will work with industry-standard tools: 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?

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

The Spline Doctors Are Coming! London Animation Workshop on June 3-4 in Greenwich

The Spline Doctors are coming ! We're excited to welcome two leading animators to London in June, running a superb not-for-profit animation workshop.

Andrew Gordon (Pixar Directing Animator) and Kyle Balda (Co-Director of Minions and The Lorax) are presenting a two-day workshop which will "raise your animation skills to the next level". And, best of all, "VFX Jam" are offering a special discount to friends of Escape Studios.

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Annecy Animation Festival - Escape Studios' Top Ten Survival Rules

Lake Annecy - Old Town
Next month, from 13-18 June, is the world’s biggest animation festival.  It takes place in the pretty little mountain town of Annecy in the French Alps, and it can be an overwhelming experience; there is so much going on at once that you can't possibly see everything.

Alongside the Annecy film festival is MIFA – the world’s biggest animation marketplace, a huge congress of industry people buying and selling.

But Annecy is an event that every student of animation should visit at least once – if only to get a feeling for the sheer size and diversity of the modern animation industry. Below are our top ten rules to make the best of Annecy.

Monday, 9 May 2016

What Animation Rigs Do We Use at Escape Studios?

Morpheus - endlessly flexible
One of the many benefits of learning animation using Autodesk Maya is the excellent range of free rigs and sets available for student use.

Animation is a complex craft to master and it's important to start off using the right tools.  For student animators, it is best to avoid complex, production-ready rigs - they are simply too complicated for a beginner to master.

Below is a list of some of the best free animation rigs we recommend for student use, and where to find them.

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Locksmith, Paramount, DreamWorks and Comcast

London is a busy hub for animation these days, and animation is much in the news. The business is growing, with industry crying out for talent with the right training. Here is a link to a great story at arstechnica.com about how London became one of the global centres for visual effects work, creating global smash hits made right here in the UK.

London's cutting edge VFX skill is, of course the reason we're all here. Escape Studios has been training talent for the VFX industry for the last fourteen years, with around 4,000 Escapees working in the business. For my part, I came back to London from Hollywood in 2007 to work on a series of LA-funded pictures that had their VFX work done in London.

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Why Animators Should Pitch at Cartoon Forum

What is Cartoon Forum? And why should animators know about it? Well, Cartoon Forum is Europe's biggest TV pitch-fest for animation, so if you have an idea for a TV series in your head, Cartoon Forum is the place to pitch it.

The deadline to submit your TV project is 11 May. So, you have just one week to sharpen your pencils, fill out some forms - and make your pitch perfect.

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Animation Taster Day on Thursday 5th May!

Bring this bird to life at Escape Studios on Thursday
We still have a few seats left for our animation Taster Day on Thursday May 5th.  Come and learn the nuts and bolts of creature animation at Escape Studios and start your career as a 3D animator.

We're running this animation taster day to give prospective students an idea of what it's like to study animation at Escape Studios.