Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Tech Talks at BAFTA - Starts Tomorrow!

London SIGGRAPH is organising the second annual TECHTALKS, starting tomorrow August 31st. The event is being held in association with VFX powerhouse Double Negative, and is sponsored by Autodesk, makers of Maya, the animation software that is now the dominant platform in our industry.

TechTalks is a two-day conference which focuses on the technical side of our industry. As always, we strongly recommend that our students attend events of this kind. It's always good to know where the industry is heading, and you never know who you might meet.

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Jeffrey Katzenberg Leaves DreamWorks Animation?

It looks like Jeffrey Katzenberg is leaving DreamWorks Animation, after over 20 years helming what has become one of the most successful animation studios in the world.

There has been no announcement yet, and DreamWorks animators all seem to be sworn to secrecy, but this does look like the end for Jeffrey's long reign. So, what does this mean for the future of DreamWorks animation?

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Cinesite Visit to Escape Studios on Tuesday September 6

We're excited to welcome Cinesite, one of London's leading visual effects houses, to visit Escape Studios for a conference on the future of the animation industry on September 6.

Recently, Cinesite have broken out of their traditional VFX core market to take the plunge into their own branded content.  They now have a slate of animated films preparing to come to market, hoping to take on the likes of Disney, Pixar, DreamWorks and Illumination in the global market for animated films.

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Sydney Padua Comes to Escape Studios

Escape Studios is excited to welcome our latest guest lecturer in animation - industry veteran Sydney Padua, whose animation career not only includes a roster of Hollywood hits but also encompasses countless visual effects blockbusters.

If that's not enough for you, she has even published highly successful graphic novels.  So, some very good news then for animation and VFX students at Escape.

Syd will be teaching our students the finer points of animal and creature locomotion, helping to prepare them for a career in industry.

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Meet the Dino Rig!

Here at Escape Studios our student animators are testing out this excellent dinosaur rig by Harry Gladwin-Geoghegan. It's a great free rig for Maya animators, and you can download it here.

The Dino rig is excellent for doing creature locomotion, and just about the only thing it won't do is close-ups, as the facial controls are quite limited.

But, to get some great dino action on your animation demo reel, this could well be the best rig to choose.

Monday, 8 August 2016

Escape Studios Welcomes Games Artist Holly Pickering on Tuesday 9th August!

We're excited to welcome games artist Holly Pickering tomorrow, tuesday 9th August, to talk to our students at Escape Studios. Holly is one of our "Escapees"; she graduated from Escape Studios in 2009 after studying the Art of Computer Games.

Since then, Holly has worked for a number of major games companies including Traveller’s Tales, White Paper Games and Rewind FX. Holly is also the co-founder of LadyCade, - an event that focuses on the contribution of women to the games industry.

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Introducing Maya 2017 - and Arnold!

Autodesk has just released a new version of Maya, titled Maya 2017 (I know, we're only half way through 2016) - which now features an entirely new system for rendering your images. 

The old ray trace renderer, Mental Ray, has been dropped, and Autodesk have chosen Arnold instead.  For those of you have have never used Arnold before, and might have some catching up to do, animator Lee Caller has helpfully put together a YouTube playlist of videos that will walk you through the basics of the Arnold renderer. 

Arnold is a great renderer, and no doubt a significant improvement on Mental Ray. However, there is a catch, and it's a pretty big one.

Monday, 1 August 2016

August 11 Second Club!

Chicken or egg?
It's August! You could be heading for the beach to relax or, like our dedicated animators here at Escape Studios, you could be polishing your animation skills by entering The 11 Second Clubthe monthly character animation competition in which aspiring animators compete to win prizes and get their work noticed.

Animators from all over the world participate, animating a character speaking a line of dialogue, which is provided on the first day of every month by the club. This month our animators will tackle a question of philosophy: which came first, chicken or egg?