Thursday, 29 December 2016

Animation Taster Day at Escape Studios on January 13 and 25

Learn to animate a bird in flight
We have seats available for our next two Animation Taster Days at Escape Studios. The dates are Friday 13 January and Wednesday 25 January - so come and learn about character and creature animation.  And sign up soon - our taster days almost always sell out quickly.

We're running this animation taster day to give future animators an idea of what it's like to work in the  industry, and find out if this is a career that's right for them.

You will work with 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?

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

What will you do in 2017?

2016 is almost done. Now is a good time to reflect on the past twelve months, and make plans for the future. After all, it's just about the only time of year when everything stops. No emails, few phone calls - time to think and reflect. And time also to look forward to 2017, and wonder how best to use the coming year.  If you want to start a career in animation, games or visual effects, now is the time to make the changes.

Thursday, 22 December 2016

Framestore on Fantastic Beasts at the 2017 VFX Festival

We're delighted to announce that London's heavyweight VFX HouseFramestore will be hosting an exclusive talk on Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them  at next year's VFX Festival.

Creative Director Christian Manz was VFX Supervisor on the film, and he will be showing us how key creatures from the film were brought to life.

The talk will happen on Day 2 of The VFX Festival 2017, which is being run at the arts and cultural hub Rich Mix in Shoreditch, from 7th - 9th February 2017.

To buy your tickets now (they do tend to sell out early) and ensure you don't miss this chance to hear about how these magical creatures were created for the big screen.

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Student Showcase - Ronnie Kaye

One of the early briefs we introduce to our first year undergraduates here at Escape Studios is to re-imagine a classic fairy tale with a modern twist.

The final project includes a classroom pitch, complete with supporting material such as artwork, character design, and a pitch of the underlying premise.

As with all good pitches, the idea is to throw out a hook and get your audience interested in the idea.  If they like it, they will want to know more. And who knows? They might invest in your project!

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Blue Zoo To Mentor Our 2017 Animation Short Course!

QPootle5, by Blue Zoo
We're excited to announce that London animation powerhouse Blue Zoo have agreed to mentor the students participating in our next Animation Short Course, starting in February 2017.

Here at Escape Studios we want to nurture a new generation of animators - and there isn't anyone better than Blue Zoo to help us guide our fresh talent.  Blue Zoo founders Tom Box and Adam Shaw went from being university graduates to owning and running the biggest TV animation co in the UK.

Monday, 19 December 2016

Kubo and the Two Strings Q&A with Director Travis Knight and Producer Arianne Sutner

Screening of Kubo at the Curzon Mayfair
SIGGRAPH's London chapter recently hosted a local screening of Laika's latest stop motion triumph - the Annie-nominated “Kubo and the Two Strings”.

After the movie I was honoured to host a Q&A with Director Travis Knight and Producer Arianne Sutner who talked about the making of the film, and revealed some amazing insights into the work flow of LAIKA studio.

Events like this are a great way for our students to meet leading film-makers in person, and find out what makes the industry tick.

Friday, 16 December 2016

Star Wars Rogue One Screening Today!

Our Star Wars Student Event is happening today! We're hosting a screening of Star Wars Rogue One at 3pm at the Rich Mix cinema in Shoreditch, at 35-47 Bethnal Green Rd, London E1 6LA.

All our students, short course, post-graduate and undergraduate, are invited,  and our staff will be there too. Best of all, John Galloway, VFX Supervisor at ILM (who did the FX on the movie) will be doing a Q&A after the show.

We're excited to welcome our students to this event - not just a great opportunity to see the latest VFX blockbuster, but also a chance for our students to find out about how the movie got put together.

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Register Now For BVExpo! 28 February 2017

Time to Register for BVExpo! BVExpo is an annual event that describes itself as "the UK's leading entertainment and media tech event".

The Expo takes place from 28 February until 2nd March at the ExCeL London and - best of all - it's completely free. As ever, we recommend that our students attend events like this - it's a great way to keep up with the latest trends in our industry and find out where future opportunities lie.  It's especially interesting for animators interested in broadcast graphics.

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Escape Studios Mannequin Challenge!

Check out the Escape Studios Mannequin Challenge! One of our talented studio assistants - Dustin Henning - directed this cool video of some of the staff and students at Escape Studios on a slower-than-usual afternoon. Nice work Dustin!

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Time To Enter The Monthly Character Design Challenge!

Character Design Challenge!
Why not polish your design skills by entering the monthly Character Design Challenge?

It's a bit like the Eleven Second Club, but for character designers. The group started up in January 2015 and it already has over twenty five thousand members.

This month's design challenge is .....Harry Potter! So what are you waiting for? Let's get designing!

Monday, 12 December 2016

Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them? At Framestore, Of Course

Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them? is arguably the must-see VFX movie of the year (that and the new Star Wars, of course!).  And who did the animation on these fantastic beasts? Step up London's very own VFX champion heavyweight - Framestore. The Soho VFX house created a spectacular array of magical creatures, pushing the boundaries of what is possible in digital animation. Framestore's team was led by Christian Manz, VFX Supervisor, and Animation Director Pablo Grillo. Between them these artists led a talented team to create amazing beasts including the Niffler, Erumpent and Bowtruckle, and gangster goblin Gnarlak.

Friday, 9 December 2016

Animation Short Course Starts 27 February 2017

We're taking applicants for our next animation short course - three months of intensive training in 3D animation - starting in February 2017.  This course is aimed at anyone who wants to learn the art and craft of 3D Animation in Maya. You might be a 2D animator wanting to break into 3D, or a graduate who didn’t get the right skills at university – or someone with no experience of animation who wants to make a career change. We teach all our students from scratch, and our goal is to make you job-ready by the end of the course.

Thursday, 8 December 2016

UK Games Forum - Today at Escape Studios!

Continuing our programme of industry engagement, Escape Studios are today hosting the UK Games Forum 2016, alongside SideFX, the developers behind Houdini - one of the leading software packages for 3D animation.

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Boring But Important - Printing & Scanning

Xerox copier, printer & scanner
The Xerox printer/photocopiers at our 190 High Holborn campus are best accessed through Mobile Printing, available to all our students. Fortunately, it's pretty easy. To print a document, first email your file(s) as an attachment to You will then receive an email with a six digit code.

To print it out, go to any networked printer and select Mobile Printing from the display panel. Enter your six digit code, and select Print.

Suicide Squad Flamethrower Effect - Escape Studios Free Tutorial

Did you know that Escape Studios offers tons of free tutorials at our YouTube Channel?  Tutorials like this one above are a great way to learn new skills, and also find out what it's like to work in the animation and VFX industry.  Above is a tutorial by one of our talented studio assistants, Tom Hall, who has perfected a technique for producing a flamethrower effect in Autodesk Maya, using fluid simulation.  Tutorials like this one are highly recommended - it's a great way to improve your knowledge base and raise your game. To find our YouTube channel, follow this link.

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Escape Studios Hosts an Evening With...VFX Producer Richard Lloyd on Thursday 8 December

Escape Studios is hosting another "Evening With..." coming up on Thursday 8 December at our Shepherd's Bush studio, with VFX Producer, Richard Lloyd.

Richard has over 20 years experience in the film and post production industry.  He has worked on films including The Last Emperor, Under the Skin, Collide, The Double and Control.

During the evening Richard will be talking about his work producing visual effects, and will be taking questions about the industry.

And, of course, there will be free pizza and beer for everyone attending!

Monday, 5 December 2016

How to Record Voice Overs - An Animator's Guide

Frank Gladstone directs actors in a sound booth in Soho
Most animators eventually find themselves recording a voice for a film project.  Whether it’s a short film, a personal project, or a piece of animation for a client, you will eventually need your characters to speak.

And for this, unless someone else does it for you, you will need to direct actors. So how does an animator or director go about recording voices? And how do you get a decent performance?

Friday, 2 December 2016

UK Govt Loans Now Available for Master's Study

Government help is available
The new student loan system for postgraduate master's degrees has now been launched. Low interest loans will now provide students in the UK with access to postgraduate university courses.

This is very good news indeed for students who would like to do one of our master's degrees in VFX production and Game art, and VFX (compositing) - excellent degrees which are producing superb work.

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Animated Women UK Launch ‘The Achieve Programme’ Supporting Women in VFX & Animation

This week, Animated Women UK launch "The Achieve Programme" - their first ever programme focused on helping women in animation and VFX to achieve their full potential.

Here at Escape Studios we're one of the official sponsors of programme, which aims to help women break into the animation and vfx business.