Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Pearson College London's "Boutique" Vision

Roxanne Stockwell
Recently The Times did an interview with Roxanne Stockwell, principal of Pearson College London, of which Escape Studios forms a part.

It's a very interesting piece, and in it you will find out where Roxanne thinks Pearson College London might be in a few years' time.

It's a vision of us becoming a "boutique university", limited in size, and not trying to compete directly with UK universities.

Monday, 30 January 2017

3D Artwork by Cameron Tempest-Hay

Pikachu by Cameron Tempest-Hay
Check out the excellent online portfolio of one of our talented first year students, Cameron Tempest-Hay.

Cameron has got a head start on his studies here at Escape Studios by modeling all sorts of characters and creatures, including the charming Pikachu on the left, and Clank, shown below.

And why not? Nowadays there are all kinds of online resources available to get started on your digital studies, long before you start at university.

Friday, 27 January 2017

Storyboarding is Back! Evening Class Starts March 21st

Storyboarding is back at Escape Studios! We're running a class in storyboarding here in Shepherd's Bush, starting on 21 March 2017. It costs £995 and it's a part-time course, designed to fit around jobs and families.

The class is taught by me and by other industry professionals. Last year we had some great tutors from London's Blue Zoo animation, and a live industry brief to give our students experience of what an industry storyboard test is actually like.

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Tracey Chung Animator at Ragdoll Animation

Tracey Chung is a talented animator and storyboard artist who took our 3 month intensive animation course at Escape Studios back in 2011. Since then she has had a successful career working at Ragdoll Animation, developing her skills as an animator and storyboard artist.

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

8 Steps To Find An Animation Internship

Cinesite is one of many Soho VFX houses which offer internships
Finding internships is not easy. And yet, in an increasingly competitive world for graduates trying to break into the creative industries, it is an important step on the ladder to a successful career.

A successful internship brings experience, contacts, and direct understanding of what is needed to get a job with an animation company. So how do you go about finding an internship in the animation industry?

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Join Us For An Evening with...Frame Store's Billy Butler on February 2nd

Escape Studios is hosting another "Evening With..." coming up on Thursday 2 February at our Shepherd's Bush studio, with Billy Butler,  Lead Modeler at Framestore.

Billy has a vast amount of VFX experience, having worked on hit movies such as Gravity, Animalia and Sucker Punch.

He will be showing our students his demo reel and talking about his experience in the VFX industry. This is a superb event for everyone who would like to find out more about 3D and VFX - and 3D modeling in particular.  And if that isn't enough for you, there will - as ever - be free pizza and beer...

Monday, 23 January 2017

Bring Your Own Animation Tonight, Monday 23 January

The Lukin - BYOA!
"Bring Your Own Animation" (BYOA) is an animation event that takes place every month in London.

This month it is being held tonight, Monday 23 January, at 6.30pm at the Lukin pub, 4 Conway Street in central London W1T 6BB.

Anyone can bring their animation or just come along for drinks.  If you are a student, or a professional who's working on a shot or a reel, bring your work and get feedback from Professional Animators.

Friday, 20 January 2017

Who Made Buster Bounce? Find Out On Jan 24

Come and find out who made Buster bounce on January 24th. This SIGGRAPH event is free and takes place at London's MPC, where animation wizards Fabian Frank and Tim van Hussen will present a "behind the scenes look of John Lewis’ Christmas smash hit, Buster the Boxer. The talk will cover the biggest technical and creative challenges the team had to overcome when creating six photoreal animals bouncing on a trampoline".  To book tickets, visit the official site. As ever, we strongly recommend our students attend events like this one, where industry professionals reveal the secrets of how cutting-edge work like this gets done. Plus, you never know who you might meet.

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Get Ready for Our Animation Short Course in February!

The clock is ticking for our animation short course, starting in February.  But what kind of preparation should students do before starting the course?  We teach all our students from scratch, but 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.  It's not comprehensive, and 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.

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Emma Thorpe Animator at King Bee

An internship at an animation studio is often a necessary first step to entering the industry. An internship gives you real-world experience of the business, will helps you to build contacts and - hopefully - might even lead to a full-time job.

In December last year animation Escapee Emma Thorpe landed an internship with King Bee animation, based at the historic Elstree Studios in Borehamwood, just outside of London.

And, fortunately, that internship has now turned into a job - the best possible outcome of all.

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Cinematography Workshop at Escape Studios

Here at Escape Studios our first year undergraduates don't immediately start learning software. Well before they start using Maya, Nuke and Houdini, we run workshops in the fundamentals of narrative and storytelling. Story, storyboards, acting - and cinematography, one of the foundation skills in our industry which every film-maker needs to understand.  Watch the video above to get a feeling for what goes on in our Cinematography Workshops - giving all of our students a basic understanding of how movies get put together.

Monday, 16 January 2017

Learn to Animate in Photoshop!

Here at Escape Studios we primarily teach 3D animation, with a strong focus on the kind of skills needed to succeed in the demanding world of visual effects. That means a lot of animal and creature work, perfecting the kind of photo-real style that London studios such as Framestore and MPC specialise in.  But we also do 2D work as well, and recent releases of Photoshop now allow animators to animate with great flexibility in this most universal of software packages. In the video above you can watch a character walk cycle animated in Photoshop. Who needs Flash, After Effects or TV Paint when you can do it all with software that most digital artists already know how to use?

Friday, 13 January 2017

2017 VFX Festival 7th - 9th February

The countdown to our 2017 VFX festival is on, and tickets are selling out fast.

Just like last year, we'll be showcasing the best of VFX, Animation, Games and Motion Graphics.

There is no better way to find out about the latest trends in our industry and - of most importance for our recent Escapees - who is hiring and for what.  We strongly encourage all our current, past and future students to attend. Come and find out what the future holds for our industry.

Thursday, 12 January 2017

What Happens at our Creative Workshops?

If you have applied for a place on our 3D Animation, Games or VFX undergraduate course, for entry in September 2017, you've probably had a letter recently inviting you to attend a Creative Workshop here at Escape Studios.

You might be feeling a bit worried about what's involved.  First of all, don't panic! Our Creative Workshops are really a chance for us to get to know each other, and for you to find out more about what we do at Escape Studios.

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Free Flag Wave Tutorial in Maya!

Free Flag Wave Tutorial in Maya! This is my favourite beginner's tutorial - it's the one I often do for our one-hour animation "tasters" here at Escape Studios. Starting with no prior knowledge of Maya, students learn how to create a flag, UV map it, and make it wave and flap in the wind. Along the way they learn the very basic Maya tools and also how to use the Maya cloth simulation tools to automate the whole process. This video is aimed at complete beginners who have never opened Maya before, and want to find out if animation might be for them.

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Escape Studios to Host An Evening with Jenny Harder on Thursday January 12th

Escape Studios is proud to host another "Evening with..." event, this time with super-talented concept artist Jenny Harder,  on Thursday January 12th.

Jenny is a concept & storyboard artist at Studio Gobo, where she has recently been working on Disney Infinity, Guardians of the Galaxy, Rise Against the Empire and the Moana playset.

Concept art is an area of film, games and animation production that is very popular with our students and - of course - highly competitive.

So come along on thursday and bring your questions. This is a chance to meet a successful industry professional and ask her - how does a student artist break into this field?

As ever, we'll be offering free beer and pizza!

Monday, 9 January 2017

Learn 3D Lighting for Free with Jeremy Birn

Anyone who wants to learn the art and craft of 3D lighting in Maya would do well to watch this excellent series of videos by Pixar lighting expert Jeremy Birn, hosted at Vimeo.

The videos are recorded in an older version of Maya, so there will be a bit of a gap between what you are watching and the latest version of Maya that you are running.

But, the basic principles of lighting remain unchanged, even though the interface is a bit different.

Friday, 6 January 2017

London Mime Festival is Coming! 9 January - 4 February 2017

The London Mime Festival is about to launch its 40th anniversary season in our city.  Artists include acrobat-genius Mathurin Bolze (Cie MPTA), Charleroi Danses’ Kiss & Cry and Mossoux Bonté, German Mask-theatre experts Familie Flöz, and Gandini Juggling with a hugely expanded version of its glorious Pina Bausch tribute, Smashed.

But why watch mime? Because mime is the basis of great animation. If you can tell a story without words or dialogue, then you have the makings of great animation. Our animators at Escape Studios have to master the art of body language and facial expressions long before they learn lipsync and dialogue.

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Life Drawing at Student Central

Did you know that all our undergraduate students here at Escape Studios have free access to Student Central, just a short walk from our High Holborn Campus?

Student Central is the "home for all students studying towards a degree at any London University Institute or College".

It's a bit like a big Student Union - a place to meet other students, and also get involved in sports, societies and arts activities - such as life drawing classes.

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

UCAS Deadline - 15th January 2017

UCAS - time to apply
Thinking of applying to Escape Studios to study the Art of 3D Animation, Games or Visual effects?  The UCAS deadline of January 15th is fast approaching.  We are welcoming applications for the second intake of our new integrated BA/MArt in Animation, Games and VFX - just launched in September of last year.

One of the most common questions I get asked at Open Days is "should I wait to apply until I have finished my portfolio?" - to which the answer is a very definite: "no". Get your application in early, and worry about your portfolio later. You'll have plenty of time before attending one of our Creative Workshops to pull your portfolio together.

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Star Wars Rogue One - Free Escape Studios Tutorial!

Did you know that Escape Studios offers tons of free tutorials at our YouTube Channel?  Tutorials like this new Star Wars - Rogue One tutorial 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, Federico Guzzardo, who has created an awesome tutorial showing you how to create a Star Wars TIE Fighter, and comp in into a VFX plate.  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.

Sunday, 1 January 2017

2017 New Year's Resolutions For Animators

Happy New Year!
What should an animator's new year's resolutions be?

The animation industry is a huge and growing business, much bigger than it was just a few years years ago. 

But the world of animation and visual effects is a competitive one, and good animators need to be smart to stay on top of their game.  So, what are some simple ways to maintain your edge in 2017?