Friday, 28 April 2017

Time to Enter The Rookies!

Here at Escape Studios we encourage all of our students to enter The Rookies Awards, the international competition for young creatives.

The Rookies was founded in 2009 to "showcase the most talented student designers, illustrators, film makers, animators, developers, digital artists, and launch them into the career of their dreams."

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Evening With Michael Morgan Thursday May 4

Meet the man behind "Guardians"
Escape Studios is hosting another "Evening With..." coming up on Thursday 4th May  at our Shepherd's Bush studio, with animator Michael Morgan.

Michael is an animator with extensive experience in video games, TV Commercials and Feature films, including VFX blockbusters like Guardians of the Galaxy 2.

This will be a superb event for everyone who would like to find out more about careers in animation.

And if that isn't enough for you, there will - as ever - be free pizza and beer.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Blue Zoo Animation Internships

Applications for Blue Zoo's summer internship roles are now open. The 6-8 week paid placements are "like a real job but without the demands & expectations, allowing participants to develop and learn how a big animation studio works and real projects are run".

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Meet Animus!

Animus rig by Nick Miller and Lin Xiong
Meet Animus! This excellent creature rig, created by the very talented Nick Miller and Lin Xiong, is available as freeware for Maya animators.

Animus is a great rig, with a wide range of facial controls, which makes it perfect for sophisticated creature dialogue and lipsync. So, how does Animus work?

Monday, 24 April 2017

Rory Marchant Studio Assistant at Escape

Animation Reel 2016 from Rory B Marchant on Vimeo.

A warm welcome to Rory Marchant who starts a new animation job at Escape Studios today, working as a studio assistant and helping to support our undergraduate students learning 3D animation in Maya.  Rory took the Animation Apprentice online course, and since then he has been working as a freelance animator, doing superb work - such as this excellent commercial for a French client.

Friday, 21 April 2017

Virtual Reality Show in London this Weekend

Virtual Reality Show
The Virtual Reality Show is coming to Islington, North London, this weekend. With an impressive array of attendees and speakers, this could be the perfect event to find out the future of VR and - crucially for our students - who is hiring talent, and what skills are in demand. What software will you need to learn to join the VR Revolution?

Rich Jeffrey Director at Flux Animation

Many congratulations to Escapee Rich Jeffrey who is now a director at Flux Animation, a boutique animation house based in Aukland, New Zealand - where Rich lives and works.  Rich took our three month intensive character animation course at Escape Studios, and since then has forged a successful career in both 2D and 3D animation.  Check out the excellent demo reel above, which he put together while studying at Escape.

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Animation Course Starts 8th January 2018

Paddington Bear - animated at Framestore in London
We're currently taking applications for our next animation short course - three months of intensive training in 3D animation - starting on 8th January 2018.

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.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

How To Break Into Character Design

BoxTrolls - character design by Luis Grane
Character design is one of the most creative jobs on an animated film, allowing the artist to give free rein to their imagination, come up with great ideas and - best of all - get paid to do it.

But how do you break into this most competitive of fields?  We asked Luis Grane, an animator and character designer whose work can be seen on dozens of animated films including Prince of EqyptHotel Transylvania, Ratatouille, and Open Season, to talk about this work and how he broke into the industry. 

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Evgenia Golubeva's "I am Not a Mouse"

I I am not a Mouse from Evgenia Golubeva on Vimeo.

Many congratulations to Escapee Evgenia Golubeva who has just released her award-winning animated short film "I am not a Mouse" online at Vimeo, following a highly successful run at international animation festivals, winning many prizes along the way.  "I am not a Mouse" is about a little girl called Lucy, who is nicknamed "Mouse" by her Mother.  Trouble is, every time Lucy is called 'Mouse' by her Mum, she turns into a real mouse. What is Lucy to do?

Monday, 17 April 2017

Bring Your Own Animation Tuesday 18th April

Calling all Escape animators - why not come to "Bring Your Own Animation" tomorrow, Tuesday 18th April? BYOA is an animation event that takes place every month at a pub in London.

This month the event is being organised by the London branch of SIGGRAPH, at The Lukin pub in Fitzrovia.

If you are a student who is working on a shot or a reel (isn't everyone?), bring your work on a USB or hard drive and get feedback from Professional Animators.

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Scorpion! by Kiel Figgins

Scorpion by Kiel Figgins
We're recommending this excellent scorpion rig by the very talented Kiel Figgins, free for download at his official site.

It's a great little animation rig, not necessarily for realistic scorpion animation (it's a mechanical scorpion - made of shiny metal) but perhaps more like a giant monster scorpion, suitable for roaming city streets and destroying worlds.

So, where can animators find Kiel Figgins' scorpion and how does it work?

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Getting Ready for September

The best book on animation
What kind of preparation should students do before starting with us on our BA/Mart in Animation in September?  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 just two key books that we recommend for all our students.

Escape Students to Visit Blue Zoo on 24th May

Escape Studios' animation studios are heading for a tour of Blue Zoo animation studio next month, getting a unique behind-the-scenes peek into the workings of a major London animation house.

Blue Zoo have grown from modest beginnings to become a major player in animation, especially TV series work - which is currently booming in our home town.  They're a great company, and have kindly taken the time to mentor our current group of animation students.

Monday, 10 April 2017

Games Animation from Escape Studios

Check out the fabulous work done by our games students here at Escape Studios. Many of these students recently completed an MA in Games Design, others were taking the short course in Games. All of the students studied under the very talented Simon Fenton, Head of Games at Escape Studios, who oversaw the final projects and helped guide them to completion. All the student projects came out very well indeed - take a look at some of the stills below.

Friday, 7 April 2017

Re-Makes! Love 'Em or Hate 'em?

I was asked by Digital Arts magazine to do a piece on the new trend for live action re-makes of the Disney back catalogue, like "Jungle Book" and "Beauty and The Beast".

On balance, I'm in favour, in part because I don't think the re-makes detract from the original movies, but also (of course!) because big new animation projects create plenty of new jobs for animation graduates from Escape Studios - which can only be a good thing.  To read the full article, follow this link----Alex

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Meet Redshift - Our New GPU Renderer

Here at Escape we're delighted to be installing an Educational License for Redshift, a new GPU rendering tool to help our students get super fast results when creating their film projects.

Go to any animation or vfx festival and you will hear hair-raising tales of very long render times, waiting for days on end for a single frame or batch of frames to render. But CG artists need render times to be as quick and efficient as possible. So, how can Redshift help our students?

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

News from GDC - Real Time Rendering is Here

Head of Escape Studios Ian Palmer recently attended the Games Development Conference ("GDC") in San Francisco, checking out the latest developments in the Games Industry, part of our industry outreach to make sure we're always teaching the latest technology.

So what's new in Games? The answer - d'oh! - is Virtual Reality, which continues to be the most promising emerging technology in our industry. And, of course, the awesome power of real-time rendering.

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Meet Willy! Free Maya Rig by Matthew Moore

Our animators are digging into dialogue and lipsync this week, and one of the rigs they are using is Willy - an excellent free rig, created by Matthew Moore, and free to download for use by Maya animators.

Willy is a broad, flexible and cartoony rig, very simple to use and great for the early stages of learning animation - especially dialogue and lipsync.

However, like all animation rigs, Willy has his quirks. So, how can our animation students get the most out of Willy?

Monday, 3 April 2017

Evening With Henry Badgett Wednesday 5 April

Meet the man behind Games of Thrones
Escape Studios is hosting another "Evening With..." coming up on Wednesday 5 April  at our Shepherd's Bush studio, with Henry Badgett.  Henry is a VFX Supervisor at BlueBolt, and one of the original supervisors on Games of Thrones

Henry will be showing our students his work 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 if that isn't enough for you, there will - as ever - be free pizza and beer.