Friday, 30 June 2017

Brexit and The Future of UK Animation

Brexit means....what?
At Escape Studios' recent Advisory Board meeting, leading figures in the creative industries guided us on where the industry is heading, and what skills are in demand.

After all, it's no use teaching our students outdated technology - we need to know what the industry needs now, and what kind of skills graduates will need in the future.

At the meeting the main subject for discussion was Brexit - and what this will mean for the creative industries in the UK.  So, what can the creative industries do to solve the problems posed by this looming upheaval?

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Who's Teaching Character Design?

Vince Woodcock
We're delighted to confirm that the very talented Vincent Woodcock will be the principal tutor at our character design evening class, starting this October at Escape Studios.

Vince studyed music and theatre at Brighton University, and then became an apprentice animator at the Richard Williams studio in London's Soho Square, learning his craft from Richard Williams and the other animators there including the veteran Disney animator Art Babbitt.

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

How To Use EIS to Finance Your Animated Film

As we get ready for our evening class in Producing Animation, starting in September, it's important to conside some of the different ways to finance animated film projects.

Anyone who has tried to raise money for a film project (or any project) knows how hard it can be. Yes, you may have a great idea, but finding the money needed to bring it to life is no easy task.

EIS (Enterprise Investment Scheme) is one of the most promising means of securing equity investment. So, what is EIS and how does it work?

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Festivus is Back! Thursday 13 July

Festivus is back!  – with special guests! The Festivus animation event is an opportunity to get to know people in the London animation industry, find out who is hiring, and where the jobs are.

The latest Festivus animation event takes place on Thursday 13th July at The Comedy Pub in London.

There is a guest speaker from Animation UK, and Blue Zoo will also be there.

Monday, 26 June 2017

Animation Taster Day Monday 24 July

Learn to animate a bird in flight
We're running an Animation Taster Day here at Escape Studios, on Monday 24th July. Taster Days are a great chance to learn about character and creature animation, and find out what an animator's job is all about.

We run animation taster days to give future animators an idea of what it's like to work in the  industry, and discover 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?

Friday, 23 June 2017

Cinesite "Inspire" Internships - Apply Now!

Cinesite, one of London's biggest animation and VFX houses, is now accepting entries for paid Summer internships at their London studios.

The programme is open to individuals over the age of 18, with little or no experience of working in the VFX industry, who are eligible to work in the UK.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

IT Spec for Escape Studios Classrooms

HP Z640
One question we get asked a lot by prospective students is "what is the current spec of the Lab Computers for students at Escape Studios"? In other words, "how good is your tech?".

Fortunately, we bought all our machines brand new in September 2016 and they are excellent workstations. The main workhorse in all our classrooms is the HP Z640 Workstation, which has more than enough capacity to do the job. It's a high-end HP Z series workstation with dual Xeon processors and Nvidia Quadro series graphics cards

The full spec is as follows:
Dual Intel Xeon E5-2630v3 2.4 GHz 8 Core
2 x 256 GB SSD
Nvidia M4000 Graphics Card

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Endless Reference for Animators

Using live action reference to inform your animation can be one of the best ways to get started as an animator.

I have used live action reference many times on many films, especially movies with human characters, such as The Road to El Dorado and Spirit - Stallion of the Cimarron, and especially on action shots where the motion was complex and hard to get right.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

How Do You Finance Animation at Kickstarter?

How do you finance an animation project at Kickstarter? The world of finance is changing, and crowd-funding is now one of the key means of getting a project off the ground. Even students with modest resources can now make their dreams real.

As we get ready for our evening class in Producing Animation, starting in September, we're taking a close look at how Kickstarter works.  Writer and film-maker Allen Stroud, author of Elite: Lave Revolution, explained in a recent talk how to get a Kickstarter project off the ground.

Monday, 19 June 2017

BYOA Tonight!

Lukin pub, Fitzrovia
Calling all Escape animators - "Bring Your Own Animation" is taking place tonight, Monday June 19th.

BYOA is an animation event that takes place every month at a pub in London. This month the event is taking place at The Lukin pub in Fitzrovia.

If you are a student who is working on a shot or an updated reel (aren't we all?), bring your work on a USB or hard drive and get feedback from professional animators. You'll also hear the local gossip and find out the word on the street. Who is hiring, and what skills are in demand?

Friday, 16 June 2017

Mental Ray is Back! - Free For Student Use

Mental Ray is back! 3D Render by Amaru Zeas
Mental Ray is Back! NVIDIA, makers of this classic ray tracer that used to come bundled free with Autodesk Maya, have released a version of their software which is free for student use. According to NVIDIA, "this program is designed for institutions of higher education who use Mental Ray as part of their curriculum." It's certainly good news for our students, because Mental Ray has a number of advtantages over its successor Arnold.  In particular, you can achieve some very quick and attractive lighting setups in Mental ray using Physical Sun & Sky, the closest thing Maya has to a "Make It Look Cool button".  So, how can our students get a free copy of Mental Ray?

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Escape Labs - Compositing Software - June 29

Escape Labs is back! We're hosting our third (and final) evening titled "The Software Sessions".

On Thursday June 29 we're welcoming independent creative studio Fluid Pictures to our High Holborn campus to host an exclusive industry exploration of 2D VFX software packages, especially After Effects, Nuke, Flame and Fusion.

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Daniel Baidoo Animator at Lipsync

Congratulations to first year animation undergraduate Daniel Baidoo who has just landed a position as an animation intern this summer with Lipsync Post in London.

Daniel has already kicked off his animation career by interning at King Bee animation, and even getting a promotion to junior animator. Now he will be doing animation with visual effects at Lipsync, adding to his growing skillset.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Claus Toksvig on Producing Animation

Claus Toksvig
How do you produce and finance an independent animated feature film? It's far from an easy task, but not an impossible dream.

Our students at Escape Studios don't just learn animation, they learn the process of getting a film made from concept to screen.

As we get ready for our evening class in Producing Animation starting this September, we asked Danish producer Claus Toksvig, from Denmark's Animation Workshop, to explain the challenges of making an independent animated film outside of the studio system.

Monday, 12 June 2017

Francesco & Emma TD Animators at Framestore

Many congratulations to Escapees Francesco Nevi and Emma Thorpe who have just been offered animation FX jobs at Framestore.

Emma and Francesco will be taking part in Framestore's "LaunchPad Pro Creature FX course (CFX)".

Friday, 9 June 2017

Rory Marchant Animator at Jellyfish Pictures

Animation Reel 2016 from Rory B Marchant on Vimeo.

Many Congratulations to Escapee Rory Marchant who has just recently finished working as a studio assistant at Escape Studios, and has now landed himself a job as a Junior Animator at Jellyfish Pictures. Rory has also been working as a freelance animator, doing superb work - such as this excellent commercial for a French client.

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Steve Burch Explains Producing Animation

Animation Producer Steve Burch
Animation Producer Steve Burch recently gave an excellent talk on Producing Animation, aimed at students hoping to start up their own small businesses and take on commercial freelance jobs.

After all, many of our students at Escape will found their own companies, and create their own characters and content.

As we get ready for our September evening class in Producing Animation, we ask the key question: what are the challenges involved in successfully bidding on, winning - and delivering - an animation production?

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Escapee David Mattock 10 Yrs of Full Rotation

Congratulations to Escapee David Mattock who will shortly celebrate ten years of successful freelance animation with his company Full Rotation.

Full Rotation provides animated films and videos, including motion graphics, for individuals and corporate clients. He has also completed a very useful "Intro to Maya" video, free for beginners learning the software. You can find it here - it's a great introduction to Maya basics.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Escape Studios Enters Blind Draw Challenge!

Here at Escape Studios we're backing the Blind Draw Challenge, a new campaign aimed at raising awareness of and much-needed funds for the victims of the Syrian refugee crisis. Blind Draw challenge is the brain child of Blue Zoo Animation Director Simone Giampaolo, who decided to turn his outrage over the ongoing conflict in Syria into something useful - a campaign to raise money for those displaced by war and violence.

Monday, 5 June 2017

Dominika Brodowska Story Artist at Cloth Cat

Dominika Brodowska
Many congratulations to Escapee Dominika Brodowska who has just landed a job as a storyboard artist with Cloth Cat animation in Cardiff.

Dominika took our three month intensive short course in animation here at Escape Studios, learning Maya and mastering the animation pipeline.

We asked her to talk about her new job at Cloth Cat, and what advice she can offer other Escapees looking to land their first job in the animation industry.