Friday, 28 July 2017

Blue GFX Expo 9 November 2017

Save the date! Blue GFX Expo is taking place in London on 9th November 2017.

Last year speakers included Tom Box from Blue Zoo, one of the UK's biggest TV animation company, Stuart Penn from Framestore, and the folks from Autodesk showing the latest tools.

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Farewell June Foray 1917-2017

June Foray
The Queen of Animation died yesterday. The extraordinarily talented June Foray, voice of countless cartoon characters in her long and varied career, has died just shy of her 100th birthday.  June was the go-to person for animation voice-over work for many, many decades. You may not recognise June's face, but you know her voice.

She was the voice of the Grandmother in Disney's Mulan, and did countless Granny voices for the Looney Tunes. She worked with animation greats like Chuck Jones and Mel Blanc (voice of Bugs Bunny and many others), and continued working well into her 90s. She was on the Board of Governors of the Motion Picture Academy, and ASIFA Hollywood. She helped to set up the Annie Awards (animation Oscars) in 1972.

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

7 Rules to Start Your Own Animation Business

How do you start a small animation business? At Escape Studios we don't just train animators to do excellent work, we help them to turn that knowledge into a successful career. And one way of dealing with the uncertainty of being an employee in the creative industries is to start up your own business.

Don't forget that today's big companies like Pixar and Blue Zoo all began life as small start-ups. But how, exactly, might you go about starting one up from scratch?  Below are the 7 Key Rules to start your own animation business.

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Why Does Maya's Batch Render Light Too Dark?

Utah Teapot
Lighting your scene using Autodesk Maya can be a tricky process. You finish your shot, light your scene, you get your lights to look just the way you want them to. And when you render out a single frame, everything looks fine. But then, when you come to do a batch render of your frames, Maya gives you something quite different - and much darker. And it's not what you wanted at all.

Why does Maya do this - and what is the solution?

Friday, 21 July 2017

Last Call! Animation Taster Day 24 July

Animate a crow in flight
Last chance to sign up! 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?

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Stuart Penn to Escape Studios on 3rd August

Stuart Penn
Escape Studios is proud to host another "Evening with..." event, this time with super-talented Framestore VFX Supervisor Stuart Penn, on Thursday 3rd August at 6.30pm.

Stuart's work includes the digital oil refinery "Hell's Gate" on James Cameron's Avatar, the Hong Kong sequence of Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight, the development of the Extremis effect for Marvel's Iron Man 3 and the Knowhere environment for Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy.

Stuart will be talking about his recent work as VFX supervisor on Ridley Scott’s Alien: Covenant.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Tools For Character Designers at Adobe Color
Check out Adobe Color, an excellent resource to help aspiring character designers deal with that trickiest of concepts - a colour palette that works.

Character designers tend to have their hands full dealing with design and drawing, and having to work in colour adds a whole extra layer of complexity.

The cool thing about Adobe Color is that it gives you colour palettes for free. Say you wanted to design a character using military colours - you might try this army colour palette here.

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

16 Rules of Animation Freelancing

If you work in the animation industry, the chances are that at some point you will be self-employed, either running your own small business or working as a freelancer. 

Even if you do land a job as an employee of a company, our industry tends to be project-driven, and most companies tend to expand and contract according to the size of their order book. 

So what’s an animator to do to stay afloat? First, you must understand the 16 Rules of Animation Freelancing

Monday, 17 July 2017

Bring Your Own Animation Tonight 17th July

Lukin pub, Fitzrovia
Calling all Escape animators - "Bring Your Own Animation" is taking place tonight, on Monday 17th July.

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.

Python is Back! New Course Starts 21 Nov 2017

Escape Studios recently launched a new Python Short Course, and its success means that we're running it again this November.

Python is a widely used high-level programming language for general-purpose programming, created by Guido van Rossum, and widely used in the VFX industry.

Most importantly for our students, Python is part of the architecture of Maya and Nuke, and an ability to master Python is a super-useful part of the digital artists' tool box.  Python is being taught at Escape Studios West (Shepherd's Bush), for five weeks from 21st November 2017.  It's a part-time course and costs £995.  To find out more, follow this link.

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Character Design Webinar Monday 31st July

Our next webinar at Escape Studios is on Monday 31st July at 4pm, and it's all about character design: how to design great characters, and how to find work as a character designer in the animation industry. 

If you'd like to find work as a character designer (and who wouldn't? It's one of the most fun jobs going in our industry) and you'd like to make your portfolio the best it possibly can be - sign up now for our webinar.

Best of all - it's completely free!

What's this webinar all about?
It's all about what's involved in forging a successful career as a character designer. Putting together an excellent portfolio of work is the ultimate goal for all of our students here at Escape Studios - and character design is no exception.

Thursday, 6 July 2017

The Best Animation Course in the World?

Blue Zoo Animation
What would the Best Animation Course in the world look like?

The question was recently asked by Tom Box, co-founder of Blue Zoo Animation Studio. Tom surveyed the artists and animators at Blue Zoo to find out what is right - and wrong - with university animation courses.

It's an important question, and one that colleges and universities need to keep asking, in order to make sure we're offering our students the right skills. So what is the answer?  How can universities design better courses that actually meet the needs of the industry?

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

How To Break Into the Animation Business

Producer Don Hahn
How do animators break into the entertainment industry? Digital media and outlets like YouTube and Vimeo have made it easier than ever to gain exposure, but increased competition can make it seem harder than ever to get that first job in a mainstream studio.

At Escape Studios we focus on helping our students get the right skills to find work in the industry. Having the right skills is vital, as well as your own blog, website and animation demo reel.

As we get ready for our evening class in producing animation, starting this September, we asked Lion King producer Don Hahn to explain how students can break into the business of animation.

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

When To Use Maya's World Control

When should animators use the World Control to animate in Maya? The short answer is: "never". But, as with most rules, real life is not quite as simple as that, and there are exceptions to the rule.

Since this is an area of some confusion for animators learning to to use Maya, here's a brief outline of what the rules of World Control Etiquette really are.

Monday, 3 July 2017

What Do Animation Producers Do?

Jeffrey Katzenberg - founder of DreamWorks Animation
What does a producer do, exactly? This is an important question for anyone who hopes to go into the animation industry.

As we get ready for our evening class in Producing Animation, we take a look at the different kinds of producers on an animated film project, and what they all actually do.