Friday, 29 September 2017

Evening With Eamonn Butler Wed 4th October

Eamonn Butler
We're delighted to host an Evening With Eamonn Butler, head of animation at Cinesite, at Escape Studios' Holborn Campus on wednesday 4th October.

Eamonn is a director of Cinesite, one of London's major VFX houses, and a founder of the growing animated features side of the business.

Eamonn directs all aspects of Cinesite’s animation output, and there isn't anyone better qualified to talk to our students about animation, animation jobs, demo reels - and how to break into the business.

The event is free for all our students and we strongly recommend that all our animators attend - this is a great chance to meet one of the major players in our industry.

Thursday, 28 September 2017

100 Ways to Walk by Kevin Parry

100 Ways to Walk is a series of walks acted out by Kevin Parry, and intended as inspiration for animators. The key point of the video is that the way we walk says a lot about who we are, how we are feeling, how our day has been. A great walk cycle is the entry point for character animation - can the animator describe a character simply by the way he or she moves? It's one of the first things we teach at Escape Studios, but a good walk cycle can remain elusive even for an experienced animator. Acting one out yourself, and filming yourself doing it, is a great way to get started.

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Escape Labs with Jellyfish Tuesday October 10

Escape Labs is back!  On Tuesday October 10th we're welcoming Jeremy Smith, CTO, at Jellyfish Pictures, to talk about the latest developments in cloud rendering, looking specifically at the benefits of working in a virtual environment.

Escape Labs events are all about the latest tech in our industry, making sure we and our industry partners stay current with the latest trends. To book your ticket, follow this link

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Will Smith Animator at Lipsync Post

Many congratulations to Escapee Will Smith who started a new job last week as a junior animator at Lipsync Post, working on a live-action feature film. Will started his animation career here at Escape Studios working as a Studio Assistant, but was quickly snapped up by Lipsync Post in their hunt for rising animation talent. We're sorry to lose him - but delighted to celebrate his success.

Monday, 25 September 2017

Tom Sito to visit Escape Studios Tuesday 3 Oct

Tom Sito
We're excited to welcome animator, director, and animation historian Tom Sito to Escape Studios next week, to talk to our students. Tom has had a stellar career in Hollywood animation, and is now a member of the Academy Board of Governors (that's the Oscars to you).

In 1998 Tom was included by Animation Magazine in their list of the One Hundred Most Important People in Animation, and he continues to be a major influence on our industry, teaching animation at the University of Southern California, writing books and lecturing.

We're lucky to have him come and visit, and sprinkle some Hollywood pixie dust on our studios.

Friday, 22 September 2017

Animation Production Starts Tuesday 26 Sept

Animation Production starts at Escape Studios next week! Our 8 week evening class (plus aftercare) starts at our Shepherd's Bush campus on Tuesday 26th September 2017, and we still have a couple of seats open.

The class is led by Ultramarines producer Bob Thompson, an experienced industry veteran with a long and successful track record of producing animated feature films, commercials and VFX projects.

The course is designed to prepare producers to the challenges of pitches, budgets, spreadsheets and all the commercial knowledge that underpins our industry.

So, what can students expect from Animation Production?

Amanda Costa Studio Assistant At Escape

Amanda Costa
Congratulations to Escapee Amanda Costa who has just started a new animation job at Escape Studios this week, working as a studio assistant and helping to support our new cohort of undergraduate students learning 3D animation.

Becoming a studio assistant at Escape Studios is a great way to launch a career in animation and VFX -  our studio assistants invariably move on to careers in industry, after working and studying here, perfecting their demo reels and developing industry contacts.

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Access VFX Starts Next Week

Access:VFX events are taking place next week, at visual effects studios across Soho. Access VFX is all about promoting diversity and inclusion in our industry.

Escape Studios have teamed up with our friends at The Mill, Framestore, Double Negative, MPC, Jellyfish Pictures, ILM, Blue Zoo Animation, Union VFX, Escape Technology, and UK Screen Alliance.

We're encouraging our students to attend these events; you can book your free tickets online through

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Animation Taster Day Wed 27 September

Animate a bird in flight
We're running another Animation Taster Day here at Escape Studios on Wednesday 27th September.

Taster Days are a great chance to learn about character and creature animation, and find out what an animator's job is all about.

You will learn how to use Autodesk Maya and 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 creature animation - a bird in flight - uploaded to your YouTube channel.

So, how do you sign up?

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Animation Insiders - Free eBook for Animators

Animation Insider's Ebook - free from Squeeze!
Animation students can now get a free copy of the Animation Insider's eBook, downloadable at no charge from Squeeze animation studio in Quebec.

This free digital download describes the workflow of talented animators like Mike Nguyen, Victor Navone and Jason Ryan.

It is a hugely useful resource for animation students - an insight into how experienced animators approach their work.

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Dave Novis Animator at Lipsync Post

Many congratulations to Escapee Dave Novis who has just joined Lipsync Post as a junior animator.  Dave will be working on feature film combining live action with character and creature animation.

Dave took our animation course in 2016, and recently worked as a studio assistant at Escape Studios, helping to train up our latest cohort of animators.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Bring Your Own Animation - 18th September

Calling all animation Escapees - "Bring Your Own Animation" is taking place on Monday 18th September.

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

Bring your animation demo reel 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 on where the animation jobs are.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

KeyFrame MP - Video Playback for Animators

Keyframe MP Overview from Chris Zurbrigg on Vimeo.

KeyFrame MP - Video Playback for Animators - is an excellent video playback tool that does the job that QuickTime Pro used to do - only even better.  Most free video players, such as Media Player, won't give you frame-by-frame playback, making them of limited use to animators.  KeyFrame PM is a video player specially made for animators, with super useful features like scrubbing (with audio), single frame advance - all the stuff you need as an animator to play your work back frame by frame and trouble shoot the mistakes. At $79, KeyFrame MP isn't free, but it's much, much better than most of the free stuff out there. And, since Apple has stopped supporting the cheap and cheerful Quick Time Pro, KeyFrame MP now fills a big gap in the animator's tool kit.

Monday, 11 September 2017

Escape Studios at VIEW Wed 25th October

Escape Studios is going to VIEW, the 18th International VFX & Computer Graphics Conference that takes place every year in the beautiful Italian town of Torino (Turin).

We'll be there running a one-day workshop in Maya on Wednesday 25th October, demonstrating some cool creature animation techniques. The class is aimed at complete beginners and requires no prior experience with Maya.

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Games Animation at Jagex

Last week I was lucky enough to spend a few days working with the animation team at Jagex, led by the very talented Paul Brown.

Jagex makes many games but they are most famous for Runescape, the fantasy MMORPG developed and released by the company back in January 2001.  It's free to play Runescape, but players must pay extra to access a premium version, allowing Jagex to make a convincing claim that they invented the now-ubiquitous "Fremium" business model back in 2001.

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Animation Taster Days 13th & 27th September

Learn to animate a bird in flight
We're running two more Animation Taster Days here at Escape Studios, on Wednesday 13th September, and Wednesday 27th September. Taster Days are a great chance to learn about character and creature animation, and find out what an animator's job is all about.

You will learn how to use Autodesk Maya and 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, 5 September 2017

Great Camera Tripod for Live Action Reference

Photo-R Tripod
Animators start their work with a blank sheet of paper - or a blank screen. So how do you get a great performance, from nothing?

One of the best ways to bring your work to life is to use live-action reference, by filming yourself acting out the shot, capturing the footage on your phone, and then exporting the footage onto an image plane in Maya, so you can start animating.

But how you film yourself acting your scene out, if there is just one of you? After all, someone has to operate the camera, while you are acting. The answer is - you need a tripod.

Friday, 1 September 2017

How To Re-Set Your Preferences in Maya

Sometimes Maya behaves badly and the solution isn't always obvious. You've tried closing and opening the software, you've tried a reboot, you've tried a shutdown and re-start.

It may be that the solution to persistent technical problems is reset your preferences, and start Maya from scratch with a clean version of the software.

So how do you reset your preferences in Maya?