Thursday, 30 November 2017

London Animation Festival 1-10 December

The London International Animation Festival (LIAF), the UK’s largest animation festival, returns for its 14th year with a series of screenings of the best shorts and features, both domestic and international, including children’s screenings and the Best of the Fest.

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Live Action Reference for Animators

Where can animators find useful live action reference? Reference is often a necessary starting point for producing believable animation.  Of course, YouTube is a great resource, but it can be hard to find what you want, and you may need to dig within YouTube to find particular channels that specialise in the particular kind of reference that you need.  Below is a list of some of the best online resources that our students have been using find the perfect live action reference for their shots.

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Character Design is Back! 14th May 2018

Illustration by Andrea Torrejon
Our new evening class in Character Design has proved so popular that it is returning to Escape Studios on Monday 14 May, running until Monday 9th July 2018.

The course is an 8 week introduction to the art and craft of character design and, as with most of our evening classes, it's a part-time course, designed to fit around jobs and families, and taught by seasoned industry professionals.

Character Design is one of the most rewarding parts of our industry - and also one of the most competitive. As with everything we do here at Escape, the class will build up to a live industry brief, with the final project mapping as closely as possible to the experience of working in an industry environment.

Friday, 24 November 2017

Mike Davies - Rigging Smaug and The Minions

Minion by Mike Davies
Mike Davies is one of our newest tutors here at Escape Studios, leading an 8 week evening class introduction to rigging starting on 14 May 2018. Mike has a stellar industry track record, helping to rig Smaug from The Hobbit and the Minions from Despicable Me.

Rigging is a skill that every animator should know at least something about. Being able to open up a rig and tweak it, make adjustments and minor fixes, is an increasingly important part of the animator's toolkit.

We asked Mike to talk a little about how we got started in the industry, and what advice he might offer to students hoping to break into this most specialised of areas of the animation pipeline.

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Mental Ray is Dead - Long Live Arnold

Mental Ray 3D Render
NVidia, makers of the once-ubiquitous ray tracer Mental Ray, have announced in a press release that it is to be discontinued.

Mental Ray used to come bundled free with Autodesk Maya and, until recently, have released a version of their software which is free for student use.

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Concept Art Comes to Escape 7 March 2018

Concept Art by Cenay Oekmen
Concept Art is coming to Escape Studios on wednesday 7th March 2018, taught by the amazingly talented Cenay Oekmen. 

It's an evening class, designed to fit around careers and families, running for 8 weeks from Wednesday 7th March 2018.

The idea is to introduce students to the many techniques and skills that go up to make a well-rounded concept artist, including 3d and 2d software.

Friday, 17 November 2017

Character Creation at Escape Studios 16 May

Tutor: Philip Meredith
Character Creation is coming to Escape Studios on 16th May 2018.

This unique evening course will teach students how to create their own character designs and bring them to life.

Over 12 weeks you will design, model, texture, rig and animate your own character.  It's a lot to learn in a short amount of time, but we'll be using smart short-cuts wherever possible to make the process of creating a character from scratch as smooth and automated as it can be.

Thursday, 16 November 2017

How to Design like a Rockstar

Eugene Riecansky, founder and CEO of Rockstar, a motion graphics company based in Norwich, East Anglia, gave a superb talk at last week's BlueGFX Expo titled "How to Design like a Rockstar". 

It was an excellent talk because it brought to life the extraordinarily fast-paced nature of doing video work for clients, working to insane deadlines to create unique video content for bands doing live gigs and performances.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

11 Second Club October 2017

Many congratulations to our 2nd year undergraduate animators at Escape Studios for their stellar performances in October's 11 Second Club competition. Out of 187 entries overall, five of our students placed in the top 30, and ten in the top 60. To see some of the best entries, scroll down and watch the videos below.

Monday, 13 November 2017

Storyboard with Panel Forge Pro for Free

At last week's Blue GFX Expo, Blue Zoo’s Tom Box announced that Panel Forge Pro, their new storyboard and pipeline tool, is now available for free for student use.

Panel Forge Pro, extensively tested at Blue Zoo on Miffy the Rabbit and Digby Dragon, makes use of 3D Layouts to save time in Storyboarding, allowing board artists to use low resolution 3D assets to help set up camera angles and layouts.  Good news then for storyboard artists, who can now learn to use this new software for free.

Friday, 10 November 2017

Escape Animators Run Master Classes at BFI

Last weekend Escape studios staff and students descended on BFI Southbank, the London home of the UK film Industry, to deliver a series of talks, masterclasses and software demos to up-and-coming young film makers.

The event was titled BFI Future Film Labs – Post Production, and was a chance for Escape students to meet other film-makers and share ideas.

Among those who helped to deliver workshops were second year animation students Aaron Hopwood and Katerina Zacharakis, demonstrating some cool animation techniques.

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Andrea Torrejon on Character Design

Andrea Torrejon, character designer for Rovio's famous Angry Birds series, will be teaching our character design evening class for the next three weeks, allowing our students to have the benefit of two tutors, bringing two very different perspectives to the art and craft of character design.

We asked Andrea to talk a little bit about her work, and what is involved in being a professional character designer.

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Star Wars Escape by Sebastian Kuder

Star Wars Escape by Sebastian Kuder

"Star Wars Escape" is a short fan film created by second year undergraduate animation student Sebastian Kuder. It's a sophisticated piece of work, almost 5 minutes long and involving a high level of skill in both animation and visual effects. We asked him to talk a little about the project, and how he managed to complete it with little time and less budget.

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Get Ready For Our January Animation Course

The clock is ticking for our animation short course, starting in January 2018.  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.