Friday, 30 November 2018

Gravity Sketch - Designing in a VR Environment

Gravity Sketch - 3D VR Design tools
At this year's BlueGFX Expo last week, one of the most interesting demonstrations was Gravity Sketch - a new software tool for designing assets in a 3D VR Environment.

The advantage of Gravity Sketch is speed; like its rival TiltBrush it allows designers to create complex sophisticated assets very fast, in an intuitive, virtual environment.

Thursday, 29 November 2018

Wreck-It Ralph Storyboards

Ralph Breaks The Internet is hitting our screens tomorrow, and this latest Disney animated film will have deployed many of the latest digital film-making tools. But, in one respect, the making of the film was very traditional - in its use of storyboards to hone and perfect the story process. One of the most important parts of making a film like Wreck-It Ralph is still the old-fashioned storyboarding process or, as Pixar often call it, the story re-boarding process, because of the seemingly endless revisions involved in making the story work. Good board artists are hugely in demand, and storyboarding is a career path that can (and often does) lead to becoming a director.

Wednesday, 28 November 2018

The Order: 1886 - Games Art from Escape

The Order 1886. Check out the excellent project work done by our talented Games Art masters students. The MA students were tasked with creating an environment based upon the existing game The Order: 1886 from Ready at Dawn. Congratulations to them all on another superb piece of work.

Tuesday, 27 November 2018

Toonboom Storyboard Pro Licenses at Escape

We're in the process of acquiring some licenses for Toonboom Storyboard Pro to support our third year animation students at Escape Studios.

A number of our third year animation students want to specialise in storyboarding, and to support this we're getting them the leading industry software in this area.

Storyboarding is an important part of the pre-production process, and an area which continues to experience a significant skills shortage here in the UK.

Monday, 26 November 2018

A Christmas Carol at BFI 9th December

A Christmas Carol, 1971
Richard Williams' animated Oscar-winning adaptation of the Charles Dickens novella A Christmas Carol is to be screened at the BFI on Sunday 9th December at 3pm, along with two other British animated classics: Raymond Briggs' The Snow Man and Father Christmas.

The event is a great opportunity to see some beautiful home-grown animation, and after the screening there will be a Q&A with directors Dave Unwin and Richard Williams.

And, if you are lucky, you might even get a chance to have your copy of "The Animator's Survival Kit" signed by the author. 

Friday, 23 November 2018

Black Friday at Escape Studios

This year for the first time Escape Studios are hosting a Black Friday event, offering a 10% discount off all our Escape Studios short courses.

For example, you could get 10% off our evening class in 2D Animation on 8 Jan 2019, our ZBrush class starting on 10 January or our storyboarding class on 6 March.

But you'd better be quick; discounts like this are rare and the offer is only valid until midnight Monday 26th November.

PanelForge 2.0 - and a Free Download

At Wednesday's Blue GFX Expo in London, Blue Zoo’s Tom Box announced the latest version of Panel Forge Pro, storyboard software "developed and battle-tested" at Blue Zoo animation.

Demonstrated by developer James Leaning, this latest release is good news for storyboarders - Version 2.0 is now available for free for beta testing, pending the official product launch.

Thursday, 22 November 2018

Animators Enter October "11 Second Club"

11 Second Club Entry by Maciej Osuch
Congratulations to our 2nd Year animators at Escape Studios who tackled the 11 Second Club competition this past month, with all our students placing in the top half of the competition, and 6 placing in the top 30.

The October competition had, as it usually does, a spooky theme; the line of dialogue was this: "You can really feel the history coming through the walls here...yeah, isn't it wonderful? ...Not when the history fights back!".

Wednesday, 21 November 2018

What's in the 1st Year at Escape Studios?

What's in the first Year of our undergraduate animation course at Escape Studios?

Our first year at Escape Studios is the same for all our undergraduate students, whether they are studying animation, games, or visual effects.

That means that in the first year of studies ("Level 4"), all our students study a broad, flexible curriculum, enabling them to understand the whole animation, games and VFX pipeline before committing to one specialism in their second year.

Monday, 19 November 2018

Thursday, 15 November 2018

Escapee Animation Demo Reels

At Escape Studios we often asked by prospective employers to provide a selection of student animation reels: producers are always on the look-out for animation talent, and we do our best to connect our graduates with the right job opportunities, something that matches their skillset and looks like being a good fit. The best place by far to check out our Escapee demo reels is our YouTube channel, where we showcase a growing selection of student work. Some of the students are recent Escapees, others are still studying at Escape Studios, still honing and polishing their skills. If you're a producer looking for the next generation of animation talent, check out our student demo reel playlist.

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Animation Short Course: Final Brief

Our 12 week animation course at Escape Studios builds up to a final project, to animate a line of dialogue in a fun and inventive way. The project is a chance for students to demonstrate their skill in character performance, using a rig of their choice. The shot can be up to 11 seconds in length, and the assignment can also be an opportunity to enter the monthly “11 Second Club” competition.  The final piece should be included in their animation demo reel, and uploaded to their blog or website.

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Simone Giampaolo to Teach at Escape Studios

Simone Giampaolo
We're delighted to welcome animation director Simone Giampaolo to Escape Studios, to teach our short course and masters' animation students.

Simone worked at Blue Zoo animation in London for many years as an animator, rising to become animation supervisor and eventually director of some of Blue Zoo's best animation shorts.

Simone is now working as an animation director for Aardman animation in Bristol, but we managed to find a couple of gaps in his schedule to teach our animation students.

Monday, 12 November 2018

Troy Saliba and the Making of Venom

Troy Saliba, animation director at Double Negative, came to visit us at Escape Studios on Friday, to talk about his work on the recent blockbuster release: Venom, whose global box-office gross has reached almost $550million.

Troy was in fact my animation director on "Monster House" back in 2005, a well-crafted film which was also my introduction to working with motion capture.  It's hard to think of an animator anywhere with a better understanding of how to create character-driven animation within a VFX environment.

The Venom live-action shoot was filmed in Atlanta, Georgia, but the bulk of the animation and post-production was done at DNeg in London.

Troy explained how, on Venom, animation and FX were heavily interlaced, requiring a great deal of collaboration between the departments, and lots of back-and-forth to get the right final result.

Thursday, 8 November 2018

Daniel Amor 3D Runner at The Mill

The Mill
Many congratulations to Escapee Daniel Amor has recently landed a position as a 3D Runner at The Mill.

Daniel took our 12 week intensive animation course here at Escape Studios and, after the end of the course, continued to polish his demo reel.

Working as a runner is a well-established and effective way to break into the animation and vfx industries.

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Advanced Animation Starts 14th January 2019

Advanced Animation - 18 weeks
What's in our Advanced Animation course? Advanced animation is a new course, an extension of the existing 12 week course in animation.

Advanced Animation is aimed at students who want to polish and further develop their 3D animation skills.

This 6 week intensive class builds on the lessons learned in the 12 Week Animation Short Course,  developing and enhancing existing skills and making sure that all our students are job-ready by the end of the course.

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

Character Design is Back on 18th March 2019

Nothin' Personal by Andrea Torrejon
Character Design Evening Class returns to Escape Studios on Monday 18th March 2019.

Character Design is an 8 week evening class taught by Andrea Torrejon, veteran of Angry Birds, and in-house designer on the Disney TV Series "101 Dalmation St".

Like all of our courses, this class is taught by a working industry professional; Andrea will guide students through the principles of character design, building up to a live industry brief.

Learning character design isn't just about drawing cool characters; it is also about learning what the industry actually needs from a character designer. 

Monday, 5 November 2018

Escape Studios Animation Library

Escape Studios Animation Library
Welcome to the Escape Studios Animation Library or - perhaps more accurately - the Escape Studios Animation Shelf.

My personal library of animation books was gathering dust at home (most of my animation work gets done at the office) so I figured - why not bring the books to work?

That way they could reach a wider audience - and our animation students can read them too.

Friday, 2 November 2018

Escape Studios Industry Survival Guide

Escape Studios has just published our latest careers guide, titled: "Industry Survival Guide".

It's the latest go-to guide to get all the information you need to help figure out where you could fit into the creative industries.

Animation? Compositing? VFX? What do all these jobs involve, and what training do you need to get them?

To download your free copy, follow this link:

Thursday, 1 November 2018

Unreal Training Day at Escape Studios 10 Nov

We're hosing an Unreal Engine Training Day at Escape Studios on 10th November. The event is open to students and industry professionals, and the day's training costs just $50.

We have two classes running on the same day, with 25 seats per class.