Monday, 31 December 2018

Eight New Year's Resolutions for Animators

Bong! Happy 2019!
What should an animator's new year's resolutions be? The animation business continues to expand, bringing jobs and opportunities, but it's a competitive world, and good animators need to be smart to stay on top of their game.

So, apart from going on a post-Christmas diet,  what are some simple ways to maintain your edge in 2019?

Saturday, 29 December 2018

Toonboom Harmony Licenses at Escape Studios

We're in the processing of installing 13 new licenses in Toonboom Harmony for our new evening class in 2D Animation, which kicks off on 8 January.

Watching the amazing animation done by Ken Duncan's animation studio on Mary Poppins Returns underlines just how much 2D animation skills are still in demand.

It was also clear at last summer's Annecy animation festival in France that a big 2D animation revival is in progress. Here in London, Blue Zoo animation is expanding into 2D work and aggressively recruiting fresh animation talent. So, there are plenty of opportunities for 2D animators - as long as they are properly trained in the right software, of course.

Thursday, 27 December 2018

Producing For VFX Returns on 5 Feb 2019

Learn from the producer of Ultramarines
Producing for visual effects is returning to Escape Studios on 5th February. This six week intensive class, supported by Access VFX, ScreenSkills and the BFI, will take place at our 190 High Holborn campus.

The course will prepare VFX producers for the challenges of pitches, budgets, spreadsheets and all the commercial knowledge that underpins our industry. And, of course, the creative side of the business - because every blockbuster project starts with a great idea.

This unique class is taught by a variety of producers including Ultramarines producer Bob Thompson, an experienced industry veteran with a long and successful track record of producing animated feature films, commercials and VFX projects.

So, what can our students expect?

Saturday, 22 December 2018

UCAS Deadline - January 15th 2019

UCAS - time to apply
Thinking of applying to Escape Studios to study the Art of 3D Animation, Games or Visual effects?  The UCAS deadline of January 15th is fast approaching.  We are welcoming applications for the fourth intake of our new integrated BA/MArt in Animation, Games and VFX - launched in September 2016.

One of the most common questions I get asked by prospective students is this: "should I wait to apply until I have finished my portfolio?" The answer is a definite "no".  Get your application in early, and worry about your portfolio later. You'll have plenty of time before attending one of our Creative Workshops to pull your portfolio together.

Friday, 21 December 2018

What is APEL?

APEL: route to post-graduate study
What is APEL? APEL stands for "Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning", and is the formal recognition of prior learning by UK universities.

Why is it important? Because APEL is the mechanism by which students who do not have an undergraduate degree can gain entry onto a masters' level course, such as our master's programme in 3D animation.

For example, an animator with ten years' experience in the industry might not realise they can apply for our MA course in animation, because they need a BA first.  In fact, this would not necessarily be true.

We can consider a student's body of work, and their professional career, as a route into post-graduate study, permitting them to meet the necessary qualifications for entry onto a masters' programme.

Thursday, 20 December 2018

Great Reference at

Greenscreen animals - great reference for animators is an excellent online resource that does what it says on the tin.

Greenscreenanimals is a website dedicated to live action clips of animals, all filmed against a green screen background.

For animators, this provides us with super-useful reference for studying animal locomotion; reference which can be easily imported into Maya and used as the basis for an animal or creature performance.

Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Storyboard Tips by Jim Mortensen at Gumroad

storyboard tips and tricks by Jim Mortensen
We're loving these free Storyboard Tips, hosted at at Gumroad, created by DreamWorks storyboard artist and director Jim Mortensen.

It's a great introduction to the art and craft of storyboarding, highlighting some of the common pitfalls experienced by junior board artists.

Tuesday, 18 December 2018

Mit Circs and Extensions at Escape Studios

What happens if a student fails to meet an academic deadline at Escape Studios? Or, if a student hasn't yet missed a deadline, but thinks they might miss it? There are two online forms our students need to know about.

The first form is the Extenuating Circumstances form, which applies when a student - through no fault of their own - fails to meet an academic deadline. The second is the Deadline Extension Form, which applies when a student needs more time to complete a project - but has not yet missed the deadline. 

Monday, 17 December 2018

Escape Studios Animators Visit Cinesite

Animation short course students with tutor Simone Giampaolo
Our Short Course Animation Students are visiting Cinesite today, to get feedback from one of London's leading animation and VFX houses.

Cinesite Head of animation Eamonn Butler will be personally reviewing our students' work, giving them feedback and notes.

The journey of our short course animators is not over. Their first cut of their demo reels will be just that - a first cut, and they will continue to polish and perfect their work as they apply for work in the industry.

Thursday, 13 December 2018

Stuart Sumida Explains the "Five Most Important Anatomical Rules for Animators"

Stuart Sumida
Palaeontologist Stuart Sumida was at Escape Studios last night, demonstrating to our students "The Five Most Important Anatomical Rules for Animators".

Stuart is a world expert on animal anatomy and creature locomotion, widely consulted for his technical expertise on animated feature films like “Spirit”- Stallion of the Cimarron”, "Beauty and the Beast" “Lion King”, "Zootopia" and and “How to Train Your Dragon”.

Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Download Unreal Engine Paragon Assets Free

Paragon from Epic Games
Epic Games and Unreal Engine have released their "Paragon" online assets - free. Any student at Escape Studios who wants to use these photo-real characters in their projects can use "$12 million worth of assets" for no charge.

The online game Paragon was cancelled on March 19th 2018. Developer Epic Games (owners of Unreal Engine) announced that they would release all $12,000,000 worth of game assets for free use by anyone working with the Unreal Engine 4, via the Unreal Engine Marketplace.

The first wave of released content included 20 characters, with their respective skins, animations, VFX and dialogue, along with over 1,500 environment components.  To find the Paragon assets online, follow this link.

Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Jakob Parsons to teach sound design Jan 2019

Jakob Parsons
We're welcoming back sound specialist Jakob Parsons to teach sound design to our 2nd year undergraduate animators early in January 2019.

Sound design is an important but often neglected part of the film-making process. After all, 50% of the experience of enjoying a film is done with our ears, and yet when teaching film-making we tend to focus most of our attention on what we see with our eyes, often neglecting the importance of sound.

Monday, 10 December 2018

Escape Studios December 2018 Demo Reel

Check out our Escape Studios December 2018 Animation Demo Reel above. It's only a month since we published our last animation reel, but there is so much great animation being done at Escape Studios right now that we thought it was time to cut a new reel. The work above includes animation done by our short course and undergraduate students in their first and second year of studies. What about the third year undergraduates, and the masters' degree students, I hear you ask? Well, we've not forgotten them; they are doing some amazing work right now, but you'll have to wait until early next year to see that.

Friday, 7 December 2018

VFX Project Industry Review Wed 12 December

Our third year animation and VFX students are in the process of putting the finishing touches to their first VFX group project.

They are getting some industry feedback on Wed 12 December at 2.30pm, with industry guests to come and give critique - and also give credit - where it's due.

Thursday, 6 December 2018

Chan Sagoo Animator on Lion King

Lion King (2019)
Many congratulations to Escapee Chan Sagoo who recently landed a job working at MPC on The Lion King as a junior animator.

After leaving Escape Studios, Chan graduating from the Technicolour Academy, and then went on to become a junior animators at MPC in London, following completion of the animation short course at Escape Studios earlier this year.

Lion King is, of course, the much-anticipated photo-realistic remake of Disney's original traditionally animated 1994 film.

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

What's in the 3rd Year at Escape Studios?

3rd year at Escape Studios - what's inside?
What's in the 3rd Year of undergraduate studies at Escape Studios? The third year at Escape is where our animation students take everything they have learned in their first two years of undergraduate study, and apply it to the business of creating professional-quality work.

The 3rd year, also called "Level 6", is where students develop a portfolio of work that will enable them to start their careers in industry, and also gain enough experience on group projects to work effectively in teams, to tight deadlines.

Tuesday, 4 December 2018

Spiderman Art Competition at Escape Studios

Spiderman is coming to our screens shortly, and to celebrate the new movie we're hosting a Spiderverse Competition at Escape Studios.

The competition is open to all our students, and the brief is to create an original piece of art featuring characters from the Spiderman universe.

We're giving away prizes for the winner, and the runners-up.

Monday, 3 December 2018

Stuart Sumida to Escape Wed 12th December

We're delighted to host another "Afternoon With..." event at Escape Studios, this time with paleontologist and animal locomotion expert Stuart Sumida, on Wednesday 12th December at 4.30pm.

Stuart occupies a rare cross-over space between science and entertainment, having advised countless Hollywood studios on the development of movies such as "the Lion King" and Spirit - Stallion of the Cimarron".