Thursday, 31 January 2019

Meet Karin - Our Newest Animation Tutor

Karin Mattson
Karin Mattsson is the latest animator to join our animation team; Karin will be teaching our 8 week evening class in 3D animation starting on 19th February.

Karin has worked on many Hollywood animation and VFX blockbusters such as Transformers, Harry Potter, and The Chronicles of Narnia. She has also worked on many commercials including the meerkat series for Passion Pictures in Soho.

Karin brings a wealth of experience and talent to the classroom. We asked her to talk about her work, and about what it takes to break into the animation industry.

Wednesday, 30 January 2019

AN5002 - Computer Animation: Advanced

Leopard by Francesco Nevi
One of the key modules tackled by our 2nd year undergraduate animators is titled "AN5002: Advanced Computer Animation".

In this module, worth 30 credits, students get to grips with animating animals and creatures.

The module lasts six weeks and finishes just before Christmas, with students practicing their skills in animal and creature animation, including quadruped locomotion and performance.

Tuesday, 29 January 2019

Mid-Year Showcase on Thursday 7th February

Escape Studios are hosting a Mid-Year Showcase of some of the best work created by our undergraduates, short course students and Escapees during 2018. We're inviting industry guests to come along and meet some of the rising talent, the next generation of animation, games and VFX artists. The event is on Thursday 7th February 2019, kicking of at 5.30pm, when we also celebrate the last day of the upcoming VFX Festival 2019: Emerging Talent.

Monday, 28 January 2019

Drawing Club Returns with Simone Giampaolo

Drawing Club is back, with a special guest tutor.

On Tuesday 29th January at 4.30pm Escape Studios welcomes Aardman director Simone Giampaolo, who will be leading Tuesday's class.

Even if you can barely draw a stick figure - come along and get stuck in. Drawing club is for beginners as well as experts, so don't be shy.

Saturday, 26 January 2019

Jericho - A Short Story about Friendship

Jericho - VFX Short Film from Matthew Wight on Vimeo.

Jericho is a short film completed by our third year undergraduate students, in which a lonely robot searches for pieces to build a mechanical friend. Congratulations to all our students for this very successful collaboration between three departments: Animation, 3D VFX, and Compositing. Directed by Sarah Andrews and Produced by Matt Wight, Jericho raises the bar for all our students at Escape Studios and shows what can be done when group projects are well-managed and resourced - just like in industry.

Friday, 25 January 2019

What is the Brit School?

Brit School, Croydon
At last week's Creative Workshop at Escape Studios, we had four applicants from a single school. They were classmates, who had applied to Escape Studios together.  Unusually, all of them had excellent portfolios.

Since it's not that common for us to have a large number of very high quality applicants from one institution, it made me want to know more about the school, and who is teaching there.

The school they are studying at is called the Brit school, and it has a special focus on the creative arts.

So, what is the Brit school, and what is it that they are doing to produce students of such high calibre?

Thursday, 24 January 2019

Industry Feedback Today at Escape Studios

"Ardi", directed by Sebastian Kuder
Our third year animation and VFX students have put the finishing touches to their first VFX group project, and all the short films have been finalled and submitted for marking.

The next stage is to get industry feedback. How well did they do? Does their work live up to industry standards?  What could they do better next time?

Today Thursday 24 January we welcome industry guests to come and give our students a professional critique, and also give credit where it's due.

Wednesday, 23 January 2019

2019 VFX Festival - Who's Coming?

The Escape Studios' 2019 VFX Festival kicks off on February 6th.  As in previous years, we've got some excellent speakers coming to talk about the latest developments in Animation, Games and VFX.

This year we're welcoming UK animation powerhouses such as Framestore, MPC Film, Jellyfish Pictures, Blue Zoo, AXIS animation The Third Floor and Creative Assembly to talk about their latest work.

Tuesday, 22 January 2019

Character Design - 2018 Student Showcase

Andrea Torrejon
Escape Studios recently concluded another 8 week evening class in character design, taught by the very talented Andrea Torrejon.

Andrea is an experienced industry professional, who has most recently been working on the Disney project "Dalmation Street" for Passion Pictures in London.

Andrea's class has produced some stunning artwork - check out some of her students' work below.

Monday, 21 January 2019

Unreal Animation for 3rd Year Animators

Simon Fenton
Our third year animation students are getting schooled in the Unreal Engine pipeline next week. Simon Fenton, Head of Games at Escape Studios, has kindly agreed to run a week-long session, preparing our students for the next group project, which will be rendered using Unreal Engine.

The Unreal Engine class starts on Tuesday 29th January and continues into Wednesday 30th January and finishes on Thursday 31st January.

The class is also an opportunity for our animation students to explore collaborations with the games students at Escape Studios, breathing life into the characters and environments created by the game artists.

Friday, 18 January 2019

Storyboarding Returns to Escape Studios

Iliana Franklin teaches at Escape Studios
On Monday we are welcoming back special guest tutor Iliana Franklin to teach the art and craft of storyboarding to our second year animation students.

Iliana will teach a practical and industry-led approach to storyboarding, using both traditional drawing skills and also digital techniques.

Thursday, 17 January 2019

Evgenia Golubeva Writer at Blue Zoo

Evgenia Golubeva
Many congratulations to Escapee Evgenia Golubeva, who has recently been hired as writer at Blue Zoo Animation, one of the UK's leading producers of animated content.

Evgenia studied with us on our animation short course, and has since forged a career as an independent film-maker, entering her animated films in festivals around the world and winning international prizes for her work.

We're delighted to wish her every success at Blue Zoo, where she will bring her talent as an animator and storyteller to the commercial world of TV cartoons.

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Escape Studios 2019 VFX Festival February 6-7

The countdown to Escape Studios' 2019 VFX Festival is on.  As in previous years, we've got some great speakers coming to talk about the latest developments in Animation, Games and VFX.

This year the festival kicks off with our "Emerging Talent" event which runs for two days, from February 6-7th at London's South Bank Centre.

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Drawing Club Returns Tuesday Jan 15th

Drawing Club at Escape Studios
Drawing Club is returning to Escape Studios on Tuesday January 15th, starting off the year with a  class for absolute beginners.

Even if you can barely draw a stick figure - come along and get stuck in.

Our Studio Assistants, including Drawing Club supremo Steve Lall, will be on hand to lead the class, presenting drawing challenges such as quick gesture drawings to capture a fast pose.

Drawing club takes place on Tuesdays in the basement at 190 High Holborn from 4:30pm until 5:30pm. All are welcome.

Steve Lall Teaches Performance Capture

Steve Lall teaches MoCap at Escape Studios
Our Second year animation students are back at Escape Studios, and are now tackling their Animation Specialism module.

In this module we bring a variety of tutors in to the classroom to explore different parts of the animation pipeline.

Today and tomorrow our students will get a masterclass in Performance Capture animation, taught by our very own Studio Assistant Steven Lall.

Monday, 14 January 2019

2nd Year Specialism Module CR5001

Character animation by Chan Sagoo
A warm welcome back to all our undergraduate students, as formal classroom teaching resumes today. 

The second year of animation studies at Escape Studios is where our students begin to focus on proficiency in the craft of animation.

The second year is also an opportunity for students to choose what part of the animation industry they would like to specialise in.  The 2nd Year Specialism Module (Module Code CR5001) is worth 15 credits and runs for 8 weeks, culminating in a portfolio presentation.  So, what can our students expect?

Sunday, 13 January 2019

Steve Burch: Producing Animation Mon 14 Jan

Animation Producer Steve Burch
Escape Studios is welcoming back veteran animation producer Steve Burch to our High Holborn campus.

Steve, who has worked on animation classics such as The Iron Giant, Space Jam, and Osmosis Jones, is visiting us on Monday 14th January to deliver a workshop on Producing Animation to our second year animators.

He will be back on Tuesday January 15th for our Advanced Animation and MA students.

Friday, 11 January 2019

Part-Time Animation Starts 19th February

Karin Mattson
Our part-time evening class in animation is back, starting on 19th February at our High Holborn campus.

The class is taught by veteran animator Karin Mattsson, who is also our newest animation tutor.

Karin has worked on many Hollywood animation and visual effects blockbusters such as Transformers, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, John Carter, Clash of the Titans and The Chronicles of Narnia.

Thursday, 10 January 2019

Acting for Animators on Friday 18 January

Sarah Perry of Shapes in Motion is returning to Escape Studios to teach a one-day "Acting for Animators" workshop on Friday 18th January.  The workshop lasts all day and is primarily for our 2nd year animators, who are now embarking on their Specialism ModuleSarah is an expert on teaching acting skills to animators, having taught acting classes at MPC, Framestore, and many other leading UK animation and VFX houses.  To find out a little about the class, and about Shapes in Motion, watch the video above.

Wednesday, 9 January 2019

How Animators Can Use Film Freeway

Film Freeway is a great way for students to enter short films into international competitions.

Rather than enter your film individually into lots of different festivals, film-makers can create one upload to a single portal, and then apply through Film Freeway for as many competitions as you like.

Film Freeway has over recent years come to replace IMDB's Withoutabox, which is being discontinued and will close down in October this year.

Monday, 7 January 2019

AN4001 - Animation 1 - at Escape Studios

First year undergraduate animation by Matt Wight
A big warm welcome back to Escape Studios to our first year undergraduates; this week (starting 7 January 2019) is "Directed Study Week", when our students get ready for the start of classes.

For our first year undergraduates, our core animation module - Animation 1 - starts soon at Escape Studios. AN4001 (as it is officially known) is a 15 Credit module that teaches the fundamental underpinnings of character and creature animation.

Friday, 4 January 2019

Happy New Year from Escape Studios!

WIP Fight Sequence 2019 from Simone Giampaolo on Vimeo.

Happy New Year from Escape Studios and from our newest animation tutor, Simone Giampaolo, who is clearly so awesomely talented that he was able to knock out this animated tribute to 2019 in about 10 minutes, with his left hand, while fixing dinner and also calling his Mum (well, I exaggerate a little).  Simone has recently been teaching animation to our Short Course students and, starting on Monday 7th January, he will be teaching the Advanced Animation and Master's students the secrets of character acting and performance. Happy New Year to all our students; may it bring success and prosperity to us all.

Thursday, 3 January 2019

Plamen Ananiev Talks 2D Animation

Plamen Ananiev
Plamen Ananiev is our newest animation tutor, joining us next week for our very first evening class in 2D animation, teaching students to use the latest 2D animation software - Toonboom Harmony.

Why are we running classes in Harmony? Because Harmony is now one of the leading software packages for the creation of 2D animation, such as at London-based animation powerhouse Blue Zoo, which is currently crewing up a whole new division for 2D animation. 

We asked Plamen (currently working on Simon's Cat in London) to talk about his work in the field of 2D Animation - now experiencing a major revival here in the UK and elsewhere. In particular, how can students successfully break into this competitive part of the industry?

Wednesday, 2 January 2019

"Mend The Gap" on 4th February 2019

In February 2019 we're hosting Film London's Mend the Gap event: a debate on animation training and employment.

Here in the UK we have something of a disconnect between what industry needs, and what a lot of animation degree courses actually teach. As a result, many animation studios often recruit young talent primarily from European animation schools, not from the UK. So what is the cause of this problem, and what can be done to fix it?