Thursday, 28 February 2019

Dinosaur Animation Tutorial Live at Vimeo

"Indominus Rex" by Truong
Escape Studios have released a new series of animation tutorial videos at our Vimeo channel; this time on dinosaur locomotion.

The video can be found at our Vimeo channel, along with the rest of the digital content we're creating to supplement our classroom studies.  Missed a class due to illness? We've got a video tutorial that covers the same - or similar - ground.

Using the excellent  free Dino rig by Harry Geoghegan, available for free download at Creative Crash, the tutorial explains how to create a believable dinosaur walk cycle and performance.

Wednesday, 27 February 2019

Last Call for Character Design 25 March

Nothin' Personal by Andrea Torrejon
Last call for our Character Design Evening Class - which is returning to Escape Studios on Monday 25th March 2019.

Character Design is an 8 week evening class taught by the very talented Andrea Torrejon, lead designer at Passion Pictures on the new 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 - turnarounds, model packs and an animation "bible".

Tuesday, 26 February 2019

Bouncing Ball by Amanda Costa

All animation courses begin with a bouncing ball, and ours are no exception. The bouncing ball exercise introduces animators to the basic concepts of timing and spacing, weight, paths of action and also squash and stretch.

A ball can be bounced well or badly, and the exercise - although superficially simple - can be done to a high level of skill and complexity.  As with most of our classroom content, we have online videos to support classroom study.

Missed a class, or fallen behind? We've got you covered.  In this video, hosted at our Vimeo Channel, Studio Assistant Amanda Costa walks students step-by-step through the basics of animating a bouncing ball.

Monday, 25 February 2019

Escape Studios Animators Visit Cinesite

Escape animators visit Cinesite
Our Advanced Animation and Master's Degree students visited Cinesite last Monday, to get feedback from one of London's leading animation and VFX houses.

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

The journey of our animators is far from 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.

Friday, 22 February 2019

Quadruped Locomotion by Maria Robertson

Quadruped Locomotion by Maria Robertson
We're adding more animation tutorials to our Vimeo channel, including now a full series of videos on quadruped locomotion.

The trick with tackling quadruped locomotion is break down an apparently complex motion into a manageable, simple workflow.

After all, in animation you get nothing for free. You start off with a digital puppet, and then have to figure out the rest yourself.

Thursday, 21 February 2019

Rookie Awards: Deadline 31st May 2019

At Escape Studios we encourage all of our students to enter The Rookies Awards, the international competition for young creatives, which opens on 7th March, and closes on 31st May. 

The Rookies was founded in 2009 to "showcase the most talented student designers, illustrators, film makers, animators, developers, digital artists, and launch them into the career of their dreams." This year the deadline is May 31st 2019, so there is plenty of time to start crafting a great project.

Wednesday, 20 February 2019

Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Animate a "Take" with Simone Giampaolo

One of the most common problems encountered by student animators is how to block out a shot from scratch, starting with nothing but a blank screen and a character rig.

After all, in animation you get nothing for free. You start off with a digital puppet, usually in a stiff "T-pose", and have to figure out the rest yourself.

Luckily for our students, Aardman animation director and Escape Studios' animation tutor Simone Giampaolo has recorded a series of videos for us, showing how to take a shot from zero to hero. 

Monday, 18 February 2019

Francesco Nevi Creature FX TD at Framestore

Francesco Nevi
Many congratulations to Francesco Nevi, who has been appointed Creature FX TD at Framestore in London, one of the UK's leading VFX houses.

Francesco took our 12 week animation short course and, after polishing his demo reel, successfully won a place on Framestore's LaunchPad Pro Creature FX course (CFX).

Creature FX animators are consistently in short supply and this has been an area of skills shortage in the UK for some time.

Friday, 15 February 2019

2D Animation with Cel Action Starts 21 October

2D animation with Cel Action is coming to Escape Studios on Monday 21st October.

2D animation is making a big comeback these days, with plenty of TV series work being done right here in London.

But the new wave of 2D animation isn't just about drawing skills, it also involves learning new software.

Thursday, 14 February 2019

2nd Year PR5001 Studio Project

Next week our 2nd year undergraduates embark on the Studio Project Module, code-named PR5001, where students collaborate to work together to a professional brief.

This module is the culmination of the second year of study at Escape Studios.

The projects are designed to simulate as closely as possible the experience of working on a live client project, and reflect the kind of work that animators are asked to do in industry.

The Studio Project is worth 45 credits and runs for the next 12 weeks, from Monday 18 February until the end of May (with a week off for Easter).

The Studio Project is broken up into two projects, giving students the chance to practice digital film-making twice in a short space of time, and polish their story-telling skills.

Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Did We Mend The Gap?

Julian Scott, Natalie Busuttil, Greg Wade, Kate O'Connor & Alex Williams
Last week we co-hosted an event with Film London titled "Mend the Gap" - an evening of discussion and debate around the current animation training and employment landscape.

Chaired by Film London’s Animation Consultant, Julian Scott, a panel of industry experts and university representatives came together to examine how academia and the animation industry might help solve the growing animation skills challenge.  So, did we manage to help Mend The Gap last week?

Tuesday, 12 February 2019

MA in Previz & Story Launches 30 Sept 2019

Iliana Franklin teaches at Escape Studios
On 30th September 2019 we are launching an animation world-first:  a master's degree in Previsualisation & Storyboarding .

Developed in consultation with industry (and still subject to formal validation by the University of Kent) this degree is a unique opportunity to learn industry-level skills and also earn an internationally recognised academic qualification.

Monday, 11 February 2019

2019 Animation Demo Reel

We're proud to showcase our latest Escape Studios animation demo reel - a compilation of some of the best work done by our animation students over the last year. Edited together by 3rd year animation tutor Michael Davies, this latest cut shows the huge strides that animation has made in recent months at Escape Studios, as our animators raise the bar for all our undergraduate, post-graduate and short-course students at Escape Studios.

Thursday, 7 February 2019

Pedro Cabeleira Lead Artist at Traveller's Tales

Pedro Cabeleira
Many congratulations to Escapee Pedro Cabeleira who has recently been promoted to Lead Character Artist at the games company Traveller's Tales.

Traveller's Tales is a UK based games company which is owned by Warner Bros and specialises in Lego games.

Pedro took our animation short course at Escape Studios and, after leaving Escape, successfully broke into the games industry.

Wednesday, 6 February 2019

Home Sweet Home - A Sweet Story

Home Sweet Home from Maria Robertson on Vimeo.

Home Sweet Home is a short film about friendship and family, in which a group of discarded sweets must try to get back to their sweet shop home. Directed by 3rd year undergraduate animator Maria Robertson, co-directed by Harry Pearson and produced by Maddison Gould, this film was a collaboration between three departments: Animation, 3D VFX, and Compositing. Working in a team, our students pulled together to deliver a strong piece of work, showing what can be done when students collaborate successfully on group projects.

Tuesday, 5 February 2019

What is 3Dami?

Last week at one of our Escape Studios Creative Workshops I was looking at a portfolio from a student who had, as part of a group project, made an entire 3D animated film using the 3D software Blender

When I asked her how she had done so much work, she explained that she had made the film along with a group of other students at 3Dami, an organisation that helps 14-18 year olds get experience with digital technology.

I was impressed with the quality of the film, and also with how much the students got done in a short amount of time. The project was exactly the kind of thing that we get our students to do at Escape Studios - hand-on experience making films using the right techniques and technology.

Monday, 4 February 2019

Last Call for Storyboarding on 20th March

Digby Dragon storyboard using PanelForge
Last call for storyboarding - our next evening class in storyboarding starts at our central London campus at 190 High Holborn on wednesday 20th March 2019.

This 8 week evening class is led by Francesca "Chess" Adams,  a story board artist at Blue Zoo, one of London's leading animation houses.

Chess brings her experience of working on shows like Digby Dragon and The Go Jetters, reflecting the huge increase in animated content being created right here in London in recent years, and the growing trend towards digital storyboarding tools such as Panel Forge.

Friday, 1 February 2019

Come and Mend The Gap on Monday 4th Feb

Next week on Monday 4th February 2019 we're hosting Film London's Mend the Gap event: a debate on animation training and employment.

There are over 100 university courses in the UK teaching animation, but few of them prepare students with the practical skills they will need to find work in industry. Instead, many courses focus on academic content, writing essays on animation rather than actually doing it.  As a result, many animation studios recruit entry-level talent from European animation schools, not from the UK. So what can be done to fix the problem?