Tuesday, 30 April 2019

Home Sweet Home in British Animation Festival

Many congratulations to the creators of the short film Home Sweet Home, which has made the cut for the official selection at the British Animation Film Festival, taking place on Friday 10th May at 6.30pm.

Directed by Maria Robertson, co-directed by Harry Pearson and produced by Maddison Gould, Home Sweet Home is a short film collaboration between animation and VFX students at Escape Studios.

The BAFF is an annual film festival that takes place at the Empire Leicester Square in London's West End. Tickets can be purchased through Cineworld.

Monday, 29 April 2019

Run Cycle Tutorial at Vimeo

We've got a new run cycle tutorial at our Vimeo channel, part of our series of online animation tutorials to support our students' classroom studies.

The tutorial, recorded by our very own Jasvinder Sahota uses the Ultimate Walker rig, free for download, and can be found at our Vimeo Channel here

Run cycles are part of the foundation of the study of animation. Animating a run cycle introduces student animators to the basic principles of human locomotion.

Friday, 26 April 2019

Steve Edge Director at Karrot Animation

Steve Edge
Many congratulations to Escapee Steve Edge, who has just joined Karrot Animation as animation director.

Previously Steve was directing "Aliens Love Underpants" for Tiger Aspect Productions in London.

Steve studied animation at Escape Studios and used the training to launch his career as an animator and animation director.

Steve is also teaching our new course in 2D animation using Cel Action, starting in October this year

Thursday, 25 April 2019

Maciej Osuch Wins "Search for a Star" Award

Maciej Osuch - Rising Star
We're proud to congratulate Maciej Osuch, one of our second year undergraduate animation students at  Escape Studios, who has just won a "Rising Star" Award in the category of Games Animation at this year's "Search for a Star" awards, hosted by Grads in Games.

Maciej entered the competition back in 2018, choosing Games Animation as his animation specialism so that he could focus on the competition.

He sent in a portfolio of work, and then focused in class on completing a number of different games animations (idle, powering up, release, recovery).

This was followed by a formal interview, which focused on questions about team work and co-operation on studio projects - something we specialise in at Escape Studios.

Wednesday, 24 April 2019

"Smear Frames" Tutorial by Simone Giampaolo

Daffy Duck "smear" drawing
What is a "Smear Frame"? Smear Frames are a technique developed in early the days of hand-drawn animation, to simulate motion blur in super-snappy animation, in the style of Tex Avery or Chuck Jones, such as in the Daffy Duck example to the left.

Today, the acknowledged master of the smear drawing is animation legend Eric Goldberg (he boarded and animated the "Genie of the Lamp" sequence from Aladdin).

But how do you do a Smear Frame in 3D animation, using Maya character rigs? Escape Studios animation tutor Simone Giampaolo explains how, in this new tutorial at our Vimeo Animation Channel

Tuesday, 23 April 2019

DNeg Animator Oz Gani Mentors our Students

Oz Gani
We're excited to welcome back VFX animator Oz Gani to Escape Studios, helping to guide our second year animators, who are currentlystart work on their second group project, an animal or creature documentary.

Oz has been reviewing our students' work and helping us to make sure we're reaching for DNeg standards of animal and creature animation.

Oz Gani is a supervising animator at DNeg, and a veteran of VFX hits such as Edge of Tomorrow, The Amazing Spiderman, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Thursday, 18 April 2019

Introducing "SpaceLess"

We're proud to present "SpaceLess", a trailer completed by 2nd year undergraduate Escape Studios Animation students, as part of their Studio Project module, PR5001. The Studio Project Module comes half way through the second year and is the point at which studying at Escape Studios becomes much more creative; students learn to work together in teams, pitching projects to one another, selecting the best idea, and working towards a defined project brief.

Wednesday, 17 April 2019

Butterfly Animation Tutorial at Vimeo

Free butterfly rig by Truong
We've added a new animation tutorial to our Vimeo channel, part of our series on animal and creature locomotion and performance.

This tutorial teaches students how to animate butterflies, including how to create a motion cycle and attach it to a motion path in Maya.

The tutorial adds to our range of different creature animation techniques, and reflects the growth in creature animation, (especially at the big VFX houses) so that our student animators can create a believable butterfly flap cycle and performance.

As ever, we break down an apparently complex exercise into a series of simple steps, giving students a feeling of success at the end of the tutorial, and helping them to learn a new technique.

Monday, 15 April 2019

Cel Action Starts on Tuesday 21st October 2019

2D animation with Cel Action is coming to Escape Studios on Tuesday 21st October 2019.

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.

Friday, 12 April 2019

Intermediate Animation Starts on 13 August

Michael Morgan teaches at Escape Studios
This year, on 13th August, we're launching a part-time new animation evening class, Intermediate Animation.

The class is taught by animation veteran Michael Morgan, a talented and experienced animator whose work includes Guardians of the Galaxy, Beauty and the Beast, and Black Panther.

Thursday, 11 April 2019

Introducing "The Golden Acorn"

We're proud to present the "The Golden Acorn", a trailer completed by 2nd year undergraduate Escape Studios Animation students, as part of their Studio Project module, PR5001. The Studio Project Module comes half way through the second year and is the point at which studying at Escape Studios becomes much more creative; students learn to work together in teams, pitching projects to one another, selecting the best idea, and working towards a defined project brief. Congratulations to Maciej Osuch,  Miguel Teixera, Titi-Marian Giusca, Petroc Menuhin, Cuchulan O'Byrne and Sasha Batt on their excellent work.

Wednesday, 10 April 2019

Short Course & MA Animation Reel, April 2019

Check out our most recent animation Escape Studios animation demo reel. This animation demo reel features work completed by students taking our Animation Short Course, Advanced Animation, and Masters' Degree in 3D Animation. Congratulations to Jamie Floodgate, Daniel Amor, Elena Scala, Laura Knight, Leonardo Bitti, Chan Sagoo, Lucy Geen-Moore, Steven Lall, and Melissa Coarezza on their excellent work. The reel was cut by animation student Sebastian Kuder.

Tuesday, 9 April 2019

How to Write a Cover Letter

How do you write a good cover letter? And what does one look like? Everyone knows you need to write a cover letter to get a job, but lots of students get stuck at the point of actually writing one.  So, to make things simple, take a look at our sample cover letter below.

Below is our suggested template; feel free to edit it and personalise it to make it your own.

Monday, 8 April 2019

How Escape Studios Mark Group Projects

How do we mark Group Projects at Escape Studios?

Group work, also called Studio Projects, are marked according a formula which aims to take into account the judgment of tutors, industry, and our students themselves.

Look at the table on the left; you will see that 75% of the grade is awarded for the final project, and 25% of the grade goes for the final Retrospective, a written summary of the students' personal contribution to the group project.

Friday, 5 April 2019

How to Make a Short Animated Documentary

How do you make a short animated documentary film? Our second year undergraduate animators at Escape Studios are currently working in teams on their second studio project - a short animal or creature documentary. Making a documentary is the same process as making any short film. There are many elements to consider, from concept to script through storyboard, design, 3D layout, cinematography, animation, lighting and final render. So, how do our students go about successfully making a animated documentary short?

MA Animation Starts 5th July

Paddington - animated at Framestore in London
The summer intake of our new MA (Master of Arts) in 3D Animation starts on 5 July 2019, with an Autumn intake starting on30th September

The course will be taught at our mid-town campus in central London, and we look forward to welcoming our new cohort of students.

Thursday, 4 April 2019

FX TD Timothy Stam Visits Escape Studios

FX TD Timothy Stam
Yesterday we held our latest "Evening With..." event, this time with Timothy Stam, Houdini FX TD at Goodbye Kansas Studios in London.

Animation with Houdini is a growing part of the business, especially for FX work, such as explosions, simulations and dynamics. Think water and fire effects, and giant cityscapes - this sort of work is increasingly done in Houdini, rather than Maya.

A few studios are even using Houdini for keyframe animation, though Maya remains the dominant software package, with a huge user base.

Wednesday, 3 April 2019

Broadcast Graphics Starts on 14 September

Neil Whitman
We've got a new Saturday class starting on 14th September, running for 12 weeks at our 190 High Holborn campus. The class is Broadcast Graphics, and is taught by animation and broadcast graphics expert Neil Whitman. The primary software taught is Adobe After Effects.

Neil has worked for BBC news for many years, and he brings his skill as a broadcast graphics expert and as an animator to this unique class.

An "Evening With..." Tim Stam, Houdini Expert

Come along tonight to our latest "Evening With..." event with Tim Stam, Houdini Expert at Goodbye Kansas Studios in London.

Animation with Houdini is a growing part of the business, and we strongly recommend that anyone interested in animation should come along.

Tuesday, 2 April 2019

Animation 12 Week Course Starts on 5th July

"The Niffler" - animated at Framestore in London
Our next animation short course - three months of intensive training in 3D animation - starts on 5th July 2019.

The course is aimed at anyone who wants to learn the art and craft of 3D Animation in Maya, and aims to take students to a professional level of skill. 

Monday, 1 April 2019

Toonboom Harmony is Back on 3 Sept

Our popular 2D Animation course in Toonboom Harmony is running again this summer, starting on 3rd September 2019, and also on 3rd September 2019.

The class runs for 8 weeks, one evening a week (tuesdays), and is an introduction to animating in Toonboom Harmony, one of the leading software packages for the creation of 2D animation.

The class is taught by Harmony animator Plamen Ananiev, and mentored by London animation powerhouse Blue Zoo.