Friday, 31 May 2019

"The Lost City" Enters The Rookies

The Lost City - Trailer from Mitchell Searle on Vimeo.

Congratulations to Gioia Varago, Fabrizio Bergamo, Bjarke Frimand Frid, Abigail Bevilacqua, Cameron Tempest-Hay, Erin Harrison on their superb virtual reality entry "The Lost City" in this year's Rookies competition (deadline May 31st). The third year undergraduate games students set out to create a VR project set in a lost pre-Columbian world, in which an adventurer must find the Aztec homeland, Aztlan, but ends up getting trapped instead in an ancient hellscape. Players must solve the puzzles of the Lost Gods to escape.

Thursday, 30 May 2019

Introducing "Vivi Ossa"

Vivi Ossa from piraveen satkunam on Vimeo.

Many congratulations to our third year VFX students on creating the excellent short film "Vivi Ossa". Vivi Ossa (Latin for "living bones") is a story about a museum visitor who brings ancient bones to life through the power of music. It's a very short film - only two shots - but as you watch it, note that the entire environment is digital; the students created the museum and all the objects inside it from scratch. Directed by Callum Walters and produced by Matthew Wight, Vivi Ossa brought together many craft disciplines, including CG, compositing, roto, prep, keying, integrating a live action character into a digital set and, of course, animation.

Student Showcase at Rich Mix

Student Showcase and party at Rich Mix
The Escape Studios Student Experience team hosted our End of Year Student Showcase at Rich Mix in Shoreditch last Thursday.

The event featured a third year graduation showcase and a second year project presentation; the team were joined by a number of industry partners, so the students were able to show off their work to experts from industry, with a chance to network afterwards and exchange contact details.

Wednesday, 29 May 2019

Last Call for Storyboarding on 5th July

Iliana Franklin teaching at Escape Studios
Last Call for our brand-new 4 week storyboarding summer school with Iliana Franklin, which starts on 5th July.  

This is the first time we have run this four week intensive storyboarding class at Escape Studios.

Story board veteran Iliana Franklin, whose extensive production credits include The Tale of Despereaux, is returning to Escape Studios to teach the art and craft of storyboarding, a vital part of the pre-production process, and one which has historically experienced a severe skills shortage.

How 2nd Marking Works at Escape Studios

Michael Davies teaching at Escape Studios
Now that the academic year is coming to an end, our tutors at Escape Studios are busy marking student work, and also carrying out second marking.

Second marking at Escape Studios is part of the process by which we ensure that our academic standards are being rigorously applied. Was the marking fair? Is it reasonable? Were the correct criteria applied?

Looking at your students' work through the eyes of another is a valuable exercise; it is a reminder of how personal marking can be, and how important it is to apply rigidly objective criteria. We don't always get it right first time, which is why second marking is so important.

Friday, 24 May 2019

Free JellyFish Animation Tutorial at YouTube

For anyone looking to learn 3D animation, don't forget we have lots of free tutorials at the official Escape Studios YouTube channel. In the animation tutorial above, Escape Studios Head of 3D Mark Spevick shows you how to use nHair and procedural tools to create - from scratch - some excellent jellyfish animation.

Thursday, 23 May 2019

How to Make Guerilla Business Cards

Business cards might sound old-fashioned, but they are still an important part of the animator's  toolkit.

Making business cards should be on your jobs checklist, along with cutting your demo reel, hosting it online at your blog or website, and updating and curating your LinkedIn profile (animation recruiters live on LinkedIn).

Business cards are still the simplest and most efficient way to give your contact details to someone you have just met.

But what if, like many of our students, you are short on cash? The answer is, print your own. Here's how to do it. 

Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Concept Art Returns on August 28th

Concept Art by Escapee Xu Xing
Concept Art is returning to Escape Studios on Wednesday 28th August 2019, taught by industry veteran Jonathan McFall.

Concept Art is a part-time evening class, designed to fit around jobs and families, and is taught one night a week, running for eight weeks.

Concept Art introduces students to the many techniques and skills that go up to make a well-rounded concept artist, including 3d and 2d software.

How does Escape Studios work?

Escape Studios
How does Escape Studios work? We are a part of Pearson College London (PCL), which is in turn owned by Pearson, a FTSE 100 Company, with a long history dating back to the 1840s, but which today focuses mainly on education.

PCL is however a separate legal entity from Pearson. We are a non-profit organisation, and our independence is very important to our operation as an academic community.

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

VFX Games & Animation Festival: June 4-6

VFX Festival - presentation by Jellyfish Animation
The VFX, Games and Animation Festival 2019 is back - this time at our Central London campus at 190 High Holborn WC1, from June 5-6.

There are three events taking place in June. The first is the VFX Festival: The Future - a one day event which takes place on Thursday 6th June. Our doors will be open for professionals and students looking to find out about the latest changes in the creative industries.

The second event is The VFX Festival: After Hours, consisting of two days of talks from Wednesday 5th June until Thursday 6th June on projects delivered by leading studios, and panel discussions focusing on skills and technology of the future. The third event is VFX - Edu, which takes place on Wednesday 5th June and Thursday 6th June, and is aimed at students.

Game Jam 31 May to 2 June at Escape Studios

Calling all budding game designers and creators: Come and join our free Game Jam at Escape Studios, hosted in partnership with Creative Assembly, Outplay, 3D World Magazine, and 23 Code Street.

The fourth annual Escape Studios’ Game Jam starts on the evening of Friday 31st May and finishes at 3pm on Sunday 2nd June 2019 at our Mid-Town Campus at 190 High Holborn, London.

Monday, 20 May 2019

"Jericho" Wins Best Animation and Best VFX

Many congratulations to the makers of the short film Jericho, completed early this year by our third year undergraduate students, which scored a double victory last week - winning Best Animation and also Best VFX at the Nexus Film Awards in Nottingham on 16 May.

Jericho is a short film about a lonely robot searching for a friend, and has been shortlisted for a student BAFTA award, among many other official selections.

Nexus is an annual film festival that takes place in May in Nottingham, East Midlands.

Animation Scholarships at Escape Studios

Here at Escape Studios we offer a full-fees scholarship every year for one undergraduate student in each of our creative disciplines: animation, games and VFX.  Our first year Animation student Eduardo Santori talks us through one of the pieces he submitted that led him to win the Eamonn Butler Scholarship for Animation in 2018.

Friday, 17 May 2019

Escape Animators Visit Blue Zoo

3rd year animators visit Blue Zoo
This week our 3rd year undergraduate animators had a studio visit at Blue Zoo, one of London's leading animation studios.

Blue Zoo showed us their latest animation reel, and also offered an insight into some of their production processes, as well as a studio tour of their facility.

Thursday, 16 May 2019

How Does Feedback Work at Escape Studios?

Feedback at Escape Studios
One of the hardest skills for animation students to learn is how give and receive criticism.  We all tend to be shy about our work (especially when we are learning something new) and, when our work is criticised, that criticism can feel very personal.

There are a number of ways in which students at Escape Studios can get feedback and critique. First and most obvious is in the classroom, from your tutor. For the second year undergraduate students, that's me.

We also have Studio Assistants (SAs) whose job it is to help students when they encounter problems - especially technical ones. Studio Assistants are always available, usually sitting at the back of the class.

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

Escape Studios No 5 for Animation in UK has just published their 2019 International Animation School Rankings.

Now in their 7th year, Animation Career Review considered 167 schools across the globe before finalising their rankings.

We're proud to be placed in the top 25 internationally, in the top 10  European Schools, and in the top 5 in the UK.

Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Advanced Animation Starts on 5th July

Advanced Animation is back - starting on 5th July.  Advanced animation is a new course, an extension of the existing 12 week course in animation, and 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.

Monday, 13 May 2019

How To Find an Animation Internship

How do you find an internship in the animation industry? It's a question we often get asked here at Escape Studios.

Internships can be an important stepping stone to a career in animation.  If an internship goes well, it might lead to a job, and even if it doesn't, it still looks good on a graduate CV.

Saturday, 11 May 2019

Home Sweet Home: Best Student Animation

Maddison Gould, Maria Robertson & Harry Pearson
Many congratulations to the creators of the short film Home Sweet Home, which won the award for Best Student Animation at last night's British Animation Film Festival at the Empire Cinema in Leicester Square.

Directed by Maria Robertson, co-directed by Harry Pearson and produced by Maddison Gould, Home Sweet Home fended off tough international competition to take home the prize.

It's great news for all our students, and follows on from the news last week that Jericho was short-listed for a BAFTA Student Film Award.

Friday, 10 May 2019

Escape Studios Tests New 24mm Macro Lens

Our in-house cinematographer Clement Gharini recently ran a green screen shoot at Escape Studios, testing out some new camera equipment that is of special interest to our animation students. Clem has recently acquired a new camera lens which will be particularly useful for our VFX animation films.  One of its kind, and new on the market, the lens is a 24mm macro with a close focus of 20mm - ideal for very small scale settings. Check out the footage above to see what can be achieved.

Thursday, 9 May 2019

Alan Lewis External Examiner BA/MArt 3D Animation

Alan Lewis
Meet Alan Lewis, our new External Examiner for our integrated BA/Mart in 3D animation at Escape Studios.  External examiners play an important part of quality control in UK higher education, ensuring that our courses meet the highest standards, and the grades awarded are correct and appropriate.

We're honoured to have Alan onboard; he is Head of the Division of Creative Technologies for the School of Arts and Creative Industries at South Bank University. In this role, he is responsible for the overall operation and development of the VFX, Games, Digital Design, Sound, and Journalism BA/BSc degrees. He is also the Course Director for the VFX programme at South Bank.

Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Storyboarding Taster Day Sat 11th May

Iliana Franklin - Storyboarding at Escape Studios
We're running a taster day in storyboarding and previsualisation on Saturday 11th May, so that prospective students can get a feel for the content of our new MA in Storyboarding & Previsualisation, which launches this Autumn.

Story board artist Iliana Franklin, whose production credits include The Tale of Despereaux, will teach the class; and the full day of tuition costs just £25.

Jericho Shortlisted for Student BAFTA Award

Many congratulations to the makers of the short film Jericho, completed early this year by our third year undergraduate students, which has been shortlisted for the student BAFTA awards.

Jericho is a short film about a lonely robot searching for a friend.  The student BAFTA awards take place every year in Los Angeles, hosted by the Los Angeles chapter of BAFTA.

Tuesday, 7 May 2019

Graduate Showcase Thurs 23 May at Rich Mix

On 23 May Escape Studios are hosting our first-ever graduate showcase, to show off the very best work created by our undergraduates over the last three years at Escape Studios.

This will be our very first cohort of graduating students, and we're inviting industry guests to come along and meet our rising talent, the next generation of animation, games and VFX artists.

Friday, 3 May 2019

Turning Tide Wins Best Post-Production Award

Turning Tide - VFX winner
Turning Tide, a short film involving the work of many Escape Studios artists, was recently announced as the winner of Best Post-Production at the London Lift-Off film festival.

This is great news for the Escape Studios crew members that worked on the film, whose hard work has been rewarded.

Thursday, 2 May 2019

Jericho in Animex Official Selection

Many congratulations to the makers of the short film Jericho, completed early this year by our third year undergraduate students, which has been selected for the Animex animation festival.

Jericho is a short film about a lonely robot searching for a friend.

Animex is one of the biggest and longest-running animation film festivals in the UK, and takes place in February 2020 in Middlesbrough, in the North East of England.

Wednesday, 1 May 2019

Cartoon Forum: Deadline 8 May

Many of our students at Escape Studios have an idea for an animated TV series in development - though not at all of them know it yet. 

Our animation students are not just technicians, they are creators, brainstorming new ideas and concepts in animation, searching for the next Peppa Pig or Charlie and Lola.