Sunday, 30 June 2019

Adam & Eve: Mk II by Sebastian Kuder

We're proud to present Adam & Eve: Mk II, a short animated film by Sebastian Kuder, an undergraduate animation student who is part of the first cohort of animators to graduate from Escape Studios this summer.  Adam & Eve: Mk II is a sci-fi re-telling of the Genesis story. Sebastian has directed and animated a number of short films at Escape Studios over the last three years; including the fan film Star Wars - the Escape, and Planet Mars, which has made the official selection for many animation festivals around the world. Adam & Ev Mk II was Sebastian's final project at Escape Studios. 

Friday, 28 June 2019

Harry Pearson Junior Rigger at Factory 42

Harry Pearson
Many congratulations to animation Escapee Harry Pearson for starting a new position as Junior Rigger at Factory 42, an immersive and television content production studio based at Somerset House on the Strand.

Factory 42 specialises in virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality, creating "unique multi-sensory experiences for broadcasters, brands, destinations and artists."

Harry studied animation at Escape Studios, broadening his animation skillset to include modelling and rigging, and will graduate this summer, part of our first cohort of students to win their BA at Escape Studios. 

Thursday, 27 June 2019

Introducing Minuet

Minuet - Final year animated short film - Escape Studios from Aaron Hopwood on Vimeo.

We're delighted to present Minuet - the latest film from our third year animation students. Minuet is a short film about a young concert pianist who, while preparing for her next performance, encounters misfortune - and finds help in an unlikely place.  Minuet was written by Harry Pearson, directed by Aaron Hopwood and Harry Pearson, produced by Maddison Gould, and overseen by 3rd year animation tutor Michael Davies.

Wednesday, 26 June 2019

Creature Locomotion by Maria Robertson

Parasite rig by Truong
Escape Studios' 3rd year animation undergraduate Maria Robertson has recorded a new series of creature locomotion videos for our expanding Vimeo channel, showing how to animate a six legged creature. The tutorial uses the free Parasite crab rig by Truong.

In this series of three videos, hosted at Vimeo, Maria explains how to go about animating a six-legged walk cycle.

Tuesday, 25 June 2019

The Cartoon Museum is Back

The Cartoon Museum, which closed last year when rising rents forced it out of its former home in Little Russell St, is back - and better than ever.

Last night the Cartoon Museum re-opened at its new home at 63 Wells St in Fitzrovia, a roomy basement space dedicated to the history of British cartooning. The exhibition was curated by The Guardian's Steve Bell, and the new collection was introduced by Kenneth Baker (who dropped in to visit us at Escape Studios a while back).

Baker explained that cartooning is one of the few art forms that can be claimed to be a very British invention - as the first country to end censorship in the 18th Century, political satire was born, alongside a free press.

Monday, 24 June 2019

MA in Previz & Storyboarding Validated

Iliana Franklin - lead tutor on our new MA in Storyboarding & Previz
Our new master's degree in  Previsualisation & Storyboarding has now been formally validated by the University of Kent, and starts on 30 September 2019.

Developed in close consultation with industry, this degree is a unique opportunity to learn industry-level skills and also earn an internationally recognised academic qualification.

Thursday, 20 June 2019

Why Animators Need to Post Their Work

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.

Wednesday, 19 June 2019

Netflix Breaks into Animation

At last week's Annecy Animation Festival, Netflix's presentation of their new animation line-up was one of the hottest properties at the festival.

Netflix's Lisa Cobb introduced the company, as well as a number of its artists, presenting (no photos allowed) its new line-up of original animation content to a packed-out audience.

Tuesday, 18 June 2019

Pitching to Disney at Annecy Animation Festival

Orion Ross and Lucy Pryke
At last week's Annecy film festival Orion Ross and Lucy Pryke talked about pitching animation to the Disney Studio, to an eager audience at the Imperial Hotel.

Pitching projects is one of the most fun and challenging parts of our industry. After all, every project begins with an idea, a great pitch, and develops from there.

Our students at Escape Studios aren't just technicians, they are creators, and their ideas could lead to the next generation of hit shows. 

So, what sort of projects are Disney interested in, and how do you pitch to Disney?

Monday, 17 June 2019

VIEW Conference in Turin 21-25 October 2019

VIEW Conference 2019
Escape Studios is going to VIEW, the 20th International VFX & Computer Graphics Conference that takes place every year in Turin. This year the conference runs from Monday 21st October until Friday 25th October.

We'll be there, participating in panel talks and also running a series of one-day masterclasses in Maya demonstrating character and creature animation techniques.

Our classes are aimed at complete beginners and require no prior experience with Maya.

Friday, 14 June 2019

Animation Meets Publishing on 20 June

Bloomsbury, the publishing house who brought Harry Potter to the world, are hosting a special event for animators and video editors on 20 June at 6.30pm at their 50 Bedford Square HQ.

Step inside Bloomsbury, as they explain how publishers work with animators and filmmakers to create inspiring films about their books and authors.

If you're an animator interested in working with publishers, this could be the event for you.

Thursday, 13 June 2019

ILM on the Making of Jurassic World

Fallen Kingdom
One of the highlights of last week's VFX Festival at Escape Studios was the presentation by Jance Rubinchik, animation supervisor at ILM on the making of Jurassic World, and Fallen Kingdom.

The talk was a masterclass in creature animation, demonstrating how much careful research goes into the creation and animation of the dinosaurs.

The Jurassic World series of movies as are a "balance between science and entertainment", as the film-makers try to keep both audiences and paleontologists happy.

From the point of view of animators looking to tackle realistic dinosaur animation, the lesson is simple: use as much reference as you can, and make sure you use live action reference that is as close as possible to the anatomy of the creatures you are trying to animate. 

Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Escape Studios Classroom Hardware

Oculus VR Headset at Escape Studios
What makes Escape Studios state-of-the-art? We pride ourselves on having the latest hardware and software for our undergraduate degrees, postgraduate degrees and short courses.

At Escape Studios, our workstations use HP Z640 / Z6 models with dual Xeon processors, Quadro class graphics and 32GB of memory.

Tuesday, 11 June 2019

The Order of Quadrivium - VR Escape Room

There is so much excellent work coming out the undergraduate games course at Escape Studios that it's hard to keep up.  We have had many entries to The Rookies this year, and one of the most imaginative is The Order of Quadrivium; a VR Escape Room created by our third year undergraduate games artists.

Monday, 10 June 2019

BAFTA Guru 14 & 15 September

Mark your calendars, BAFTA Guru Live is taking place on the weekend of Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th September.

We strongly encourage our students to attend at least some of the workshops; tickets are very inexpensive (just £6 for each masterclass) and are aimed at students and rising talent.

Saturday, 8 June 2019

Crater Internship for Miguel and Maciej

Many congratulations to second year undergraduate animators Miguel Teixera and Maciej Osuch who have both secured summer internships at Crater Studios in Belgrade

Crater Studios are a Serbian animation house dedicated to the art of VFX production for TV and film; their industry partners include Warner Bros and Netflix.

Finding an internship in the second year of animation studies is a big step for our students; internships are an important stage in launching a long-term career in industry.

Friday, 7 June 2019

Animation Summer School 8-10 August

This Summer Escape Studios is partnering with Access VFX, London SIGGRAPH, 3Dami, and and We Are Stripes to host our very own Animation Summer School.

This free outreach event takes place over three days in August,  and is aimed at 11-16-year olds interested in a career in the animation industry.

Escape Studios will host a range of free workshops across 3 days on Thursday 8th August, Friday 9th August and Saturday 10th August.

Thursday, 6 June 2019

MPC and the Making of "Dumbo"

At yesterday's VFX festival at Escape Studios, MPC lead animator Oliver Dale talked about the Making of Dumbo, the 2019 re-make of the 1940s animated classic, and in particular how MPC managed to make an elephant fly.

The starting point for the animators, as is almost always the case, was to begin with live action reference. Dumbo is a baby elephant, so his motion has been based on real footage, and he has to fit into the real world of live action photography.

The animators began the process by animating walk and run cycles, and then added their own embellishments, to make the process "as efficient and as refined as possible".

Bringing Dumbo to life was a big challenge, in part because of the high expectations of this re-make of a much-loved film.

Wednesday, 5 June 2019

Framestore & the Making of Detective Pikachu

Detective Pikachu
At the Escape Studios VFX festival yesterday, Framestore's Jonathan Fawkner gave an excellent talk on the Making of Detective Pikachu, a movie which was filmed in London and which used the talents of two of the UK's top VFX houses, Framestore and MPC.

One of the big challenges on the film was the take the original Pokemon 2D artwork, and create characters which could be fitted into a photoreal VFX environment.

If you think that's an easy task, consider the trouble caused by the recent release of the trailer for the Sonic the Hedgehog movie, in which a fan rebellion against the look and feel of Sonic led to a bottom-up re-design of the character.

Taking the original Pokemon characters to the big screen wasn't simple, and took a lot of careful development.

Tuesday, 4 June 2019

How Industry Marking Works at Escape Studios

How does industry marking work at Escape Studios?

Our second year animation and VFX students recently put the finishing touches to their group projects, and all the short films have been finalled and submitted for marking.

The next stage was to get industry feedback. How well did they do? Did their work live up to industry standards?  What could they do better next time?  We welcomed Escapee and Cloth Cat animator Kevin Richards to take a look at the student work and offer a perspective from industry.

Monday, 3 June 2019

Ten Rules to Write a Retrospective

 At the end of most of our undergraduate modules at Escape Studios our students are expected to write a retrospective, approximately 2,400 words.

Students must explain how they approached the practical work in the module, what they learned, and how they might perform a similar task better the next time around. 

The idea is to reflect on their performance, analyse what went wrong, celebrate what went right, and draw conclusions from the process. Below are our top ten tips for writing a great retrospective.

Saturday, 1 June 2019

Petroc Menuhin Intern at Shoguns Animation

Many congratulations to 2nd year animation undergraduate Petroc Menuhin, who has won a summer animation internship with London-based Shoguns Animation.

Doing a summer internship in animation is a great start to any animation career, and we strongly encourage all our students to do internships; it's the best way to get experience of working in a real studio.