Tuesday, 31 December 2019

Nine New Year's Resolutions for Animators

Happy 2020
Happy New Year to all our students past, present and future. The New Year brings new challenges and - with the animation industry in London continuing to boom - many new opportunities as well.

The industry doesn't stand still, and animators need to maintain their edge so as not to be left behind by technological change. Even the recent resurgence of 2D animation (have you seen Klaus yet?) will only benefit those who are learning new technology, such as Toonboom Harmony.

It's clear then that a few New Year's resolutions may be in order to keep us all on our toes.

So what should an animator's new year's resolutions be? Below are our suggestions to maintain your competitive edge in 2020.

Monday, 30 December 2019

For a Few Guineas More

This year I published my 10th "Queen's Counsel" book - For a Few Guineas More, a collection of the best cartoons published over the last six years in law pages of The Times.

I started drawing Queen's Counsel back in 1993, when newspapers were still pretty much the only way that people got their news. And every self-respecting lawyer read the law pages of The Times on Tuesdays.

At a pupillage interview candidates would always be asked "what newspaper do you read?". It was a question with just one correct answer; only The Times covered the law in serious detail.

This is my first book in full colour throughout - Queen's Counsel finally hurtled into the 20th Century in 2011,  when the cartoon switched into colour.

You can buy the book from amazon here.

Sunday, 29 December 2019

Hang on to Your Character's Eyes

Characters must look at one another
One of the most common mistakes made by junior animators is to animate characters who aren't looking at each other.

When we speak, most people tend to look at each other when they are in conversation. Actors know this, and when another actor is talking, they listen - and react.

Saturday, 28 December 2019

What are Storyboards For?

"Chess" Adams
What are storyboards for? And why do animators need them?  In this guest post, Francesca "Chess" Adams explains the purpose of storyboards, and why animators should want to master this important part of the pre-production process.

Chess is a story board artist at Blue Zoo, one of London's leading animation houses.  She is a graduate of the National Film and Television School (NFTS), and her extensive TV credits include Digby Dragon and the Go Jetters.

Chess also teaches our evening classes in storyboarding, which starts on 22 January 2020.

Friday, 27 December 2019

3D Online VFX Taster Now Live

Online 3D VFX Taster Course
Escape Studios is proud to launch our new online 3D VFX taster course.

This online taster has been developed by our Head of 3D, Mark Spevick.

The course is delivered through the Smashcut platform, costs just £25, and takes under 6 hours to complete. What are you doing between now and New Year's Eve? Watching movies? Why not spend a day learning the fundamentals of VFX instead?

Thursday, 26 December 2019

Roger Rabbit Reunion at Disney

Doy, Alex, Nik Ranieri, Ross Anderson, Burny Mattinson, Max Howard, Charles Fleischer, Andreas Deja

Who Framed Roger Rabbit was released in the summer of 1988, making the movie 31 years old this year.  A couple of weeks ago at Disney in Los Angeles we had a brief informal reunion with some the people who worked at the film, hosted in the Rotunda Building by Disney marketing head Howard Green.  Lead animator Andreas Deja was there, as well as Burny Mattinson, officially the longest serving employee of The Walt Disney Company,  Producer Max Howard, Charles Fleischer, the voice of Roger Rabbit, Ross Anderson, who has written the history of the film, animator Nik Ranieri, and me.

Tuesday, 24 December 2019

Happy Christmas from Escape Studios

Happy Christmas from the animation dept at Escape Studios. Above is a short piece of animation created by Morgan Mda, a second year undergraduate animation student at Escape Studios. Morgan created this animation for AN5002, one of the second year animation modules in which our student animators tackle the art and craft of animal and creature animation.  Many thanks to Morgan for the animation, and a very Merry Christmas to all our students, friends and Escapees.

Monday, 23 December 2019

Concept Art is Back on 5th Feb 2020

Concept Art Returns on 5 February 2020, taught by our newest tutor, character designer and concept artist Sandra Duchiewicz.

Concept Art is a part-time evening class, taught one night a week, running for ten weeks at Escape Studios in London, at 190 High Holborn WC1.

The Concept Art Evening Class introduces students to the many techniques and skills that go up to make a well-rounded concept artist, and is taught primarily in Photoshop.

The tutor for this course is Sandra Duchiewicz, an experienced concept artist and illustrator based in London.

Sandra's has extensive industry experience; her film credits include the 2014 indie horror film "Apparition of Evil"

Sunday, 22 December 2019

2020 Vision: Watch Some Animation You Don’t Think You’ll Like For Christmas

Our new Deputy Dean, Saint John Walker, who joined Escape Studios a few weeks ago, offers his suggestions on Christmas viewing for our animation students.

As you take a break from mince pies, turkey and presents, why not watch some animation you've never seen before, to broaden your understanding of the possibilities of this remarkable medium.

Saturday, 21 December 2019

Five Reasons to Study Storyboarding

Francesca Adams teaches at Escape Studios
Francesca "Chess" Adams, who teaches our evening classes in storyboarding, offers five good reasons why students should want to master the art and craft of making storyboards.

Chess is a story board artist at Blue Zoo, one of London's leading animation houses.  She is a graduate of the National Film and Television School (NFTS), and her extensive TV credits include Digby Dragon and the Go Jetters.

Industry has been telling us for many years that storyboarding is an area of critical skills shortage. As animation production in the UK has expanded rapidly over the last five years, the supply of talent has not kept pace.

So, what are Chess's five reasons to study storyboarding?

Friday, 20 December 2019

Escape Studios 2019 Demo Reel

Check out the latest Escape Studios Demo Reel - this studio-wide showreel showcases the very best work our students have put together over the last year. This reel is a selection of the best work done by students on the visual effects, games and animation courses.  It's a reminder of the very high quality of work being achieved by our students - not just those studying animation, but across all the departments. Congratulations to all our students on their excellent work.

Thursday, 19 December 2019

Anim Evening Class Returns on Tues 7th Jan

Animation by Jamie Floodgate
Our 20 week part-time Animation evening class in 3D animation starts on Tuesday 7th January 2020 at our High Holborn campus.

The class runs for 20 weeks on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, from 7-10pm, and is taught by Framestore animator Benoit Moranne, veteran of VFX hits such as Kingsman, Annihilation, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, and WonderWoman.

We're delighted to welcome Benoit back to Escape Studios to bring his skills as an animator to a new generation of artists.

Tuesday, 17 December 2019

CR5001 Anim Specialism Starts on Jan 13th

Creature animation by Amanda Costa
Module CR5001 "Animation Specialism" starts on January 13th 2020.

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

The Specialism Module (Module Code CR5001) is a self-study module in which students must select an area of specialism and develop their proficiency in that area. CR5001 is worth 15 credits and runs for five weeks, culminating in a portfolio presentation.

Monday, 16 December 2019

Jerich0 in Film Only Film Festival Jan 11th

Many congratulations to the makers of Jerich0, which has been selected for the Film Only Film Festival at the Harrow Arts Centre on January 11th.

Jerich0, directed by Escapee Sarah Andrews, is a short film about a lonely robot searching for a friend, and has won multiple awards in international film festivals.

We'll be heading to Harrow for the event, cheering on our talented students and wishing them every success. To buy tickets, follow this link.

Saturday, 14 December 2019

Meet Qube - Escape Studios Render Farm

Qube, our new render farm at Escape Studios is now up and running.

For large render jobs, which might take many hours or even days to complete, students can now access the farm.

To see the details of how to use the Qube render farm, follow this link.

Friday, 13 December 2019

Why Animators Need One Sheets

Adam & Eve Mk II One Sheet
As our Second Year Student Animators put the finishing touches on their VFX projects, they are now putting together "One Sheets" to help promote their finished films.

A One Sheet is a movie poster, a single image - with a great tagline - that encapsulates what the film is all about and entices the audience to want to go and see the film

Think of the posters you see on the wall as you leave your movie theatre. You walk down a hallway, past a wall of posters, and you think: "that movie looks cool, I might just go and see that".

So what's in a One Sheet? And how do our students go about making one?

Thursday, 12 December 2019

Advanced Animation is Back on 17 Feb 2020

Character Animation by Jamie Floodgate
Advanced Animation is back - starting on 17th February 2020.  Advanced animation is a six week 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 six 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.

Wednesday, 11 December 2019

Character Creation Student Showcase

Lizard Character created by Max Brazier-Jones
One of the most exciting courses at Escape Studios is our class in Character Creation, where students design, model, rig and - if time permits - animate their own characters.

The most recent four week class was taught Michael Davies, the artist who rigged Smaug for The Hobbit) and also rigged  The Minions.

Michael's students created some amazing work - feast your eyes on the beautiful characters below.

Tuesday, 10 December 2019

Escapees Win at the Golden Nugget Film Fest

Many congratulations to our student animators and Escapees - three of our short films received awards at the recent Golden Nugget Film Festival in Leeds on December 3rd.  

Adam & Eve Mk II won "Best Sci-Fi", Vivi Ossa won "Best Microfilm", and Jericho won "Best Animation".

Monday, 9 December 2019

Character Design is Back on 29 June 2020

Artwork by Andrea Torrejon
Our Character Design Evening Class is returning to Escape Studios on 29 June 2020

Character Design is an eight week evening class taught by Andrea Torrejon, an experienced character designer whose recent work includes the 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".

Sunday, 8 December 2019

Stephan Franck: An Approach to Storyboarding

Stephan Franck is a Hollywood storyboard artist whose story credits include Spider-Man: Into the Spider-VerseDespicable MeKung Fu Panda: and Osmosis Jones.   In this excellent short video he explores some of the fundamental skills required of a story board artist, including speed and visual efficiency.  Stephan's video is valuable resource for our student board artists, as we start the process of extending the online learning resources available to our storyboarding students, just as we have been doing for our student animators at our online Vimeo Tutorial Channel.

Saturday, 7 December 2019

Rise of Skywalker on 20 Dec at Rich Mix

Star Wars is back! We have a special private screening of The Rise of Skywalker on 20 December, just for our students. The screening takes place at 2pm at Rich Mix in Shoreditch.

We will also be welcoming a special guest speaker to talk about the making of the film. We hope all our students agree that this is a great way to end what has been a stellar year for our talented and hard-working students at Escape Studios.

Friday, 6 December 2019

Meet Saint John Walker - Our New Deputy Dean

Saint Walker
A warm welcome to our new Deputy Dean, Saint John Walker, who has just joined Escape Studios this week.

Saint John brings his extensive experience of working in the animation industry and in higher education to Escape Studios, helping us to focus our curriculum on ensuring that our students graduate with the right skills to be able to succeed in industry.

You can also catch Saint John this weekend moderating panels at the LIAF.

Daniel Dutton Studio Assistant at Escape

Daniel Dutton
Many congratulations to our fourth year animation student Daniel Dutton who was recently made a studio assistant at Escape Studios, while studying for his MA in his fourth year.

Daniel has worked a number of award-winning short films during his time at Escape Studios; he was the editor on Jericho, a short film completed by our third year undergraduate students, in which a lonely robot searches for pieces to build a mechanical friend.

Daniel also animated on Minuet, a short film about a young concert pianist who, while preparing for her big performance, finds help in an unlikely place. Daniel was Technical Director (TD) on the project, managing the Unreal Engine pipeline.

Thursday, 5 December 2019

Character Creation is Back on 3 Feb 2020

3D artwork by Jonathan McFall
Character Creation is back; our 18 week evening class in Character Creation returns to Escape Studios on Monday 3rd February 2020.

This unique evening course will teach students how to create their own character designs and bring them to life. Over 18 weeks you will design, model, texture, rig and animate your own character.

The course is taught by Jonathan McFall, an experienced 3D artist and veteran of many VFX hits including the Harry Potter series, Men in Black 3, and Immortals.

Escape Studios Top Choice to Study Animation

UK based animation house Full Rotation has listed Escape Studios as one of their top choices to study animation and VFX.

We're delighted to have been included in Full Rotation's exhaustive list of the best places to study animation in the UK, which includes a Q&A with some of the leading providers of animation education in this country.

Wednesday, 4 December 2019

Adam & Eve Mk II Wins ICONA Audience Award

Audience Distinction Award for Adam & Eve Mk II
Many congratulations to Escapee Sebastian Kuder, director of Adam & Eve Mk II, which has won the Audience award at the ICONA film festival in the Best Student Short Film category.

The ICONA festival takes place annually on the island of Corfu.

Sebastian's award represents the latest in a long line of wins for student films at Escape Studios.

Meet Your Tutor - Iliana Franklin

Iliana Franklin
A warm welcome to Iliana Franklin, the newest member of the animation team at Escape Studios.  Iliana teaches our new master's degree in Storyboarding and Previsualisation, which launched in September and is already producing some remarkably skilled and imaginative work.

Iliana Franklin has worked in the animation industry for over 30 years.  Her feature credits include The Tale of DesperauxA Monkey’s Tale (1999) and The Princess and the Pea (2002). She has also worked on various TV shows including Mecky and friends (1994), Hungarian Folk Tales (1992-1996),  Spirou (1993–1995), and Carland Cross (1996).

Tuesday, 3 December 2019

Saturday Club is Back - January 2020

Escape Studios Saturday Club, part of the National Saturday Club Campaign, is back.

Saturday Club starts up in January 2020; in the meantime you can register your interest here.

Saturday Club is open to students between the ages of 13-16, and aims to give them a taste of life in the creative industries, such as animation, visual effects and games.

Saturday Club is open to all, but is especially aimed at students from disadvantaged backgrounds, many of whom lack the opportunity at school to tackle creative subjects.

Monday, 2 December 2019

Escapee Rich Jeffrey's "Bluey" Wins AACTA

We're proud to congratulate Escapee Rich Jeffrey (aka "Richie Jeffrey"), whose new TV series "Bluey" picked up an award for Best Children’s Programme at the AACTA awards (Australian Academy of Cinema and Televisions Arts) this weekend.

The AACTAs are a bit like the Oscars, or perhaps the BAFTAs - but for Australia. Rich was the director on the 2nd series of "Bluey".

Rich said "It is hard to put into words how wonderful that felt but there’s no doubt it’s down to the hard work of an incredibly dedicated team that I’m proud to be a part of and to the creative genius of Joe Brumm. Big thanks to Charlie, Sam, Daley, Joe and our amazing crew. This one’s for you!"