Saturday, 29 February 2020

What Kind of Laptop Should Our Students Buy?

"What kind of laptop should I buy?" is a question that we are often asked at Escape Studios, by students who want the flexibility to be able to work from home.

It's a tricky question to answer, because computer specifications change all the time and - of course - it all depends on exactly what you want to use your laptop for.

But, let's say you want to buy a decent laptop capable of running Autodesk Maya, for computer animation and to render out your shots.

What sort of laptop should you buy, and how much do you need to spend? Our animation tutor Amedeo Beretta offers some advice to our students.

Friday, 28 February 2020

MA 3D Animation Returns on 25th Sept 2020

"Flame": MA film project
Our MA (Master of Arts) in 3D Animation is back, with a new class starting on 25th September 2020.

The MA in animation will be taught at our mid-town campus at 190 High Holborn in central London, and we look forward to welcoming our new cohort of students.

If you're looking for an animation course that teaches you how to animate to a professional level, and also leads to a formal qualification in the field, then this could be the right course for you.

Thursday, 27 February 2020

Michael Morgan to Teach Animation at Escape

Michael Morgan at Escape Studios
Animator Michael Morgan will be returning to Escape Studios to teach our 20 week animation evening class, taking over from Framestore animator Benoit Moranne for the acting and performance part of the course. 

We're delighted to welcome Michael back to Escape Studios; his film credits include Guardians of the Galaxy, Beauty and the Beast, and Black Panther

Wednesday, 26 February 2020

Industry Feedback with Ben Leyland Feb 27th

Ben Leyland
Tomorrow Thursday February 27th our second year animators will get some industry feedback on their projects from Eallin Animation MD Ben Leyland, who has kindly agreed to visit us at Escape and take a look at our short film projects.

Ben is the Managing Director & Executive Producer at Eallin London, an animation and mixed media production company based in London, Prague, Bratislava and Tokyo.

Industry feedback is at the heart of what we do at Escape Studios; it helps our students to connect with the commercial world and make sure we're teaching industry-relevant skills.

Tuesday, 25 February 2020

Character Design: Student Showcase

Cat by Aimee-Rose Schiele
Last year we ran our first four week character design class, taught by London-based character designer Sam Nassour.

Sam taught our intensive four week character design class, which ran for one month in September 2019, with excellent results.

Sam is an experienced visual development artist and character designer, lately working at Blue Zoo animation in London. Sam's work exhibits a range of styles with great versatility, and he passed on these skills to our students at Escape Studios.

Monday, 24 February 2020

Toonboom Harmony Licenses at Escape

Toonboom Harmony is back - we're in the processing of installing a number of rolling, annual licenses in Toonboom Harmony, so that our students can access the software at any time.

We also use Harmony for our evening class in 2D Animation, which starts on 18 March.

At the 2019 Annecy animation festival in France it was clear to all of us at Escape that a 2D animation revival is in progress. Here in London, Blue Zoo animation is expanding into 2D, and there are plenty of opportunities for 2D animators - as long as they are properly trained in the right software.

Sunday, 23 February 2020

How to Animate Eye Darts

"Eye darts" are fast moving micro-changes of eye direction. Eyes are the window to the soul - it's the thing the audience will look at most, and one of the most common mistakes made by junior animators is fail to pay enough attention to their character's eyes.  Our eyes are very expressive, and the eyes are what we look at when we watch a character on the screen.  When we talk, we seek signals for how another person is thinking and feeling - we watch their eyes, and we often dart form one eye to another.  So, how does an animator animate eye darts?

Saturday, 22 February 2020

What is the Fifteen Minute Rule?

Fifteen Minute Rule
What is The Fifteen Minute Rule? It's something I encountered for the first time while working at Sony Pictures Animation, on Open Season. It's a simple rule, and a good way to keep production moving ahead.

The rule is this: if you get stuck on a problem, spend 15 minutes trying to figure out the solution. Google it, Read The Manual, check out online forums - whatever works.

But, if you still can't figure it out after 15 minutes, ask for help. Someone next to you might be able to solve the problem quickly and simply, and you don't want to spend a lot of time trying to fix a problem that most likely has a simple solution.

Friday, 21 February 2020

"Draw" & "Joe" at Forest Film Fest 27 Feb

Congratulations to the makers of Joe and Draw, which have both been accepted into their first film festival - the Forest Film Club Festival in East London.

The event takes place at The Birds in Leytonstone, East London, on Thursday 27th February 2020. You can find their official page here.

We'll be going along to cheer on our talented film-makers, and we encourage all our students to attend. You can buy tickets for just £4 at Event Brite.

Thursday, 20 February 2020

Paulette Vassell Teaches Music Composition

Paulette Vassell
Paulette Vassell from PV Music Services visited Escape Studios recently to work with our MA students studying Storyboarding and Previsualisation.

Paulene came in to assist with our students on their storyboarding projects, composing bespoke music for their short films using Logic Pro.

Music and sound design are important parts of the film-making process. Successful films from Escape Studios such as BAFTA-shortlisted Jerich0 have paid close attention to music and sound design, with excellent results.

Wednesday, 19 February 2020

How to Get a Profile at the IMDB

Getting a listing at the Internet Movie Database is a rite of passage for anyone in the film industry. But how do you get your name listed?  For our students, the quickest way to create a profile of your own at the IMDB is to attach yourself to a project which is already listed on the IMDB. In practice, this means one of the many films being made at Escape Studios, entering festival competitions and winning prizes.

Tuesday, 18 February 2020

Escape Studios Animation Reel Feb 2020

We're proud to present the February 2020 Escape Studios Animation Demo Reel.  This latest edit of our best shots showcases the very best work our animation students have put together since we cut our last reel in the summer of 2019.  There is a great deal of high quality animation being made at Escape Studios today, and we have had to make some hard choices this time around, leaving out many excellent shots from this latest selection of our best character, creature and short film animation.

Monday, 17 February 2020

Character Design is Back on 24 August

Sam Nassour
Our full-time Character Design class is returning to Escape Studios on 24 August, taught by leading character designer Sam Nassour.

Sam will be teaching our full-time intensive four week character design class, starting on Monday 24th August.

Sam is an experienced visual development artist and character designer, lately working at Blue Zoo animation in London. Sam's work exhibits a range of design styles with great versatility

Sunday, 16 February 2020

Evening With...Dave Ranyard 19 February

Join us on Wednesday night for one of our regular "Evening with..." events at Escape Studios.

The event takes place on Wednesday 19 February as we welcome Dave Ranyard from Dream Reality Interactive on the subject of VR (Virtual Reality) and AR (Augmented Reality).

Saturday, 15 February 2020

Pitch Your Project at APD: Apply by 20 Feb

Animation Production Days in Stuttgart is an event that should be on every animator's radar.

Like Cartoon Movie and Cartoon Forum, APD offers a unique opportunity for animation graduates to pitch their ideas to producers, financiers and sales agents - the people who can bring original animation content to the market.

Friday, 14 February 2020

Smash Bros Event at Escape 20 February

Smash Bros Event on 20 February at Escape Studios
Escape Studios is hosting a Smash Bros Games Night on Thursday 20th February, open to our year 3 undergraduate students and year 4 MA students.

We are also welcoming our industry friends, colleagues and partners to join us on the night.

The event takes place at 190 High Holborn WC1, and any profits from the night will be donated to Special Effect, the gamers' charity.

Thursday, 13 February 2020

PR5001 Studio Project Starts on 24 February

Golden Acorn - festival winner
On 24th February our 2nd year undergraduates embark on the Studio Project Module PR5001, where students collaborate to work together on group projects.

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

The Studio Projects are designed to simulate as closely as possible the experience of working on a live client project.

The Studio Project is worth 45 credits, starts on Monday 24 February, and runs 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, 12 February 2020

Jerich0 Wins Best Animation in Budapest

Congratulations to the makers of Jerich0, which has won Best Animation at the Budapest Independent Film Festival 2020.

This is the latest in a long string of awards for the film, which was directed by Sarah Andrews and completed by our third year undergraduate animation students, as part of PR6001, a Studio Project module worth 60 credits.

Tuesday, 11 February 2020

Giles & Rupert's Prehistoric Predicament

Giles and Rupert's Prehistoric Predicament is a teaser/trailer for an original animated TV series created at Escape Studios by Toby Haslam, Denise Esposito, Louis Chevis, Cameron Haley, Joseph Dunn and Oriyarna Olaku. The project was created as part of CR4002 and PR4001, two first year modules in which students first create an original idea for a TV series, and then turn it into an animatic - a filmed version of the storyboard. In this case, Toby, Denise and their team have included the previs edit shown above, setting the bar even higher for what can be achieved in the first year at Escape.

Monday, 10 February 2020

The Art of the Pitch

The Art of the Pitch
Here at Escape Studios we don't just teach the mechanics of animation, we also teach the art and craft of creativity and film-making.

Every great animation series began its life as a humble concept - even mighty Peppa Pig started out as a pitch. 

There is nothing to stop our students creating the next Bob The Builder or Mr Bean.

Sunday, 9 February 2020

Escape Studios New Art of Video Games Blog

Meet the gang from The Art of Video Games, who have just started a new daily blog about the latest developments in the games industry.

The games industry, like animation and VFX, is a constantly shifting landscape, with new technology driving the changes. To find out what's going on in games both at Escape Studios and in the wider industry, check in regularly at their blog here. To see some of the great work done by our games students, scroll down below.

Saturday, 8 February 2020

Adam & Eve Mk II Double Winner at Wild Indie

Congratulations to Sebastian Kuder, director of "Adam & Eve Mk II", on a double win at last Saturday's Wild Indie Sci-fi & Fantasy Film Festival.
"Adam & Eve Mk II" picked up two laurels; Runner Up in the Category of "Short Film Under 5 minutes", and Runner Up in the category of "Best Digital VFX". 

Friday, 7 February 2020

Six Ways To Get Started in Animation

Animation Studio by Helen Piercy
How do you get started in animation? Fortunately for would-be animators, there are today plenty of cheap (and even free) resources to get you started.

Today, animation is a mix of art and technology.  Animators work at the crossover point between creative skills and techie skills - a good animator has both.

Below are our best tips on how to get started in animation, and how to prepare yourself for a career in the animation industry.

Thursday, 6 February 2020

Jessie Ilham to Teach Toonboom Harmony

Jessie Ilham
We're delighted to welcome our newest animation tutor Jessie Ilham to teach our summer class in Toonboom Harmony in June 2020.

Jessie was educated at Sheridan College in Canada, one of the world's leading animation schools, and was a Lead Breakdown Artist at BrownBag Films before moving to Blue Zoo animation in London. Her many credits include the Disney feature film "Princess and the Frog".

She is an experienced animator and rigger in ToonBoom Harmony, and has also trained teams of rigging artists, scene setup and layout artists.

Wednesday, 5 February 2020

Animation Showreel Clinic Tonight

The Demo Reel Doctor is back.  Our next Animation Showreel Clinic takes place at Escape Studios tonight, wednesday 5th February, from 5.30pm until 7pm, with a special guest from Framestore.

The event is all about animation demo reels: how to make them, how to perfect them, and how to use them to land your first job in the industry.

If you're working on your animation demo reel and you'd like to make your reel the best it possibly can be - come along this evening.

Tuesday, 4 February 2020

Taster Day at Escape Studios on Saturday 8 Feb

Eagle by Lee Caller
We're running a new Animation Taster Day here at Escape Studios on Saturday 8th February. taught by animation tutor Lee Caller.

Taster Days are a great chance to learn about character and creature animation, and find out what an animator's job is all about.

You will learn how to use Autodesk Maya and get a hands-on introduction to 3D Animation techniques; the full day costs just £25, and by the end of the day you'll have your own piece of creature animation - a bird in flight - uploaded to your YouTube channel.  No prior knowledge of Maya - or any software - is required.

Monday, 3 February 2020

Mock Interviews at Escape Studios Today

Mock Interviews between industry and students
This afternoon at Escape Studios we're running a series of mock interviews with some of our industry partners and mentors, who have kindly offered their time to give our undergraduate students an idea of what a job interview is actually like.

Learning how to survive an interview is an important part of preparing our students for a career in industry.

Sunday, 2 February 2020

Storyboarding with Iliana Franklin 3 Feb

Iliana Franklin
Iliana Franklin, the newest member of the animation team at Escape Studios will teach a class in Storyboarding for Animators on Monday 3rd February, to our Second Year animation students.

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's class will help our animation students learn the art and craft of storyboarding, a necessary part of the film-making process and a vital skill as our students get ready for their 2nd year studio projects.

Saturday, 1 February 2020

CR4002 - Showcase - "Animation Bibles"

Soap Opera by Bruno Urzi
At the end of 2019 our first year undergraduate animation students completed the Creative Foundations Craft Module, which is a foundation course in creativity and creative thinking, taken by all our first year students, whether they are studying games, animation or VFX.

Part of the module was "Movement & Narrative", a two-week mini-module taught by character designer Steven Sole and exploring the basics of creativity, storytelling, and design, at the end of which our students pitched an idea for an original TV or web series, including a so-called "animation bible".