Tuesday, 31 March 2020

Cameron Tempest-Hay Artist at nDreams

Cameron Tempest-Hay
Many congratulations to Escapee Cameron Tempest-Hay, who has secured a position as a Junior Environment Artist at the games company nDreams.

Cameron graduated from Escape Studios last summer, and since that time has been polishing his skills as a 3D modeller using skills to create 3D Digital Artwork.

nDreams is a games company based in Farnborough, in Hampshire. They describe themselves as "an award-winning VR studio, dedicated to high-end games and experiences. Since 2013, we have launched numerous titles, whilst building a team of over 80 industry pioneers to deliver quality VR content."

Monday, 30 March 2020

Animating Character Walks - The Zig Zag Walk



Above is a series of shots I animated during my two years working as an animator on "The Thief and The Cobbler", the not-quite-finished feature film that is sometimes described as "the greatest animated film never made". The ZigZag walk was my one of first assignments as a junior animator, and it remains one of the sequences I am most proud of.  It was very complex to figure out; and contained many different elements all moving together in sequence - but on different timings.

Sunday, 29 March 2020

ASIFA Hollywood Scholarship - Deadline June 1

ASIFA Hollywood has launched an animation scholarship for animation students; the deadline this year is June 1st 2020.  To find the application form, visit the Animation Educators Forum.

ASIFA-Hollywood’s Animation Educators Forum (AEF) provides a valuable link between the animation industry and animation students, and will provide well-deserved scholarships to students in their journey towards membership in the global animation community.

Saturday, 28 March 2020

Max Howard Gives Feedback to Our Students

Max Howard
Veteran animation Producer Max Howard joined us yesterday at Escape Studios, giving online feedback from his home in Suffolk to our second year animation students on their short film projects.

Max is a film producer and studio executive who has run animation divisions at Disney, DreamWorks and Warner Bros Feature Animation.

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.

Friday, 27 March 2020

Why Animators Need an Animatic

Animatic image from "Giles and Rupert's Prehistoric Predicament"
What is an animatic? And why do animators need one? An Animatic is something that all of our first year students have to tackle as part of PR4001, a creative story-telling module in which our undergraduate students work in teams to create a teaser or trailer for an original TV series.

Later, working on their own short films and group projects in the second and third year at Escape Studios, our students will become very familiar with the process of creating an animatic, which is an essential first step in the creation of any animated content.

Thursday, 26 March 2020

Learn to Animate a Walk at Our Vimeo Channel

Learn to animate a basic walk cycle with "Monty", the green pea, at our Vimeo Channel, available to all our students and Escapees.

The videos have added to our growing series of animation tutorials, hosted at Vimeo, with a tutorial on how to animate a basic walk.

The tutorial uses the free Monty rig, one of the rigs that we recommend for student use in the early stages of learning animation.  Monty was created back in 2007 by Raveen Rajadorai, and is free for download at Highend3D.com.

Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Ten Rules of Animation Dailies

Animation dailies take place each morning, when artists working on a project meet-up to share their work in its current state. The purpose is to make sure everyone is moving in the right direction and to get feedback from the director, client, producer or supervisor. Think of it as a critique session where everyone watches everyone else's work.

Dailies can take some time to get used to. For newbie animators, having your work critiqued on a big screen in front of all your colleagues and peers can be very intimidating.

Your first instinct will be to hide under your chair, and say nothing. But to thrive and prosper, animators must learn how dailies works, and how to make the system work for them.

Below are our tips to get the best out of animation dailies.

Tuesday, 24 March 2020

Google Meet and Sync Sketch

Google Meet
How do animators work remotely? As we move our classes online, we're all of us figuring out the best ways to interact online and keep our projects on track. Google Meet and SyncSketch are emerging as two of the best ways to keep things ticking along.

We are running our online classrooms at Google Meet - it allows many people to join a conversation and stream at the same time. We're combining this with SyncSketch to review student work in real time.

So far we've had good experience with the sound quality, and the system is working well.

Monday, 23 March 2020

Adam Bennet Motion Graphics Webinar April 1

Learn to animate client storyboards
Escape Studios Motion Graphics tutor Adam Bennet is hosting a free Motion Graphics Webinar on April 1st.

In this webinar, students will learn how to animate client-approved storyboards; Adam will explain how to import storyboards into Adobe After Effects and create a rough animatic, before moving onto final animation.

Sunday, 22 March 2020

Rookies 2020: Deadline June 1st

At Escape Studios we encourage all of our students to enter The Rookies Awards, the international competition for young creatives, which opened on 7th March, and closes on 1st June.

The Rookies was founded in 2009 to "showcase the most talented student designers, illustrators, film makers, animators, developers, digital artists, and launch them into the career of their dreams."

This year the deadline is 1st June 2020, so there is plenty of time to start crafting a great project.

Saturday, 21 March 2020

Tips to Work Remotely From Saint John Walker

Saint John Walker
As we move our classes to online delivery, Our Deputy Dean, Saint John Walker, has written a helpful guest post titled 12 Tips to Working Remotely for Students.

Online learning is our new reality, and fortunately we have many online resources here at Escape Studios to facilitate distance learning.

Saint Offers some advice on how to stay sane in these very strange times, which will impose significant stresses on students and faculty alike.

Friday, 20 March 2020

Escape Studios Video Tutorial - Animate a Jump

As we move toward online delivery of all our classes, we are rapidly building our already substantial resources at our online Vimeo Tutorial Channel.

Escape Studios has tutorials on every conceivable aspect of character and creature animation, and much else besides, including modeling, texturing, rigging, UVs, Houdini, FX, and compositing in Nuke.

Today we're focusing on mechanics - specifically how to animate a character jumping. This is something that all our animation students will tackle in their first couple of weeks, as part of learning the fundamentals of locomotion. You can find the video playlist (which, like all our tutorials, is password-protected) here.

Thursday, 19 March 2020

Offcut Wins Best Under 5 Minute Film at Flicks

It's nice to have some good news in these troubled times; so please forgive us if we take time out from Covid-19 coverage to offer our  congratulations to the makers of "Offcut", which has won an award for "Best Under 5 Minute Film" at the monthly Flicks Film Festival.

Offcut, is a short film directed by Petroc Menuhin, which follows the adventures of a discarded scrap of wood who comes to life and finds meaning in music.  It's a charming film, and a well-deserved winner. 

Wednesday, 18 March 2020

OBS Studio - Free Screen Recording Software

Following on from yesterday's blog post about Quick Time, and its utility for tutors practicing distance learning, Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) offers another useful option for our tutors at Escape Studios. For those of who are switching to online delivery of our courses, OBS is easy to install and completely free to use, for Windows and Mac devices.

Tuesday, 17 March 2020

Quick Time - Free Mac Recording Software

For all our tutors at Escape Studios (and beyond), who are currently transitioning to online delivery, don't forget the very powerful (and free) Quick Time - Free Mac Recording Software for Mac Users.

Quick Time is a free Apple product that, among other things, has a handy screen capture tool, which allows you to record video feedback of your students' work.  Here is how it works:

Saturday, 14 March 2020

Online Resources at Escape Studios

Working from home
In these uncertain times it's important to remember that we have many online resources at Escape Studios, lots of ways of supporting our students who are currently working from home.

As long as you have a laptop and a decent broadband connection, our students can continue to work remotely, following tutorials, working on projects and also working in teams on platforms such as Facebook and Slack.

The tutors at Escape Studios offer feedback and support to all our students via email, our online classrooms, bespoke video feedback, and through our Vimeo channel.

Friday, 13 March 2020

Advanced Animation Returns on 25 Sept 2020

Character Animation by Jamie Floodgate
Advanced Animation is back - starting on 25th September 2020.  Advanced animation is a six week extension of our 12 week short 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.

Thursday, 12 March 2020

Life Drawing Returns Today

Life drawing classes are returning to Escape Studios, starting today, Thursday 12th March. The class is taught by veteran animator and board artist Iliana Franklin.

Iliana, who teaches our MA in storyboarding and previsualisation, will be booking professional life models for life drawing classes once a week, so that our students can benefit from regular instruction.

Life drawing is still an important skill for our animators and storyboard artists. An understanding of human anatomy, and the ability to capture a pose or gesture in a few lines, is still a key skill - even in a digital world.

Fast sketches are useful, helping animators to make quick thumbnails to plan animation - a technique which hasn't changed since Disney's Golden Age. 

Wednesday, 11 March 2020

Escapees Win at Golden Nugget Fest March 19

The Golden Nugget Film Festival "London Edition" is back, with many Escapees and current students among the award-winning films. The festival takes place on Thursday, March 19, 2020 at 8 PM – 11:30 PM in the Dreadnought Building, 30 Park Row Greenwich, London, SE10 9LS.

You can find more about GNIFF screening at the official Facebook Page. You can buy tickets for under £5 (just £1 for students) at the Event Brite page here.

Our short films that have made the cut this year include "Reece", "Flame", "Adam & Eve Mk II", "Vivi Ossa", and "Jerich0". Of these films, Jerich0 will be collecting an award for Best Animated Short, Adam & Eve Mk II will be getting an award for "Best Sci-Fi", and "Vivi Ossa" will be presented an award for Best Micro Film.  Congratulations to all our talented film-makers on their continued success.

Tuesday, 10 March 2020

David Prescott to visit Escape Studios

David Prescott
We're delighted to welcome David Prescott, Senior Vice President of Creative Production at Double Negative, to visit Escape Studios.

David will be visiting us on Thursday 12 March, offering feedback to our second year animation students on their projects.

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.

Monday, 9 March 2020

The Art of "Considered Character Design"

"Coffee Guy" by Escapee Natalya Ropotova
Steve Sole, character designer from Tiger Aspect Productions, “Mr Bean”, and one of the main character design tutors at Escape Studios, offers his thoughts on the importance of making a considered approach to the art of character design.

Character design isn't just about creating cool characters. It is very much a client-facing process in which designers work together with art directors and directors to create characters that work in the overall content of a production.

The key to success, Steve argues, is to take the time to consider the process carefully.  In this guest post, Steve explains the principles behind "Considered Character Design".

Sunday, 8 March 2020

An Evening With...Hasraf "Haz" Dulull 25 March

Join us on Wednesday 25th March for one of our regular "Evening with..." events at Escape Studios.

The event takes place on Wednesday 25 March as we welcome Hasraf "Haz" Dulull to talk about making the transition from award-winning visual effects to directing and producing his own independent sci-fi feature films. 

Friday, 6 March 2020

12 Week Animation Course Starts 25 Sept 2020

Escapee Chan Sagoo worked on Lion King (2019)
Our next animation short course - three months of intensive training in 3D animation - starts on 25th September 2020.

Our 12 week 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, making them studio-ready talent.

Taught by veteran animation tutor Lee Caller, our animation is designed to help our students find employment in the rapidly expanding animation and VFX industry.

Thursday, 5 March 2020

How to Get Started with Toonboom Harmony

Plamen Ananiev
Plamen Ananiev is returning to Escape Studios on 18 March 2020 to teach our evening class in 2D animation, introducing our students to the art and craft of 2D animation with Toonboom Harmony.

Harmony is now one of the leading software packages for the creation of 2D animation, such as at London-based animation powerhouse Blue Zoo, which recently created a whole new division for 2D animation.

In this post, Plamen explains how students can get started with Harmony, setting up the software to exploit its maximum potential.

Wednesday, 4 March 2020

Producer Max Howard to Visit Escape

Max Howard
Veteran animation Producer Max Howard will be visiting Escape Studios tomorrow, Thursday 5th March, to give feedback to our second year animation students on their short film projects.

Max is a film producer and studio executive who has run animation divisions at Disney, DreamWorks and Warner Bros Feature Animation.

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.

Monday, 2 March 2020

"Jerich0" at APD Pitchfest 5-8 May 2020

Many congratulations to the makers of "Jerich0"; their short animated project has been been accepted for APD (Animation Production Days) in Stuttgart this summer.

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. Jerich0 began life as an award-winning short film but now has the potential to be something much bigger, potentially reaching a wider audience.