Tuesday, 30 June 2020

Escape Studios Animation Reel Summer 2020

We're proud to present the Summer 2020 Escape Studios Animation Demo Reel.  This latest edit of our best shots showcases the finest work our animation students have put together since we cut our last reel.  Our students keep doing better and better work, setting higher and higher standards for what can be achieved; all of the work shown is taken from the various short films which are being entered into festivals, many of them collaborations between different departments at Escape Studios. As ever, we have had to make some hard choices this time around, leaving out much excellent work from this latest selection of our best character, creature and short film animation.

Monday, 29 June 2020

"Monty" Run Tutorial with Marc Stevenson

"Monty" run tutorial with Marc Stevenson
We've uploaded a new run cycle tutorial to our Vimeo Channel, part of our expanding series of online animation tutorials.

The tutorial, recorded by Escape Studios tutor Marc Stevenson, uses the Monty rig, free for download, and can be found here

Run cycles are part of the foundation of the study of animation. Animating a run cycle introduces student animators to the basic principles of human locomotion.

Sunday, 28 June 2020

The Making of "Death From Above"

"Death From Above" is a teaser/trailer created by director Jordan Coles and a group of second year animation students, working together in Module PR5001 to deliver a group project. The film is currently in festival competition, and recently won "Best Trailer" at Halicarnassus Film Festival. Jordan was asked by Will and Rowena at Escape Studios to talk a little about the making of "Death From Above"; in this interview, Jordan explains where his inspiration came from, what the challenges were, and how the team worked together to complete the project.

Saturday, 27 June 2020

Animation Showreel Clinic 23rd July

Passion Pictures will give us industry feedback
The Demo Reel Doctor is back!  Our next Animation Showreel Clinic takes place on 23rd July at 4pm with Passion Pictures' Head of Animation, Aldo Gagliardi.

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 - join us on 23rd July for an interactive session with Q&A to follow: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_Y-s6c5ZYRzKnfow0523YXA

Friday, 26 June 2020

Scorpion Animation Tutorial at Vimeo

Artwork by Lee Caller
We've uploaded a new animation tutorial to our large and growing collection of video tutorials at our Vimeo Channel.

The tutorial shows how to animate a six-legged creature; in this case a robot scorpion.

The tutorial takes a superficially complex action - a multi-legged creature - and shows how to break the motion down into simple components. Animators can create a successful outcome with just one or two animation curves.

Thursday, 25 June 2020

The Lost City of Aztlan

The Lost City of Aztlan from Mariam Hussein on Vimeo.
What secrets lie within The Lost City of Aztlan? Directed by Mariam Hussein and produced by Michael Vodden, this short film about a long-hidden Mayan civilisation was created by our VFX students as part of their final graduation project. Filmed on location in Chislehurst Caves in South East London, the film was completed under Lockdown and is now being entered into international film festivals.

Tuesday, 23 June 2020

"Ask Me Anything" with Pixar's Mike Makarewicz on Wednesday July 1st at 6pm

Mike Makarewicz
We're delighted to welcome Pixar animator Michal Makarewicz for an exclusive webinar with our animation students at Escape Studios on July 1st at 6pm.

Mike is a 17 year veteran animator at Pixar Animation Studios, and Co-Founder of the Animation Collaborative in Emeryville, California.

Mike has generously agreed to give up an hour of his time to talk to our students about animation, breaking into the industry, and what it's like to work on a Pixar film. All questions are welcome.

Monday, 22 June 2020

Introducing "Seeker"

Seeker - A VFX Short Film from Rassoul Edji on Vimeo.

Meet "Seeker", a short VFX film combining live action and animation, completed by our final year students at Escape Studios. "Seeker" is a film about a giant robot seeking out its victim in a quiet suburban setting. The project was directed by Rassoul Edji and produced by Tosin Ogunleye, and overseen by supervising tutors Jonathan McFall and Allar Kaasik.  "Seeker" has already been accepted for two film festivals, despite only having been entered into competition a few days ago.

Sunday, 21 June 2020

Sign Up Now For The Summer of Animation

The Summer of Animation has just been launched; it is a programme of free activities for 13 to 18-year olds in the UK, all about creating your own animation, hosted by Access VFX and supported by Escape Studios.

Over the summer students can access a series of free videos to show how to create each step of the 3D animation film making process. Each video has an exercise linked to it, where you can download templates to give it a go yourself.  https://summerofanimation.com/

Saturday, 20 June 2020

"Witch & the Baby" Winner at Flatpack Festival

Many congratulations to Escapee Evgenia Golubeva, whose short film The Witch & the Baby has recently won the Audience Choice Award at the Nenagh Children's Film Festival.

Evgenia studied with us on our animation short course, and has since forged a career as an independent film-maker, entering her animated films in festivals around the world and winning international prizes for her work.  Evgenia is a writer at Walt Disney Animation, where she brings her talent as an animator and storyteller to the commercial world of TV animation.

Friday, 19 June 2020

Bouncing Ball Tutorial with Marc Stevenson

Start with a bouncing ball
All animation courses begin with a bouncing ball. The Bouncing Ball Tutorial introduces animators to the basic concepts of timing and spacing, weight, paths of action and also squash and stretch.

A ball can be bounced well or badly, and the exercise - although superficially simple - can be done with skill and sophistication.

In this tutorial video, hosted at our Vimeo Tutorial Channel and aimed at junior animators, Escape Studios tutor Marc Stevenson shows how to make a ball bounce convincingly.

Thursday, 18 June 2020

Introducing "Reach"

Escape Studios proudly presents "Reach", the short film directed by third year VFX student Matteo Balduzzi, and completed as part of the third year animation Module PR6001,  a Studio Project worth 60 Credits.  In this module our animation and VFX students join forces to produce a visual effects (VFX) project, with three months to take the project from initial pitch to final render.

Wednesday, 17 June 2020

Helicopter Airship Animation Tutorial

Airship Animation
We've uploaded a new tutorial on animating a helicopter airship in motion. 

The videos are the latest addition to our rapidly expanding Vimeo channel.

In this step-by-step tutorial, we explain how to approach the challenge of animating a helicopter/airship in motion. The airship has a flexible caboose, which must be animated so that it overlaps the main action and settles in a naturalistic and believable way.

The purpose of the tutorial is to learn the principle of flexibility and overlapping action, one of the original 12 Principles of Animation.

Tuesday, 16 June 2020

Storyboarding MasterClass with Chess Adams

Francesca "Chess" Adams teaches our storyboarding evening class at Escape Studios. Chess recently recorded this excellent video for the "Summer of Animation", the summer outreach program for 13-18 year olds which is hosted by Access VFX and supported by Escape Studios. It's a great starting point for anyone who wants to learn the art and craft of storyboarding for animation, and is completely free.

Monday, 15 June 2020

"Flame" and "Offcut" Winners at WMF Fest

"Flame" wins Best Editor
Many congratulations to the makers of "Flame" and "Offcut", which have both won awards at the recent "We Make Films Festival" in London.

"Flame" won Best Editor, and "Offcut" won Best DOP (Director of Photography).  The awards are a welcome addition to both films' trophy cabinet, which already include a number of festival prizes.

Flame was directed by Cherelle Owusu, produced by Carolina Xavier, and edited by Victor Andreas Lopez"Offcut" was directed Petroc Menuhin, with cinematography by Clement Gharini.

Friday, 12 June 2020

Meet "Over Under"

Meet "Over Under", a short film project created by our third year graduating class of student animators. At over seven minutes, "Over Under" is our most ambitious animated film project so far. Directed by Lucy Harris and produced by Aidan Lonergan, "Over Under" includes some very stylish set design and confident character animation. The film is currently being entered into film festivals, and we wish it and the team every success.

Thursday, 11 June 2020

What Does an Animation Editor Do?

The Film Editor is one of the most important and creative roles on any production. The animation editor is involved in every process of planning and production, from the earliest stages, including cutting and editing the storyboard animatic.

Making an animated film is a collaborative effort and is almost always completed with a team of people; the editor is one of the key creative roles on any production.

We encourage all our students at Escape Studios to try their hand at film editing, it's an important job and one of the most interesting seats to occupy on any production.

Wednesday, 10 June 2020

Introducing: "Hat Shop"

Meet "Hat Shop", a short film written and directed by Stevie Stedman, one of our MA students studying Storyboarding and Previsualisation at Escape Studios. "Hat Shop" is a short story set in a futuristic robotic world.

Like "Moon Rockz" "Street Ratz" and "Animal Lover", the film was a collaboration between students on our Master's Degree in Storyboarding & Previsualisation and undergraduate students studying the Art of Computer Animation - something we have tried this year for the first time.

Collaborations between departments are not (of course) unusual in industry. Getting our storyboarding students to work together with undergraduate animators is one of the many ways in which we prepare our students for the realities of working in industry.

"Hat Shop" was completed entirely under Lockdown. It is currently being entered into film festivals, and we wish the team every success.

Tuesday, 9 June 2020

Why Animators Need Colour Grading

What is colour grading, and why do animators need it? In film-making, colour grading - sometimes called colour balancing, or colour timing - is the process of adjusting the colour of every shot in a film to harmonise the overall look and feel of the film, and make sure that each shot flows seamlessly into the next. Colour Grading is an essential final step in the post-production of a short film, ensuring that every shot has the right colour balance. We're recommending this short video above which shows how to do successful colour grading in Adobe Premiere.

Monday, 8 June 2020

Introducing "Animal Lover"

Short Film-Animal Lover from Priya Shah on Vimeo.

Meet "Animal Lover", a one-minute animated short created at Escape Studios and inspired by director Anastasia Gurova's childhood experiences growing up in rural Russia. Like "Street Ratz" and "Moon Rockz",  the film was a collaboration between students from our master's degree in Storyboarding & Previsualisation and undergraduate students studying the Art of Computer AnimationAnimal Lover was produced by Priya Shah, who also produced the short film "Nefertiti".

Sunday, 7 June 2020

Storyboarding, Previs & Anim Fair June 29

Bear animation by Amanda Costa
We're hosting a Storyboarding, Previsualisation and Animation Fair on June 29th at 4pm.

The event takes place online via Zoom, and is an opportunity for prospective students to find out about our courses in Animation, as well as Storyboarding & Previsualisation.

To book your free place, register on Zoom.

Saturday, 6 June 2020

The Schlussel Show is Back on 10th June

Framestore's Andrew Schlussel
Join us on Wednesday 10th June for a free webinar with Andrew Schlussel, Director of Global Talent Development at Framestore, one of the world's leading animation and VFX houses.

On "The Schlussel Show", this week's theme will be "Presenting to Employers" - how can graduates make the best impression when applying for work?

Despite Covid-19, the animation industry continues to thrive, and opportunities remain for those with a polished demo reel and the determination to succeed. 

Friday, 5 June 2020

Meet "Street Ratz"

"Street Ratz" is a teaser/trailer written directed by Austin Hill, a graduate student at Escape Studios studying for his MA in Storyboarding & Previsualisation.  The film was a collaboration between storyboard MA students, undergraduate students in the final fourth year of our BA/MArt in the Art of Computer Animation, undergraduate animators in their second year of studies, and the Pearson College Business School.  The project, which involved by far the most ambitious cross-discipline collaboration we have attempted so far, was produced by Jack Wright and overseen by animation tutor Amedeo Beretta and Storyboard tutor Iliana Franklin.

Thursday, 4 June 2020

Quarantine Chorus Double Award Winner

Winner: "Best Animation"
"Quarantine Chorus", the short film recently completed by our second-year animation students at Escape Studios about life under the Corona Lockdown, has already won two awards: Best Animation at the Berlin Flash Film Festival, and also Best Super Short Film at the Prague Monthly Film Festival.

This is a great result for a film that was only entered into film festivals for the first time last week.

Wednesday, 3 June 2020

Meet "Moon Rockz"

"Moon Rockz" is a short film made at Escape Studios, written and directed by Molly Babington, who is studying for her MA in Storyboarding and Previsualisation.

"Moon Rockz" is a unique film project at Escape Studios in that this was a collaboration between students on our master's degree in Storyboarding & Previsualisation and undergraduate students studying the Art of Computer Animation.

The film is a short story about the moon landings - as told from the Moon's point of view. It's a charming and funny film, in which students at Escape Studios successfully worked together across different departments to pull off a stylish result.

"Moon Rockz" is currently being entered into film festivals, and we wish it every success.

Tuesday, 2 June 2020

Film Credits: Thanks and Special Thanks

Last week our second year animation students raced for the finish line on their final year projects, putting together lists of credits, including various people to thank.

Credits are important to get right. Leave people out, spell their names wrong - there are all kinds of ways to annoy your fellow film-makers (and even make enemies).  One area where students get confused is over thanks and special thanks - whom should you thank, and when?

The key thing to remember is that thanking people costs you nothing; it is a free way to earn goodwill.  So the general rule is this: thank often, widely and generously.

Monday, 1 June 2020

Meet "Quarantine Chorus"

Quarantine Chorus from Nickoel Izharudin on Vimeo.

Meet "Quarantine Chorus", a one-minute film created by our second-year animation students at Escape Studios, about life under the Corona Lockdown. Set in Italy and inspired by a real-life love story from Verona, Italy"Quarantine Chorus" is a short story about the persistence of the human spirit under difficult circumstances.  Directed by Edoardo Sartori and produced by Nickoel Izharudin, the film was based on an original idea by Tequila Mason.