Wednesday, 30 September 2020

VFX Pipeline with ILM Andrew Whitehurst Oct 2

We're excited to welcome all our current students to a webinar on the visual effects pipeline with ILM's Andrew Whitehurst.

Andrew Whitehurst is an Academy Award-winning VFX Supervisor, having won an Oscar for his work on the VFX blockbuster Ex Machina.

Andrew Whitehurst will talk us through the details of a major studio VFX pipeline and explain how VFX studios set up their projects, with a special focus on the post-Covid remote working pipeline. 

Monday, 28 September 2020

Creature Animation Workshop: VIEW 19 Oct

I'll be hosting a creature animation workshop at this year's VIEW Conference again this year.  The two-hour animation workshop takes place online on Monday, 19 October from 11am to 1pm Italian time.

I'll be teaching students how to tackle some creature animation using Autodesk Maya.  We'll be animating spiders - demonstrating how to break down an apparently complex motion - an eight-legged walk - into simple parts to get a sophisticated result.

So if you fancy animating some creepy crawlies, join me on Monday, 19th October from 11am to 1pm Italian Time.  To sign up, follow this link.

Sunday, 27 September 2020

"Jerich0" Pitch: Cartoon Springboard Oct 27-29

We're proud to announce that the short film "Jerich0", directed by Sarah Andrews, has been selected for this year's Cartoon Springboard, the annual pitching event that takes place from October 27 to October 29 in Valencia, Spain. 

Like other animation events, Cartoon Springboard will be online this year.  Sarah and her team will be pitching to industry delegates, including producers, broadcasters and sales agents, seeking ways to capitalise on Jerich0's festival success. 

Saturday, 26 September 2020

Pedro Cabeleira Lead Artist at Ubisoft

Pedro Cabeleira
Many congratulations to Escapee Pedro Cabeleira who has recently landed a job as Lead Character Artist at Ubisoft Reflections.

Ubisoft Reflections is a multiple-award-winning games company based in Newcastle, whose long roster of hit games includes The Division, The Division 2, Far Cry 5, Assassin's Creed Syndicate, Ghost Recon Wildlands, Watch Dogs, Watch Dogs 2, Watch Dogs: Legion, The Settlers, Starlink: Battle For Atlas and The Crew.

Prior to that, Pedro was Lead Character Artist at Traveller's Tales, a UK based games company which specialises in Lego games.

Pedro took our animation short course at Escape Studios and, after leaving Escape, successfully broke into the games industry.

Thursday, 24 September 2020

Escapee Harry Pearson Joins the 3rd Floor

Harry Pearson
Many congratulations to animation Escapee Harry Pearson for starting a new position a Shot Creator at The 3rd Floor.

The 3rd Floor is one of London's leading VFX houses, specialising in previsualisation, a rapidly growing part of the VFX landscape.

Prior to joining the team at the 3rd Floor, Harry started work at Factory 42, a tech startup which 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 graduated in the summer of 2019, part of our first cohort of students to win their BA at Escape Studios. 

Wednesday, 23 September 2020

Last Call: MA in Previs & Story Starts 28 Sept

"Moon Rockz"
Last call for our pioneering Master's Degree course in Previsualisation and Storyboarding - the first of its kind - which starts a new class on 28 September 2020.

This new degree, first launched in September 2019, is the first-ever master's degree in Previsualisation & Storyboarding, and taught by industry veteran Iliana Franklin. 

Developed in consultation with industry, and formally validated by the University of Kent, this degree is a unique opportunity to learn industry-level skills and also earn an internationally recognised academic qualification.

Monday, 21 September 2020

Last Call for Animation 12 Week Course 25 Sept

Escapee Chan Sagoo worked on Lion King (2019)
Last call for our next animation short course - three months of intensive training in 3D animation - which starts in four days 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.

Sunday, 20 September 2020

Adam & Eve Mk II Runner-Up at Brooklyn Fest

Adam & Eve Mk II - Runner Up - "Best College Short"
Congratulations to Sebastian Kuder, director of "Adam & Eve Mk II", which has won a Runner-Up award in the category of "Best College Short" at the Brooklyn Sci-Fi Film Festival last week.
A number of other films from Escape Studios were finalists in the same category, including "Joe", directed by Callum Reeve, "Moon Rockz", directed by Molly Babington, and "Over Under", directed by Lucy Harris. 

Friday, 18 September 2020

Moon Rockz "Best Sci-Fi" at Flicks Film Fest

We are proud to announce that our short film "Moon Rockz", written and directed by Molly Babington, has won an award for "Best Sci-Fi" at the Flicks Film Festival.

"Moon Rockz", which tells the story of the moon landings from the point of view of the moon, has also been a finalist at five other international film festivals.

"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, MA students studying animation, and also undergraduate students studying the Art of Computer Animation.

Thursday, 17 September 2020

Why Animators Should Fail Upwards

Animators are made, not born.  All of us are likely fail in most of the things that we do, at least at first.  The key to success is to keep at it, and  fail faster.  Great animation doesn't emerge fully formed, it needs to be tweaked, revised and perfected. When you see a Pixar or Disney film, you see the finished, polished result - you don't see the pain the animator went through along the way. Everything we do can be done better. If you don't keep trying, and practicing, and getting feedback, you will never create anything good.  Your animation does not have to be perfect; you just have to get on with it and keep practicing your craft.

Wednesday, 16 September 2020

PR6001 Studio Project Starts This Week

Our third year animation students have returned to our High Holborn Campus (with some Covid-19 restrictions in place), and the first module they are tackling is PR6001 - The Studio Project.

PR6001 - the Studio Project module - is worth 60 Credits, and runs for the whole academic year. It is a group module in which our animation students work together in teams to create short films, many of which have gone on to win festival awards.

Students collaborate to work together to a defined brief, designed as closely as possible to simulate working on a live client project.

The Studio Project Module is broken up into two projects, giving students the chance to practice their skills as film-makers over the course of the year.

Tuesday, 15 September 2020

New Storyboarding, Previs & Design Tutorials

Storyboards by Escapee Dominika Brodowska
We've posted some new New Storyboarding, Previs and Design Tutorials, to expand our growing number of videos at our Vimeo Tutorial Channel.

Storyboarding is a growing part of what we do at Escape Studios, as we welcome our newest cohort of students on our MA in Storyboarding & Previsualisation.  We have four new videos to share with our students, focusing on the art of storyboarding, character turnarounds, character design and previs.

Monday, 14 September 2020

Escape Studios UG Open Day Saturday 19th

Escape Studios is hosting an undergraduate open day on Saturday 19th September

Escape Studios' Open Days are a chance to discover how you can create your future with one of our undergraduate degrees in Animation, Game Art or Visual Effects.  An Open Day is an opportunity for you to find out how you can follow in the footsteps of our award-winning alumni.

Sunday, 13 September 2020

How to Write a Great Retrospective

How do you write a great retrospective?  At the end of most of our undergraduate modules at Escape Studios our students are expected to write a retrospective, totalling 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. Above are our top ten tips for writing a great retrospective.

Saturday, 12 September 2020

How to Find an Internship in Animation

How do our students find internships in the animation industry? This is a question I get asked regularly at Escape Studios. The important thing to remember is that finding an internship is a lot like finding a job; and all the same principles apply. Watch the short video above for my tips on how to find an internship in the animation industry.

Friday, 11 September 2020

Planning Animation on Stepped Curves

One of the most common problems encountered by student animators is how to block out an animated shot from scratch, starting with nothing but a blank screen and a character rig.

After all, in animation you get nothing for free.  You start off with a digital puppet, usually in a stiff "T-pose", and have to figure out the rest yourself. In this tutorial at our Vimeo Channel, I explain how to block out a shot from scratch.

Thursday, 10 September 2020

Welcome to Escape Studios!

Welcome to Escape Studios!
A very warm welcome to our new animation undergraduate students who will soon join us on our BA/Mart in Animation on Monday.

Teaching starts on Monday 14th September, and this year is a blend of traditional classroom and digital online delivery. 

Classes take place at our Central London Campus at 190 High Holborn. Online classes will be delivered through a variety of online platforms including Blackboard Collaborate.  Below is a brief list of suggestions to get you underway.

Wednesday, 9 September 2020

Which is Best? Short Course or MA?

Do you need a degree?
One question we often get asked here at Escape Studios is this: Should I take the Short Course in 3D Animation, or do the Masters' Degree? - Which is Best?

The answer, of course, is that it depends on what you want to do. If you want to be trained to be a 3D animator, and find work in the industry, you don't really need any letters after your name.

But if you have an ambition to teach animation, especially in higher education, then you should do the MA. In addition, MA students have the opportunity to participate in group projects, such as the award-winning short film "Flame". Watch the video below to find out more.

Tuesday, 8 September 2020

Last Call for Toonboom Harmony Evening Class

Last call for our 2D Animation evening class in Toonboom Harmony with Blue Zoo's David Ridges on Wednesday 7 October 2020.

Learn the fundamentals of 2D animation over 10 weeks, one evening a week (Tuesdays), using Toonboom Harmony, one of the leading software packages for the creation of 2D animation.

In recent years 2D animation has experienced a significant revival, both in the UK and overseas, as Studios such as Blue ZooAardman Animation, and Brown Bag Films adopt the software.

Monday, 7 September 2020

Learning Resources at Escape Studios

What kind of learning resources do we have at Escape Studios?  How do students learn the art and craft of animation in the post-Covid era? Our courses still focus on traditional classroom delivery, giving students all the skills they need to become professional animators, and we will be starting up classroom teaching once again next week. But we also have many additional learning resources for our students, including a hugely-expanded Vimeo channel with hundreds of tutorials on animation techniques. Watch the short video to find out how we can help you to learn to become a professional animator.

Sunday, 6 September 2020

Escape Studios Official Unreal Engine ATC

We are proud to announce that Escape Studios is now an Unreal Engine ATC (Authorized Training Center); the only one in the UK and one of only two in Europe.  We are very honoured to be selected to be part of the program and to help train people in Unreal Engine.  As well as our Short Courses, UG and Masters programs we also train companies in UE4, most recently London VFX powerhouse Framestore.  Unreal's real time rendering capabilities, Blueprint system and ease of use is not only changing the games industry but the CGI industry as a whole, helping to speed up the process of animation, previsualisation, virtual reality and architectural visualisation.

Saturday, 5 September 2020

Dom Brodowska Assnt Animator at Studio AKA

Dominika Brodowska
Many congratulations to Escapee Dominika Brodowska, who is working as an Assistant Animator at Studio AKA in London.

Dominika took our three month intensive short course in animation here at Escape Studios, learning Maya and mastering the animation pipeline.

Dominika also excelled at gesture drawing, and developed a portfolio of drawings and sketches to apply for storyboarding jobs, initially finding work with Cloth Cat animation in Cardiff.

Friday, 4 September 2020

How to Film Animals for Live Action Reference

In this guest blog, Escapee Paolo Amadini explains how to film animals for live action reference.

Using live action reference to inform your animation is one of the key skills we teach at Escape Studios. Live action is important for character animation acting shots, and also for creating believable animal and creature animation.

In the post below, Paolo explains how to go about capturing your own live action reference, how to do it all on a budget, and how to use the reference to create great animation.

Thursday, 3 September 2020

Interview with Escapee Harry Pearson

Harry Pearson at the BFI
Harry Pearson graduated last summer from Escape Studios and soon found work with the animation tech startup Factory 42, specialising in immersive and augmented reality content.

Since last summer he has been working on animation for an interactive installation at a major London museum, involving animal and creature animation.

We interviewed Harry to ask him about his career since leaving Escape Studios, and what advice he might have for current students and Escapees looking to break into the world of animation and augmented reality.

Wednesday, 2 September 2020

"Flame" in Licensing Deal with Alaska Airlines

We're delighted to announce that our animation students' short film "Flame" has secured a licensing deal with Alaskan Airlines, for in-flight entertainment on Alaskan Airlines flights.

"Flame", directed by Cherelle Owusu, was selected for the Seattle Black Film Festival, who were invited by Alaskan Airlines to curate a selection of films for their in-flight entertainment system. "Flame" was one of the films chosen.

As a result, "Flame" will be featured on VOD as part of the in-flight entertainment system at Alaskan, for a period of one year, and represents a new development for our students at Escape Studios, as we begin to graduate from festival wins and prizes to broader commercial success.

Many congratulations to director Cherelle Owusu, producer Carolina Xavier, supervising tutor Amedeo Beretta - and the whole "Flame" team - on their excellent work.

Tuesday, 1 September 2020

Amanda Costa Animator at Jellyfish Pictures

Amanda Costa
Many congratulations to Escapee Amanda Costa who is now an animator at London's Jellyfish Pictures.

Amanda took our 12 week animation short course at Escape Studios, and now joins Escapees Luis Marcillo-Coronado, Laura KnightHenry Fenwick and Rory Marchant who also found work at Jellyfish after leaving Escape Studios.

Jellyfish Pictures is one of London's largest and most successful animation studios, working on TV series such as "Dennis and Gnasher - Unleashed" and also doing feature film work on the Star Wars franchise.