Sunday, 31 January 2021

Escape Studios Houdini Certified School

Escape Studios is proud to announce that we are now an approved Houdini Certified School.  

Houdini is a 3D animation software application developed by Toronto-based developer SideFX,  and is widely used in the VFX industry for procedural animation such as smoke, fire, water and other effects. 

Becoming a Houdini Certified School means opening a new chapter in our relationship with SideFX, an ever-closer partnership in which our students will benefit from being taught by expert tutors and exclusive access to Houdini technology, webinars and presentations. 

This latest partnership comes after our recent official certification by Epic Games as an Unreal Engine Authorised Training Centre (ATC).

Saturday, 30 January 2021

Introducing "Little Gestures"

Meet "Little Gestures", the latest short film created by our students at Escape Studios, as part of the VFX project PR6001, in which our animation students and VFX students combine forces to produce a short film combining live action and animation.

"Little Gestures"directed by Richard O'Hanlon and Daniel Brand-Sinyinza, and produced by Nickoel Izharudin and Dominic Strachan, is a short story about an artist's maquette which comes to life, acting as a muse for the artist's canvas. 

Thursday, 28 January 2021

QC Animations Webinar

On Tuesday 26 January we hosted a webinar with Escape Studios' animation student Charlotte Gimbird, about her YouTube Channel QC Animations.  QC Animations is a YouTube Channel based around the world of Minecraft, with over 80,000 subscribers, and hundreds of thousands of views every month.  In this 60 minute webinar Charlotte talks about what inspired her to create QC Animations, and how she turned it into a creative and commercial success. 

Wednesday, 27 January 2021

Storyboard Artists in "Severe Skills Shortage"

Storyboard artists "skills shortage"
Storyboarding continues to be an area of "severe skills shortage" in the animation industry, according to a recent report from Screen Skills (the organisation formerly known as Creative Skillset).  Screen Skills reports a shortage among "storyboard artists, story supervisors, story revisionists - across all levels". 

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, hence our new MA in Storyboarding, which starts on 28 June.

Tuesday, 26 January 2021

Escape Studios Unreal Engine ATC

We are delighted to announce that Escape Studios has been officially certified by Epic Games as an Unreal Engine Authorised Training Centre (ATC).

This makes us the only officially certified Unreal Engine ATC in the UK.

Escape Studios began life as a software company, so it's not surprising that we have a strong focus on teaching the latest technology.  Unreal Engine offers our animators real-time rendering, saving huge amounts of time in production.

Monday, 25 January 2021

Introducing "Slushy"

Meet "Slushy", the latest short film produced by our students at Escape Studios. 

Directed by Callum Wylie and produced by Jess Hiles"Slushy" is a short animated comedy about two frozen soft drinks who fall in love.

"Slushy" was completed as part of the third year animation Module PR6001, a Studio Project worth 60 Credits, overseen by UG Program Leader Michael Davies.

In this module our animation students and VFX students combine forces to produce a short visual effects film, learning how to produce animation within the VFX pipeline.

Sunday, 24 January 2021

Escape Studios Advisory Board

Connecting us to industry
The Escape Studios Advisory Board met last week; our panel of industry experts who advise us on the development of our student programmes, as part of our commitment to ensure the continued relevance of our courses at Escape Studios. 

Our Advisory Board exists to offer wise advice and counsel, and help us ensure that our students graduate with the strongest set of relevant skills that match the current and future needs of industry.

Who is hiring, and for what? What are the skills shortages that we should be meeting? What is the latest tech that is driving growth?

Saturday, 23 January 2021

Molly Babington Associate Lecturer at UAL

Molly Babington
Many congratulations to Escapee Molly Babington who has started a new position as an Associate Lecturer at the University of the Arts London.

Molly Babington recently graduated from Escape Studios with a Master's Degree in Storyboarding and Previsualisation

While at Escape Studios, Molly directed the award-winning short film project "Moon Rockz", which won "Most Witty Animation" at the Animafantasia Film Festival and "Best Sci-Fi" at the Flicks Film Festival

Friday, 22 January 2021

Storyboarding for Animators on 25-26 February

Iliana Franklin
Iliana Franklin will teach a class in Storyboarding for Animators on Monday 25 and Tuesday 26 January, to our Second Year animation students.

Iliana teaches our new master's degree in Storyboarding and Previsualisation, which launched in September 2019.

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.

Thursday, 21 January 2021

Studio Project Module PR5001 Starts 15 Feb

"Hat Shop" - Award-winner
On 15th February our 2nd year undergraduates begin 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 15th February, and runs until the end of May, with two weeks off for the Easter holidays. 

The Studio Project is broken up into two six week projects, giving students the chance to practice their film-making, animation, and story-telling skills.

Wednesday, 20 January 2021

Tim Jones 3D Animator at Blue Zoo

Tim Jones
Many congratulations to Escapee Tim Jones who has just started work as a junior animator at Blue Zoo, one of London's leading animation studios.

Tim was offered a role as a crowd animator on a new TV series production, with the opportunity to tackle more complex character shots as production ramps up.

Tim took our master's degree in 3D animation at Escape Studios, where he put together a strong animation demo reel, and built a LinkedIn profile with embedded links to his demo reel and website

Tuesday, 19 January 2021

MA Character & Creature Creation Sept 2021

Creature created by Escapee Tom Barton
We're delighted to announce the launch of our new MA in Character and Creature Creation, which will debut in September 2021 (subject to final validation by the University of Kent, who formally award our degrees).

The new MA in Character & Creature Creation is all about designing, modeling, and rigging your own characters.  

In this year long Master's Degree, students will learn all the stages of character creation from design through to final render.  The MA course, which is now recruiting, starts in September 2021.  To apply, visit the official course page here.  You can read about it at here.

Monday, 18 January 2021

Laura Knight: Shot Creator at Third Floor

Laura Knight
Many congratulations to Escapee Laura Knight who has started a new job as a shot creator at The Third Floor, joining Escapees Sebastian Kuder and Harry Pearson at one of London's leading previsualisation houses.

Laura took our MA in 3D Animation and started her career at Jellyfish Pictures, first as an animator, then as a Layout Artist.

The 3rd Floor specialises in previsualisation ("previs") in which digital artists work closely with the director to lock down the look and feel of individual sequences on a project, helping to make creative choices on camera and character performance.

Sunday, 17 January 2021

Angie Cajigas VFX Coordinator at Cinesite

Congratulations to Escapee Angie Piedrahita Cajigas who is currently working as a Visual Effects Coordinator at Cinesite in London.

Angie was one of our first undergraduate students at Escape Studios, and we are delighted that she has joined one of London's leading visual effects houses.

Cinesite's work includes many VFX blockbusters such as the Harry Potter Series, His Dark Materials, and World War Z.

The production co-ordinator role is an entry level position which often leads to opportunities for producing. 

Saturday, 16 January 2021

Haydn Roff Technical Artist at The Mill

Haydn Roff
Many congratulations to Escapee Haydn Roff, who has recently been promoted to Technical Artist at The Mill. Technical artists work across teams, managing pipelines and helping to bridge the gap between creative and technical talent.

Haydn's role at The Mill is to work across the Creative Tech team, and the VFX team, essentially to help fill the gap between the developers and the artists, a job he describes as "a little bit of everything".

The Mill is one of the UK's leading VFX houses, whose work includes hits such as Gladiator,  Harry Potter and the Chamber of SecretsLara Croft: Tomb Raider and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Friday, 15 January 2021

"Seeker" Wins "Best Trailer" at Bucharest

"Seeker" wins "Best Trailer" at Bucharest
Many congratulations to Escapee Rassoul Edji, whose short film "Seeker" has won "Best Trailer" at the Bucharest Shortcut Cinefest.

This is the fifth festival win for "Seeker", a short sci-fi film directed by Rassoul Edji, about a giant robot running amok in suburban England.

Thursday, 14 January 2021

Introducing "Kiwi's Dream"

Meet "Kiwi's Dream", a new short animated film completed by students at Escape Studios.

Directed by Paloma Zhu and produced by Daniel Rowe"Kiwi's Dream" is a short story about a group of origami animals dreaming of the world outside.  

"Kiwi's Dream" was completed as part of the third year animation Module PR6001,  a Studio Project worth 60 Credits, and has recently been selected for its first film festival. 

Wednesday, 13 January 2021

Shannon Martin Facial MoCap Artist at ILM

Shannon Martin
Many congratulations to Escapee Shannon Martin, who has recently started a new position as a Junior Facial Capture Artist at Industrial Light and Magic.  Motion Capture is a growing part of the animation industry, and one which we are increasingly embedding into our animation course at Escape Studios. 

While at Escape Studios, Shannon contributed to two successful student animated films: "Street Ratz", and "Home Sweet Home". Both films had successful festival runs and won multiple festival awards. 

ILM is one of the world's leading animation and VFX houses, pioneers in VFX work and also software development.  Shannon will be using ILM's own proprietary software for facial capture animation.  

Tuesday, 12 January 2021

Quarantine Chorus "Hon. Mention" at GSIFF

Quarantine Chorus "Hon. Mention" at Golden Smile Fest
Many congratulations to the makers of "Quarantine Chorus", which has won an Honourable Mention award at the Golden Smile International Film Festival in Bergen, Holland.

This is the eighth festival award for Quarantine Chorus, which recently won "Most Heartwarming Animation" at the Animafantasia Film Festival.

Monday, 11 January 2021

UCAS Deadline 29 January - Apply Now!

UCAS - time to apply
January 29th is fast approaching; if you are thinking of applying to Escape Studios to study the Art of 3D Animation, Games or Visual effects, it's time to make your application through UCAS. 

The UCAS deadline was January 15th 2021, but has recently been extended to Jan 29th to allow for school closures.  We are now welcoming applications for the fifth intake of our new integrated BA/MArt in Animation, Games and VFX - first launched in September 2016.

Sunday, 10 January 2021

"Palindromo" Honourable Mention in Prague

Palindromo - Honourable Mention in Prague
Many congratulations to Paolo Amadini, director of  "Palindromo", which has won "Honourable Mention" at the Prague International Film Festival

"Palindromo" is the latest animated short created at Escape Studios, written and directed by Paolo Amadini, and overseen by Supervising Tutor Amedeo Beretta

Saturday, 9 January 2021

Steve Sole Teaches Character Design 18-21 Jan

Steve Sole
We're delighted to welcome back character designer & visual development artist Steven Sole to teach the fundamentals of character design from January 18-21.

Steven will be teaching our 2nd year undergraduate students, who are currently working on their 2nd year Specialism Module CR5001, where students start to choose their own specialism.

Steven Sole comes to us from Framestore and also from Tiger Aspect Productions, where he was Art Director on the hit TV series Mr Bean.

To see some of Steven's work, visit his official site.

Friday, 8 January 2021

Anim, Previs & Story Fair on 9 Feb at 4pm

Bear animation by Amanda Costa
We're hosting a Storyboarding, Previsualisation and Animation Fair on 9th February from 4pm to 5pm

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.

Thursday, 7 January 2021

CR5001 Specialism Pitch on Thursday 21st Jan

Time to Pitch!
On Thursday 21st Jan from 1.30pm-4.30pm we will be hearing short pitches from our students' on their chosen specialisms for Module CR5001 "Animation Specialism".

This pitch presentation is where our students first present their idea for their chosen specialism. What part of the animation pipeline do they wish to focus on? Character animation? Creature animation? Storyboarding? Producing Animation? Now is the time to choose.

Wednesday, 6 January 2021

Rigging with Michael Davies Returns 11-14 Jan

Michael Davies teaches at Escape Studios
3D artist and undergraduate program leader Michael Davies will return on 11 January to teach our second year animation students a master class in "Character Rigging for Animators". 

For three days Michael will take our 2nd year animation students through the fundamentals of rigging their own characters.

The class is part of Module CR5001, a specialism module in which students begin to focus on a chosen specialism of their choice.

Monday, 4 January 2021

"Producing Animation" Specialism for CR5001

One of our second year animation students recently asked me what would be involved in selecting "Producing Animation" as their chosen specialism for the second year Specialism Module CR5001

It's a good question, and the answer is to dig as deeply as possible into what exactly a good producer does - and then produce a detailed report, complete with bibliography, references and inline citations.  The important elements of producing such as a sample budget and production schedule should also be included.

It would also be a good idea to contact the tutors at Escape Studios who have experience of producing animation, such as veteran producer Steve Burch, and Iliana Franklin, as well as some of the many Escapees who have gone on to fill production roles at animation, vfx and games companies around the globe.

How to find them? Don't forget the awesome power of LinkedIn to reach out and connect to animation professionals.  

Webinar with Charlotte Gimbird 26 Jan 2021

QC Animations at YouTube - the future of animation?
On Tuesday 26 January at 11.30am we are hosting a webinar with Escape Studios undergraduate animation student Charlotte Gimbird, creator of QC Animations.

QC Animations is a YouTube Channel with over 80,000 subscribers, and hundreds of thousands of views every month. 

QC Animations is built about the world of Minecraft - the world's most popular video game.   In this webinar we will be talking to Charlotte about how she created QC Animations, what success at YouTube means, and how our students can get involved in this rapidly expanding part of the animation business.  You can sign up for the free webinar here

Sunday, 3 January 2021

Steve Lall is Back Teaching MoCap on 5th Jan

Motion Capture with Steven Lall
We're delighted to welcome back Escapee Steven Lall, who will teach a class in Motion Capture Animation to our Second Year animation students at Escape Studios, 

The second year students are tackling CR5001,  the Animation Specialism module, in which students begin to focus on one particular skillset within the animation pipeline.

In this module we bring a variety of tutors in to the classroom to explore different parts of the animation process.

On 5th and 7th January our students will get a masterclass in Performance Capture animation, taught by our very own Studio Assistant Steven Lall.

Saturday, 2 January 2021

Producing Animation with Steve Burch

Animation Producer Steve Burch
Escape Studios is welcoming back veteran animation producer Steve Burch on Monday 4th January, to teach a class on Producing Animation.

Steve, who has worked on animation classics such as The Iron Giant, Space Jam, and Osmosis Jones, will deliver a workshop on Producing Animation to our second year animators.

Producing animation is an increasingly important part of what we teach at Escape Studios, as our students collaborate on short film projects, enter festivals, win awards, and also find work in the industry as production assistants and producers.

Friday, 1 January 2021

Happy New Year From Escape Studios

Happy 2021 by Anastasia Gurova
Happy New Year to all our students past, present and future; here's to hoping that 2021 is better than 2020. Thanks to Escapee Anastasia Gurova who supplied the witty GIF to the left. 

The New Year brings new challenges but also opportunities - the animation industry continues to thrive, with remote-working jobs opening up all around the globe.  

The 2D animation industry is experiencing a Renaissance, with new technology, such as Toonboom Harmony, making 2D animation easier to access.

So what should an animator's new year's resolutions be in 2021?