Thursday, 30 September 2021

"Knight Spider" Competition from The Rookies

Knight Spider rig from The Rookies
"The Rookies" have a launched a new free character rig for Maya - the "Knight Spider", which you can download from their official site

It's a free Maya Rig and, while we haven't yet road-tested it, it looks suitable for some nice character animation.

You can download the rig here.

The Rookies has also organised a special character animation contest for the Knight Spider rig, which you can find here.  The contest is open to students and recent graduates; entries opened on 24 September and the contest closes on 14 January 2022. 

Wednesday, 29 September 2021

Rookies: Escape Studios No 1 for VFX & Anim

Escape Studios ranked No 1 in the UK
The Rookies, the international competition for aspiring VFX artists, has ranked Escape Studios No 1 in the UK (and No 4 globally) for VFX & Animation Production Excellence, for the 3rd year.

Production Excellence is an accolade awarded to the best schools that focus on working in teams. 

Team work is something we take seriously at Escape Studios, one of the five pillars of "The Escape Method"

Animation is collaborative; well-organised teamwork helps prepare our students for the realities of life in industry.

Amarok "Best Trailer" at Golden Nugget Fest

Congratulations to the makers of "Amarok", which has won "Best Trailer" at the Golden Nugget Film Festival. 

Amarok was written and directed by Shenaaz Suliman, co-written by Simone Fraser, produced by Josiah Martin-Lofters, and edited by Cameron Haley.  

Amarok is a trailer for a web series about a First Nations police detective in a remote town in Northern Canada; a curfew is imposed as a killer wolf hunts for prey.

Amarok has won multiple festival awards, including Best Trailer at the Vesuvius Film Festival and Best Trailer at the Art Film Awards

You can find Amarok here at the IMDB.

Tuesday, 28 September 2021

Horse Run Tutorial with Marc Stevenson

We've uploaded a new horse locomotion run cycle tutorial by Marc Stevenson to our Vimeo Channel

Learning to animation quadrupeds is one of the key skills animators must master. Much of the animation done in the UK is animal and creature work; such as the stunning animation of Disney's re-make of The Lion King, completed at MPC in Soho.

Alma Wins Best Animation at ANMTN! Fest

Alma Wins Best Animated Film at ANMTN Film Fest
Congratulations to the makers of "Alma", which has won an award for Best Animated Film at the Anmtn! Film Festival.

"Alma", is the first fully motion capture CG short film created at Escape Studios; it was directed by Rola Hafez and produced by Emmanouil "Manos" Zervoudakis, and has won multiple festival awards.  

Monday, 27 September 2021

Animal & Creature Animation at YouTube

Leopard by Daniel Amor
For all our students currently studying Module AN5002 (the art and craft of animal and creature animation), don't forget to check our students' excellent work at our YouTube channel, the best place to see recent animal and creature work done by our student animators.

Escape Studios has a dedicated YouTube channel especially for animation content - the channel showcases some of the best work done by our students here at Escape. 

Sunday, 26 September 2021

Kiwi's Dream Best VFX at HEI Fest

Congratulations to the makers of "Kiwi's Dream", which has won Best VFX at the Heart of Europe International Film Festival (HEI).

Directed by Paloma Zhu and produced by Daniel RoweKiwi's Dream was based on an original concept by Freddie Belsom about an origami kiwi who dreams of flying in the clouds.


Saturday, 25 September 2021

Punch Best First Time Director at Halicarnassus

Punch wins Best First-Time Director at Halicarnassus
Congratulations to the makers of "Punch", which has won its second festival award - Best First Time Director at the Halicarnassus Film Festival.
  
"Punch", written and directed by Niccolo Smaldone, and produced by Stevie Stedman, is about a mysterious creature in a city park which tries to tempt a young boy away from the distractions of his mobile phone. 

Friday, 24 September 2021

Toonboom Harmony with Andy Wyatt 30 Sept

Toonboom Harmony with Andy Wyatt and Harry R
We're hosting a free Toonboom Harmony Event with Harmony experts Andy Wyatt and Harry Ravelomananstsoa on Thursday 30 September at 5pm. 

Andy Wyatt is Director of Animation Associates & Toon Boom UK; he will discuss what skills the 2D animation industry is looking for, offer portfolio advice and insights into the Harmony pipeline. 

Wednesday, 22 September 2021

Alma Best Cinematography at Halicarnassus

Alma wins Best Cinematography at Halicarnassus
Congratulations to the makers of "Alma", which has won an award for Best Cinematography at the Halicarnassus Film Festival. 

Tuesday, 21 September 2021

Amedeo Beretta Teaches Animals & Creatures

Amedeo Beretta teaches at Escape Studios
We're delighted to welcome back veteran animator and animation tutor Amedeo Beretta who is returning to teach our second year animation students the art of animal and creature animation. 

Amedeo has worked on many major animation and VFX projects including Paul, John Carter and Planet 51.

Amedeo is also our in-house expert on Motion Capture, having led classes in MoCap and supervised the award-winning MoCap short "Alma", which has won multiple festival awards

Monday, 20 September 2021

Dave Novis Pre-Vis Animator at NVIZ

Dave Novis
Many congratulations to Escapee Dave Novis who has recently started work as a Pre-vis Animator at NVIZ Animation, a vfx animation production house based in London and Los Angeles. 
 
Dave took our short course in 3D Animation at Escape Studios, and later become a Studio Assistant (SA) at Escape Studios, helping to train student animators.

Dave worked hard to polish his demo reel, securing his first job in the industry at Lipsync Post, before moving into previsualisation, a growing part of the animation industry. 

Sunday, 19 September 2021

Beauty of Nature Wins Best No Budget at DSFF

Beauty of Nature wins Best No Budget Film at the DSFF
Congratulations to the makers of "The Beauty of Nature", which has won Best No Budget Short at the Dreamer's Short Film Festival (DSFF).  

Directed by Eliezer Girma and produced by Liam Mann, "The Beauty of Nature" was animated in Maya, edited in Adobe Premiere and rendered in Unreal Engine. 

Saturday, 18 September 2021

Free Showreel Guide from Escape Studios

Free Showreel Guide from Escape Studios
Why not download your Free Showreel Guide from Escape Studios?

A showreel is the key to finding work in the expanding vfx and animation industry. 

Our Free Showreel Guide draws on the recent experience of our successful Escapees, including their advice on how to create a quality showreel.

The guide also includes advice from recruiters at Creative Assembly, Framestore, Blue Zoo and DNEG.

Friday, 17 September 2021

Kiwi's Dream Wins Best VFX at Genesis Fest

Kiwi's Dream Best VFX at GIFF
Congratulations to the makers of "Kiwi's Dream", which has won Best VFX at the Genesis International Film Fest. 

Directed by Paloma Zhu and produced by Daniel RoweKiwi's Dream was based on an original concept by Freddie Belsom about an origami kiwi who dreams of flying in the clouds.


CJ Rock's "Animated Alphabet"



Meet "The Animated Alphabet", a short film by Escape Studios animation student CJ Rock, featuring 26 vignettes of the letters of the alphabet.  CJ Rock is in his second year of studies at Escape Studios, studying the Art of Computer Animation.  CJ animated this charming film over the summer holidays, creating animation using the DigiCel FlipPad App on his iPad.

Thursday, 16 September 2021

Cherelle Owusu Shot Creator at The 3rd Floor

Cherelle Owusu
Many congratulations to Escapee Cherelle Owusu who has recently started a new job as a Shot Creator for The Third Floor, specialists in pre and post visualisation.

While at Escape Studios, Cherelle directed the short film "Flame", which has won multiple festival awards, and even secured a licensing deal with a major US Airline.

Cherelle is one of a number of Escapees to join The Third Floor in recent months.

VFX Project at Escape Studios Starts 20 Sept

award-winning Jerich0
On Monday our third year animation students start work on The VFX Project, part of Studio Module PR6001, in which our animation students collaborate with VFX students to create short films.

Students write a script, produce a storyboard animatic, film live action plates, scan and track the plates, create and animate the characters, light and render their shots, and add sound design. 

The process is just like working on a live client project in a real studio, with a focus on collaboration and problem-solving. 

To see some recent examples of award-winning VFX Project work, check out Kiwi's Dream, BoxBots, Little Gestures,  Home Sweet Home and Jerich0.

Wednesday, 15 September 2021

Screen Skills: "Animation Trainee Finder"

Animation Trainee Finder Programme at ScreenSkills
ScreenSkills has launched the Animation Trainee Finder, a paid placement programme for animation graduates.

Animation Trainee Finder is being launched by the ScreenSkills Animation Skills Council with the support of UK animationStudios.  The deadline to apply is 27 September 2021.  

Planet Mars Hon Mention Best Cinematography

Planet Mars wins Hon Mention for Best Cinematography
Congratulations to the creators of the animated short mockumentary  "Planet Mars", which has won an Honourable Mention for Best Cinematography at the Tokyo International Film Festival.  

Directed by Escapee Sebastian Kuder, and produced by Katerina Zacharakis, Planet Mars was a Studio Project completed by second year animation students at Escape Studios, and was our first short rendered in Unreal Engine.

Tuesday, 14 September 2021

Marc Stevenson to Teach Animals & Creatures

Marc Stevenson
We're delighted to welcome back veteran animator Marc Stevenson, who will be joining us again at Escape Studios on Monday September 20th to teach our second year undergraduate students Module AN5002, in which students tackle the art of animal and creature animation.  

Marc has credits on multiple Hollywood VFX films including Fast & Furious 6, Avengers, Age of Ultron, Moon, and Victor Frankenstein.

Marc has also created many tutorials for our students, which you can find at our Animation Vimeo Channel.

Kiwi's Dream Best Anim at "Deux Cans" Fest

Kiwi's Dream wins Best Animation at "Deux Cans" Fest
Congratulations to the makers of "Kiwi's Dream", which has won Best Animation at the "Deux Cans" Film Festival (formerly the Beer Town Festival) in Burton-on-Trent. 

Directed by Paloma Zhu and produced by Daniel RoweKiwi's Dream was based on an original concept by Freddie Belsom about an origami kiwi who dreams of flying in the clouds.


Monday, 13 September 2021

Evgenia Golubeva Pitches "Saskatoons"

"Saskatoons" by Evgenia Golubeva
Escapee Evgenia Golubeva will be at Cartoon Forum this year to pitch her new comedy series "The Saskatoons", an original TV series aimed at young audiences. 

Cartoon Forum is Europe's biggest TV pitch-fest for animation, and takes place in Toulouse, France, from 20-23 September.

If you have an idea for an animated TV series, Cartoon Forum is the place to pitch it.

Meet "Bittersweet" from QC Animations

 
Congratulations to Charlotte Gimbird who has just released "Bittersweet";  her first fully made-in-Maya music video at QC Animations.  QC Animations is Charlotte's YouTube Channel based around the world of Minecraft, the world's most popular video game.  The channel was created by Charlotte, who is a second year undergraduate student at Escape Studios, studying the Art of Computer Animation.  QC Animations has over 90,000 subscribers, with hundreds of thousands of views every month. 

Sunday, 12 September 2021

Malloe Wins Best Production Design in Tokyo

Malloe wins Best Production Design
Congratulations to the makers of "Malloe", which has won "Best Production Design" at the Tokyo International Film Festival.

"Malloe" is a short film about two children who find a very unusual creature - one that is very fond of marshmallows.  It was animated in Maya, edited in Premiere Pro, and rendered in Unreal Engine.

"Malloe" was directed by Eilin Berrio Pena, edited by Ross Green, and produced by Nickoel Izharudin.  Art Direction was by Paloma Zhu, and the project was overseen by Animation Programme Leader Michael Davies. 

"Malloe" has won multiple festival awards. 

Saturday, 11 September 2021

Little Gestures Wins Best VFX at Argenteuil

Little Gestures wins Best VFX at Argenteuil Int'l Fest
Many congratulations to the makers of "Little Gestures", which has won an award for Best VFX at the Argenteuil Film Festival. 

This is the latest award for "Little Gestures"a short story about an artist's maquette which comes to life. 

The film was directed by Richard O'Hanlon and Daniel Brand-Sinyinza, and produced by Nickoel Izharudin and Dominic Strachan

Friday, 10 September 2021

Webinar with MPC's Ross Burgess 15 Sept 2021

MPC's Ross Burgess
Join us on Wednesday 15 September for a "Behind the Scenes" webinar with MPC's Head of Animation Ross Burgess, who will introduce our students to developments at MPC Episodic, and explain how our students and graduates can take advantage of opportunities in the fast-growing animation industry. 
 
MPC Episodic has contributed to many animation and vfx projects including Star Wars: The Mandalorian, Pennyworth and Lisey’s Story, as demand for streaming content has created a production boom in the UK. 

There will be a Q&A to follow. Note that this event is open only to enrolled students at Escape Studios; you can sign up here

Jerich0 Hon Mention for Best VFX at LIMFF

"Jerich0" wins Hon. Mention for Best VFX at LIMFF
Many congratulations to the makers of Jerich0, which has won an Honourable Mention in the category of Best VFX at the London International Film Festival.

This award is the latest festival honour for Jerich0; directed by Sarah Andrews, produced by Matt Wight; original music by Alexandra Harwood

Thursday, 9 September 2021

Animation Taster Day Mon 27 Sept at 5pm

Taster Day with Lee Caller
We're running a free online Animation Taster at Escape Studios on Monday 27 September at 5pm, taught by short course animation tutor Lee Caller.

Taster Classes 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. No prior knowledge of Maya - or any software - is required.

Alma Wins Best Sci-Fi at Art Film Fest

Alma wins Best Sci-Fi at Art Film Awards 
Congratulations to the makers of "Alma", which has won Best Sci-Fi at the Art Film Awards. 

Wednesday, 8 September 2021

Toonboom Harmony is back on 9 November

Our 2D Animation evening class in Toonboom Harmony is back on 9 November 2021.

Learn the fundamentals of 2D animation over 10 weeks, one evening a week 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.

Escapee Ross Green Animator at MPC

Ross Green
Congratulations to Escapee Ross Green, who has started work at London VFX house MPC, responsible for hits such as The Lion King and The Jungle Book.

While studying the Art of Computer Animation at Escape Studios, Ross co-directed the award-winning VFX short "BoxBots", a short animated comedy about a boxing match between two plastic figurines, who must fight for the "World Plasticweight Championship".

Ross also contributed to many other animated films, including "Malloe", "Hotel Aloha", "Hat Shopand "Pet Shop", all of which have gone on to win festival awards. 

Tuesday, 7 September 2021

Kiwi's Dream Wins Best VFX in Tokyo Fest

Best VFX at the TIMFF
Congratulations to the makers of "Kiwi's Dream", which has won Best VFX at the Tokyo International Film Festival.  

Directed by Paloma Zhu and produced by Daniel RoweKiwi's Dream was based on an original concept by Freddie Belsom about an origami kiwi who dreams of flying in the clouds.

Kiwi's Dream was filmed on location in London, with cinematography by DOP Clement Gharini. The project was overseen by Animation Programme Leader Michael Davies. 

PR6001 Studio Project Starts 20 Sept 2021

Award-winning Kiwi's Dream
Our third year animation students will soon be welcomed back to our High Holborn Campus, as we return to in-classroom teaching.  

Their first module is PR6001, The Studio Project (worth 60 Credits) which runs for the whole academic year.  It is a group module in which our animation students work together in teams to create short films - often winning 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; the first is the VFX Project.  To see some fine examples of award-winning VFX Project work, check out Kiwi's Dream, BoxBots, Little Gestures,  Home Sweet Home and Jerich0.

Monday, 6 September 2021

Steve Edge Director at Tiger Aspect

Steve Edge
Many congratulations to Escapee Steve Edge, who has joined Tiger Aspect Productions as an animation director.

Tiger Aspect is a leading UK animation production house, responsible for hits such as Mr Bean, Danny & Mick, and Captain Underpants.  Tiger Aspect Productions is located in Shepherd's Bush, London.

Steve studied animation at Escape Studios, on our animation short course, and used the training to launch his career.  Like Escapee Rich Jeffrey, Steve has used his skills to become an animation director. 

Sunday, 5 September 2021

Slushy Wins Hon Mention at The Rookies

Slushy "Hon Mention" at the Rookies
Congratulations to the creators of "Slushy", which has won an Honourable Mention in the category of Best VFX at The Rookies.

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

Slushy has won multiple festival awards.

Saturday, 4 September 2021

Storyboarding Returns on 11 Nov 2021

Francesca "Chess" Adams
Our evening class in Storyboarding with Francesca "Chess" Adams, series director and story board artist at Blue Zoo, is back on Thursday 11 November 2021.

Our next evening class in storyboarding is scheduled to be taught online, and runs for ten weeks.

Chess brings her long experience of working on shows like Digby Dragon and The Go Jetters, reflecting the big increase in animated content being created in the UK.

There is also a growing trend towards digital storyboarding tools such as Panel Forge, which speed up the storyboarding process.

Friday, 3 September 2021

The Crash Wins Best Short Sci-Fi at Berlin Fest

The Crash Best Short Sci-Fi at Berlin Flash Fest
Many congratulations to the makers of "The Crash", a short film created by VFX students at Escape Studios, which has won "Best Short Sci-Fi" at the Berlin Flash Film Festival.

"The Crash" is a sci-fi VFX short written and directed by Lewys Rhodes, and produced by Daniel Rowe, who earlier this year produced the multi-award-winning short film "Kiwi's Dream".   

Thursday, 2 September 2021

Paul Harrison Joins Escape Studios

Paul Harrison
We're delighted to welcome back veteran animator, tutor, VFX Supervisor and 3D generalist Paul Harrison, who will be teaching our third year undergraduate animation students.

Paul brings a wealth of animation and VFX experience to Escape Studios; he has worked for clients including The Mill, DNEG, Prodigious, Smoke and Mirrors, Mainframe, and the BBC.

Paul is also a comic book artist and writer, and a content creator for children’s media. He is the creator of the Urban Squirrel series of comics. 

Wednesday, 1 September 2021

"Punch" Wins Best Micro Short at Vesuvius Fest

"Punch" Best Micro Short at Vesuvius Fest
Congratulations to the makers of "Punch", an animated short film created at Escape Studios, which has won Best Micro Short at the Vesuvius Film Festival.

"Punch" was written and directed by Niccolo Smaldone, and produced by Stevie Stedman.  

"Punch" is a short story about a mysterious creature in a city park which tries to tempt a young boy away from the distractions of his mobile phone.