Monday, 28 February 2022

Shimmer Wins "Best Creative" at Halicarnassus

Shimmer wins Best Creative at Halicarnassus Fest
Congratulations to the makers of "Shimmer", a vfx short film created by students at Escape Studios, which has won "Best Creative" at the Halicarnassus Film Festival.

"Shimmer" was directed by Will Moss and produced by Aidan Callaghan, and tells the story of two glass figurines which come to life.  

This is Shimmer's second festival award. 

Sunday, 27 February 2022

Why Animators Need Grammelot



What is Grammelot? And why do animators need it? Sometimes you want your characters to speak, but what they are actually saying isn't really that important.  Much more significant is the tone, and what that tone tells us about the character doing the speaking.  Think of the adults in the old Charlie Brown feature films; they spoke in a dreary unintelligible monotone.  We didn't know what they were saying, but we didn't need to - their tone of voice told us everything we needed to know.  And the content of their speech was far less important than what the Peanuts' kids had to say.

Saturday, 26 February 2022

Animation Taster Day Tuesday 1st March

Animate a cartoon truck with Lee Caller
We're running a free online Animation Taster at Escape Studios on Tuesday 1st March 2022 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.

Friday, 25 February 2022

Escape Studios Games Animation Reel


We're proud to present our very first Escape Studios' Games Animation Demo Reel, focused on the art and craft of animation for the games industry.  This latest demo reel features the work of Escape Studios students Aaron Hopwood, Christopher Marsden-Carlton, Sebastian Kuder, Molly Babington, Wiktor Brodowska and Conall Ferguson. The video game "Novem" was a group project completed by Erin Harrison, Dutton Daniel, Piraveen Satkunam, Louise Kalyango, Maria Robertson, Callum Walters, Alex Budulan, and James Cooper.  "Novem" was overseen by supervising tutor Amedeo Beretta. The reel was cut by Escapee Miguel Teixera

Thursday, 24 February 2022

Character Creation Taster on Monday 28 Feb

We're hosting a free taster for our MA in Character & Creature Creation, currently recruiting for September 2022. 

The taster is taught by industry veteran and CG Generalist Michael Davies and takes place on Monday 28 February at 5pm.

Taster Days are a chance to find out what the course is like, an opportunity to "try before you buy".

In this one hour demonstration, Michael will consider Facial Anatomy and how this can used to help create a character from original 2D concept art.

MA 3D Animation Returns on 26 Sept 2022

Award-winning "Alma"
Our MA (Master of Arts) in 3D Animation is back, with a new class starting on 26th September 2022.

The MA in animation will be taught both online and at our mid-town campus at 190 High Holborn in central London.

In recent years our MA animation students have created many award-winning film projects such as "Alma", "Flame", "Hat Shop""Mafia Mix-Up" and "Moon Rockz". Many have also gone on to enjoy successful careers in industry

If you're looking for an animation course that teaches you how to animate to a professional level, and also leads to a formal qualification in the field, then this could be the right course for you.

Wednesday, 23 February 2022

Sweet Heart Wins Best First Time Director

Sweet Heart Wins Best 1st Time Director
Congratulations to the makers of "Sweet Heart", which has won an award for "Best First-Time Director" at the Halicarnassus Film Festival.

Sweet Heart is a short VFX film created by students at Escape Studios.; it was directed by Liam Mann, co-directed by Shenaaz Suliman, and produced by Emmanouil "Manos" Zervoudakis.   "Sweet Hearttells the story of two cake figurines who fall in love.

Locksmith's Shelley Page Visits Escape Studios

Shelley Page
Locksmith Animation Key Talent and Artist Liaison Shelley Page will be at Escape Studios tomorrow to give our second year animation students industry feedback on their short film projects.

Shelley has been working in feature animation since 1986, with credits including "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?", "Shrek 1-4", "Shark Tale", "Madagascar", "Kung Fu Panda", and "How to Train Your Dragon".

As always, engagement with industry is very much at the heart of what we do at Escape Studios

Tuesday, 22 February 2022

Luis Marcillo-Coronado Animator at Blue Zoo

Luis M-C
Many congratulations to Escapee Luis David Marcillo-Coronado who has started work as a Junior Animator at Blue Zoo Animation in London.

Luis completed his Master's Degree in Animation at Escape Studios taught by veteran animator Lee Caller.

At Escape Studios, Luis contributed to the award-winning short film "Flame", a group project which has won multiple festival awards.

Monday, 21 February 2022

Sonya Ivanona Animation Lecturer at UAL

Sonya Ivanonva
Many congratulations to Escapee Sonya Ivanova who has started work as an animation lecturer at the University of the Arts, London.

Sonya took our short course in 3D animation at Escape Studios, taught by veteran animator Lee Caller.

Later Sonya became a Studio Assistant (SA) at Escape Studios, helping to train the next generation of animators.

Sunday, 20 February 2022

Anim Short Course Starts 26 Sept 2022

Animation by Paloma Zhu
Our next animation short course - three months of intensive training in 3D animation - returns on 26 September 2022

Our 12 week animation 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 expanding animation and VFX industry.

Saturday, 19 February 2022

What Studio Assistants Do at Escape Studios

Studio Assistants at Escape Studios
What do our Studio Assistants ("SAs") do at Escape Studios? Our Studio Assistants are a key part of the team at Escape Studios, one of the principal resources for our students, making sure that they get regular timely feedback on their work. 

Studio Assistants are recruited on a regular basis from our graduating student body, offering talented students a chance to develop their skills further, work on their demo reels, and also to help new students progress their skills.

Friday, 18 February 2022

Escape Studios 2D Animation Reel


We're proud to present our very first 2D Animation Reel. Here at Escape Studios we've been expanding our 2D animation capacity for some years, starting with our evening classes in Toonboom Harmony, and now offering our undergraduate animation students a new 2D Animation Pathway, focusing on digital tools such as Toonboom Harmony, Adobe Animate and Blender.  The 2D Animation industry is going through a renaissance, and we're proud to offer our students a chance to be a part of it.  The reel was cut by Escapee Miguel Teixeira

Thursday, 17 February 2022

Evgenia Golubeva's "Millie and Lou" Trailer

 

Above is the just-released trailer for "Millie & Lou", the new animated series directed by Escapee Evgenia Golubeva, currently in production at Blue Zoo animation in London.  "Millie & Lou" is a Blue Zoo Original production for YouTube.  The show stemmed from a BZ "in-house initiative", creating in-house content by developing concepts into full series productions.  Many congratulations to Evgenia on directing her first web series. 

Wednesday, 16 February 2022

PR5001 Students - Get Ready to Pitch

Time to Pitch!
On Monday 21st February at 9.30am we will be hearing  pitches from our 2nd year animation students for PR5001 Studio Project Module.

This pitch presentation is where our students first present their idea for a short film, documentary or teaser/trailer. What sort of story do you want to tell? Who are the characters, and why do we care about them? Why does the audience want to see this film? 

Your eight minute pitch is your chance to capture your audience's attention, intrigue them, and make them want more.

Tuesday, 15 February 2022

Iliana Franklin "Toon Boom Ambassador"

Iliana Franklin Joins Toonboom Ambassador Program
We're delighted to announce that Escape Studios tutor Iliana Franklin has been appointed "Toon Boom Ambassador" for 2022. 

This is the third year of Toon Boom's Ambassador Program, an annual initiative intended to highlight artists and animators who are developing original content using Toon Boom Harmony and Toon Boom Storyboard Pro.

Monday, 14 February 2022

Animators Need Wide & Narrow Mouth Shapes

Mouth shapes by Cliff Nordberg
When animating dialogue and Lipsync, animators should always look for a strong contrast between the wide and narrow mouth shapes.

Without this, lipsync can tend to feel a bit like a dustbin lid opening and shutting.

The key is to find flexibility, especially between the wide shapes, such as "ee" shapes, and narrow shapes, such as "oo" or "w" shapes. 

Sunday, 13 February 2022

2D Animation Webinar on 16 Feb 2022

Free webinar on Wednesday 16 February
We're hosting a free webinar on the subject of 2d Animation on Wednesday 16th February at 5pm on the subject of "Modern Methodology in 2D Animation"

Join tutor Iliana Franklin to find out how the 2D animation industry is reviving and re-inventing itself, as a new generation of animators pushes the limits of the medium.

Friday, 11 February 2022

VFX Festival is Back 9-10 March 2022

VFX Festival 2022
The VFX Festival is back!  This year the 2022 VFX Festival will take place as hybrid event, both online and also in person.

We're hosting the event at Escape Studios at our midTown Campus at 190 High Holborn, and streaming the events for a live online audience.

To book your tickets, follow this link to thevfxfestival.com.

Thursday, 10 February 2022

Crash Wins Best Trailer at Onyko Film Fest

The Crash wins Best Trailer at the Onyko Awards
Many congratulations to the makers of "The Crash", a short film created by students at Escape Studios, which has won Best Trailer at the Onyko Film Festival. 

"The Crash" is a sci-fi VFX short written and directed by Lewys Rhodes, and produced by Daniel Rowe.  The Crash has won many festival awards. 

Wednesday, 9 February 2022

Why Animators Should Submit Early

Don't wait until the very last minute!
Deadlines matter, and for all our students at Escape Studios, it is very important to submit formal assessed work on time. 

At Escape Studios the animation lecturers have very little leeway in accepting late submissions.  Our recommendation to all our  students is this: Don't wait until the due date to submit your work.  Instead, aim to submit your work the night before. 

Lipsync - Open Wide on the Big Vowels

Wide on the big vowels
When animating Lipsync, animators should always remember to open the mouth wide on the main vowels, especially "A", "EE", and "O" shapes.

The trick with animating good dialogue is to avoid the timing of the mouth shapes feeling soft and mushy. 

By opening wide on the big vowels, animators can get more texture into a dialogue shot, more "light and shade", so that the animation "hits the accents", and makes a more positive statement.

The timing of the open and shut of the jaw should be nice and snappy, with only a single frame ease-in to the wide mouth position.

Tuesday, 8 February 2022

Gnaughty Gnomes Hon Mention at Tokyo Fest

"Gnaughty Gnomes" wins Best VFX at Tokyo Fest
Congratulations to the makers of Gnaughty Gnomes, which has won an "Honourable Mention" in the category of "Best VFX" at the Tokyo International Film Festival (TIMFF). 

Gnaughty Gnomes is a short animated film made made by animation and vfx students at Escape Studios. Gnaughty Gnomes was directed by Antonia Palmer, produced by Hannah Sheppard and co-produced by Charlotte Gimbird.  This is the film's second festival award. 

Monday, 7 February 2022

External Projects at Escape Studios

At Escape Studios we often get asked if our animation students can take on external projects. Our students are very busy with their own work, but on occasion we can tackle "live briefs" for outside clients, such as the 2022 BAA Ident Awards Challenge.

There are however a few things we need in advance, most important of which is a brief (ideally a single page PDF), explaining what the client wants and expects.  Below is a list of things for clients to think about to make sure that the project is a success. 

"Over Under" Hon Mention at Athens Fest

Over Under Hon Mention at Athens Fest
Many congratulations to the makers of "Over Under" , which has won an Honourable Mention for "Best Production Design" at the Athens International Film Festival (AIMFF)

This is the latest award for Over Under, a short fantasy sci-fi film directed by Lucy Harris and produced by Aidan Lonergan, as part of their graduation year Studio Project.

How to Animate Weight - The Box Lift

Weight lift from the Animator's Survival Kit
One of the hardest things to achieve in 3D animation is the creation of a sense of weight. Weight is hard to simulate because our characters are just pixels - they have no intrinsic weight, so we have to create it from nothing. 

One of the more tricky exercises our students have to tackle is to animate a character lifting a heavy object, such as a box. The box is just a bunch of pixels - it has no weight. So the challenge is to make it appear heavy.

To get started, take a look at the thumbnail sketches on the left, taken from the book we recommend all our students buy - The Animator's Survival Kit. 

The thumbnails show how important it is for the character to get their feet right underneath the object they are going to lift.  That way, the weight of the object falls directly over the character's heels - and the object feels heavy. 

Sunday, 6 February 2022

Jerich0 Wins Best VFX Short at Onyko Fest

Jerich0 wins Best VFX at the Onyko Film Fest
Many congratulations to the makers of Jerich0, which has won an award for "Best VFX Short Film" at the Onyko Film Festival.  

Jerich0 is a short VFX film about a lonely robot who builds a friend. This is the latest award for BAFTA-shortlisted Jerich0; directed by Sarah Andrews, and produced by Matt Wight

Saturday, 5 February 2022

Key Creative Roles on a Short Animated Film

 

What are the key creative roles on a short animated film? Or, simply put, what are the jobs that absolutely have to get done in order to finish the project?  In this short video we explore the key roles that we believe must be filled in order to achieve success.

Friday, 4 February 2022

Shimmer Wins Best VFX at Athens Film Fest

Shimmer wins Best VFX in Athens
Congratulations to the makers of "Shimmer", a vfx short film created by students at Escape Studios, which has won "Best VFX" at the Athens International Film Festival (AIMFF)

"Shimmer" was directed by Will Moss and produced by Aidan Callaghan, and tells the story of two glass figurines which come to life.  

Cinematography was by DOP Clement Gharini.  The 3D Lead was Toby Haslam, and the 2D lead was Lily Barber.

This is Shimmer's first festival award. 

Thursday, 3 February 2022

How We Select Teams for Group Projects

One question we get asked regularly at Escape Studios is how we select the teams for group projects. Do the students decide, or do we decide? The answer is - a bit of both.  Here is how the system works.

There are in fact three main ways to create teams for group projects; all of them have their strengths and weaknesses. But first it is important to understand how we create groups at  Escape Studios.

We do a lot of group project work at Escape Studios, largely because this is how industry operates. Teamwork is one of the pillars of The Escape Method, how we teach at Escape Studios.  

Managing teams isn't easy or straightforward, but it is a vital skill to learn, and one of the main reasons why our students succeed in industry.

Sweet Heart Wins Best VFX at Art Awards

"Sweet Heart" wins Best VFX at the Art Film Awards
Congratulations to the makers of "Sweet Heart", which has won an award for "Best VFX" at the Art Film Awards.

Sweet Heart is a short VFX film created by students at Escape Studios.; it was directed by Liam Mann, co-directed by Shenaaz Suliman, and produced by Emmanouil "Manos" Zervoudakis.  

"Sweet Hearttells the story of two cake figurines who fall in love - with a twist.

Wednesday, 2 February 2022

Gnaughty Gnomes Hon Mention at Art Awards

"Gnaughty Gnomes" Wins Hon. Mention at AFA
Congratulations to the makers of Gnaughty Gnomes, which has won an "Honourable Mention" in the category of "Best First Time Director" at the Art Film Awards. 

Gnaughty Gnomes is a short animated film made made animation and vfx students at Escape Studios. Gnaughty Gnomes was directed by Antonia Palmer, produced by Hannah Sheppard and co-produced by Charlotte Gimbird.  

Tuesday, 1 February 2022

Escape Studios in Rookies' Top 50

The Rookies, the international competition for aspiring VFX artists, has ranked Escape Studios in the "Top 50" in the 2021 Rookies Global School Rankings. 

Recently the Rookies 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.