Friday, 20 October 2017

Harry Potter at the British Library

Harry Potter fans (and isn't that all of us?) will rejoice that the British Library is currently hosting a "History of Magic" exhibition, running until February 2018. One of the great advantages of studying animation and visual effects at Escape Studios in London is the access our students have to the extraordinary range of cultural resources in our city. The British Library is a short walk from our Holborn campus, and we encourage all our students to attend events like this one.

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

11 Second Club - October Contest

This week at Escape Studios our student animators are polishing their character animation skills by entering The 11 Second Clubthe monthly character animation competition in which aspiring animators compete to win prizes and get their work noticed. Animators from all over the world participate, animating a character speaking a line of dialogue, which is provided on the first day of every month by the club.

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

UCAS is Now Open

UCAS - time to apply
Thinking of applying to Escape Studios to study the Art of 3D Animation, Games or Visual effects?  The UCAS applications system is now open, and we are welcoming applications for the third intake of our integrated BA/MArt in Animation, Games and VFX - first launched in September 2016.

Below are some good reasons why we believe we are building one of the best animation courses in the country, and how you can get started on your new career as a digital artist. Best of all - you will study in central London, a short walk from the centre of the industry, and learn from industry professionals with extensive experience.

Monday, 16 October 2017

Queen's Counsel wins CAT Award

Last week Queen's Counsel, the cartoon strip I've drawn in the Times since 1993, was awarded "The Cartoon Art Trust Award for Strip Cartooning" at the annual CAT Awards. The Cartoon Art Trust supports the Cartoon Museum in Bloomsbury, hosting the CAT Awards Dinner to raise funds for the museum and keep its doors open. At the dinner were some of the finest cartoonists in the UK - Matt Pritchett, Mac of the Mail, Nick Newman (who co-writes Private Eye), and plenty of politicians and lawyers to dig deep into their pockets to support the good cause.

Friday, 13 October 2017

Visual Storytelling with Buster Keaton

This week at Escape Studios our second year animators are completing a pantomime shot; creating a fun, entertaining piece of animation without words or dialogue. It's harder than it sounds. Without dialogue, you have to use camera, body language and facial expressions alone to communicate your story.  Of course, the masters of silent comedy faced the same problem, which is why animators can learn so much from the silent comedy stars like Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton.  In the eight minute video above you can see why Keaton was a master of the visual gag.  Why should animators study this stuff? Because animators are actors, and we have to make our acting work on a visual level.  If your scene doesn't work with the sound turned off - it isn't working.

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Big Hero 6 Character Design Secrets

How do our favourite animated characters get designed? Character design on a feature film is often a long and complex process, involving a team of artists. In this excellent Disney video, Big Hero 6 Character designer Shiyoon Kim talks about how the characters in the film were created.  Watching videos like this is a window into the workflow of some of the most talented designers in our industry, and how they come up with original, fresh material.

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

16th Annual VES Awards - Student Entry

The 16th Annual VES Awards are now taking entries. Here at Escape Studios we encourage all our students to enter Category 23: Outstanding Visual Effects in a Student Project. 

The award is sponsored by Autodesk, who make Maya, the leading animation and VFX software, and is a great opportunity for any ambitious student to kick-start their career.

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Escape Technology Short Film Challenge

Time to enter the Escape Technology Short Film Challenge.
Can you make a short film in six weeks?

Escape Technology have teamed up with Definition magazine, Boston, Adobe, Wacom, PNY, and AV3 to bring you our first ever Short Film Challenge.

Monday, 9 October 2017

Rigging Starts at Escape 8th January 2018

Rigging - it's all about the bones
We're delighted to announce a new evening class in character rigging, starting at Escape Studios on 8th January 2018. Rigging is a specialist area in the animation industry and a skill that many 3D artists and animators need in order to understand how character rigs really work.

This 8 week course is designed as an introduction to rigging, to help 3D artists broaden their skillset, and also to introduce students to some of the automated rigging systems currently available.

You’ll learn all the basics of rigging in Autodesk Maya (an understanding of Maya basics will be helpful) and what character riggers do in the animation and VFX industry.

Friday, 6 October 2017

Steven Lall Studio Assistant at Escape

Steven Lall
Many congratulations to Escapee Steven Lall who has recently started work at Escape Studios as a studio assistant, helping our second year undergraduate animators to polish their skills.

Becoming a studio assistant at Escape Studios is a great way to launch a career in animation and VFX -  our studio assistants invariably move on to careers in industry, after working and studying here, perfecting their demo reels and developing industry contacts.

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Fred O'Rourke Storyboarding Children in Need

Many congratulations to Escapee Fred O'Rourke who has recently started a new position as a storyboard artist working on a feature film for Children in Need.

Fred took our evening class in Storyboarding earlier this year, and polished his portfolio during the aftercare stage of the course. We asked him a few questions about the project, how he got the job, and what advice he might offer other students hoping to break into storyboarding.

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Festivus is Back on Thursday 5th October

Festivus 5th October
Festivus is back! London's regular animation networking event is an opportunity to get to know people in the animation industry, find out who is hiring, and where the jobs are.

The latest Festivus event takes place on Thursday 5th October at The Comedy Pub in London from 6.30pm

There will be a number of guest speakers, including guests from Blue Zoo, one of the UK's leading animation studios.

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Time to Enter the British Animation Awards!

British Animation Awards
It's time for our students to get ready for the British Animation Awards 2018. The awards come around every two years, and this year the ceremony will take place on March 15th 2018, at the BFI Southbank.

The British Animation Awards (BAA) invites all kinds of animation submissions, from student work to commercials, children’s entertainment, short films, experimental films, music videos and new technologies.

If you've done some animation, there's a category for you. And yes, there is a category for student films, and admission is free.  But don't wait - the looming deadline is friday 13th October.

Monday, 2 October 2017

2018 VFX Festival 6-8 Feb - Save the Date!

The countdown to Escape Studios' 2018 VFX Festival is on.  Just like last year, we'll be showcasing the best of VFX, Animation, Games and Motion Graphics.

There is no better way to find out about the latest trends in our industry, who is hiring, and what skills are in demand.  We strongly encourage all our current, past and future students to attend. Come and find out what the future holds for our industry.

Friday, 29 September 2017

Evening With Eamonn Butler Wed 4th October

Eamonn Butler
We're delighted to host an Evening With Eamonn Butler, head of animation at Cinesite, at Escape Studios' Holborn Campus on wednesday 4th October.

Eamonn is a director of Cinesite, one of London's major VFX houses, and a founder of the growing animated features side of the business.

Eamonn directs all aspects of Cinesite’s animation output, and there isn't anyone better qualified to talk to our students about animation, animation jobs, demo reels - and how to break into the business.

The event is free for all our students and we strongly recommend that all our animators attend - this is a great chance to meet one of the major players in our industry.

Thursday, 28 September 2017

100 Ways to Walk by Kevin Parry

100 Ways to Walk is a series of walks acted out by Kevin Parry, and intended as inspiration for animators. The key point of the video is that the way we walk says a lot about who we are, how we are feeling, how our day has been. A great walk cycle is the entry point for character animation - can the animator describe a character simply by the way he or she moves? It's one of the first things we teach at Escape Studios, but a good walk cycle can remain elusive even for an experienced animator. Acting one out yourself, and filming yourself doing it, is a great way to get started.

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Escape Labs with Jellyfish Tuesday October 10

Escape Labs is back!  On Tuesday October 10th we're welcoming Jeremy Smith, CTO, at Jellyfish Pictures, to talk about the latest developments in cloud rendering, looking specifically at the benefits of working in a virtual environment.

Escape Labs events are all about the latest tech in our industry, making sure we and our industry partners stay current with the latest trends. To book your ticket, follow this link

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Will Smith Animator at Lipsync Post

Many congratulations to Escapee Will Smith who started a new job last week as a junior animator at Lipsync Post, working on a live-action feature film. Will started his animation career here at Escape Studios working as a Studio Assistant, but was quickly snapped up by Lipsync Post in their hunt for rising animation talent. We're sorry to lose him - but delighted to celebrate his success.

Monday, 25 September 2017

Tom Sito to visit Escape Studios Tuesday 3 Oct

Tom Sito
We're excited to welcome animator, director, and animation historian Tom Sito to Escape Studios next week, to talk to our students. Tom has had a stellar career in Hollywood animation, and is now a member of the Academy Board of Governors (that's the Oscars to you).

In 1998 Tom was included by Animation Magazine in their list of the One Hundred Most Important People in Animation, and he continues to be a major influence on our industry, teaching animation at the University of Southern California, writing books and lecturing.

We're lucky to have him come and visit, and sprinkle some Hollywood pixie dust on our studios.

Friday, 22 September 2017

Animation Production Starts Tuesday 26 Sept

Animation Production starts at Escape Studios next week! Our 8 week evening class (plus aftercare) starts at our Shepherd's Bush campus on Tuesday 26th September 2017, and we still have a couple of seats open.

The class is led by Ultramarines producer Bob Thompson, an experienced industry veteran with a long and successful track record of producing animated feature films, commercials and VFX projects.

The course is designed to prepare producers to the challenges of pitches, budgets, spreadsheets and all the commercial knowledge that underpins our industry.

So, what can students expect from Animation Production?