Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Character Design at Escape Studios in October

character design by Ronnie Kaye
Character Design is coming to Escape Studios! Our brand new course starting in October is an 8 week classroom introduction to the art and craft of character design. As with most of our evening classes, this is a part-time course, designed to fit around jobs and families, taught by industry professionals.

Character Design is one of the most rewarding parts of our industry - and also one of the most competitive. As with everything we do here at Escape, the class will build up to a live industry brief, with the final project mapping as closely as possible to the experience of working in an industry environment.

Students will attend an evening class one night a week, and will be set simple projects to do in-class, and  more complex ones to complete by the following week.

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Escape Animators Visit Blue Zoo

Last week our latest graduating class of animators went to visit Blue Zoo, one of London's leading animation studios, for a critique of their work. Blue Zoo supplied us with one of their in-house character rigs and also a line of dialogue, giving our animators the chance to get stuck into some broad, cartoony animation of the type that Blue Zoo specialise in. We got some great feedback from Studio Head Tom Box and animation director Simone Giampaolo, who gave up a morning of their time to help our animators hone their skills. Many thanks to Blue Zoo for their generous help in getting our Escapees to get the industry-level feedback and skills they need.

Friday, 26 May 2017

Henry Fenwick Animator at Jellyfish Pictures

Many congratulations to Escapee Henry Fenwick, who is an animator at Jellyfish Pictures, working on the new Dennis the Menace  TV series for the BBC.

Jellyfish was founded in 2001 and since then has grown into one of the leading boutique visual effects and animation houses in London, starting from VFX origins and expanding into TV character animation work.

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Learn Adobe Animate at Hexjibber.com

Hexjibber by Andy Sykes
Here at Escape Studios we focus primarily on teaching 3D character and creature animation in Maya, training our students to reach a professional level at which they can find work in the animation industry.

We also teach 2D animation, using Adobe Animate, the software formerly known as Flash. The skills learned in 3D animation are highly transferable to 2D, and there is plenty of work these days in both 2D and 3D animation.

For any of our students who might need a summer refresher course in Adobe Animate, we  recommend the superb website hexjibber.com, created by the very talented Andy Sykes. There are some excellent free tutorials to learn the basics of 2D animation using Adobe Animate.

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Animation Taster Days: 30 May & 14 June

Learn to animate a bird in flight
We're running two more Animation Taster Days here at Escape Studios, on Tuesday 30th May and Tuesday 14th June.  Come and learn about character and creature animation, and find out what an animator's job is all about.

We're running these animation taster days to give future animators an idea of what it's like to work in the  industry, and discover if this is a career that's right for them.

You will work with Autodesk Maya and the Adobe Creative Suite, and you’ll get a hands-on introduction to 3D Animation techniques, all for just £25!  By the end of the day you'll have your own piece of animation uploaded to your YouTube channel.  So, how do you sign up?

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Marvellous Movie Land Party Friday May 26

Friday May 26 is MARVEL-lous Movie Land for all our students, with a free drink on us if you dress the part!

The event takes place on Friday 26 May at Revolution, 1 America Square, London EC3N 2LS, and lasts from 8pm until 2am.

Studying at Escape Studios isn't all work and no play.  With the academic year coming to an end, all our short course and undergraduate students are invited to come along and celebrate all the hard work they've put in this past year.

To sign up for the event, which is free for all our students, follow this link

To get there, take the Tube to Tower Hill - its a three minute walk north to Revolution.

Escape Studios Animation YouTube Channel

Check our students' excellent work at our YouTube channel, the best place to see recent 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.  To see what our animators are up to, and the kind of quality work they are capable of, take a look at some of the playlists, such as this Playlist of Escapee demo reels.

Monday, 22 May 2017

Animal Logic: Animating Down Under

The folks who brought you Lego Movie
Recently Escape Studios welcomed Patricia Kung, head of Recruitment at Animal Logic to talk to our students at our High Holborn campus.

Animal Logic is one of Australia's leading animation and VFX companies, responsible for global box office hits like the Oscar-nominated The Lego Movie. Other movie credits include Babe, Mouse Hunt, Face Off, The Matrix, Moulin Rouge, House of Flying Daggers, 300, The Great Gatsby, Happy Feet, Legend of the Guardians, and Walking with Dinosaurs 3D.

So, what is life like down under for animation and VFX graduates, and (most importantly) how can our animation graduates start their careers at Animal Logic?

Friday, 19 May 2017

Producing Animation at Escape 5th September

Bob Thompson, Ultramarines
Producing Animation is coming to Escape Studios! We're running an 8 week evening class (plus aftercare) at our Shepherd's Bush campus, starting on Tuesday 5 September 2017.

The course costs £995 and is a part-time evening course, designed to fit around jobs and families.

The class will taught by industry professionals such as Bob Thompson (see left), a veteran animation producer with a wealth of knowledge of feature film production. So, what can students expect from Producing Animation?

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Shelley Page to Visit Escape Studios

Shelley Page, DreamWorks
We're delighted to welcome DreamWorks and Aardman recruiter Shelley Page to Escape Studios. She'll be visiting our first year animation undergraduates to take a look at some of the work they've been doing over the past few weeks.

As always, engagement with industry is at the heart of what we do at Escape Studios. What skills are in demand? Who is hiring? And, most importantly, how can we prepare our students for the industry as it will be in two or three years time?

Shelley was one of the first recruits to DreamWorks back in the mid 1990s when the studio was first founded. We don't think there is anyone better qualified to critique our students' work.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Pixar's Aaron Hartline is Coming to Escape!

Aaron Hartline, Pixar animator
Veteran Pixar animator Aaron Hartline is coming to Escape Studios! We're excited to welcome Aaron as mentor for our next group of animators, who will be starting their animation journey in November this year.

Bringing Aaron to London is all about making the experience of studying animation as industry-relevant as possible. And who better to mentor our students than an animator from the world's most successful animation studio?

Our next group of trainee animators will receive personal feedback from Aaron, who will also be giving a talk about his work at Pixar at the 2018 VFX Festival. The students will also benefit from his help during the aftercare part of our animation course. So, who is Aaron Hartline and what can our students expect in November?

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Daniel Baidoo Animator at King Bee

Congratulations to first year animation undergraduate Daniel Baidoo who has just landed a position as a freelance junior animator with King Bee animation, located in Elstree Studios in Borehamwood, just outside of London. 

Daniel started off as an animation intern, a great start to his career in the animation industry.

We asked Daniel a few questions about how he got the initial internship, and how he got his animation career off the ground so quickly. 

Monday, 15 May 2017

Storyboarding is Back! New Class 31st October

Francesca "Chess" Adams
Storyboarding is back at Escape Studios! We're running a new class in storyboarding here in Shepherd's Bush, starting on Tuesday 31st October 2017.

The course costs £995 (inclusive of VAT) and is an 8 week part-time evening course, designed to fit around jobs and families.

The class is designed and delivered by industry professionals, including the very talented Francesca Adams (see left). Francesca is a board artist at Blue Zoo, one of London's leading animation houses. There will also be a live industry brief to give our students experience of what an industry storyboard test is actually like.

Friday, 12 May 2017

Shanae Bedford Runner at DNeg

Many congratulations to Shanae Bedford, one of our first year undergraduate students, who has secured a position as a runner at London VFX powerhouse Double Negative.

Getting a summer placement so early in her studies is a great start to her career. We asked Shanae to tell us a little about how she got the position, and how other students might follow in her foosteps.

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Bring Your Own Animation Monday 15th May

Lukin pub, Fitzrovia
Calling all Escape animators - "Bring Your Own Animation" is taking place on Monday May 15th.

BYOA is an animation event that takes place every month at a pub in London. This month the event is taking place at The Lukin pub in Fitzrovia.

If you are a student who is working on a shot or an updated reel (aren't we all?), bring your work on a USB or hard drive and get feedback from professional animators. You'll also hear the local gossip and find out the word on the street.

The Secret of Great Animation Revealed


animation tutorial part. 1 AKA "the secret of animation" from giovanni braggio on Vimeo. 
In this animation tutorial video Giovanni Braggio reveals - at long last - the secret of animation. As Giovanni puts it: "animation is easy - the computer does it all for you". Forget the tedious business of learning timing and spacing - you just pick your language, ask the character to perform for you, and Maya does the rest. Watch the tutorial to see why animation really is as easy as Giovanni says it is.

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Sydney Padua Returns to Escape Studios

Sydney Padua
Escape Studios is delighted to welcome back industry veteran Sydney Padua, who is teaching our animation students animal and creature locomotion this week.

Sydney's stellar animation career includes classics like Brad Bird's The Iron Giant and - most recently - The Jungle Book, where she contributed to the hyper-realistic style of the hugely successful Disney remake.

Sydney has also published the graphic novel "The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage", a steampunk re-imagining of the lives of computer pioneers Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage. Sydney brings a storytelling angle to her classroom teaching, reminding us that animators aren't just technicians - they are storytellers too.

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Animal Logic To Visit Escape Studios Today

We're delighted to welcome Patricia Kung, head of Recruitment at Animal Logic to talk to our students at Escape Studios this afternoon at our High Holborn campus.

Animal Logic is one of Australia's leading animation and VFX companies, responsible for global box office hits like The Lego Movie. All our students are invited, so get your questions ready and find out what life might be like down under for animation and VFX graduates.

Monday, 8 May 2017

Escape Studios Wins HEA Teaching Award

Here at Escape Studios we're proud to have been awarded a Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence by the Higher Education Academy.

The HEA shortlisted us from a list of around 70 courses around the UK that had been put forward for the award.

We're delighted to have been shortlisted, an encouraging pat on the back for all the hard work that has gone into developing the new undergraduate courses here at Escape Studios.

Part of what makes our courses special is the focus on collaborative projects. These can be a lot of work to organise but it's what industry keeps telling us they need. Animation is a team sport - not a solo undertaking.

Congratulations to all our staff and students who made this award possible. You can read more about it here.

Friday, 5 May 2017

Michael Morgan "From Classroom To Studio"

Last night Escape Studios hosted at our Shepherd's Bush Studio an "Evening With..." event with animator Michael Morgan.

Michael is an animator with an extensive list of credits in video games, TV Commercials and Feature films.  Michael shared his experience of working on projects such as Star Wars - The Clone Wars, Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy vol 2, Jungle Book, Beauty and the Beast and Planet of the Apes. 

In particular, he talked about how to get "From the Classroom to the Studio".

Specifically, how do graduates break into the animation industry? What are the secrets of success?

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Abstract Animation by First Year VFX Artists

Abstract Animation by Harry Pearson
Our first year undergraduate students have recently finished some excellent abstract animation, completed in Autodesk Maya.

The project brief was to create a short piece of abstract animation set to music.

Students used a variety of different animation tools, including keyframing, blend shapes, dynamics and simulation to create a piece of imaginative animation timed out to a musical sound track. Check out their awesome work below.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Meet Rhett!

Rhett The Clydesdale. Free at StockCG.com
Rhett The Clydesdale is one of a handful of excellent free rigs we recommend for learning quadruped locomotion.

Created by Noxlabs and available for free download at StockCG.com, Rhett is perfect for equine animation.

One of Rhett's great features is what he doesn't have - a tail. Not having to deal with overlapping action frees you to concentrate on the main event - quadruped locomotion. However, like most rigs, he does have some odd quirks.  So how can our students get the most out of Rhett?