This course is perfect…
- If you know nothing about Visual Effects, but want to become a VFX Artist
- If you are passionate about getting the skills for your first job as a Visual Effects Artist
- If you’re serious about kick-starting your career in Visual Effects
- If you're ready for 12-weeks of intensive training to become part of the Escapee Alumni Community
- Want to find out more? Book a 1-2-1 with our admissions team now
- Free online primer course before you start studying - so your foundation skills are up to speed
- Access to Escape’s unique online learning platform
- Access to our VLE system where you will be able to access additional resources to supplement your training throughout the duration of the course and 12 months of free access after completing the course.
- Escapee after care and career support.
- Help and advice on your CV, showreel and job applications
- Free Autodesk Software upon registration to the Autodesk Education Community - full details included with course welcome information
- London, UK
- Full-time Mon – Fri 10am-5pm, 12 Weeks
- 12 Weeks
- Start Dates:
- September 29th 2014
- January 14th 2015
- April 16th 2015
- Maya, Photoshop, Mudbox, 3D Equalizer, Nuke, Matchmover
- Early Bird Discount:
- Save £1,000 when you pay in full 3 months before the course starts
Get the Skills to Make Magic in 12 Weeks
WOW! This is how we envisage most Visual Effects right? The kind of effects that leave us in awe. With 3D VFX we can create something out of nothing, making the impossible possible – an art form that’s become increasingly more commonplace since the early 1980’s. Modelling, texturing, lighting, tracking and rendering - these are every 3D Artists' mantra and are the skills you’ll learn on our Visual Effects Production course. The program is designed to take students from zero experience to studio-ready in just 12 weeks. Through intensive hands-on projects and problem solving challenges, we teach students the latest 3D software and techniques to create the professional-standard effects seen in movies, TV commercials, music videos and beyond! The final weeks of the course are spent applying these new found skills to produce your own VFX-enhanced shots for your showreel; preparing you for a career as a 3D VFX professional.
Noor Valibhoy has come from a background of studying Neuroscience, to work at ILM SIngapore, we caught up with her!
NAME: Noor Valibhoy
COMPANY: ILM Singapore
COURSE STUDIED: 3D for Visual Effects Full Time.
FAVOURITE MOVIE ONE LINER: “Say what again! I dare ya, I double dare ya...” (Pulp Fiction)
WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY WORKING ON? I would love to share unfortunately my lips are sealed!
WHAT WAS THE BEST THING ABOUT STUDYING AT ESCAPE STUDIOS? There were so many good things about studying at Escape Studios. Firstly, it was the tutors who dedicated their time and patience moulding me into becoming a VFX swiss army knife! Their feedback and criticism was extremely valuable and I was constantly inspired with all the stuff they exposed me to. Also, my peers whom I studied with were likeminded and just as passionate, they came from all around the world which made my learning experience even more enjoyable. It wasn't just about VFX, it was the VFX culture.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE VFX AS A CAREER PATH? I first completed a degree in Neuroscience at the University of Sydney. Then later was exposed to a little bit of VFX whilst studying in design college and a little bit more whilst working in the design industry, but it wasn’t until a couple of years ago that I fully had a chance to immerse myself completely into the magical field of VFX; starting with studying at Escape. I was working towards entering the VFX industry, it felt like a natural progression for me.
ADVICE FOR THOSE CONSIDERING ENTERING THE INDUSTRY? A lot of hard work! You have to be proactive, and keep training your eye to observe and look at things differently. Most of us have a camera in our pockets; it's definitely a tool to help us study composition better! Expose yourself to all sorts of creative work and artists. Don't be afraid to ask and pick the brains of other experienced and talented artists. Be open to learning all softwares and techniques, so you understand the strengths and weaknesses of the tools at your disposal. This will also help you develop an efficient workflow of the task at hand.
Tailoring your reel for a specific position is great, however adding more than your VFX shots in your reel may give you an added advantage. For example, concept art, traditional drawings, sketches, matte paintings. Don't be afraid to show them if you have them as it only reflects your aesthetic skills and your knowledge of scale, perspective, colour and lighting.
Reference, reference, reference! Give yourself a good amount of time to observe, digest and dissect everything about your shot before tackling any work on it.
Lastly, have that burning desire to improve and all will be well.
Since we last caught up with escapee Carmine Agnone, he's been incredibly busy putting his finely tuned skills to use, so we recently had a chat to find out what he'd been up to in the world of VFX!
NAME: Carmine Agnone
COURSE STUDIED: 3D for VFX Full Time Course
FAVOURITE MOVIE ONE LINER: I would like to quote from memory every single line of my favourites; Indiana Jones, Star Wars and Back to the Future, but this time I'll stick with Indy: "You lost today, kid. But that doesn’t mean you have to like it"
Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade (Importantly - soundtrack by John Williams in the background)
WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY WORKING ON? I'm currently a Camera TD/Layout on Jupiter Ascending, working on the next crazy world that is the brain child of the Wachowskis - the project so far has covered everything from fighting, to set extensions and large scale ceremonies.
WHAT WAS THE BEST THING ABOUT STUDYING AT ESCAPE STUDIOS? The key benefit for me at Escape was the opportunity to learn how the work is organised in a VFX company. Coming from a different working environment in Italy, this part of the course was essential for me, equally important was the opportunity to study and talk with other VFX dreamers and visiting a VFX company as The Mill, where I could experience the various stages of post-production in order to better decide which path to take.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE VFX AS A CAREER PATH? It was ironically the film ‘Never Ending Story’ that first sparked my intrigue in the world of VFX. Like many VFX Artists though my mind was further blown by Jurassic Park. The “HOW DID THEY DO THAT!!?” moments inspired me to study and work constantly, step by step; from my homemade VFX tests to greater challenges on huge blockbuster projects.
ADVICE FOR THOSE CONSIDERING ENTERING THE INDUSTRY? As with any job, you have to love what you do, if you love VFX and want to make your contribution along with thousands and thousands of other people scattered throughout the world, on movies, fantastic adventures, and impossible creations, you have to study and work hard, be ready to do the best work not only within a VFX company, but on personal projects too, setting the bar high across the board will prove to you (and also to recruiters) your true potential.
Escapee John Gresko recently began at VFX giants Double Negative, and we couldn’t wait to catch up!
NAME: John Gresko
COMPANY: Double Negative
COURSE STUDIED: 3D for Visual Effects (Full Time)
FAVOURITE YOUTUBE CLIP: Keloid - Big Lazy Robot
FAVOURITE MOVIE ONE LINER: 'Open the pod bay doors please Hal' - 2001 A Space Odyssey
WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY WORKING ON? I am coincidentally working on the film I'm most looking forward to seeing this year, I can't disclose which one just yet, but I can tell you that I count myself very lucky!
WERE YOU ALWAYS WORKING IN THE VFX INDUSTRY OR IS THIS A NEW CAREER PATH FOR YOU? I worked in Architecture and concept design for 7 years before deciding to chase the dream and work in the VFX industry. After completing the 3D for VFX course at Escape, I worked there as a 3D Studio Assistant for 8 months while finishing my reel, then started working for Double Negative. It has now been 3 months and it's awesome!
WHAT WAS THE BEST THING ABOUT STUDYING AT ESCAPE STUDIOS? What drew me to Escape was the benefit of having assistance when problems arise. Learning at home is fine but when you get stuck it can be frustrating and time consuming when finding solutions. At Escape, all the help you could ever need is right there in the classroom. What I enjoyed most was the atmosphere in the studios and being around talented and creative people. Seeing what students thought up and realised was inspiring!
ADVICE FOR THOSE CONSIDERING ENTERING THE INDUSTRY? Be ready to work very hard, as competition for jobs is fierce and the standard is high. When studying (wherever it may be) take as many notes as possible because there is simply so much to learn.
I'm working as a Junior Lighting TD at Blue-Zoo Animation having come from a background in ICT.
COMPANY: Blue-Zoo Animation.
FAVOURITE MOVIE ONE LINER: Ooh tough one…maybe "I need your clothes, your boots and your motorcycle" from Terminator 2: Judgement Day.
PROJECTS : One of the first jobs I did as a freelancer was some work on a corporate experience for BP as part of their Olympics showcase. They wanted a mixture of live action and CG projected and aligned onto 3 walls and the floor, of a specially built room. It was a baptism of fire but really rewarding to see it all come together in the actual space!
WHY VFX? I've always loved computer graphics. Games initially caught my interest but I became more and more interested in the effects used in films. I love the blend of artistic creativity and technical prowess that's needed to make it all come to life on the big screen. I honestly wouldn't want to work in any other field.
ABOUT? I did a degree in Information & Communications Technology at Trinity College, Dublin and worked for IBM for several years after that. I did well there and learned a huge amount, but didn't find it stimulating in any way. So I began to wonder how well I would do working in a field that really interested me. After some research and recommendations, I packed it all in, moved to London and did a VFX course at Escape. It’s been tough, but hugely rewarding.
ADVICE: Be prepared for some stiff, (but healthy!) competition. One of the nice things about this industry is that everyone puts in 110%, which can be exhausting, but there's a real camaraderie about it, and it never seems as bad when you're all in it together. It has to be something you really want to do.
Starting as a runner at The Mill, Ryan completed a Visual Effects Production course at Escape before returning to The Mill as a trained VFX artist.
COMPANY: The Mill
FAVOURITE MOVIE ONE LINER: It isn’t really a clip but a cinematic trailer for Call of Duty: Ghosts. A few of my colleagues at The Mill got to work on it. For me, it's VFX at its best. Check it out here >>
PROJECTS : My favourite project to date has to be working on the Christmas special of Doctor who 2012, because I got to animate the snowmen for the show. This was quite simply, awesome!
WHY VFX? I chose to enter the VFX industry as I have a long term goal of becoming an animator. I took the position as a runner at the Mill and worked extremely hard to get known, making my passion and dedication known to as many of my peers as possible. The hard work eventually earned me a place at Escape Studios, which gave me the tools to work with some of the most talented and professional artists I have meet. I’ll be honest; I don’t know how long it would have taken me to get that promotion if it wasn't for the training at Escape, who knows!
ABOUT? Aside from working in VFX, I recently got engaged to my long term lady, I had promised her that once I become and artist, I’ll propose! Otherwise I play Basketball, hit the gym, and play Xbox with some of my closest friends and family. More or less every weekend I spend my Sunday morning, first thing, animating something new or working on my personal short that I have created. So watch this space!
Ryan's Top Tips
1) For those who want to enter the VFX field I would personally recommend starting out as a generalist, I feel that the industry at the moment is looking for more Jacks than Masters!
2) As cheesy as it may sound if you want it that bad go and get it, period! It’s such a competitive market and it’s extremely cut throat. I feel that there is a difference between skill and talent, know which one you have and use it to your advantage.
3) Absorb as much information as you can and network and put yourself out there. Also, any Soho pub on any Friday is a great place to meet other people within the VFX industry!
Escapee Maxime Cazaly speaks to us regarding his recent appointment at Framestore.
FAVOURITE MOVIE ONE LINER: “my favourite movie one liner is from a gentleman called Arnold Schwarzenegger, in cinematic masterpiece ‘Predator’… "Get to da choppa!".
PROJECTS: Recently, ‘Ronin’ (featuring Keanu Reeves)
WHY VFX? Since a young age I have loved VFX, but once I had a real idea of the working environment, I knew I wanted to get involved in this industry. The team I'm working with at the moment are absolutely amazing, and we do a lot of things together: football, drinks (a lot of drinks!) clubs, movies, you name it! You feel like part of a big engine that’s creating something really cool. It's very rewarding!
ABOUT: Maxime is a recent Escape graduate, who took a year out to travel in New Zealand last year, perfecting his English, and came to England to pursue his dream of a career in VFX. Now working at the world renowned Framestore, we asked Maxime to share his journey, and how he got to where he is today; because it’s always good to get tips and advice from escapees who have made it.
ADVICE: 1) My best advice for students is to work hard, work as hard as you can, and when you’re finished doing that, work hard some more. Dedicate yourself entirely to whatever you’re doing.
2) Being able to take criticism is extremely important as well; some people are a bit defensive when someone else criticises their work. Accept and embrace the critiques, because your work is going to be criticised on a daily basis in the industry.
3) Probably the most important piece of advice though, is to love what you do. This isn’t an easy job, there is no place for lazy people, but if you are passionate about VFX, you will love every second of it.
Mark has applied his skills to a number of different projects, including the UEFA Champions League title sequence, the BBC’s ‘Inside the Human Body’ and 13 episodes of ABC’s ‘Combat Hospital’.
CGI Artist - Rushes
Escapee Mark Pascoe is no stranger to practical thinking. When asked what film he’d take with him if stranded on a desert Island he replied “Robinson Crusoe, to get some pointers!” The nature of such an answer is uncannily reflected in his career path.
“It wasn’t until i was at university doing an unrelated degree that I saw a friend using Maya for part of a module on a computing course, and that’s when I knew it was what I wanted to do”
A swift change of direction found Mark at Escape studios, pursuing his dream of a career in VFX, and throwing himself into one of our 12 week production courses.
“The intensive courses rather than over several years suited me down to the ground. Also the industry links and knowledge which Escape has are invaluable… the content of the course was current and very much geared towards being able to help you get a job afterwards. The tutors knew their stuff having been in the industry, and being surrounded by other likeminded students was a huge plus.”
During our most recent catch up we discovered that Mark, (now a CGI Artist for ‘Rushes’ in Soho) has applied his skills to a number of different projects, including the UEFA Champions League title sequence, the BBC’s ‘Inside the Human Body’ and 13 episodes of ABC’s ‘Combat Hospital’. His pick of the bunch though has been his work on Emmy nominated, (yes that’s Emmy nominated) ‘Human Body: Pushing the Limits’.
“Not only was it a fun project to work on, with good clients… but being able to go to the awards in LA and walk down the red carpet with the team is going to be an experience that’s hard to beat”
Not bad eh? It’s fair to say Mark’s decision to study with Escape has played a vital role in directing him to success, as it is an experience he speaks very highly of. We asked him about his reflections on the time he spent with us, and his thoughts on an industry he is now well and truly a part of…
“It can be a competitive industry, but I have no regrets about my decision to train at Escape. If you are prepared to put in the work and willing to show your worth then you will give yourself more than a fair shot at success.”
As with most of our escapees, the proof is very much in the proverbial pudding and we wish Mark plenty of continuing success in the future! An excerpt from his last interview serves as an excellent closing note any prospective escapees of the future…
“If you're reading this, you must be considering doing a course at Escape… the best advice I can give you is book an appointment to go and see the place first hand!”
“Having a passion for something and the constant opportunity to share it, enjoy it and build upon it is the best thing about my job”.
3D Artist at The Mill
“Having a passion for something and the constant opportunity to share it, enjoy it and build upon it is the best thing about my job”.
Many great Visual Effects artists have been through our doors here at Escape Studios, the vast majority of whom completed their study and rapidly immersed themselves into the world of VFX. And Allyn Lawson is no exception to this..
Having studied VFX with us back in 2010, he’ s now a 3D Artist with Industry legends ‘The Mill’ and has worked on a plethora of projects, from major brand names such as Nike, Ford, BT ,and Virgin (to name a few!) to renowned TV shows such as Merlin and Dr Who. We recently contacted Allyn and asked him where it all began…
“The apparent magic of VFX really captured my imagination from an early age. I think the defining moment would have to be seeing Jurassic Park for the first time. Later on, films like the Matrix came out and then Lord of the Rings. I didn't just enjoy the VFX, I wanted to figure out how they were done and create my own.”
Like most of our students, before he became an ‘Escapee,’ Allyn possessed a creative passion and an unadulterated desire to learn, which, coupled with the knowledge and support of our Tutors, was nurtured intensely, and more importantly - specifically to industry requirements.
“Escape was the clear choice for me, I wanted to create visual effects and that's exactly what the course has allowed me to do. The format and content of the course was very appealing; in this industry you never stop learning so the course is like a massive boost into that. You learn exactly what you need to create shots for your show reel and, importantly, this knowledge allows you to be useful and therefore employable straight after the course. Another major attraction to Escape is the links they have with the industry”.
Escape’s role in Allyns progress has been intrinsic, but as he points out, an appetite to master the art of VFX is equally as important for success. When describing his current role, we are given a true glimpse of the nature the business, and the skills he has honed in order to adapt and flourish in this role.
“My working day can vary significantly from job to job. On a typical day I'll have a number of shots I'm working on whether it’s FX, modelling, camera tracking, lighting, rendering, the list goes on”.
Allyn’s final words of advice are essential for any budding VFX artist and truly encapsulate the key to his successes.
“Make yourself as useful and as dedicated as possible, and enjoy finding your strengths”.
A true example of how the right attitude and direction can deliver a person to such platforms.
Our Open Days often feature guest industry speakers, so you can get a real insight into what life is like as a VFX Artist. Watch this space for more information on when our next industry guest will be joining us and also when our next Open Days will be taking place. If you'd prefer a more personal experience, you can also attend our studios for a 1-2-1 meeting with a member of our admissions team, just click here to Book a 1-2-1 session.
Join us at our London campus to:
- Learn about the specialised jobs in VFX and Compositing
- Understand the course options which suit you
- Be a fly-on-the-wall in one of our classroom courses
- Review successful student reels
- Understand what skills you need to become studio-ready
- Learn about student perks and soak up the atmosphere
Online Virtual Learning Environment Tour
If you are thinking about studying Visual Effects online, then why not arrange for an Online VLE (Virtual Learning Environment) Tour?
The purpose of the Online VLE Video Tour is to demonstrate how students use our Unique VLE system to study 3D or Compositing for VFX online. If this is something you're interested in, fill out the form to the right and select 'Online Virtual Tour' and then 'Online Tour - any date' and we'll be in touch with a link to our Online VLE Tour video.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you need more information about our Open Days or Online Tours.