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3D For Visual Effects – Taster Course

Why take this course?

  • Get a hands-on introduction to Escape training and courses
  • Sample life as a professional visual effects artist
  • Get advice on whether a career in VFX is for you
  • Unique access to the industry standard hardware and software

What the day includes:

  • Full day's tuition, advice and training guidance with one of our Pro-tutors
  • Comprehensive intro to Maya and Photoshop
  • Lunch with our admissions team
  • Free coffee all day from our breakout space

Course Details

Location:
London, UK
Format:
09:30 - 17:30
Duration:
One Day
Start Dates:
  • August 18th 2014
  • September 26th 2014
  • November 12th 2014
  • November 13th 2014
  • November 14th 2014
Software:
Maya, Photoshop
Price:
£25

Day Course - A Taste of VFX

BlueBoltCastle

Want to get a practical insight into what it's like to work in VFX? Know nothing about the industry but have a real interest in finding out?

Come to a taster day in our classroom to get a hands-on introduction to the software and hardware used by industry pros. You’ll experience life as an escapee first hand, our process of teaching, and most importantly, how our courses can help you get that essential showreel to work in the industry.

Want to find out if VFX is for you? Then sign up for a day-course.



Success stories

Alastair Cross

3D For Visual Effects – Taster Course

Alastair Cross

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.

To pick my favourite project is not anActually entering in the VFX industry was a great surprise for me, and not something I had planned. First, while studying Industrial Design in Portugal, I started using 3D for university work, mainly Product Visualization. While at university, opportunities arose to do some Architectural Visualization work and that's basically how I started in the CG Industry, but far from what I thought I would be doing a few years later.
As I finished university, I felt I wanted to dive deeper into the CG Industry but it was quite hard to do so in Portugal. At that time I had been to London quite a few times and it was a city that I really enjoyed, also I was already aware of Escape and It looked like the courses were pretty solid and the tutors quite experienced in several fields of the industry. 
After a few emails back and forth I decided to join Escape Studios to do the Visual Effects Course. I must admit it was the best decision I could ever made. I've always been quite fascinated by the VFX part of the industry but before joining Escape I never really got into to it. Escape showed me the way and allowed me to release the beast within...
easy task, because honestly I take a lot of pride in all the projects that I do.

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.

Maxime Cazaly

3D For Visual Effects – Taster Course

Maxime Cazaly

Escapee Maxime Cazaly speaks to us regarding his recent appointment at Framestore.

COMPANY: 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.

Maxime's Showreel

Diarmid Harrison-Murray

3D For Visual Effects – Taster Course

Diarmid Harrison-Murray

Diarmid Harrison-Murray studied at Escape Studios and is now VFX Supervisor at world renowned post house MPC, the company responsible for VFX in The Lone Ranger, Godzilla, Guardians of the Galaxy and X-Men Days of Future Past.

Diarmid Harrison-Murray is VFX Supervisor at world renowned post house MPC, the company responsible for the VFX in blockbuster films such as Godzilla, the Harry Potter franchise, X-Men, Prometheus and Life of Pi, and famous advertising campaigns for brands such as Samsung, Coca Cola, Sony, Three Mobile and Channel 4.

Before joining Escape, jumping aboard one of our courses back in 2005, Diarmid was working in photography, dabbling in some of his own projects while also working as a photographer’s assistant and digital re-toucher.

He confesses to having had itchy feet in this profession, and being frank, didn’t see any long term stimulation deriving from this career path, when upon an honest word from a friend in the CG industry, who, identifying his transferrable skills, informed him that the right level of dedication would put him in good stead for work in the world of CG.

An old friend of mine who worked as a CG supervisor at the time mentioned CGI as a possible career path. He said that it was a huge subject to try and learn, but that if I stuck at it, and had some talent, there were jobs on the other side. I don't know how serious he thought I was, but I took him at his word and started teaching myself CG. This was the beginning of the winding road that led me to where I’m sitting now.

Having thrown caution to the wind, Diarmid made his way to Europe’s most prolific CG Academy, Escape Studios, to hone his skills as a CG artist, and hone his skills he did!

The success of our escapees speaks volumes when it comes to reaffirming the learning culture we have here at Escape, so naturally, we asked Diarmid about his time with us, and what he remembers the most about the learning process…

I guess the thing that I remember most fondly is just being in a supportive learning environment in which I could just explore and experiment with both creative and technical ideas. Surrounded by really smart tutors, most of whom had come directly from the industry, and other like-minded students, really meant it was a time of accelerated learning.

Diarmid has gone on to work on projects with BMW, Pepsi, Nokia, LG, and Coca Cola oh, and did we mention Diarmid was the CG supervisor for the opening Bond sequence? A subject we are looking forward to discussing with him in more depth in our upcoming live interview.

It was a great experience and a real honour to work on something with such a legacy. It has always been a dream of mine to work on a Bond title sequence, and being the CG Supervisor for the project. It was very hands on!

With such a stellar portfolio on his hands, it’d be rude not to ask for some golden words of wisdom, from the man who has climbed this proverbial VFX Mountain…

Stick at it. Make sure you gain a good understanding of all areas of 3D, and then start to focus your mind on the area that really interests you. It's a huge subject and you can't do all of it. Also make sure you learn around the area that you wish to master. If you're into ZBrush and sculpting, then why not sign up for a real clay sculpting course? If you're into rendering, then make sure you learn about real cameras and movie cameras as well. You really need to try and develop a skill base that is broad and more abstract that just learning a bit of software. Software will drift in and out of fashion, and if you just learn a bit of software without considering the underlying principles you run the risk of the same thing happening to you.

Emma Berkeley

3D For Visual Effects – Taster Course

Emma Berkeley

“I suppose my story proves that you can start a career in VFX whenever you want. I studied Geography at Uni but found Escape and started the career I’d always dreamt of”.

Junior Texture Artist –Cinesite

“I suppose my story proves that you can start a career in VFX whenever you want. I studied Geography at Uni but found Escape and started the career I’d always dreamt of”.

Catching the CG bug

Getting into trouble for printing out reams of paper on Pixar at school was the result of being hooked on Toy Story 2 aged 12. When most people her age were watching films, Emma was checking out behind the scenes documentaries on how Toy Story was made and busy telling people that it was what she was going to do when she grew up. “I couldn't believe people did that for a job - it was so creative and I just wanted to know more!”. Inspiration for becoming a CG artist didn’t stop there. Lord of the Rings had a big impact on Emma and proved to her that no matter how fantastical the idea, CG could make it possible. However, when Emma left school she stopped following the dream for a while, thinking that CG was a thing ‘they only did in Hollywood’. How wrong she was.

Escaping

“I never lost interest in CG – it was always something I was passionate about, even when I was studying my degree in Geography”. So, after checking out some of the latest work and talent on post house MPC’s website, Emma found a link to Escape Studios. Deciding to take the plunge and find out more about Escape Studios, Emma found herself on one of our Open Days. “What really struck me wasn’t just the quality of work the students produced but also the links Escape had with the industry”. Emma was also excited by the prospect of being taught by industry professionals, she felt reassured by the fact that they had such extensive knowledge of an industry that was totally new to her. It just goes to show that no matter what you study before hand or what career you embark on, it’s never too late to begin a career in VFX.

Emma had wanted to become a VFX artist for so long that she jumped straight in to study our 18-week VFX Professional course.  As she put it “I was so hungry to learn as much as possible”. The course was challenging for Emma, there’s no doubt about that – it’s intensive and really does require a lot of dedication. But was it worth it? “When I look back and see the quality of work I was able to produce in such a short period of time, I’m amazed. Emma had heard about the likes of Maya and ZBrush, but had no idea that she would be using them so intensively throughout the course. “Escape isn’t about the theory; it’s about hands-on practical tuition”.

Making that reel

It’s not just about finishing a course at Escape – your showreel is the key to getting a job in the industry.  If you don’t have one, and a good one at that, you won’t even be considered. “The recruitment team were great at showing me the nature of the industry and also preparing me for it. They helped me get my showreel up to scratch: explaining what companies are looking for, how best to illustrate my skills and what I could do to improve it”. Emma is sure that without the wisdom of the Recruitment Team her reel wouldn’t have been half as good. “If just over a year ago someone had said to me that I was going to be a VFX artist at Cinesite, I wouldn't have believed them. What I get to do for a job now is just wonderful!”

Open Days

Open days

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

 

- Next open day: 03/9/14

Guest speaker at this open day is Eamonn Butler, Animation Director at Cinesite. Discover how Eamonn started as a traditional animator before switching to VFX. He'll be discussing his own career path as well as sharing out tips on how to build a career in the world of VFX.

 

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 admissions@escapestudios.com if you need more information about our Open Day/Online Tours.