Western Digital, one of the worlds largest hard drive manufacturers, has been badly affected by recent flooding in Thailand where they have two production plants. The one in Bang Pa-in Industrial Park is completely destroyed, with equipment submerged in water. The other in Navanakorn Industrial Park is struggling to keep flooding at bay.
I was on the hunt for an appropriate piece of tech to occupy my mind whilst travelling to and from Escape Studios, during my epic commute into London each day and initially the novelty of an iPad seemed the best source of distraction. However after further investigation the answer came in the form of Hugo Guerra (Escape Studios compositing tutor) who, in less than ten minutes, managed to persuade me to spend an extra £600 on an alternative Apple product.
A Softimage UGM in the UK has been a long time coming, something that Autodesk are very aware of. So, we've partnered up with Autodesk to make it happen. We are delighted to announce that Jason “Chinny” Brynford-Jones, Softimage product manager and demonstration guru, is making the trip to London to chair this meeting. It certainly wouldn’t be the same without him. A blast from the past for some of you, “Chinny” has been with the Softimage family for 15 years. He started out as a demonstrator in London and has since gained a reputation as being the cheerful face of Autodesk Softimage. He has been working in Product Management for the last 8 years and is now a Technical Product Manager at Autodesk in Montreal.
Have you ever thought about taking your artistic talent and transferring those skills to VFX? Then the webinar that we’re running on November 10th could be the start of you doing that. For the industry to remain fresh and buoyant, it’s important that there are constant waves of creative and original talent. We always say that creativity is key – if you have that, learning the technical skills is the easy bit. The current growth of the VFX industry in the UK means there is a growing demand for fresh talent. In this webinar I'll look at the potential routes a Fine Art graduate may take into the industry and the transferable, creative skills that will allow them to stand out from the crowd when making the move into this demanding and competitive industry.
BOXX Technologies are bringing a new workstation to the market that aims to boost processing speeds and accelerate workflow. This unique product is kitted out with 2nd Generation Intel® Core™ i7 processor as well as Intel Smart Response Technology, a combination you can’t get elsewhere. It is currently the fastest single socket workstation on the market, with incredible speeds of up to 4.5 GHz. The latest addition to the 3DBOXX XTREME workstations line, it is designed to offer exceptional support for visualisation, modelling, 3D animation and motion media applications.
Pictured centre flanked by tutor Gideon Corby to the left and Training Manager Miles Petit to the right, Alex Williams savours the launch of his book with a glass of champagne.
It turns out that our escapees are never prouder than when they are wearing an ‘escapee’ T-Shirt, as you can see in this photo of Mentored VFX Course student Ricardo Vianna. Whenever I’m out and about in Soho, I’m always surprised by how many escapees stop to tell me that they continue to wear their T-Shirt, even after we have placed them in jobs. Some have mentioned that they’ve even taken them on holiday. All of our Classroom and Mentored Course students get a T-Shirt and they are becoming a bit of a phenomenon – well, put it this way, it’s very easy to spot our graduates when out and about in the industry. It turns out that one of our students has a picture of herself standing outside the pyramids with it on! (Picture coming soon…).
Once again we are going to be running a couple of course specific Open Days for those would like to find out more about our courses and the sort of training we offer here at Escape.
CG Whiz 2011 has been open for entries for over a week now, and we’re already seeing lots of great work coming in. We know a lot of you will be hard at work on your showreels, so to give you some insight into what the judges will be looking for in the amateur category, we caught up with Lee Danskin, our Training Director and a CG Whiz judge since the competition started two years ago.
One foggy day in London town, a gaggle of our compositing students congregated for coffee at Oxford Circus.
There’s a new tool on the market that is taking the industry by storm. MARI is the magnificently user friendly 3D paint package that lets an artist spend more time painting and less time battling tech issues. It offers a great many solutions that until now have been missing from comparable applications. Photoshop continues to be an invaluable tool to compositors and motion graphic artists, but MARI has the time saving functionality currently missing.
Last month Henry South, lead texture artist at Framestore, kindly shared 23 MARI tips via twitter over 23 days. For those of you who followed these feeds over the 23 days, thank you for your positive feedback. Your encouraging messages let us know that these little projects are welcomed and necessary.
It might be sunny outside now, but we're in England, so it's fair to say that winter is just around the corner. For most, this invariably leads to grumbling about dark depressing days, weather-induced travel disruption, and just how much you can't afford Christmas this year. But for some of us it's a time to get excited about the upcoming snow season, and whether you ski or snowboard, nothing gets you in the mood like a stupidly high-budget documentary showing people younger than you, performing tricks you will never be able to do, in places you will never go.
Here at Escape Studios we are constantly fine-tuning our courses to give our students the best possible balance of skills.
Due to unprecedented demand for our 12-week Visual Effects Production and 18-week Visual Effects Professional courses, we've just announced a new course date for February 2012. Our two January courses our now full, so if you're interested in joining the February course please contact us as soon as possible as we expect it to fill quickly too.
In this month's free tutorial, I have a real treat for you - something which I know many VFX artist wish they could do. It all stems from my experience working in the industry where I have so often witnessed artists resorting automatically to using Maya's Render Tool when they could actually be so much more efficient if they knew some of the alternatives available to them.
Here is my usual Weekly Round-Up of News, with stories that I have picked up over the past week. If you have suggestions for stories I missed, just drop me a line or post a comment.
The UK has a flourishing VFX industry that is attracting business from all over the world. In terms of film production in this country, we’re securing huge business. The standard of work being produced here is world class, and it’s impressive to see how this industry is flourishing right across the United Kingdom. For those of us who work in London, sometimes we risk embracing the city as being the centre of the universe, paying far too much attention to what’s going on locally, rather than what’s happening countrywide. Granted Soho is a hub for post-production, but if we were to look beyond the M25 and further North, East or West, we would find an amazing number of talented companies working on some fantastic projects.