I don’t think anyone was too surprised by last night’s BAFTAs. Personally, I was really pleased to see Inception win the Special Visual Effects award. With the hardware becoming more powerful, the software more sophisticated and the work ever more creative, as an industry the bar is set incredibly high, and it’s always great to see how people are constantly pushing the boundaries of what’s possible. It’s even more impressive when you consider who else was nominated.
Isilon have released a new "Storage in Virtual Environments" White Paper, which looks at the challenges studios face when adopting virtualisation. It shows how you can tackle the issue of managing huge amounts of data, giving you an useful insight into scale-out storage and why it’s better suited to managing next-gen storage requirements.
Have you seen the interview with our friends at Union VFX (the company behind the visual effects for 127 Hours) on HeyUGuys? With the Oscars around the corner, it’s good to get an insider’s view on one film that’s up for a few gongs.
This months free tutorial has been specifically created by our tutors to help you learn to control occlusion. It's not taken from any of our online courses so it truly is a unique tutorial. You'll start off by looking in depth at the mib_amb_occlusion texture node and how careful use of 2 attributes will ensure that you obtain the perfect ambient occlusion pass.
Have your say on what topics you would like to see covered in our upcoming webinars, by taking part in our survey. This is your chance to tell us what topics, areas and techniques you’d like to learn more about from our tutors, to help you on your way to becoming a CG pro.
According to Nintendo’s president, low priced mobile phone games are one of the biggest risks for the games industry as they are giving the impression that all games should be cheap. Last night I had a fantastic gaming session with my son, not on a Wii, PS3 or xbox but on my iPhone and it cost me 59 pence. The success of the Wii is something that Sony also encouraged with eye toy, casual gaming that is fun and accessible for all kinds of people not just hardcore gamers. It strikes me as a little naive to think that the app generation is the biggest threat to the games industry. Though, the cost of a ds game is huge and takes a child ages to save up their pocket money
The iPhone has opened the Market to small developers, provided a fantastic opportunity for people to break into games and because it is so easy to use, has opened up the world of videogames to a whole cross section of society. My children and I get just as much fun from an iPhone game as well as a ds for a fraction of the price. Epic has produced an amazing looking game for only a few pounds and created a version of their awesome engine specifically to embrace this exciting platform. The biggest threat to the games industry is the CEOs not listening to gamers - they should be encouraging development every where creating internships and fostering talent.
The makers of angry birds have opened an academy, not bad for a little throw away game. Come on Nintendo Sony and Microsoft, get your act together! Speaking of internships one of our games students Chris Chorley is doing a six month internship at veemee. You also only have to look at the success of Portal to see that Valves approach to internships pays huge rewards.
As we move from January into February we’re left with no doubt that 2010 is well and truly behind us. What have we achieved this year? What did we create? Well, apart from 13 magazines – the creation was solely in your hands.
Since I’ve been back at school I’ve been constantly asked about the CG Whiz competition. Are you excited about going to LA and studying with Escape Studios? When will your placement start at The Mill? Are you nervous? Apprehensive? And truth is: I'm totally overwhelmed, but so excited! The more I look at what the course entails, the more eager I get. I’m looking forward to learning new 3D programs that I haven’t used before. And not only that, but delving deep into them. I’m hoping that this will give me a much broader knowledge of VisFx. I’m also really thrilled about the Instructors who I will be learning from directly - they are all incredibly qualified and will be invaluable as mentors to me!
I'm really pleased to announce a new addition to our full-time classroom courses - Compositing Professional. This course builds on the amazing success of our 12 week compositing for production course and adds an additional 6 weeks of advanced training. This extra time will give students the opportunity to develop skills to really set them apart from other juniors looking to enter the industry - covering subjects such as compositing for stereoscopic and the advanced techniques needed to work with high end 3D visual effects. Part of the course includes a dedicated project week where you'll be able to work on your showreel and make sure that it really stands out from the crowd.
Please getting in touch with training team or come along to one of our open days to find out more.
On Tuesday I attended the launch of the Livingtone-Hope report which was undertaken to address the skills issues facing the UK's games and visual effects. Escape Studios staff have taken part in a number of the surveys which went into building the data for this report as well as speaking directly to Hasan Bakhshi and Juan Mateos-Garcia from NESTA, who did a large amount of the work of pulling the data for the draft report together. In essence the report lays out 20 recommendations across the talent pipeline from schools through FE and HE to the industry. All these parties as well as the government and other skills and training bodies such as Skillset are called on to do their bit. All of this whilst being realistic about the funding and resources available, the recommendations had to be about the focus of existing funds not calls for large sums of new money.
So it may not be an Oscar but we’re still pretty damn pleased that we’ve won SilverStripe’s website of the month! Without getting too techy, the reason that we took first place is because our website is a complex SilverStripe implementation that has lots of integrated services such as Single Sign-On, Sales Force, Magento e-commerce and YouTube feeds. The graphic design for the site was created by Distinguished & Co – who did a great job, making navigation a doddle. Big thanks to all of the guys who voted, what a great way to end the week.
If you're like me and often plan to go to art galleries but never actually make it, Google have introduced an amazing alternative. What's great about this new tool is that you get to see some of the great master pieces from all around the world, from the comfort of your front room. OK, so it's a little bit lazy but it does mean that you get to stay on top of what's going on in the art world. The 'Google Art Project' was only launched on Tuesday and brings over a thousand artworks by various artists to anyone with an internet connection.
Currently wowing audiences everywhere, and hot off the back of its Oscar nominations, Danny Boyle’s latest film 127 Hours is something we’ve been keeping a particular close eye on. Obviously we’re fans of Mr Boyle’s work (personally, I can’t wait to see the Olympic opening ceremony), but in this case we’re more interested in a small team of people working behind the scenes.
I just wanted to point you towards this article which discusses the amazing title sequence for Scott Pilgram. When I was a student wanting to get into the industry I found out about Shynola (a collective group of visual artists who have collaborated on a variety of projects) when a brilliant but very strange music video was produced by Unkle called "eye for an eye". When I came across this article of how Shynola worked with the Edgar Wright the director of Scott Pilgram, I decided to have a look.
Escape Studios is hitting the road this year undertaking a program of talks, presentations and master classes throughout the UK universities and colleges.
Roy Trosh (Head of Technology at The Mill) must be feeling pretty proud of his son James, Television Production student at Bournemouth University. He's the first person in the UK to attach a Go camera to a helium weather balloon and...a toy Robot! The project was initiated as part of a music video but produced some amazing footage of the earth’s curvature, the best bit is that it's being screened on tube station platforms as part of ‘Smile for London’; a campaign to brighten up the commuter's journey to work. James explains: “We attached the rocket and robot to a helium filled weather balloon with a GPS unit and mini HD camera to track and film the flight. The balloon then popped and fell down to earth with a parachute, where we found the robot and camera 11 miles away in a farmer's field.”
If you’ve read the BOXX reviews and seen the results, you’ll be pretty excited to learn that we are giving away a BOXX super-fast high performance machine, in a brand new competition.