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Total Recall, Terrific Reception?

Total Recall, Terrific Reception?
This year’s remake of cult classic ‘Total Recall’ has sparked some serious controversy in the world of film. Here at Escape Studios we are PUMPED for its release, given the fact that a number of our graduates have been hard at work over the last year, on the VFX side of things.
A total of 1600 digitally enhanced shots are used in the film, the vast majority of which were worked on by our pals over at Double Negative in Soho – pretty damn cool right? 
The hugely complex cityscape of a futuristic London was some challenge for the artists, and it required some high detail rendering, luckily these digital wizards called upon previous lessons learnt from their work on the ground breaking, Oscar winning, Inception. 
Total Recall is yet to be released in the UK, so we can’t join the squabbling masses just yet. But if you do spend your bank holiday weekend watching this high action sci-fi flick, we want to know - Does this contemporary version do the original justice?
Twitter is telling me a number of different things, from…“WARNING: Total Recall remake is unbelievably boring.” To “Total Recall - Amazing cinematography, perfect execution. More exciting than Avengers. 9/10”
I just don’t know what to think! 

This year’s remake of cult classic ‘Total Recall’ has sparked some serious controversy in the world of film. Here at Escape Studios we are PUMPED for its release, given the fact that a number of our graduates have worked on it over the last year, on the VFX side of things.

0 Comments Robert Broadbent

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Robert Broadbent
Fri 24 Aug 2012: 10:00am

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Good news for desk dwellers!

Good news for desk dwellers!
Since starting an internship with Escape Studios, I’ve had to rapidly acclimatise to the nature of ‘ the desk job’, and I must say, like a nine to five Robinson Crusoe, I’ve made myself a home from home in front of my computer screen. 
There is one concern however, that I can’t seem to shake off… and that’s the impending worry of the dreaded spillage. On a daily basis, the would-be relaxing activity of consuming a delicious cup of tea is tarred, by the constant preoccupation of whether the sweet milky goodness will make its way onto my technological equipment, given my traditionally clumsy nature.
Unbelievably, I am yet to spill a drop since my desk-debut, now nearly 9 weeks ago - but I have experienced a couple of liquid disasters, and of course when a fiasco like this occurs - the keyboard is first in the line of fire.
Considering my ever present worry of this kind of incident happening to me, you can imagine my delight when I read this morning that ‘Logitech’ have released a waterproof keyboard… in fact, I nearly spat my tea out over my now seemingly primitive, run of the mill keyboard.
It’s selling itself as a ‘washable keyboard’, which is great when it comes to getting rid of those pesky crisp crumbs and sandwich morsels, without the aid of a pencil, but I’m quite sure that the magic of this spill proof equipment is its ability to not worry about a few drips of coffee disturbing our working day. Surely Since starting an internship with Escape Studios, I’ve had to rapidly acclimatise to the nature of ‘ the desk job’, and I must say, like a nine to five Robinson Crusoe, I’ve made myself a home from home in front of my computer screen. 

Since starting an internship with Escape Studios, I’ve had to rapidly acclimatise to the nature of ‘the desk job’, and I must say, like a nine to five Robinson Crusoe, I’ve made myself a home from home in front of my computer screen. 

1 Comments Robert Broadbent

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Robert Broadbent
Thu 23 Aug 2012: 3:00pm

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Iteration to a whole new level

Iteration to a whole new level

As an artist, I have a huge passion for the process of pre-production; taking an idea and iterating until you achieve the correct result.

0 Comments Simon Fenton

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Simon Fenton
Thu 23 Aug 2012: 10:00am

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Ball of Twine or Game of Thrones? I Know What I'd Choose!

Ball of Twine or Game of Thrones? I Know What I'd Choose!

I've been watching and loving Game of Thrones since the moment it was introduced to me. Completely absorbed in the HBO action, it almost got to the point where if I needed to blaspheme, I would most likely yell out "JON SNOW" instead of the more traditional term.*

2 Comments Miriam Payne

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Miriam Payne
Thu 23 Aug 2012: 9:01am

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Get LinkedIn with The Art of VFX

Get LinkedIn with The Art of VFX

LinkedIn is a pretty awesome tool for lots of reasons, but one in particular is how it encourages some users to be quite industrious in their spare time. And a perfect example of this is how freelance digital compositor Vincent Frei has created a group called The Art of VFX. This is where Vincent shares interviews he’s had with a range of industry professionals working in VFX, offering us VFX geeks an inside scoop into what they’ve been working on.

1 Comments Ellen Payne

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Ellen Payne
Wed 22 Aug 2012: 5:44pm

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Mortal Kombat: Legacy

Mortal Kombat: Legacy
Mortal Kombat (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mortal_Kombat) is a franchise everyone's familiar with. Along with Street Fighter (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Street_Fighter) and Tekken  (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tekken), it's one of the classic beat 'em ups of early arcades and game consoles, pitching several outrageous competitors against each other in an excessively violent fight to the death for who cares what the reason was it was awesome. Spawning a huge list of games from 1992 all the way to the present day, MK has helped taint innocent childhoods for 20 years. It had two major films, one acceptable (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0113855/), one classically woeful,(http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0119707/) and last year, around the release of Mortal Kombat 9 (http://www.ign.com/games/mortal-kombat/ps3-14317281), came a pleasant surprise; Mortal Kombat: Rebirth. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x9YUeTTaVqo)
Rebirth was a 8 minute short film from director Kevin Tancharoen(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kevin_Tancharoen), who wanted to create a 'proof of concept' for a MK movie. It retold the MK story in a style that focused on realism, without the Outworld or any of the supernatural elements from the game, and was used as a way to convince Warner Brothers (http://www.warnerbros.com/) to reboot the MK film franchise. While they didn't immediately agree, they did help Tancharoen create his webseries Mortal Kombat: Legacy. (http://www.youtube.com/show/mortalkombatlegacy?s=1)
Legacy was the follow up to Rebirth, telling the stories of several different MK characters, mostly in the same gritty, real world fashion, with some others taking a less grounded approach. Although both had famous actors in them, you can see through the series that they've spent their modest budget wisely, even though there are some episodes that rely more of VFX than others. While the story of Jax, Sonya and Kano focused more of acting and gunfights, Kitana and Mileena's episodes were heavily supernatural and involved both 2D and 3D animation. My favourite of the bunch is Raiden's (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5tWh4Z42SJk&list=SL) story which is both raw and stupendous at the same time, and packs an emotional punch. 
It's another example of how webseries' are evolving to incorporate brilliant visuals with real production and producing something that is legitimately worth watching. Its worth noting that the series did so well that Warner Brothers have now agreed to let Tancharoen helm a new MK feature film! Keep your eyes peeled for my next Webseries spotlight, where I'll show my favourite web show. And if you have anything that you think should be covered, sound off in the comments below!

Mortal Kombat is a franchise everyone's familiar with. Along with Street Fighter and Tekken, it's one of the classic beat 'em ups of early arcades and game consoles, pitching several outrageous competitors against each other in an excessively violent fight to the death for...well who cares what the reason was, it was awesome! Spawning a huge list of games from 1992 all the way to the present day, MK has helped taint innocent childhoods for 20 years. It had two major films, one acceptable, one classically woeful, and last year, around the release of Mortal Kombat 9, came a pleasant surprise; Mortal Kombat: Rebirth.

0 Comments Ash Miles

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Ash Miles
Wed 22 Aug 2012: 5:00pm

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The Decisive Moment Winners Announced

The Decisive Moment Winners Announced

We announced back in May that the Chaos Group in association with CG Society, NVidia, MAXON and BOXX would be running the “Decisive Moment” competition. The challenge was to create a single image, using any application and V-Ray to render, that tells a decisive moment in time.

0 Comments Tim Flett

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Tim Flett
Wed 22 Aug 2012: 4:00pm

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Epic VFX Time

Epic VFX Time
Today I discovered a VFX themed collaboration which includes one of my favourite Youtube faces, Harley Morenstein of  ‘Epic Meal Time’,  comes together with competitive gamer, filmmaker and part time VFX technician ‘Freddie Wong’, making for an outright ridiculous, (yet entertaining) couple of minutes…  
The VFX aren’t going to blow your mind, that’s for sure. But there are some serious chuckles to be had, Morenstein’s narrative throughout kills it, as he recites VFX related jargon in his notorious one liner style.  Fans of the Epic Meal Time and VFX alike will not be disappointed!

Today I discovered a VFX themed collaboration which includes one of my favourite YouTube faces, Harley Morenstein of  ‘Epic Meal Time’. He joins competitive gamer, filmmaker and part time VFX technician ‘Freddie Wong’, making for an outright ridiculous, (yet entertaining) couple of minutes of VFX action.

0 Comments Robert Broadbent

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Robert Broadbent
Tue 21 Aug 2012: 11:00am

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The One Man Nostalgia Show

The One Man Nostalgia Show
I don’t think there’s much to be said about this clip from Pixar’s Nick Pitera, apart from the fact that it just grabbed me by the scruff of the neck and dragged me down to euphoric depths of my childhood. I do have a couple of questions though…
Having hit Youtube in 2011, am I the only person not to have seen this?  
HOW DOES HE DO THAT?
and last but not least… Is he available for birthday parties?

I don’t think there’s much to be said about this clip from Pixar’s Technical Director, Nick Pitera, apart from the fact that it just grabbed me by the scruff of the neck and dragged me down to the euphoric depths of my childhood. I do have a couple of questions though…

0 Comments Robert Broadbent

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Robert Broadbent
Tue 21 Aug 2012: 10:30am

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MARI: the best thing since sliced bread for texturing

MARI: the best thing since sliced bread for texturing

The latest version of 3D digital paint tool MARI is being harnessed by LucasArts to help power the impressive visuals seen in its hotly-anticipated title Star Wars 1313.

0 Comments Simon Fenton

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Simon Fenton
Tue 21 Aug 2012: 10:15am

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Selby's App of the Week: Get 360-Degree Snap Happy with Photosynth

Selby's App of the Week: Get 360-Degree Snap Happy with Photosynth

It's a well known fact that the iPhone camera is pretty cool but there's always been a certain je ne sais quoi missing from its camera interface. Granted it does make taking a quick pic a breeze but there isn't much on offer in terms of customisation or creativity. That's where Microsoft's Photosynth app comes in. This versatile panorama app automatically stitches vistas out of your iOS device camera's images.

0 Comments Emma Lee

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Emma Lee
Tue 21 Aug 2012: 10:00am

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Our latest escapees break out!

Our latest escapees break out!

A fresh batch of escapees have broken out of the Escape studio and what a talented bunch to emerge, even if we do say so ourselves...

1 Comments Alison Cobb

Posted by
Alison Cobb
Fri 17 Aug 2012: 5:00pm

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World's Largest Digital Photo: Say Cheese!

World's Largest Digital Photo: Say Cheese!

Feast your eyes upon this image. No it's not just a random cityscape image - it is in fact the World's largest digital photo.

1 Comments Emma Lee

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Emma Lee
Fri 17 Aug 2012: 12:00pm

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Assimilate BBQ Date Change...

Assimilate BBQ Date Change...

We are sad to have to tell you that due to our demand for such a massive amount of beef for our BBQ, Argentina has told us that they don’t have enough cows.

0 Comments Tim Flett

Posted by
Tim Flett
Fri 17 Aug 2012: 11:30am

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Fubar Redux - A must watch!

Fubar Redux - A must watch!

Escapee Hasraf Dulull's fifteen-minute film is a true work of art! Set in an alternate reality with cats and dogs, it mixes some intense action with some serious drama, all emphatically enhanced by a unique animation visual style.

0 Comments Robert Broadbent

Posted by
Robert Broadbent
Fri 17 Aug 2012: 10:30am

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Nvizible create the outstanding CG in Grabbers

Nvizible create the outstanding CG in Grabbers

A film currently bringing an interesting element of humour to cinema screens in Ireland has been described as the heir to the “Shaun of the Dead” throne. This statement may not be far wrong. I won’t lie to you, the plot is a tad mental, but in that great tongue-in-cheek way that makes it the kind of film that will surely cheer you up at the end of a tough week. The film in question is Jon Wright’s Grabbers, and it’s one I hope you’ll all get a chance to see.

0 Comments Ellen Payne

Posted by
Ellen Payne
Fri 17 Aug 2012: 9:56am

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Reasons to be Creative, 3-5 September 2012

Reasons to be Creative, 3-5 September 2012

Roll up! Roll up! This year's Reasons to be Creative festival (formerly known as Flash on the Beach) is fast approaching, ready to serve up its esteemed melting pot of minds from the realms of digital art, coding, and design.

0 Comments Alison Cobb

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Alison Cobb
Thu 16 Aug 2012: 5:30pm

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A-level results 2012: top marks drop for first time in 20 years

A-level results 2012: top marks drop for first time in 20 years
A-level results 2012: top marks drop for first time in 20 years
The number of students awarded top marks at A-level has dropped for the first time in 20 years, suggesting the biggest decline in A grades since records began according to the Telegraph.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/universityeducation/9479182/A-level-results-2012-top-marks-drop-for-first-time-in-20-years.html
I’m not sure this is so sensational especially given that the overall pass rate increased for a successive 30th year but the papers have to report it all!
There are always lots of facts and figures banded about when it comes to results and I guess we can get a little lost in them all. However we do know the importance of getting good grades. There is no doubt that it is increasingly more difficult for graduates at any level to find work and the competition for jobs is at its highest level. 
It’s also true outside of the mainstream, for our industry, VFX, students want to go to the best Uni’s to learn their trade and need the results to do so. They need to put in those extra hours, take on additional learning and finally focus on their show-reels… These are the ones putting themselves in the strongest position for work in one of the coolest industries on the planet (and beyond)!
Whatever your results today, we send you our best wishes and hope that if gets you your place in University or to whatever path you have chosen. Good Luck!

The number of students awarded top marks at A-level has dropped for the first time in 20 years, suggesting the biggest decline in A grades since records began according to the Telegraph.

0 Comments Mark Cass

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Mark Cass
Thu 16 Aug 2012: 12:30pm

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Rock on...another escapee success!

Adam Esat explains, that like many video games industry professionals, the first seeds of inspiration were sewn as a child, playing the likes of The Legend of Zelda, Metal Gear Solid and Pokémon. 
We soon found out that like the protagonists of his childhood inspirations, Adam had embarked on a pretty exciting journey of his own.
We caught up with this escapee in the wake of a recent poll from ‘develop online’, indicating Travellers’ Tales (His employers, and main producers of games under the Lego franchise) to be the number one UK game developer.
Adam explains that although he knew he wanted to enter he world of gaming, he didn’t quite have a clear cut vision so early on, and it took him three years at university to make a decision as to what he wanted to specialise in.
‘I loved 3D modelling most of all, which I dedicated my efforts to from then on.’
From here the foundations were set, and Adam could start stacking the building the blocks of his career. (If you’ll excuse the pun) Speaking of his time with us, he acknowledges the premium level of teaching and positive learning environment that Escape Studios has to offer.
‘The quality of the tutoring is what I consider to be world class; it truly was a creatively charged, collaborative place to study, which frankly made me strive to improve myself even more’
As with all of our success stories though, our resources are matched, if not trumped by the infallible commitment of our students, and it took Adam four patient months of meticulous alterations to his show reel before he felt it ready for job applications. These were four months though, that surely pale into insignificance now… 
‘Since then I've been happily employed at TT, whilst also pursuing my personal work in my free time’
We asked Adam to dispatch some industry wisdom for our students and any potential VFX artists out there  who may be reading his success story
I would say the most important thing is decide exactly what you want to do within the games industry, and focus on it, the key is to specialise. Work as much as you can on creating an awesome showreel targeted at the area you wish to specialise, It's incredibly competitive out there and if you want to succeed, you need to work hard. Show your prospective employer that you're the right person for the job and most of all that you want it more than anyone else.
Adam knows not what the future holds, as the industry is always evolving. But with a work ethic and skillset like his, we can be sure that this escapee has a very bright future.

Adam Esat explains, that like many other video games industry professionals, his first source of inspiration came as a child, playing the likes of The Legend of Zelda, Metal Gear Solid and Pokémon.

0 Comments Simon Fenton

Posted by
Simon Fenton
Thu 16 Aug 2012: 11:00am

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