I have been out on the road over the last month visiting universities across the UK, as part of our university tour, and wanted to give you an update on my progress so far. It's been a bit of a whirlwind, but meeting up with such enthusiastic and creative people is never a chore - you come back full of ideas an imbued with the same enthusiasm
Lately I’ve been seeing a lot of new plug-ins and products starting to emerge. Some good, some not so good. But a few of them have really caught our eye, so we’ve decided to add them to our Techstore range. It means that there’ll be a lot of new additions for you to check out over the next few days.
For those of you who are starting to learn ZBrush or want to improve their ZBrush skills, we have an exciting new review of our ZBrush for 3D Artist online course for you to read. CreativeBloke.com has been reviewing the courses and published the first part of his review diary on this course.
If you’re an aspiring compositor who would like to know more about what the industry is going to expect from you, then sign up for my new webinar, entitled:'Entry Level and Junior Roles for Compositors".
I don't often get completed 'weirded out' by news announcements, but this one really made me stop for a second. Sports Business News published a story yesterday about this year's Wimbledon tennis tournament being shown in 3D. According to them, "The 3D coverage will be produced in partnership with the BBC, the host broadcaster of the tournament, and will also be offered to international broadcasters. Sony will also work with theatrical distribution partner SuperVision Media to take the action into cinemas".
Did any of you see the review of the 3DBOXX 8550 Xtreme in the latest issue of 3D Artist magazine? I can't say that I was surprised when I read that it had taken the title of the fastest rendering machine ever seen. We have been running test on this machine in our labs ourselves and have seen it deliver some pretty outstanding results.
I came across an interesting little article yesterday on PodcastFilmReview.com about the top ten uses of special effects for story telling. It was refreshing to see someone looking at this from the angle of the story telling rather than just for the special effects themselves.
The BBC have announced that they are to broadcast a new series of famous dinosaurs documentaries. This will be a much shorter series than the original Walking with Dinasaurs - only 3 programs - but will feature all the 3D and visual effects wizardry you would expect from this program. According to Broadcasting News, it will feature photo-realistic fight scenes to give a "whole new perspective on dinosaurs".
WETA are doing what they can for the victims of the Christchurch earthquake by hosting an auction on ebay of some famous collectibles. So, if you fancy getting your hands on some pretty cool and rare film memorabilia while doing your bit for charity, now is your chance. Check it out here.
No doubt you’ll all be looking forward to the Oscars this weekend. It's particularly significant if you’re a VFX fan, with five nominees in the Visual Effects category this year rather than three.
"Another Autodesk purchase" I hear you cry as the news gets out that a cool $36 million CASH is to be spent on Scaleform.
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.
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.
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!
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.