Last Wednesday, Escape Studios had the honour of having Christian Manz, VFX Supervisor at Framestore come into our studios and talk to our students about life in the industry. Christian discussed the bits about the job that are great (Like getting to see your name up on the big screen after arduous months of working on a project) and the bits which aren’t quite so good (Like the long hours). It wasn’t just our students who enjoyed it, we loved it too. Christian’s thirteen year career has been an epic one and his latest contribution to the industry as VFX Supervisor on the latest HP7 is particularly impressive. We spoke to Christian about the highs and lows of his career so far, and what it feels like to have been part of one of the biggest films of our recent times.
So an Iconic mascot after 4 decades has finally become a CG character. Having done this myself with the first CG Tony the Tiger I have to wonder whether this will work. The British public being such a fickle bunch! CG Tony was to be a furry character but was squashed at the last moment by Kellogg's in the States as going to far away from the 2D character of Tony (shame he was so cool furry).
Have any of you been watching Wallace and Gromit’s new program on BBC1? It’s basically like a new version of Tomorrow’s World with Wallace acting as the presenter and Gromit taking the role of the funny side-kick.
As the end of 2010 approaches we're filling up fast for our next round of courses in January 2011. The last spot on our Compositing course has just gone, so the next seats available for that are now in April. We have also just filled our Character Animation course with Alex Williams so we now only have a few seats left on the two Visual Effects Production courses, taught by Mark Spevick and Dan Shutt.
Here's a great piece of animation which illustrates something I care deeply about, the education system.
Here I am, sat in the airport with some time to kill – so I start reading the papers and the front pages are all covered with reviews of last night’s premiere of Harry Potter (The Deathly Hallows Part 1) in London. That’s lucky, because I really like Harry Potter and I am quite looking forward to seeing the film.
Yesterday, Pixar announced an unprecedented price drop in their flagship product RenderMan® Pro Server. The 40% reduction will allow studios and freelancers that were previously unable to buy into the technology, to get a slice of the Film / VFX industry standard renderer. With the global CG expansion, Pixar appreciate that the growth of renderfarms is real and happening now, this move allows existing customers to ramp up their rendering capabilities in a more cost effective manner whilst allowing smaller shops and freelancers access to the toolset.
There's nothing better than gaining extra skills - especially when you can do it for free. This month's free tutorials have been taken from our Camera Tracking and Nuke courses and are great for boosting your skills if you're looking to become professional. The great thing is, they're just 10 minutes long so you can easily work through them in your lunch hour, but like last month's six free Maya Tutorials they're staying in our e-learning platform permanently so you can refer to them whenever you want.
VFX escapee, Jacob Flint has just bagged a job at The Mill which as you can imagine he's pretty pleased about. The truth is, we are too. Having studied with us for 12 weeks on our VFX Production course, Jacob learned all of the vital skills that he needed to get started in the industry right away. He was pretty nervous during his interview but ultimately his skills shone through.
Having started at the beginning of October, the first batch of students from our Online Mentored Visual Effects Course are well under way and the initial results of their work has been great.
Last week, we launched our first academic qualification, an MA in Visual Effects Production, which we’re running with the University of Bradford. You’ll probably be wondering what we’re up to, what with everything that’s been in the news about how much university tuition is going to cost in the UK. Having collaborated on this project with some leading industry pros, however, I reckon we’re on to a winner. Here’s why:
I was just looking over some of the people in our alumni group on LinkedIn and it was great to see the amazing list of companies Escapees are working at. To the have the CG industries peppered with so many people from our courses is a great feeling and we'd love to hear from anyone who isn't in the group so we can see where you are and what you've been up to.
Judging by the high number of re-tweets and Facebook shares of the story I posted on October 19th about Mandelbrot, I figured this was a subject that interested many of you. I am glad I am not the only one!
I came across a tidbit of trivia the other day about Salvador Dali that set me on a little 'surf fest' on this incredible artist.
I read something last week which made me angry, sad and yet hopeful at the same time… This one is a bit of a long story, and I hope it won’t sound too much like a rant, but I feel I owe it to all the people who, like me, felt rather disappointed when they watched “Wallace And Gromit: The Curse Of The Were-Rabbit”.