At Escape, we've been teaching visual effects for over 11 years. Our students have gone on to work on some of the biggest films ever made, the coolest TV shows, and the best adverts to have been created, all over the globe. And yet, it still amazes me what the VFX community gets up to in its spare time!
This year’s CG Student Awards competition has just launched and they are now taking entries. As big supporters of this competition we’re delighted to see it back for another year, and it’s looking bigger and better than ever. Dedicated to students studying for careers in Next-Gen Games and VFX / Animation industries, this competition is a great opportunity for students and alumni to showcase their work to industry experts, offering a little helping hand up the VFX career ladder.
The original Alien is an incredible film. Arguably the granddaddy of space horror, it took the 70's corporation paranoia into the black, littered flawed and earnest characters throughout a floating factory and gave birth - quite literally - to one of the most terrifying creatures in cinema history.
If you’re aware of Killzone, Formula 1, Zero Dark Thirty and Prometheus, then you’re aware of Territory Studios. They’ve provided some top of the range work for some epic projects since their formation in 2010, and we’re delighted to announce that we’ve got one of their team coming to Escape HQ on February 19th.
Every now and then, pieces of technology (and those who create it) come along and make people say ‘wow’. Whether it be a mad VFX shot created by a 3D whiz, or an app you use daily that makes you say “WHY DID I NOT THINK OF THIS BEFORE!?”, more and more people are getting to grips with the building blocks of the digital world, and these kind of occurrences are only going to become more frequent.
I have intentionally waited until the afternoon to post this blog, so that all of you UK based sports fans that actually stayed awake to watch the coverage of the Superbowl last night, are now wide awake! So if you’ve finished your belated breakfast and have washed the beer stains out of your team jersey, then please cast your mind back to approximately 16 hours ago.
There’s been a huge amount of excitement surrounding Keanu Reeves latest action flick 47 Ronin, which was released on Boxing Day. We know that the VFX community in particular have had watchful eyes on how the film is received given the high levels of attention the aesthetic of the film has been given in post.
Seeing escapees working on Hollywood blockbusters is a regular occurrence here at Escape Studios, and 2014 promises to be no change from the usual schedule, as we recently spoke to escapee Simone Cilliani who has worked on one film we’re particularly looking forward to; ‘300: Rise of an Empire’, set for release in March 2014.
So we’ve all managed to take a look at the killer new trailer for Godzilla from VFX whiz turned director Gareth Edwards. But what was it about the trailer that grabbed your attention? Was it the borrowed score from 2001: A Space Odyssey? Perhaps it was the clip of Brian Cranston looking a little bit more like Hal from Malcolm in the Middle?
How's your MARI awesomeness? Insane prizes up for grabs in this competition from The Foundry & CG Society!
What's the secret behind breath-taking visual effects? There are lots of elements we need to consider before answering this question – such as modelling, texturing and lighting your scene - but a pivotal point in the process of bringing a computer generated image to life, is rendering. And one man who has dedicated a great many hours into this area is The Mill's Head of Maya Development, Suraj Harrington-Odedra.
Calling all Softimage (XSI) fans out there - get yourself down to the next user group event tomorrow night. With an awesome line up of speakers it’s another great opportunity to catch up with your fellow animation Softimage users and a chance to check out some of the Softimage projects from over the last year.
Often for a VFX artist there is a defining moment of clarity, whether it be during a TV program, an epic film, or just viewing a highly detailed drawing, most of the artists we encounter, when asked “what made you want to become a VFX artist?” Usually one of these occasions is cited as a reply.
For those of you who are interested learning more about the tools being used by the pros, here’s a great article from the fxguide crew sharing details of the recent evolution of Naiad into Bifröst. In my opinion, this is one of the most exciting developments to come from Autodesk in quite some time. Find out more here.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again - the role of an artist is a complex and often challenging one. Every artist, no matter what stage you’re at in your career, will struggle with diminishing motivation and inspiration. It’s incredibly easy to slip into this state as we work ourselves into the ground, letting the pot of ideas run empty. But you are not alone! I know this because last week I spent three days at Reasons to be Creative in Brighton and was surrounded by artists and developers from across the creative industries, all looking for a fix of something that would get their creative juices flowing…