Blog

Partysaurus Rex!

Partysaurus Rex!

Like many other film fans, my journey with Pixar’s original animation classic Toy Story, has been an emotional one. From the age of 5 I’ve watched every instalment of the Toy Story trilogy, each time within a week of its release at the cinema, even the third, which as a 20 year old I saw in 3D, twice.

0 Comments Robert Broadbent

Posted by
Robert Broadbent
Thu 20 Sep 2012: 10:00am

Tags: , , , ,

A guide to CG animations from 1964

A guide to CG animations from 1964

We often take CG for granted in modern films—everything from sci-fi flicks to action-heavy blockbusters include plenty of computer generated visuals. But in 1964 the process wasn't quite so widespread.

0 Comments Brad Collier-Brown

Posted by
Brad Collier-Brown
Tue 18 Sep 2012: 5:00pm

Tags: , ,

The VFX Festival 2012 - Get your tickets now!

The VFX Festival 2012 - Get your tickets now!

Step into the mind-blowing world of VFX with The VFX Festival! Escape Studios has created the first ever four-day festival exploring the breathtaking world of visual effects, held in London on 10th-13th October.

Celebrating a decade of UK visual effects, the festival will be packed with the most respected VFX talent, visionaries and companies who have helped shape the industry. Offering inspirational insight behind the clever trickery in this booming VFX industry, with an exciting four-day programme packed with insider knowledge and information, showreel demos, hands-on workshops and exclusive premieres, it's perfect for those with a creative talent or thirst to develop their VFX Career.

19 Comments Bethan Lofthouse

Posted by
Bethan Lofthouse
Mon 17 Sep 2012: 1:30pm

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

They don’t make films like they used to!

They don’t make films like they used to!

Who Framed Roger Rabbit? is one film responsible for inspiring a whole generation of animators. This is very much the case in the UK particularly, and largely because of the massive contribution from one very talented Brit, Richard Williams, and his team at Elstree Studios. And so, when I came across this posting on io9.com, I felt I should share the little nostalgic nugget with you all.

0 Comments Davi Stein

Posted by
Davi Stein
Mon 17 Sep 2012: 12:05pm

Tags: , , , , ,

Webseries spotlight: Red vs Blue - Part I

Webseries spotlight: Red vs Blue - Part I
And here we arrive at the end of our spotlight on web series blogs that have cool visual effects. And fittingly, we will wrap up with one of my absolute favourite shows.
This show began with a few friends recording themselves playing Halo; Combat Evolved(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halo:_Combat_Evolved), and dubbed voices over the top to create humorous shorts. Now, ten years later, those few guys have become Rooster Teeth(http://roosterteeth.com/home.php), and are the proud owners of the internet's longest running webseries, Red vs Blue(http://roosterteeth.com/archive/?sid=rvb&v=more). RvB has won many awards, and now has a huge fanbase(http://rvb.wikia.com/wiki/Red_vs._Blue_Wiki) over the entire world. 
In the begining, RvB was a clever nod to the nuances of videogaming; two teams, of the aformentioned colours, trapped in a boxed canyon with two identical bases with no purporse or logical goal other than to kill eachother. There was a heavy emphasis on humour, specifically for gamers and Halo fans. Over the last decade, however, it has evolved. The length of the episodes has grown, the cast has greatly expanded, the plot has twisted and turned dramatically, and although they are split into seasons, the episodes actually tell one long continuous story from start to finish, which at this point clocks in at over 18 hours. It's basically one really, really long film. 
The comedy has continued - and improved - over the years. However what's more impressive is the story, and how, despite it being created on a year by year basis, it continuously managed to tie itself into past events to create on long complex yet sophisticated narrative.
Both visually and in terms of production value, you can see how the show has adapted over the years. In its beginning(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9BAM9fgV-ts), RvB was filmed in an almost bootleg fashion, where large black bars covered the top and bottom of the screen to cover the Halo HUD, and the aiming reticule is always visible in the centre of the screen (They have since gone back and 'remastered' these episodes for HD quality). As the popularity of the show increased, Bungie(http://www.bungie.net), the creators of the Halo series, gave the guys at Rooster Teeth the means to record and render their exploits with their own in game cameras. Rooster Teeth have also cleverly used their stories to explain the visual differences that occur as new versions on Halo are released. For example, when they began to use Halo 2(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halo_2), the cast were blown into the future, where everything looked better and shinier. 
Then, at the start of season 8(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VQ9pCqbwCFo&list=ELKa7KIIcrH8k&index=3&feature=plpp_video), and totally out of the blue, RvB started using action sequences have been made with fully scripted fight scenes that involve stunts not possible with the previous game engine. CG had crept its way into the show, and in a big way; multiple people beating the incredible hell out of each other, huge explosions, space fights, giant weapons, and jaw dropping set pieces littered season 8, including an hilarious 8 minute sequence of Tex destroying the Reds and Blues(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ke9wtbzGjCI&feature=relmfu), and her epic final battle against Washington and The Meta (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZgweBtQLL5g&feature=relmfu).
Since then, the show has cleverly incorporated fully CG sequences by showing flashbacks to Project Freelancer(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQ3OZfPsP2E&list=ELYWB-pNdHjy0&index=2&feature=plpp_video) that tie into the current story. They've also built models for their characters underneath the suits of armour they wear, allowing their helmets to come off. It's important to remember that this is still a low budget show so the graphics aren't movie quality, but it's perfectly forgiveable considering the sheer amount of action and artistic direction used. 
For those of you who're desperate to follow RvB in all its glory after this extremely  thorough and well-written blog (which, I'm sure, will be all of you) it's important to point out a few things. The first 3 season's do look a little rough by today's standards, and it takes just a little bit of time for the cast to refine their voices. While it's fine to skip ahead to see the kind of quality you'll end up with, I urge you to start at the beginning, otherwise you'll fail to grasp most of the long running jokes. Also; it's totally hilarious, heartfelt, intelligent and constantly impresses with its ability to create a complex and intriguing story using just a few multilayer maps from a video game. So you should watch it anyway. 
It terms of visual effects, RvB delivers incredibly over the top sequences that rival any film this side of The Avengers(http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0848228/). In terms of the series as a whole, there's a reason this show has been running longer that most television shows, keeps winning awards, had it's fictional game Griffball incorporated into Halo 3 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halo_3), and generally keeps getting better every year (this has even seen the inclusion of Elijah Wood to the cast). It's the best and longest running webseries out there, and well worth you're attention. Now go; you've got 18 hours of webshow to watch this weekend. Enjoy!

And here we arrive at the end of our spotlight on webseries blogs that have cool visual effects. And fittingly, we will wrap up with one of my absolute favourite shows.

0 Comments Ash Miles

Posted by
Ash Miles
Mon 17 Sep 2012: 9:00am

Tags: , , , , , ,

September’s Free Tutorial: "Hellboy" Inspired Maya Animation

September’s Free Tutorial: "Hellboy" Inspired Maya Animation

For those of you looking to get more adventurous in Maya, September’s free tutorial is a must see. This is the perfect opportunity to spice up your showreel with something a little different, while learning a diverse range of new skills in the process.

3 Comments Ellen Payne

Posted by
Ellen Payne
Thu 13 Sep 2012: 4:50pm

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Weird Wins!

Weird Wins!

With the US release of Paranorman last month (UK release 14th September), sporting giants Nike have released a one of a kind edition of their synonymous, ‘foamposite’ sports trainer. Only 800 of these Paranorman themed pumps were made and get this - they could only be won by weirdos.

0 Comments Robert Broadbent

Posted by
Robert Broadbent
Tue 11 Sep 2012: 11:00am

Tags: , , , , , ,

HaZ Dulull - Plenty o'Success!

HaZ Dulull - Plenty o'Success!

Hasraf Dullul is part of a generation of VFX artists first inspired by the film ‘Bladerunner’, since this early awakening, Hasraf, or Haz, as he is more fondly known by his contemporaries, has assembled a portfolio of some considerable weight; it includes a number of prestigious awards and world renowned projects. Batman: The Dark Knight, Planet Dinosaur and NOVA – Life beyond Earth, not to mention numerous VES (Visual Effects Society) awards nominations!

The most recent fruits of his labour have flourished in the form of his own VFX driven short film, ‘Fubar Redux’, which has been fondly described as ‘Animal Farm meets Platoon’ quite an intriguing round up right? Be sure to check it out here, we think it’s marvellous!

0 Comments Miriam Payne

Posted by
Miriam Payne
Fri 31 Aug 2012: 4:35pm

Tags: , , , , , ,

Fuel VFX go into administration

Fuel VFX go into administration

Bad news down under this week, as the prolific Australian firm, Fuel VFX, has made a 'backs to the wall' decision to go into voluntary administration. Having worked on such films as Prometheus, The Avengers and Iron Man over the last few years, we can safely say the world of VFX will be missing this hive of talent!

2 Comments Robert Broadbent

Posted by
Robert Broadbent
Fri 31 Aug 2012: 12:00pm

Tags: , , ,

Dragons are cool, right?

Dragons are cool, right?

In pursuit of some new blog material, I managed to stumble across this über cool, VFX heavy advertisement. For the most extravagant collection of watches I think I’ve ever seen. And as far as product shots go, this one is a pretty elaborate example.

0 Comments Robert Broadbent

Posted by
Robert Broadbent
Thu 30 Aug 2012: 2:30pm

Tags: , , ,

Allergy to Originality

Allergy to Originality

Seattle-based filmmaker and illustrator Drew Christie's latest animated Op-Doc, Allergy to Originality, is a feast for the eyes and quite the creative brain cell tickler too.

0 Comments Alison Cobb

Posted by
Alison Cobb
Wed 29 Aug 2012: 5:00pm

Tags: ,

Everything is just Vine...

Everything is just Vine...

Over the past six months we have been working with Michael Illingworth, founder of Vine Post Production to expand his studio. Michael has worked at The Mill and Cinesite and has been involved in post-production, compositing and visual effects supervision on some of the biggest film names in the industry including the Harry Potter franchise, Gladiator and Black Hawk Down.

0 Comments richard mcguinnesss

Posted by
richard mcguinnesss
Tue 28 Aug 2012: 11:30am

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Autodesk Scaleform

Autodesk Scaleform

Our friends Autodesk have recently released three user friendly packages for Scaleform users, Unity plug-in, Mobile Flash platform and Mobile SDK.

0 Comments Tim Flett

Posted by
Tim Flett
Fri 24 Aug 2012: 3:30pm

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

A one day VFX taster session!

A one day VFX taster session!

“Big things have small beginnings”, was an idea acknowledged in Ridley Scott’s Prometheus, released earlier this year. And for us, this statement couldn’t be more true. Taking the art of visual effects as a prime example, the spectacular CG you see on screens today was born from the most basic of concepts, and the people who created those effects invested significant time and energy to become the talented artists they are today. Every creative talent has to start out somewhere, and with the right levels of care and determination, it can evolve into something magnificent.

4 Comments Ellen Payne

Posted by
Ellen Payne
Fri 24 Aug 2012: 12:08pm

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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

Posted by
Robert Broadbent
Tue 21 Aug 2012: 10:30am

Tags: , ,

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

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Get your game on at Gamescom 2012

Get your game on at Gamescom 2012

Gamescom, Europe's premier gaming event, starts today in Cologne, Germany and will run through until the end of this week (15th - 19th August). With over 275,000 visitors, more than 5,000 journalists and 557 exhibitors from 39 countries, Gamescom is the World's largest games event, uniquely showcasing all interactive game segments from PC and console right through to mobile gaming. This is the place for game devs and manufacturers to make an impression on Europe's tastemakers and games journalists.

0 Comments Emma Lee

Posted by
Emma Lee
Wed 15 Aug 2012: 12:00pm

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Shapes In Motion: Acting & Movement

Shapes In Motion: Acting & Movement

Shapes in Motion are hosting some exciting new Acting & Movement for Animator’s workshops coming up in Sept, Oct and Nov 2012. 

0 Comments Paul Wilkes

Posted by
Paul Wilkes
Wed 15 Aug 2012: 9:00am

Tags: , , , , ,

Disney Research showcases facial-capture technology at SIGGRAPH

Disney Research showcases facial-capture technology at SIGGRAPH

So as many of you will know, SIGGRAPH was in full swing last week, where the nerdy world of CGI congregate in LA to share innovations, lectures and an incredible amount of boasting. SIGGRAPH is the Official Conference and Exhibition on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques, where leading personnel and companies in the CGI world get together and share what's been going on for them in the past and will be in the future.

0 Comments Brad Collier-Brown

Posted by
Brad Collier-Brown
Tue 14 Aug 2012: 11:00am

Tags: , , , , ,

Cartoon Yourself?

Cartoon Yourself?

So we’re really busy here at Escape, which is why I’ve been playing around on the internet, making a cartoon of myself… all in the name of research of course.

2 Comments Robert Broadbent

Posted by
Robert Broadbent
Fri 10 Aug 2012: 11:17am

Tags: ,