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.
Some of you may remember the incredibly addictive Maxis game, SimCity. If anything, you’ll remember the awesome tunes that accompanied your construction of cityscapes, with endless building potential. And for those of you with fond memories of this game, you’ll rejoice in knowing that the creators are taking it to a whole new level of development. SimCity is now global!
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.
Despite all its woes over the first season, AMC's The Walking Dead amassed a huge following during its second season. Even though the story has arguably dragged at times, there is no doubting the fantastic special effects work that goes into each and every episode of the zombie thriller. Based on Robert Kirkman’s popular zombie apocalypse comic book series by the same name, The Walking Dead has captivated TV audiences for two seasons and is already whetting appetites for its highly anticipated third season, scheduled to air in the UK in October. The story follows a group of survivors, lead by police officer Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), who band together in the midst of a gruesome zombie apocalypse. The creative concoction that is The Walking Dead blends real-world and CG elements, characters, and environments. Artists at Stargate Studios, an international production services and postproduction company, merge that which is real and imagined, as well as dead and undead, into a convincing, cohesive whole on a rather impressive weekly basis.
Another year another SIGGRAPH and what a packed in week it was. This year, LA didn't just give us earthquakes, heat waves and the biggest burritos known to man but also a full week of presentations from some of the biggest and newest studios plus an exhibition hall packed with the latest technology from around the world.
Here is a quick summary and a few favourites from last week. These are just some of the things to check out:
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.
Is your mind a whirling dervish of creativity? Do your ideas formulate out of the blue, and evolve from non-existence to intrinsically detailed visions, in a matter of minutes? Channeling these skills can be an adventure, especially if you enter an industry where the boundaries are seemingly limitless…
It is a truth universally acknowledged that Escape students possess a unique ability to intake an insanely-high level of caffeine. Some claim it assists their CGI wizardry in the classroom, others argue it's due in part to our breakout space housing the largest cappucino machine ever created by mortal hands.
Forget looking at silly pictures of cupcakes and sunsets on Pinterest, why not collect and organise images of stuff that you actually intend to eat, see, do or buy? Say bonjourno to Fancy, an app that lets you collect images of stuff you like, tag it, organise it, share it, buy it...BOOM! From the creators of Fancy.com, the Fancy app is available on iPad, iPhone and android and is completely FREE. Users can browse, shop and sell items they, well...fancy! You can flick through all things weird and wonderful from out-of-your-price-range sports cars and fancy gifts for your loved ones to vampire slayer kits, prosthetics limb covers and hot tub boats (no lie, it's a hot tub-boat!). This doesn't have to be an entirely self-indulgent experience either, share all those little discoveries on all the usual social media suspects to make sure everyone knows just how cool you are.
Saturday 18th August sees the launch of a new Kinetica exhibition space at Emigre Studios. For those of you who don't know, Kinetica is an awesome art organisation, which exhibits kinetic/moving interactive art installations that often involve video and digital art.
August’s free tutorial goes out to all the Compositors. Take this opportunity to breathe a little life into your projects, using some NUKE trickery. Based on a technique applied while working on Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Compositing tutor and Head of 2D at Escape, Davi Stein looks at how to enhance basic elements within your scene for a more filmic look.
When television orignally began, there was only a handful of black and white channels, horse and carriages wandered down our cobbled streets, and people didn't need the internet because they were too busy feeding their clothes through mangles in caves, or something! The first type of TV shows were comedies, and variety shows, and over time, they evolved into dramas, then slowly into the level of award-winning quality we see today. The internet is following a similar pattern; where as video sites originally appeared so we could swap videos of people falling over and kittens kittening, the medium is steadily evolving to produce high quality dramatic web shows.
Enthralled about the latest instalment of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy? Fancy yourself as a bit of a Bat-fan? Well prepare to eat your words, as this mega (rich) fan eclipses all others, and prepares to embark on a $2 million renovation of his basement, transforming it into a ‘Bat-cave’ themed, home theatre.
The rumours are true - Apple is launching its iPad Mini alongside the iPhone 5 in early Autumn, providing all the same fun gadgetry of a regular iPad but in a neat and compact 7.85 inch tablet. The competition is rife with Amazon and Google spewing out rival devices, including the Kindle Fire and Nexus 7, in preparation for this year's Tablet rush. Apple hopes to squash this competition with the release of the iPad Mini, lending weight to the idea of a ‘budget iPad’ in order to compete with the lower priced android slates creeping into the market.
A short time ago, our current students were treated to a presentation from some chaps from Lexhag Visual Effects. Lexhag are a small post production house with in house grading capabilities and benefit from years of on-set experience to create stunning effects for mid-level tv shows, such as Whitechapel and The Fades. We were visted by Effects Supervisor Alexis Haggar, founder of Lexhag and fellow escapee (from way back when), and Senior Producer Dan Marbrook. They took the time to come exhibit some shows they'd worked on, so the Escape Students could see the quality of work a small studio can produce.
I had the opportunity to watch a VES (Visual Effects Society) preview screening of Pixar’s Brave, a few weeks back. And this screening, like many VES screenings, was a very special one. We were greeted by two guest speakers who had come all the way from the US to answer questions from the London professional visual effects community, and well as some kids along for the ride to see the amazing red locks of the heroine, Princess Merida. Director Mark Andrews and Producer Katherine Serafian provided fascinating trivia about the whole process of making this film.