IKinema are a relatively young company based in the UK with a very special product that is improving the workflow among VFX departments. For anyone lucky enough to have worked with this programme they will know that the IKinema technology is a powerful plug-in and a real asset to any project working with motion capture and animation. It’s an incredible tool with advanced solver settings and a flexible constraint system. It's no wonder Framestore, one of the top VFX companies in Europe, are taking full advantage of this tool by integrating it into their motion capture pipeline.
We’re delighted to announce that CG Whiz 2011 is now open! We’re accepting entries from today for the competition, with the winner receiving a 12 week classroom course at Escape Studios and a 12 week placement with The Mill in either its London or LA offices. This is a once in a life time opportunity that could kick start the career of one talented young artist. If you don’t believe us, see what past winners Stu Schwartz and Adam Droy say about what winning has meant for them.
One of the most entertaining parts of the Character Animation course that I teach at Escape studios is the lesson where the students invent, design and pitch an original animated character to myself and the rest of the class. The purpose of the exercise is to get students thinking not just about the technical side of character motion and action but also to think inventively and creatively. Can we invent characters as well as animate them? The visual effects industry is often demanding in terms of time and energy, and one of the best antidotes to the problem of "burn out" is to keep the creative spirit alive. After all, we all went into the arts to invent and create, not just to polish other people's ideas.
Shapes In Motion was founded in 2010 by Sarah Perry who is not just an actor but an acting and movement coach. Having met Sarah recently at Escape Studios I wanted to tell you more about the interesting coaching work she does with animators. Sarah has been working in the visual effects industry in various tutoring/coaching capacities on a freelance basis since 2008, with recent clients including MPC and Double Negative.
It seems there is an abundance of technology conferences to choose from this year. For fellow technology enthusiasts out there, this is an exciting time, as we are treated to an ocean of updates, new releases and ground breaking developments. One conference we give a particular seal of approval to is the much anticipated CVMP (Conference for Visual Media Production), now in its 8th year running. This is a conference dedicated to the geeks of the visual media production industries, whether that is in film, broadcast or games.
Those of you who follow us on Twitter will probably have noticed that we are soon to launch the third edition of our now famous CG Whiz competition. So, since the 'cat's out of the bag' already, I thought I might just get away with giving you a bit of an insight in what we have been cooking up for this year's edition of CG Whiz.
What exactly is Alembic? I know that some of you will have a fair idea, but I can guess that an awful lot of you simply won't have the first idea about what it does and why it should matter to you.
Not many traditional artists ever imagine that they’d be able to transfer their artistics skills from the studio to the computer but in fact it’s quite the opposite. The current growth of the VFX industry in the UK means there is a growing demand for fresh creative talent. Learning the skills is the easy bit; it’s the creativity that the industry is looking for and that really is something that you’re born with.
Everyone likes to make a saving where they can, that's why we offer all students paying their full course fee's three months in advance, an early-bird discount of £500.
A few weeks back, I presented a webinar on the ‘Key Concepts in Compositing’ and lots of you asked when the video was going to be made available online. Well, now it is and you can watch it here. If you’re not registered on our website, you'll need to sign up first and then log in to watch the video.
Since the introduction of HD to our television screens, we’re starting to see a huge push from a number of channels to deliver a broader range of quality viewing in HD, and the BBC are no exception. Their latest project Planet Dinosaur aired on BBC ONE from September 14th and is an exceptionally ambitious six part series, exhibiting the findings from dinosaur research over the past decade. Each episode is entirely computer generated, and it was one lone company based in London that produced this work completly in house. The company I’m referring to is Jellyfish Pictures, and we at Escape Studios were involved with kitting them out in preparation for this difficult project. Jellyfish now have a completely up to date system, and are in a great position to offer future clients the very latest software and hardware, putting them ahead of the rest for a couple of years.
On September 7th, 2011 we held a webinar for Autodesk’s 2012 version of the Entertainment Creative Suites. As ever, registrations for this Autodesk webinar were plentiful, and we're delighted so many of you were able to join us on the day.
Here is my usual Weekly Round-Up of news with the stories that I have picked up over the past week. If you have suggestions for stories I missed, just drop me a line or post a comment.
Autodesk have an awesome competition running at the moment, with great prizes for the winning and runner-up entries. They are calling out for submissions of a scene or design created on either 3ds Max 2012 or 3ds Max Design 2012. The winning entry will be featured on the 3ds Max Design 2012 box cover and splash screen. Entries will not be judged on production quality, but rather on imagination, innovation and an ingenious use of the Max logo. They are looking for inventive concepts or renderings of architectural designs as well as mechanical or industrial production design. So be adventurous.
We just caught up with Stu Schwartz—last year’s CG Whiz winner. Here’s what he had to say about the experience and knowledge he’s gained and, of course, a few tips for this year’s submissions:
I learned a lot this last summer at Escape Studios as a student and intern but one of the most important things I want to make sure students and aspiring artists know is that I found out how important networking can be. The more you get out there and meet people, the more opportunities will present themselves. Escape is located right near the heart of countless studios and is always putting on events and connecting with other studios and industry professionals. It's been a great environment for meeting other artists and potential employers. So keep that in mind as you move forward in your careers.