The Animation Festival ‘Annecy’ invited me to give a talk about my career as an animator and to lift the lid on a few Animation Mysteries as well. As much as I love working at Escape Studios, it was great to talk about my life as a freelance animator and some of the jobs that have shaped my career like ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit’ and ‘The Lion King’. It was also nice to see that people were interested in this too!
Finland native, Miska Janhunen had been working for his family’s visual design firm as a Webmaster for some time, but he harboured a dream of working in VFX. For years he has been trying to find time and flexibility to study CG. “Because of my location and current situation in life, it felt more or less ‘mission impossible’. Then, in the autumn of 2010, I found Escape Studios’ Online Mentored VFX course and all the pieces fell into place.”
When I see students go from first day newbies to fully-fledged VFX artists I can’t help but feel that they absolutely deserve it. After weeks of rigorous training learning how to create believable CG, the moment comes when they start looking for a job. And that’s exactly what happened to Pasquale Riefoli and Maria Busco who have both secured jobs at Double Negative!
I thought it was going to be one of those 'office' moments when a colleague pulled some papers out of his bag and said "you must see this"... He is important, so I paid good attention...!
As promised here's another escapee reel. This time from Ben Revens, one of our recent VFX graduates. This is a great reel with good examples of work from two of our most popular courses. The violin and tank shots were produced during our 12-week Visual Effects Production course. The more elaborate and advanced staircases shot was produced during our 6-weeks Visual Effects Professional extension which Ben took straight after his VFX Production course.
A few weeks back, CWJobs spoke to our Recruitment Manager, Garreth Gaydon about the best way of getting a job in the VFX industry when you're first starting out. The feature which you can read in full here discusses the high demand for jobs in the VFX industry and the kinds of first jobs that will enable you to get your foot in the door and make it as a VFX artist. It’s a tricky industry to enter because it is both highly creative yet technically very demanding which requires a serious amount of skill and creative ability.
We're very proud of the work we do here at Escape Studios but we probably don't show enough of our students' work. Over the coming months we're going to be featuring much more student work on our website but in the meantime I wanted to start showing some of the reels from our most recent graduates.
Some of you may have seen a series posts from students' 'coaching diaries' on our blog recently. For those of you who don't know, some of our students studying our classroom courses are being coached by the industry's biggest post houses; The Mill, Double Negative and Framestore. This week, compositing student Clement Roland shares his experience with us.
If you're reading this blog, then chances are you're like most of us here at Escape Studios and love blowing things up and putting them back together again. So this month's free tutorial should be right up your street because we're going to teach you how to demolish a brick wall using nCloth.
A few weeks back I took my class to the Natural History Museum so that we could generate some new footage which they could camera track with. It was lots of fun as they not only got to film live-action footage, they knew exactly what they would have to work with when getting back to the classroom. For me, keeping things fresh is important - and so filming new footage for the students to work with is a must. As you can see from the video, we're all pretty excited to be out of the classroom!
It’s such a great feeling when you attend a packed out event and the people pouring in turn out to be our former students. And that’s exactly what happened a couple nights ago. I attended a PFTrack event organised by our Technology Team, and it was a storming success. The room was packed with over 50 people – all craning their necks to get a better view of the speaker.
Lots of the attendees at the event were escapees who we didn’t just train but placed in their current jobs. It was great to catch up with Jacob Flint who studied our VFX Course last year and so refreshing to hear that he’s just as excited about working at The Mill today, as he was when we first placed him there. That’s a pretty rare thing these days.
Job satisfaction is massively important, and if you are not entirely happy with what you are doing, then I would encourage you to ‘shop around’ and find out what’s out there. Doing so doesn’t have to be that taxing either. If you follow us on twitter or use our RSS feed you’ll be first to hear about new jobs, daily. Because we work with nearly all of the major names in the industry, most of the jobs that are out there come through us.
So, if you’re stuck in a rut, or just fancy a change, we might just have the right thing for you.
The new course announcements are coming thick and fast at the moment, having recently launched our new Compositing Professional course I'm really pleased to announce the launch of our new 18-week Visual Effect Animation Professional course.
Here is an amazing use of Xbox Kinect or PlayStation EyeToy: desktop motion capture!
A few weeks back we told you about our classroom courses being coached by the Industry. One of our students, Alexander Kubinyi, told us about his experience at Double Negative and what it was like to have your reel critiqued by Alex ‘The baron’ Wuttke. This week, we catch up with another escapee who is studying our Compositing Professional Course and is being coached by The Mill. Here’s a snippet from Mary Lapena’s coaching diary.
Here is a question for you: just because we can make somthing in 3D, is it always the best approach?
Evgenia Golubeva recently finished our Character Animation course with us and has very quickly landed a commercials job at Partizan Lab in Soho on the strength of her excellent demo reel. She has also recently put together a short film titled "Hold Me Clothes", a stop-motion film written by her and animated in just one day at a recent film festival in Italy.