Few of you will have missed this morning’s headlines about yesterday’s violent student protests in London. Taking to the streets is not something that comes naturally to British people – unlike the French, who view student protests almost as a right of passage. So, having 50,000 of them marching in London shows the level of discontent over the government’s recent decision to increase tuition fees.
VFX escapee, Jacob Flint has just bagged a job at The Mill which as you can imagine he's pretty pleased about. The truth is, we are too. Having studied with us for 12 weeks on our VFX Production course, Jacob learned all of the vital skills that he needed to get started in the industry right away. He was pretty nervous during his interview but ultimately his skills shone through.
The coalition government released last week a whole host of new measures aimed at universities in a bid to make these institutions more transparent. You can read the full story published in the Telegraph here. I for one fully applaud the sentiment behind these measures, but if you'll allow me a cliché, "the devil is in the detail".
When Nik Illingworth came to an Open Day last year, he was brimming with CG enthusiasm. He knew that he wanted a career in VFX but didn't really know how he was going to make it happen. After studying for 12 weeks with us, Nik was up and running. He finished his course, was offered his first job at Frametore and accepted it, then a short while later he decided to come back to us for 6 weeks of final professional training. He's now Effects Technical Director at MPC and still has the same love for the industry that he started off with. Nik's is one of many stories of CG enthusiasts who come to study with us and that's why we wanted to share his case study with you - getting a career in VFX off the ground really is easier than you think.
I spent of lot of my time helping escapees find their first job. As part of this is, I maintain a network of contacts to help students get their foot in the door. We all know how important it is to know the right people and belong to the right network - something that not every student does enough of, but could help them land their dream job.
We recently had a chance to catch up with Ognyan Zahariev an aspiring games artist and Escape Studios graduate. Ognyan is heading to Codemasters to start his career next month and has taken some time to share his thoughts on life after Escape Studios and joining the workforce in the games industry.
It’s always great to find out how escapees get on after their training and enter the world of work. Last week, we met up with ex-student Robert Holmes out at SIGGRAPH. Since his time at Escape, Rob’s gone on to work on some amazing projects at The Mill. He took time to tell us how he got his break and what’s needed to be successful in this industry.
Meet our new animation tutor, Alex Williams who comes from a rich tradition of 2D animation. With over 20 years of industry experience that includes work as a storyboard artist, character designer and animator on more than 20 feature films for Disney, Universal, Warner Bros, Fox, DreamWorks and Sony, his film credits include animated masterpieces such as 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit?', 'The Lion King' and 'The Iron Giant'. His most recent work includes animation for the Oscar-winning 'Monster House', as well as 'Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince'.
This month's free tutorial is part of a series that discusses alternative methods of recreating naturalistic lighting in an exterior environment. Taken from our Advanced Lighting with Maya and Mental Ray course, this tutorial concentrates on optimising raytrace shadows within a manually lit scene, and will teach you how to add ambient shadows via a custom occlusion shader. This tutorial will give you the production level skills expected of a junior lighting artist.
Then take a look at Escape Studios’ Graduate Survey. If you’re a student or have graduated from a UK university we’re keen to hear how you got on finding a job, and how well you think your university prepared you for the world of work.
We've teamed up with 3D World to give you guys the chance to improve your Maya Skills. Seth Gollub, senior animator at Framestore New York shares some of his Maya animation tips, letting us in on a few secrets along the way.
Make sure that you're registered to receive our free monthly tutorials because we have some amazing ones scheduled over the coming months. The tutorials are different every month and cater for all levels of ability; some will be for those just starting out in the industry and others will be professional level, designed to help fine tune skills.
As you probably saw, the Chancellor has awarded the games industry its much deserved tax break. Following Wednesday’s budget, game developers that create profitable games will be able to use the relief to pay less tax on profits, while unsuccessful games will be awarded a cash tax credit to reduce losses – which must be a nice surprise for all you developers out there.
I thought I’d give you all a sneak peek at what’s currently happening on our Animation course. The students have just completed a day of life drawing lessons to help with their understanding of composition, staging, silhouetting and several other traditional art skills vital for 3D animators.
For those of you considering working in this thriving, dynamic industry, we’re offering a taster into the world of computer graphics with a range of three-day short courses. They’re a great opportunity to get a better understanding of the career opportunities out there while gaining valuable insight into the industry.
You might have read that we recently surveyed people working in the industry for their thoughts about their jobs and the world they work in. We’ve now taken this one step further by asking graduates about their expectations of a career in this field.
The Skillset Visual Effects Course is now underway and the work which the guys have produced after just six weeks is incredible!
Step Six - Hand Attach