Many 3D fans will be aware of the power of Maya, and the influence it has on the world of VFX, from blockbuster films to major games series, Maya is one of the most incredible creative tools on the planet. But like a pack of Arctic Huskies, it demands time and attention if you wish it to take you voyaging across the vast plains of 3D.
January is fast approaching, and with that brings new year resolutions and ambitions. Looking to the future, you may be keen to find out what you want to do following the end of your studies. Or perhaps you’re keen to change careers or simply enhance the computer graphics skills you already have. With this in mind, it seems there’s no better time to visit our facilities and discover how doing a course at Escape Studios will help you get to where you want to be.
As Training Advisor here at Escape Studios, I speak with a lot of people looking to take the leap into VFX. Although everyone’s situation differs considerably, I do find that many have the same concerns. So after speaking with past student Ashley Miles about his experience on the VFX for Production course, I thought I should share some pearls of wisdom, to help clear up any concerns you have about embarking on this new career path.
With the help of some top class industry speakers, cinemas in a handful of the world’s most prolific post houses, a dedicated team of Escape staff and some fantastically helpful VFX Marshalls, it is no surprise the UK’s first ever VFX Festival, was a storming success.
Most people know that Escape Studios is a world class CG Academy as well as a leading supplier of the latest technology and software to the industry. A lesser known fact is that Escape is also a leading Post Production freelancer agency who work with some of the top studios in the world, we understand better than anyone the challenges of resourcing a project.
Success stories about our escapees are always a pleasure to write up. What's even better though is the opportunity to write another, on the same person, just a year later! Mark Pascoe recently answered some questions for us, explaining his journey from studying Sports Science at University to working on the VFX for an Emmy nominated TV Show for the Discovery channel.
We’ve just had some exciting news from the lovely people at Creative Skillset. The creative industries’ sector skills council are currently running a pilot scheme for short courses that provide training in areas such as TV, film, radio, interactive media, animation, computer graphics, facilities, photo imaging, publishing, advertising and fashion & textiles. By making training in these areas more readily available, they hope to open up these industries and create a more diverse pool of talent right here in the UK. And we’re delighted to play a part in that ambition.
Over the weekend we attended the London VES Career Fair & Tech Expo, and let’s just say it put Love Box to shame with the numbers who turned out for the event itself! Queues of aspiring VFX artists patiently lining up to speak to representatives from some of the world’s greatest post houses, including ILM, Framestore, Pixomondo, Method Studios, Cinesite, Prime Focus and Disney, really highlighted just how much competition there is to get your foot on the first rung of the ladder in the world of Visual Effects.
The fifth week of the Maya Core evening course is equivalent to day five of the intensive day time class, so we have now covered one week of the comparable daytime course. The advantage of the evening course is you have more time to soak in the deluge of information showered onto you, but the daytime class are constantly thinking in Maya so perhaps absorb it more thoroughly.
After last week’s fruity frolics and forays into furniture, we began week four of our Maya Course finishing the seat cover of our poly modelled chair. The back row gang was complete again as our comrade James returned as he was unable to attend last week’s lessons. He was gutted to miss the chair making exercise, because he’s a budding furniture designer now hoping to get an internship at a London studio, and believes learning Maya will boost his creative potential.
I was sitting in the front row, next to Rodrigo from Brazil, on Monday night, as our class made an effort to complete the exercise of modelling fruit in NURBS, before we moved on to making a chair in Polygons. I felt a little more confident, after practicing my Primitive Man Online tutorial last weekend, and I looked forward to shading and texturing my wonky apple. But before I got to that moment there was a NURB banana skin, waiting for me to slip on.
There are no Antipodeans in our class, but if there were we might use the Aussie slang phrase ‘We'll be apples’ (meaning it’ll be alright), as we started to understand the workflow, and make our first tentative steps at modelling fruit in Maya. For on Monday night Mark began our second week of tuition with an exercise in creating an apple, giving new meaning to Maya Core.
Are you an aspiring CG artist who’s trying to get your CG career off the ground? Are you working in the creative industry and want to transfer your skills to VFX? We know how difficult it can be to make decisions and chose the right path, but that’s where our Careers Guide can help. By revealing the many opportunities that exist within the CG industry, the guide helps you overcome some of the hurdles you might face when you start making career choices.
“What have I got myself into?…” was the worrying thought running through my mind, as my second class in Maya Core reached the half-way point. This was the less than confident start to my personal experiment, where I’m hoping to demonstrate how Escape Studios can instruct a complete 3D newbie, and turn me into a (hopefully) competent Maya operator.
After a busy year of new course launches, we now have Visual Effects and Compositing training to suit everyone, whether that’s Classroom Training or Online Mentored study. We know what you need to learn but also understand that everyday life can sometimes make this difficult. This is why we’ve tackled this head on and ensured that our training is flexible and works for you.
Creative Futures is a study we recently commissioned to uncover what people in the creative industries really think about training. One of the key factors emerging from the report was that many professionals currently in full time employment, were actively seeking new skills to further their career. In these cases online or evening study are the only option.
I have just finished a great week teaching MARI to our new Compositing Professional class. I took them through UVing in Maya, and then taught them how to get to grips with MARI. As part of the curriculum, I also included for the first time the brand new NUKE to MARI bridge which makes the process of taking camera projections from Nuke to Mari and baking projections to UV space much quicker and more flexible.