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Partysaurus Rex!

Partysaurus Rex!

Like many other film fans, my journey with Pixar’s original animation classic Toy Story, has been an emotional one. From the age of 5 I’ve watched every instalment of the Toy Story trilogy, each time within a week of its release at the cinema, even the third, which as a 20 year old I saw in 3D, twice.

0 Comments Robert Broadbent

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Robert Broadbent
Thu 20 Sep 2012: 10:00am

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Take Your NUKE Fluency to the next level!

Take Your NUKE Fluency to the next level!

We've invited Victor Perez to share some of his top tips and tricks when working with Python in NUKE. Having studied our Compositing for Production course back in 2009, Victor has gone on to master NUKE to a highly professional level. Voted this year’s second most valuable nukepedia.com contributor, and one of the first official Nuke certified trainers, Victor has prepared a webinar to show you what’s possible when you apply Python scripting to a project.

0 Comments Ellen Payne

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Ellen Payne
Wed 19 Sep 2012: 5:17pm

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The Economic Impact of the UK Film Industry

The Economic Impact of the UK Film Industry

Following a lot of doom and gloom surrounding the UK economy, it’s always nice to read something positive about an industry contributing towards economic growth. The BBC posted an article this week discussing an independent report examining the impact of the film industry on the UK economy. And we feel this report is just the thing we need to restore faith in the creative talent that exists this side of the pond, so it can be nurtured allowing the industry to flourish even further.

0 Comments Ellen Payne

Posted by
Ellen Payne
Wed 19 Sep 2012: 12:05pm

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A guide to CG animations from 1964

A guide to CG animations from 1964

We often take CG for granted in modern films—everything from sci-fi flicks to action-heavy blockbusters include plenty of computer generated visuals. But in 1964 the process wasn't quite so widespread.

0 Comments Brad Collier-Brown

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Brad Collier-Brown
Tue 18 Sep 2012: 5:00pm

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Right up our street!

Right up our street!

Good day film fans! Here’s something we saw online that is sure to tickle your pickle!

0 Comments Robert Broadbent

Posted by
Robert Broadbent
Tue 18 Sep 2012: 12:00pm

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The VFX Festival 2012 - Get your tickets now!

The VFX Festival 2012 - Get your tickets now!

Step into the mind-blowing world of VFX with The VFX Festival! Escape Studios has created the first ever four-day festival exploring the breathtaking world of visual effects, held in London on 10th-13th October.

Celebrating a decade of UK visual effects, the festival will be packed with the most respected VFX talent, visionaries and companies who have helped shape the industry. Offering inspirational insight behind the clever trickery in this booming VFX industry, with an exciting four-day programme packed with insider knowledge and information, showreel demos, hands-on workshops and exclusive premieres, it's perfect for those with a creative talent or thirst to develop their VFX Career.

19 Comments Bethan Lofthouse

Posted by
Bethan Lofthouse
Mon 17 Sep 2012: 1:30pm

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Robocop-out?

Robocop-out?

Pictures surfaced yesterday from the set of the Robocop remake, to be released in August 2013 - "very exciting!" I hear you say. Well for most of us it is! 

An overwhelming amount of unhappy Tweeters, Facebookers and bloggers alike, took to their keyboards over the weekend - unleashing a tirade of distain on the new costume design, placing it firmly in the shadows of the iconic suit from the original 1987 film.

3 Comments Robert Broadbent

Posted by
Robert Broadbent
Mon 17 Sep 2012: 1:00pm

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Scalability, Stability & Simplicity with Qube! 6.4

Scalability, Stability & Simplicity with Qube! 6.4

PipelineFX, makers of Qube! have announced the release of render farm management tool Qube! 6.4. With additional features including new tools for smart farming, MobileView access for supervisors via a free smartphone app, the ability to set priorities limits and control of how much of your workstation is available to the render farm with QBLocker, all with a single click of a mouse.

0 Comments Tim Flett

Posted by
Tim Flett
Mon 17 Sep 2012: 12:30pm

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They don’t make films like they used to!

They don’t make films like they used to!

Who Framed Roger Rabbit? is one film responsible for inspiring a whole generation of animators. This is very much the case in the UK particularly, and largely because of the massive contribution from one very talented Brit, Richard Williams, and his team at Elstree Studios. And so, when I came across this posting on io9.com, I felt I should share the little nostalgic nugget with you all.

0 Comments Davi Stein

Posted by
Davi Stein
Mon 17 Sep 2012: 12:05pm

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Webseries spotlight: Red vs Blue - Part II

Webseries spotlight: Red vs Blue - Part II

Continuing on from Part I of this blog... then, at the start of season 8, and totally out of the blue, RvB started using action sequences, made with fully scripted fight scenes that involve stunts not possible with the previous game engine. CG had crept its way into the show, and in a big way; multiple people beating the incredible hell out of each other, huge explosions, space fights, giant weapons, and jaw dropping set pieces littered season 8, including a hilarious 8-minute sequence of Tex destroying the Reds and Blues, and flashbacks to Project Freelancer.

0 Comments Ash Miles

Posted by
Ash Miles
Mon 17 Sep 2012: 9:05am

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Webseries spotlight: Red vs Blue - Part I

Webseries spotlight: Red vs Blue - Part I
And here we arrive at the end of our spotlight on web series blogs that have cool visual effects. And fittingly, we will wrap up with one of my absolute favourite shows.
This show began with a few friends recording themselves playing Halo; Combat Evolved(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halo:_Combat_Evolved), and dubbed voices over the top to create humorous shorts. Now, ten years later, those few guys have become Rooster Teeth(http://roosterteeth.com/home.php), and are the proud owners of the internet's longest running webseries, Red vs Blue(http://roosterteeth.com/archive/?sid=rvb&v=more). RvB has won many awards, and now has a huge fanbase(http://rvb.wikia.com/wiki/Red_vs._Blue_Wiki) over the entire world. 
In the begining, RvB was a clever nod to the nuances of videogaming; two teams, of the aformentioned colours, trapped in a boxed canyon with two identical bases with no purporse or logical goal other than to kill eachother. There was a heavy emphasis on humour, specifically for gamers and Halo fans. Over the last decade, however, it has evolved. The length of the episodes has grown, the cast has greatly expanded, the plot has twisted and turned dramatically, and although they are split into seasons, the episodes actually tell one long continuous story from start to finish, which at this point clocks in at over 18 hours. It's basically one really, really long film. 
The comedy has continued - and improved - over the years. However what's more impressive is the story, and how, despite it being created on a year by year basis, it continuously managed to tie itself into past events to create on long complex yet sophisticated narrative.
Both visually and in terms of production value, you can see how the show has adapted over the years. In its beginning(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9BAM9fgV-ts), RvB was filmed in an almost bootleg fashion, where large black bars covered the top and bottom of the screen to cover the Halo HUD, and the aiming reticule is always visible in the centre of the screen (They have since gone back and 'remastered' these episodes for HD quality). As the popularity of the show increased, Bungie(http://www.bungie.net), the creators of the Halo series, gave the guys at Rooster Teeth the means to record and render their exploits with their own in game cameras. Rooster Teeth have also cleverly used their stories to explain the visual differences that occur as new versions on Halo are released. For example, when they began to use Halo 2(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halo_2), the cast were blown into the future, where everything looked better and shinier. 
Then, at the start of season 8(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VQ9pCqbwCFo&list=ELKa7KIIcrH8k&index=3&feature=plpp_video), and totally out of the blue, RvB started using action sequences have been made with fully scripted fight scenes that involve stunts not possible with the previous game engine. CG had crept its way into the show, and in a big way; multiple people beating the incredible hell out of each other, huge explosions, space fights, giant weapons, and jaw dropping set pieces littered season 8, including an hilarious 8 minute sequence of Tex destroying the Reds and Blues(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ke9wtbzGjCI&feature=relmfu), and her epic final battle against Washington and The Meta (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZgweBtQLL5g&feature=relmfu).
Since then, the show has cleverly incorporated fully CG sequences by showing flashbacks to Project Freelancer(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQ3OZfPsP2E&list=ELYWB-pNdHjy0&index=2&feature=plpp_video) that tie into the current story. They've also built models for their characters underneath the suits of armour they wear, allowing their helmets to come off. It's important to remember that this is still a low budget show so the graphics aren't movie quality, but it's perfectly forgiveable considering the sheer amount of action and artistic direction used. 
For those of you who're desperate to follow RvB in all its glory after this extremely  thorough and well-written blog (which, I'm sure, will be all of you) it's important to point out a few things. The first 3 season's do look a little rough by today's standards, and it takes just a little bit of time for the cast to refine their voices. While it's fine to skip ahead to see the kind of quality you'll end up with, I urge you to start at the beginning, otherwise you'll fail to grasp most of the long running jokes. Also; it's totally hilarious, heartfelt, intelligent and constantly impresses with its ability to create a complex and intriguing story using just a few multilayer maps from a video game. So you should watch it anyway. 
It terms of visual effects, RvB delivers incredibly over the top sequences that rival any film this side of The Avengers(http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0848228/). In terms of the series as a whole, there's a reason this show has been running longer that most television shows, keeps winning awards, had it's fictional game Griffball incorporated into Halo 3 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halo_3), and generally keeps getting better every year (this has even seen the inclusion of Elijah Wood to the cast). It's the best and longest running webseries out there, and well worth you're attention. Now go; you've got 18 hours of webshow to watch this weekend. Enjoy!

And here we arrive at the end of our spotlight on webseries blogs that have cool visual effects. And fittingly, we will wrap up with one of my absolute favourite shows.

0 Comments Ash Miles

Posted by
Ash Miles
Mon 17 Sep 2012: 9:00am

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WoW - the mists of Kung Fu Pandaria

WoW - the mists of Kung Fu Pandaria

MMO game (that’s massively multiplayer online game, for those who don’t know) World of Warcraft sometimes has a bad rep outside of, well, the world of World of Warcraft. However with the recent release of a trailer for this September’s add on, ‘Mists of Pandaria’ even loyal fans are starting to dish out criticism. Many of whom are insinuating that WoW has taken a turn for the worst, in an attempt to appeal to a mass market of gamers, turning their back on their real audience in the process. 

1 Comments Robert Broadbent

Posted by
Robert Broadbent
Fri 14 Sep 2012: 5:30pm

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Gamers… get immersed!

Gamers… get immersed!

Seems things are taking some interesting turns for the games industry. The word on the street is that the main players are opting for immersive 3d environments in games... allowing games to leave the confines of the TV. Both Microsoft and Sony have recently revealed their very different plans on how to achieve a totally immersive experience.

0 Comments Mark Spevick

Posted by
Mark Spevick
Fri 14 Sep 2012: 3:02pm

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3D Artist review our VFX course

3D Artist review our VFX course

If you’re an avid reader of 3D Artist magazine, then make sure to look out for an article on Escape and the VFX course we run here. Released in this weeks issue (issue 46, September 12th), this is a rather lovely article. The 'Course Focus' section is a regular feature in this mag, so we’re pretty chuffed they wanted to include our VFX course in this issue.

0 Comments Ellen Payne

Posted by
Ellen Payne
Fri 14 Sep 2012: 12:10pm

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UK prepares itself for the arrival of the iPhone 5

UK prepares itself  for the arrival of the iPhone 5

Just as we had all got around to having an iPhone 4S in our pockets, Apple come along and remind us just how very impossible it is to keep up with today’s rapidly evolving technologies.

0 Comments Robert Broadbent

Posted by
Robert Broadbent
Fri 14 Sep 2012: 11:30am

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Union VFX's 'River Zoom'

In a bid to cure our post-Oylmpic blues, we've been re-watching Union VFX's fantastic opening sequence, comprising a mix of real photography, animation and CG elements, which helped to kick off the celebrations at the opening ceremony for the Games. 

0 Comments Taran Spear

Posted by
Taran Spear
Thu 13 Sep 2012: 5:30pm

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The Human race is doomed as the US develops real life Decepticon.

The Human race is doomed as the US develops real life Decepticon.

The world shook in its boots yesterday, as a video of a new American Government project surfaced on the internet, of a real life Decepticon.

0 Comments Robert Broadbent

Posted by
Robert Broadbent
Thu 13 Sep 2012: 5:00pm

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September’s Free Tutorial: "Hellboy" Inspired Maya Animation

September’s Free Tutorial: "Hellboy" Inspired Maya Animation

For those of you looking to get more adventurous in Maya, September’s free tutorial is a must see. This is the perfect opportunity to spice up your showreel with something a little different, while learning a diverse range of new skills in the process.

3 Comments Ellen Payne

Posted by
Ellen Payne
Thu 13 Sep 2012: 4:50pm

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Now THAT would be cool!

Now THAT would be cool!

Ever peered out of your window and imagined ginormous mega-robots having a scrap on the quiet road below? Well now you can forget imagining and actually watch the drama unfold on your very own computer screen, thanks to this nifty online tool.

0 Comments Robert Broadbent

Posted by
Robert Broadbent
Thu 13 Sep 2012: 3:00pm

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