An interesting article appeared on Linkedin this week, on the future of Higher Education in America. Written on the back of an encounter between California’s Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom (who also sits on the boards of the University of California and California State University systems) and brand new start up education company ‘Udacity’, an organisation that creates online college courses focused largely on science and technology.
If you didn’t already know, we’re big fans of technology in education, when these two fields are spliced together in a truly ground breaking way, we can’t resist a blog post about it!
As someone who has close, personal experience of Autism through my son, I can see some really interesting technology being developed using Google Glass as a route into the puzzling world of understanding other people.
In this modern age, the desk of the busy designer is likely to be filled with graphics tablets, laptops and PC’s, and let’s be honest, there is such a thing as too much clutter. But hopefully when this invention hits the design world, things will change!
As every grown up kid knows, good children's books are a pleasure, and appeal as much to the adults reading it as they do to the kids.
If there’s one thing VFX artists appreciate, it’s the time and effort that goes into making a piece look unquestionably and perfectly lifelike.
Fans of 3D and users of Photoshop will be delighted this week, with the announcement that 'Photoshop CS6 Extended' is on the market, it allows you to create 3D shape text using extrusions as a 3D layer... "similar to CS4 Extended" I hear you say! But alas, according to this write up, we are told that this works far more 'natively', with 'the usability you’d expect from an integrated Adobe toolset'.
We were enticed this week when we saw this epic live action trailer for Sony’s game ‘God of War: Ascension’, It was made by creative studio and production company ‘Imaginary Forces’, a firm who have worked on a huge amount of projects, spanning from commercial work to television and film,
Google Chrome, Powerade, Transformers, Minority Report, and Boardwalk Empire, are but a few of their accolades to date. Impressive stuff!
If the game is half as epic as this evocative ad, viewers will no doubt want to get playing right away!
I have been a long time aficionado of Apple products, thinking and innovation. I'm not sure what this means about me or the world around me, but I think I am finally bored of Apple and their products. Yes they work beautifully and my life is full of them, but it just seems to be revision after revision now without any of the innovation that made me fall in love.
The VFX industry has emerged to become the most fervent, vibrant and limitless creative platforms of the 21st century, and has created a world where, equipped with the right skills and determination, the phrase ‘the sky is the limit’ is rarely an understatement.
Japanese Animator Tetsuka Niiyama has created yet another beautiful video in the form of this short (but wonderful) CG movie.
The other night I had a quiet evening at home and decided to have a flick through the documentary section of iTunes and see what was new.
BT Vision (a TV-on-demand service from British Telecom) has just been through a re-branding excersise which was carried out by ManvsMachine in collaboration with Proud Creative. ManvsMachine were tasked with creating the idents, while Proud Creative worked on the graphic design elements of the newly created identity.
How VFX artists can seize the opportunities of this changing landscape
I was sent a link to this the other day by one of the Fireflies riders in LA. Mick Ebeling has a great company and has done something pretty amazing with the resources he has to hand. Enabling a close friend suffering from a life destroying disease to use his creativity again after complete paralysis shows amazing resourcefulness and generosity.
As you know we have spent the past month judging the 170-odd entries we received for this year’s CG Whiz awards. I have to say the standard of entries was incredibly high, and our judges had an extra-tough job singling out those who showed the sheer talent and potential they were looking for.
Here's a link to a fantastic reel from our friends at Displace Studios, they worked with us earlier this year to create some eye popping 3D brand furniture for our new website and other collateral. They did an amazing job for us and I wish them every luck with this new venture.
Here's a great piece of animation which illustrates something I care deeply about, the education system.
Here is another great piece of animation, created by Plato Art Space. It could almost have been created for Escape!
Check out this amazing physics engine created by Thiago Costa, he's 23 and never even got a high school diploma! Life's not fair!
A friend of mine sent me this link recently. It combines lots of things I love, the use of high end technology for the creation of art, the use of physics to produce an abstraction and an inherent understanding of making something that just looks really cool.
I went to see Scott Pilgrim vs. the World at the weekend and I was taken with the visual style of the whole movie. Eccentric humour aside, the movie was pretty simplistic as far as plot is concerned, but the aesthetic complexity displayed was pretty amazing. The use of augmented reality styling with major references to to the likes of the Tekken franchise were really interesting to see.
For me the best movie so far this year has to be Christopher Nolan's Inception. it will be interesting come Oscar time to see if the Academy and the world at large agree. It is a fantastic combination of amazing direction and cinematography, a gripping script and amazing VFX. The best VFX are the ones you don't see and only afterwards do you think "How did they do that?".
As part of our ongoing commitment to the US, we have recently been on a whistle stop tour of California visiting all of the leading lights in the VFX and animation industry. Lee and I were lucky enough to visit the likes of ILM, Pixar, Dreamworks, Sony Imageworks and Tippett Studio. It was like walking into a living museum of the best VFX and animation has to offer, from the original costumes and matte paintings from the Star Wars series to the giant Luxo Jr outside Pixar's HQ. We were completely in geeky film heaven. Lee's excitement at seeing models and maquettes from some of his favourite movies was very obvious. For those of us who know him, well there is no volume control!
Everyone who studies with us knows how much emphasis we place on our close ties with the industry. The members of our advisory board include some of the biggest names in CG, and they advise on everything from course content to placing escapees in work after they graduate. We are therefore very pleased to announce that Christian Roberton, MD of Film at MPC, has joined the team.
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.
Following last week’s announcement around the hiring of Tim Flett, we’ve got another new recruit that we’re all very excited about. We are pleased to announce that Graham Harris as joined our team as our new Finance Director.
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.
Our very own Escapee, Chris Bradwell, has won a BAFTA for his fantastic work on the game Flock! just five years after graduating.
You might have read a couple of weeks ago about the winners of a prize draw we held for those who completed our survey. We wanted to see what people in and around the CG industry thought about their jobs and the world in which they work. We had a fantastic response, with over 2,800 professionals, hobbyists and students answering questions for us, and the results make for interesting reading.
An article appeared in last weekend’s Sunday Times discussing the fact that two of Britain’s former polytechnics have outperformed Oxford and Cambridge by getting more of their graduates into work than any other university. For years vocational courses, typically taught at newer institutes, have been stigmatised for their lack of academic prowess. However, employers in some industries, such as the computer graphics industry, prefer to hire candidates with vocational qualifications, so could this mean opinions are about to change? Universities are starting to understand that certain courses, which can be tailored to specific careers, will produce graduates with more relevant skills than those covering a broad range of theoretical topics, leaving students in a better position to find work after they graduate.