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mark spevick

mark spevick

mark.spevick@escapestudios.com

Mark Spevick visits iMasterArt in Turin for Houdini Showcase!

Mark Spevick visits iMasterArt in Turin for Houdini Showcase!

Escape’s Head of 3D Mark Spevick harbours a special passion for all things Houdini, and last week his skills were called for on the continent, and he ventured to iMasterArt in Turin taly to host a master class with a handful of other pros with experience in all areas of VFX, here are his notes from the trip!

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Wed 18 Jun 2014: 1:02pm

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The Return of Naiad… Hurrah!

The Return of Naiad… Hurrah!

For those of you who are interested learning more about the tools being used by the pros, here’s a great article from the fxguide crew sharing details of the recent evolution of Naiad into Bifröst. In my opinion, this is one of the most exciting developments to come from Autodesk in quite some time. Find out more here.

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Tue 10 Sep 2013: 12:27pm

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Pixar & The Foundry team up!

Pixar & The Foundry team up!

It came as a pleasant surprise this week, to discover that the mighty Pixar, are to work alongside  another developer for the first time!

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Fri 26 Jul 2013: 3:47pm

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Fluid sim software lovers, behold!

Here’s some amazing news for fans of the now defunct Naiad.

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Thu 25 Jul 2013: 9:51am

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What colour is a mirror?

What colour is a mirror?

Everyone loves a bit of free education, and the internet is full to the brim with juicy info ready for you to soak that brain sponge of yours in. As opposed to the monotony of modern day schooling, you’ll often find that thanks to video streaming channels such as YouTube and Vimeo, information is often presented in an exciting and enthusiastic way.

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Wed 24 Jul 2013: 10:42am

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1000 frames per second in full HD? Now that's a camera!

1000 frames per second in full HD? Now that's a camera!

Wowzers, check out this amazing camera system devised by the University of Tokyo, by using two small independent mirrors this camera is able to track and stabilize images at 1000 frames per second in full HD.

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Tue 16 Jul 2013: 11:20am

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Pacific Rim, how does it look?

Pacific Rim, how does it look?

Pacific Rim, the mad Japanese Kaiju style monster movie by Guillermo del Toro sounds like it’s crazy fun and action packed, judging from some early reviews we’ve read this week online.

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Mon 15 Jul 2013: 4:39pm

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Douglas Engelbart, what would we have done without you?

Douglas Engelbart, what would we have done without you?

Yesterday the world was saddened by the news that Douglas Engelbart, famous for developing many basic computing technologies but most of all for inventing the computer mouse, has passed away at the age of 88.

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Fri 5 Jul 2013: 12:01pm

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John David Wilson - Animation Legend

John David Wilson - Animation Legend

The art world was moved last week, as we were informed of the death of iconic English animator, John David Wilson, at the age of 93. Wilson was a household name in the animation world and is well known for his work during the 50’s and 60’s.

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Wed 3 Jul 2013: 2:42pm

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That's off the wall!

That's off the wall!

Happy Friday everyone! Here’s a real interesting music video by Electro artist Yuksek, for his song "Off The Wall",

It's sure to get your toes tapping and your brain wondering at the video which is jam packed full of hand manipulated props, instruments and body parts that are brought together and combined with a mirror image.

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Fri 28 Jun 2013: 11:00am

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Time Lapse Mayhem!

Time Lapse Mayhem!

I do love a good time lapse, and here’s one to feast your eyes upon! This amazing video was completely shot on Tokyo’s fully-automated Yurikamome transit system by an artist  who goes by the user name darwinfish105 

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Wed 26 Jun 2013: 12:00pm

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Origami Anatomy!

Origami Anatomy!

Made a 3d model lately? Try downloading some of these templates... then print them out (yes, onto paper) and with a good old fashioned combination of glue and patience, you too can make these awesome sculptures of the anatomy human body.

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Thu 20 Jun 2013: 10:13am

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Photoshop Prank!

Photoshop Prank!

I do love a practical joke, and this one – played on unsuspecting people at a bus stop, is just downright awesome!

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Mon 17 Jun 2013: 11:58am

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Paying homage to a VFX legend

Paying homage to a VFX legend

The legend that created the lab process of travelling mattes, (that’s blue/green screens to the rest of us) sadly passed away last week, at the grand age of 96.

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Mon 18 Feb 2013: 2:23pm

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Hoth in your front room.

Hoth in your front room.

This rather charismatic chap called Barry has made his very own diorama model of the battle sequence on ice planet Hoth, from the Empire Strikes Back.

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Fri 15 Feb 2013: 9:48am

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Please do not pet the animals

Please do not pet the animals

Something different for your viewing pleasure – ingenious Polish artist Marta Klonowska  creates these amazing sculptures from glass, ever seen anything like it? I want one!

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Wed 13 Feb 2013: 2:38pm

It's paper, but not as you know it...

It's paper, but not as you know it...

We’re fans of art all across the spectrum here at Escape, and these sculptures, created by Chinese artist Li Hongbo are rather mind boggling.

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Wed 6 Feb 2013: 11:25am

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It's paper, but not as you know it...

It's paper, but not as you know it...

We’re fans of art all across the spectrum here at Escape, and these sculptures, created by Chinese artist Li Hongbo are rather mind boggling.

What appears upon first viewing, to be a set or porcelain sculpted heads, are actually a set of heads that are crafted out of thousands of layers of soft white paper,

A form that was originally used to make Chinese toys and decorations – book editor and designer Li Hongbo, became intrigued by their form and took the medium to another level. Check out this site for videos and snaps!

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Wed 23 Jan 2013: 2:12pm

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Home-made CG Speed bump!

Joy riders are a worry in many communities, and at a time of year when the icy roads have us all thinking twice about our speed, here’s a little bit of CG that lowers the speed limit.

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Mon 21 Jan 2013: 10:40am

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Bored of drawing with pencils?

Bored of drawing with pencils?

Bored of drawing with pencils? Try using them for sculptures, as Montana born artist, Jessica Drenk does.

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Fri 11 Jan 2013: 12:06pm

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Node based image editing - Send us your creations!

Node based image editing - Send us your creations!

Here is a really cool and totally FREE node based image editing program called ‘Nodewerk’.

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Thu 10 Jan 2013: 12:21pm

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Cloverfield meets Transformers - Some serious VFX action!

Cloverfield meets Transformers - Some serious VFX action!

Just when you thought Hollywood couldn’t create VFX on a larger scale than Cloverfield or Transformers, this trailer is released, for ‘Pacific Rim’, and it really takes the biscuit!

Directed by the world renowned Guillermo del Toro, this is a tale of wait for it, giant robots made by humans, fighting giant monsters that have arrived through a time portal at the bottom of the sea - Sounds crazy right? Check out this trailer and if you plan to go to see this at the cinema, be sure to prepare yourself for some bone crushingly epic VFX sequences.  


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Thu 13 Dec 2012: 3:36pm

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"The world gives us garbage, we give back music"

Given this year’s economic climate, you may have found yourself sewing up a pesky hole in your jeans rather than buying a new pair, or whacking another jumper on in lieu of the central heating.

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Thu 13 Dec 2012: 12:40pm

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Old School Toys (we mean really old school!)

Old School Toys (we mean really old school!)

Forget microscopic hyper intelligent computer chips. modern technology? I laugh in the face of modern technology (for a moment anyway) - you will too after watching some of these mechanical toys from yesteryear, they are simply amazing

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Wed 12 Dec 2012: 11:44am

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Faces in the Trees...

Faces in the Trees...

One of my favourite things about the internet is the ability it has to present many different art forms as they happen, and in fantastic quality.

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Wed 28 Nov 2012: 12:13pm

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Wow talk about computing power....

Wow talk about computing power....

The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Oak Ridge National Laboratory have introduced a new beast into the world of supercomputing. And as this new release is ten times more powerful than their previous world-leading system, this beast has been aptly named, Titan!

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Wed 21 Nov 2012: 11:27am

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“City of Possibilities” A stunning commercial from The Mill

“City of Possibilities” A stunning commercial from The Mill

The Mill recently completed a commercial for US client Norfolk Southern, showcasing the transformative power of freight shipping. Being a rather stunning piece of work, you may be interested to know that this project was rendered primarily using Mental Ray, taking advantage of the newish unified sampling feature.

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Tue 30 Oct 2012: 12:08pm

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Meemoo hackable web apps

Meemoo hackable web apps

Very recently I came across a really cool web based app to create media applications for online. And it’s the kind of thing I felt needed to be shared with you all.

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Fri 26 Oct 2012: 11:00am

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An impressive body of work

An impressive body of work

Japanese art student Choo San, blew quite a few minds this week when she uploaded her latest side project to internet forums.

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Tue 23 Oct 2012: 6:00pm

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ISOTROPIX: Clarisse iFX

ISOTROPIX: Clarisse iFX

High end graphics company ISOTROPIX released a new product last month called Clarisse iFX, a piece of software which it claims, bridges the gap between 2D and 3D in production.

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Tue 23 Oct 2012: 12:30pm

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Where the Internet lives

Where the Internet lives

For the first time, Google are giving everyone a glimpse into where they run their products.

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Thu 18 Oct 2012: 4:30pm

Babis Cloud's computer-key Horse

Babis Cloud's computer-key Horse

Ever felt like you've had enough of your computer, and wanted to make something a bit more creative with it? Check out this fantastic sculpture, which almost makes you want to break lots of computers just to have one!

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Thu 11 Oct 2012: 4:00pm

Honorary Academy Award goes to DreamWorks' Jeffrey Katzenberg

Honorary Academy Award goes to DreamWorks' Jeffrey Katzenberg

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced that Jeffrey Katzenberg, the 'K' of DreamWorks Animation SKG, is to be given an honorary Oscar at the Governors awards ceremony this November.

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Mon 24 Sep 2012: 9:05am

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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.

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Fri 14 Sep 2012: 3:02pm

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Think It's CG? Think Again...Part Two

Think It's CG? Think Again...Part Two

Welcome back to part two of our series on effects that you thought were CG.

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Mon 14 May 2012: 2:00pm

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Real-Time Path Tracing Bunny

Real-Time Path Tracing Bunny

Want to see a demo of how computer games will look in the not too distant future? You are in luck. Here is a big breakdancing bunny courtesy of Samuel Lapere. Forgive us, the quality isn't great but it's still pretty phenomenal.

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Mon 14 May 2012: 12:00pm

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Think it's CG? Think Again...

Think it's CG? Think Again...

Special effects with computer graphics are all the rage recently. There are very few films produced these days without jaw dropping stunts courtesy of the digital department. But a lot of directors still prefer to shoot the real thing if they can as it nearly always looks better than the CG equivalent.

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Fri 11 May 2012: 12:00pm

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Dedication Required

Dedication Required

Ever wondered how much you change in the space of 4.5 years? Would you take a photo of yourself every single day and then animate it?

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Thu 10 May 2012: 12:30pm

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Gone to Where the Wild Things Are!

Gone to Where the Wild Things Are!

Yesterday Maurice Sendak, author and illustrator of the children’s classic book Where The Wild Things Are, died. Famous through his writing and illustrating, Sendak published a number of children’s books, wrote and designed three animated stories and his final book “Bumble Ardy” was an adaption of a collaboration between Sendak and Jim Henson from kid’s TV favourite Sesame Street.

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Wed 9 May 2012: 10:38am

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SiC: Softimage User Group Launch Event

SiC: Softimage User Group Launch Event

For Softimage fans out there, you may be glad to hear that the loyal community of Softimage users are regrouping. Under the new name Softimage Creatives (SiC), this is an independent user group based here in London. Following a user group meeting held last November, a discussion began to revive the community among Softimage users. Six industry professionals expressed their interest in helping make this a reality, and with the support of Escape Studios SiC London was born.

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Wed 2 May 2012: 12:00pm

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If “Jaws” was a Disney Movie!

If “Jaws” was a Disney Movie!

Have you ever wondered what would’ve happened if the script for Jaws was developed by Disney execs rather than Universal Pictures? Well, wonder no longer. For your entertainment on this rather gloomy Monday afternoon, I wanted to share this hilarious concept with you all. Found on YouTube earlier, take a look at a Disney’fied trailer of the 1975 classic. Spielberg possibly missed out on a golden opportunity here for a PG remake.

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Mon 23 Apr 2012: 3:13pm

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Michael Hansmeyer: Computational Architecture

Michael Hansmeyer: Computational Architecture

Here is an amazing chap called Michael Hansmeyer. Michael studied as an architect and programmer. He explores the use of algorithms and computation to generate architectural forms for artistic and commercial purposes.

The images of the forms that he creates are very intricate and beautiful...check them out.

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Wed 18 Apr 2012: 4:00pm

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Houdini Creates Quayola's New Installation

Houdini Creates Quayola's New Installation

This is a very interesting installation commissioned by the luxury Swiss watch manufacturer Audemars Piguet for their 40th anniversary, created by the British based artist, Quayola.

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Tue 27 Mar 2012: 12:00pm

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The Coolest VFX Apps on the Market

The Coolest VFX Apps on the Market

There are so many useful apps on the market and I have found a couple of super useful and cool iPhone apps for the VFX artist and digital photographer.  Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be sharing these with you in a series of blog posts.

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Fri 16 Mar 2012: 10:10am

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Houdini Webinar – Send Us Your Questions

Houdini Webinar – Send Us Your Questions

Thanks to everyone who tuned onto our Houdini webinar today, what a great turnout! Seems that everyone found it really helpful especially as Houdini is such a hot topic at the moment. We didn’t have time to get around to all of your questions, so if there’s still something that you’d like to ask, don’t hesitate, just reply to this post and I’ll get back to you with as much information as possible. We’re also going to be posting a recording of the webinar on our website soon so make sure you keep your eyes peeled for that. This is exactly the kind of stuff that we announce in our monthly newsletters so make sure you’re signed up to it.

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Wed 15 Feb 2012: 5:30pm

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Webinar: Unlock the Secrets of Houdini...

Webinar: Unlock the Secrets of Houdini...

We now teach SideFX Houdini software on our Professional VFX Course, not just because it’s an integral part of the pipeline but also for its ability to create very cool animations that will enhance anyone's showreel.

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Wed 25 Jan 2012: 12:00pm

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Learning to Master Houdini with Escape

Learning to Master Houdini with Escape

I promised to keep you posted on how we're changing our curriculum to include Houdini in some of our courses, and that’s the subject of this post.

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Wed 11 Jan 2012: 10:10am

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Create Your Very Own Atomic Appliance

Create Your Very Own Atomic Appliance

Ever bored at home?... Why not stick a laser pointer inside your tumble drier and create your very own "atomic" washing applicance? OK, so you'll be doing so at your own risk, but judging from the images published here, the results are pretty impressive. 

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Fri 6 Jan 2012: 10:06am

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Fastest, Slowest Camera Ever

Fastest, Slowest Camera Ever

Have I got a treat in store for you today!... It has caused a real stir among us tutors at Escape Studios, and we could talk of nothing else yesterday morning.

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Fri 16 Dec 2011: 9:43am

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Mimicking Tilt-Shift in AfterEffects

Mimicking Tilt-Shift in AfterEffects

My cousin - David Itzcovitz - went to Israel last month and he took a series of photos, which he then processed to give this strange look. The process he mimicked in After Effects is called tilt-shift and is usually achieved by using a tilt-shift lens (lensbaby). This puts the focal plane at a strange angle to the film and as a result, you get this strange depth of field effect which makes big things seem like miniatures.

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Tue 11 Oct 2011: 8:29am

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Great Use of Mocap: Human Paint

Great Use of Mocap: Human Paint

I have been developing a new course here at Escape called VFX Animation Professional.

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Tue 4 Oct 2011: 9:16am

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Embree - Photo-Realistic Ray Tracing Kernels From Intel

Embree - Photo-Realistic Ray Tracing Kernels From Intel

Intel are releasing open source raytrace kernels for all to use called Embree. The official collateral says:

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Fri 30 Sep 2011: 10:12am

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Who Remembers Scanimate?

Who Remembers Scanimate?

I stumbled upon a really good site the other day which sent me on a trip down memory lane. The site is called "Scanimate Central" and is basically a resource for anyone to read about how animations used to be made.

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Thu 15 Sep 2011: 12:02pm

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FPV at The Scrubs

FPV at The Scrubs

A couple of us tutors at Escape Studios like to go to Wormwood Scrubs (yes near the Prison) to fly model aircrafts with cameras on.

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Thu 8 Sep 2011: 8:37am

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Free Maya Tutorial - Creating Realistic Materials

If you want to replicate the complexity of real world objects, you need to create materials that mimic them and this month's free tutorial will show you exactly how to do that. A car body is made up of lots of materials or layers, like metal and paint. If you want to create a rusty car you'll need more materials to create the common signs of deterioration. Many Maya users will be familiar with the 'layered shader' and 'layered texture' nodes. This tutorial asks what happens if you are using the MIA material and rendering in Mental Ray.

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Mon 11 Jul 2011: 2:28pm

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Motion Capture For the Masses

Motion Capture For the Masses

Here is an amazing use of Xbox Kinect or PlayStation EyeToy: desktop motion capture!

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Wed 8 Jun 2011: 4:11pm

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Have Some Fun With Squishy Circuits

Have Some Fun With Squishy Circuits

How would you go about having fun making electronic circuits? How about by combining it with play dough?...

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Fri 3 Jun 2011: 11:20am

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How 3D Glasses Helped Defeat Hitler

How 3D Glasses Helped Defeat Hitler

The new cinema buzz word at the moment is 3D... But did you know that this technology probably helped us win the war?...

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Wed 18 May 2011: 1:34pm

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Redgiant Are Giving Away a Free Plugin Called Colorista

Redgiant Are Giving Away a Free Plugin Called Colorista

Redgiant - makers of the famous Magic Bullet software - are giving away a free plugin called Colorista. The plugin is a simple and elegant colour correcting plugin for AfterEffects, Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro.

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Wed 13 Apr 2011: 8:35am

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Save 16mm Film

Deluxe Soho labs, formely known as Soho Images, have ceased taking orders for the printing of 16mm film!!

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Fri 25 Feb 2011: 10:50am

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Kinect's New Underground Fanbase Gets Busy

There has been a bit of an underground homebrew fanbase for Microsoft's new controller, Kinect.

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Thu 24 Feb 2011: 8:03am

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Free Public Beta of Lightworks

Free Public Beta of Lightworks

EditShare has released the free public beta of the Lightworks non-linear video-editing software.

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Thu 2 Dec 2010: 11:52am

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Marvelous Designer - A New Tool To Solve CG Cloth Issues

Marvelous Designer - A New Tool To Solve CG Cloth Issues

Here is a very interesting new bit af kit to address the problem of CG cloth. It's called Marvelous Designer.

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Wed 1 Dec 2010: 9:11am

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Disney Release Source Code for Partio

One of the biggest challenges facing TD's is moving data from one system to another. For example, getting the nice particle animation that you have done in Houdini into Maya for rendering.

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Tue 26 Oct 2010: 10:14am

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