As we move from January into February we’re left with no doubt that 2010 is well and truly behind us. What have we achieved this year? What did we create? Well, apart from 13 magazines – the creation was solely in your hands.
Since I’ve been back at school I’ve been constantly asked about the CG Whiz competition. Are you excited about going to LA and studying with Escape Studios? When will your placement start at The Mill? Are you nervous? Apprehensive? And truth is: I'm totally overwhelmed, but so excited! The more I look at what the course entails, the more eager I get. I’m looking forward to learning new 3D programs that I haven’t used before. And not only that, but delving deep into them. I’m hoping that this will give me a much broader knowledge of VisFx. I’m also really thrilled about the Instructors who I will be learning from directly - they are all incredibly qualified and will be invaluable as mentors to me!
I'm really pleased to announce a new addition to our full-time classroom courses - Compositing Professional. This course builds on the amazing success of our 12 week compositing for production course and adds an additional 6 weeks of advanced training. This extra time will give students the opportunity to develop skills to really set them apart from other juniors looking to enter the industry - covering subjects such as compositing for stereoscopic and the advanced techniques needed to work with high end 3D visual effects. Part of the course includes a dedicated project week where you'll be able to work on your showreel and make sure that it really stands out from the crowd.
Please getting in touch with training team or come along to one of our open days to find out more.
On Tuesday I attended the launch of the Livingtone-Hope report which was undertaken to address the skills issues facing the UK's games and visual effects. Escape Studios staff have taken part in a number of the surveys which went into building the data for this report as well as speaking directly to Hasan Bakhshi and Juan Mateos-Garcia from NESTA, who did a large amount of the work of pulling the data for the draft report together. In essence the report lays out 20 recommendations across the talent pipeline from schools through FE and HE to the industry. All these parties as well as the government and other skills and training bodies such as Skillset are called on to do their bit. All of this whilst being realistic about the funding and resources available, the recommendations had to be about the focus of existing funds not calls for large sums of new money.
So it may not be an Oscar but we’re still pretty damn pleased that we’ve won SilverStripe’s website of the month! Without getting too techy, the reason that we took first place is because our website is a complex SilverStripe implementation that has lots of integrated services such as Single Sign-On, Sales Force, Magento e-commerce and YouTube feeds. The graphic design for the site was created by Distinguished & Co – who did a great job, making navigation a doddle. Big thanks to all of the guys who voted, what a great way to end the week.
If you're like me and often plan to go to art galleries but never actually make it, Google have introduced an amazing alternative. What's great about this new tool is that you get to see some of the great master pieces from all around the world, from the comfort of your front room. OK, so it's a little bit lazy but it does mean that you get to stay on top of what's going on in the art world. The 'Google Art Project' was only launched on Tuesday and brings over a thousand artworks by various artists to anyone with an internet connection.
Currently wowing audiences everywhere, and hot off the back of its Oscar nominations, Danny Boyle’s latest film 127 Hours is something we’ve been keeping a particular close eye on. Obviously we’re fans of Mr Boyle’s work (personally, I can’t wait to see the Olympic opening ceremony), but in this case we’re more interested in a small team of people working behind the scenes.
I just wanted to point you towards this article which discusses the amazing title sequence for Scott Pilgram. When I was a student wanting to get into the industry I found out about Shynola (a collective group of visual artists who have collaborated on a variety of projects) when a brilliant but very strange music video was produced by Unkle called "eye for an eye". When I came across this article of how Shynola worked with the Edgar Wright the director of Scott Pilgram, I decided to have a look.
Escape Studios is hitting the road this year undertaking a program of talks, presentations and master classes throughout the UK universities and colleges.
Roy Trosh (Head of Technology at The Mill) must be feeling pretty proud of his son James, Television Production student at Bournemouth University. He's the first person in the UK to attach a Go camera to a helium weather balloon and...a toy Robot! The project was initiated as part of a music video but produced some amazing footage of the earth’s curvature, the best bit is that it's being screened on tube station platforms as part of ‘Smile for London’; a campaign to brighten up the commuter's journey to work. James explains: “We attached the rocket and robot to a helium filled weather balloon with a GPS unit and mini HD camera to track and film the flight. The balloon then popped and fell down to earth with a parachute, where we found the robot and camera 11 miles away in a farmer's field.”
If you’ve read the BOXX reviews and seen the results, you’ll be pretty excited to learn that we are giving away a BOXX super-fast high performance machine, in a brand new competition.
BOXX has impressed the reviewers again at UK's Develop3D magazine, this time proving it’s a serious contender in the Architectural Visualisation space.
We know just how popular our webinars are on all things CG, well the next in line is all about our Mentored Training and includes a preview of our exciting e-Learning platform.
For those who can’t give up work for 12 weeks or come to our offices in London or Los Angeles, Mentored Training is just the ticket. You can study our VFX or Compositing online and still get expert mentoring and feedback from our tutors and share your creations with classmates on Facebook, YouTube and Vimeo (that’s thanks to our clever e-learning technology!).
So when an academy awarded influential film editor like Walter Murch makes very detrimental comments about 3D stereo some people should take a long hard look at it. What does 3D really add to the whole film experience except expense and a headache? You can find his comments here - all of which are very observant and true.
According to the UKIE, “UK development leads the charge on Motion Controlled Gaming and in the All Format chart”. Figures released earlier in the week show that games made by UK developers account for 42% of all units sold for Microsoft’s Kinect since its launch. Those are pretty impressive results and something that we should be celebrating. Pity the government doesn’t value the industry enough to maintain the tax breaks for the games industry – you can read more about this in a recent post by Lee Danskin.
At last, we have good news for graduates in the UK. The Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR) have just released figures indicating that the number of graduate vacancies is actually on the increase for the first time since the recession started.
The Foundry team have been hard at work, announcing three new releases in as many days. There are some new cool features added to MARI to improve its 3D texture painting capability, and NUKE has loads of feature enhancements and fixes worth checking out. Here is a summary of what you can expect from the new releases:
I came across this blog on the 5 miserable VFX Jobs that make movies possible and found it quite amusing... ;-)
We've had lots of questions about how our Mentored Training works and we thought it would be great to give people a guided online tour. We'll take you through what you'll learn on the course but more importantly, how you'll learn on this course - demonstrating our unique e-Learning platform.