Those of you who see themselves as techno geeks and like to keep up with the latest research and developments in media production will want to check out this year’s CVMP conference.
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!
Our friends at 4DMax are 3D data capture specialists and have been blazing a trail recently with their work scanning heads, bodies, objects and environments for some very high profile VFX movies. We’ve tried the technology here at the Escape Studios’ offices using the heads of a few weary volunteers to see how the technology works. The results are amazing!
We recently had a chance to catch up with Ognyan Zahariev an aspiring games artist and Escape Studios graduate. Ognyan is heading to Codemasters to start his career next month and has taken some time to share his thoughts on life after Escape Studios and joining the workforce in the games industry.
Those of you who follow us on Twitter will know that we had our first ever realtime Twitter feedback session on Monday. I am told I should refer to them as Tweetups or Twitter parties, but if truth be told, it was a simple, honest, online showreel clinic! We asked our followers to send us links to their reels, and Lee Danskin, our Training Development Director, provided his usual professional feedback.
Our friends at Chaos have just released a brand new fluid simulator plug-in for 3ds Max called Phoenix FD. The new plug-in is designed to make it easier for artists to simulate fire, smoke and haze more realistically and accurately than in 3ds Max alone.
Pixologic have just released ZBrush 4 and it looks like they have introduced some cool new killer features to make ZBrush even more artist friendly than before.
Autodesk have just releasd a brand new Hot Fix for Autodesk® 3ds Max® 2011 and Autodesk® 3ds Max® Design 2011.
We all know that finding your first job in the CG industry can be tough, but we have good reasons to feel pretty confident about future job prospects. That's because the industry has seen growth for the ninth year in a row. There are jobs out there and I am particularly well placed to comment as I sit opposite our Recruitment Team and so I get to hear everything about the jobs they have available. Over the last few months, they have all been incredibly busy, and that's good news for all aspiring artists.
We’re really excited about this month’s free tutorial because it’s taken from our new soon-to-be launched ZBrush Course. This tutorial is great if you’re looking to up your ZBrush skills to an advanced level. It’s an in-depth tutorial that demonstrates how to use tools to create fine details, specifically ‘Wear and Tear’ on a pre-made Gas Mask model. Plus, it’s only 12 minutes long so you’ll be able to squeeze it into your lunch break.
It’s always great to find out how escapees get on after their training and enter the world of work. Last week, we met up with ex-student Robert Holmes out at SIGGRAPH. Since his time at Escape, Rob’s gone on to work on some amazing projects at The Mill. He took time to tell us how he got his break and what’s needed to be successful in this industry.
For those that may not have heard, the UK Film council is under threat of closure after having its funding cut. The UK Film Council has done many great things for the industry since its inception in 2000. We now have the highest cinema attendance in 7 years, UK film exports are also the highest in 7 years, and inward investment in the industry has doubled from 2008 to now.
Firstly, a big thanks to everyone who has entered our CG Graduate Design Competition Award so far. Entries have been coming thick and fast and as always the standard has been exceptional.
Thanks also for keeping in touch via all our social networks - it really is great to hear from you all and it just reaffirms our belief that the UK and the US have a wealth of talent and will undoubtedly produce many future stars in the CG world.
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.
Now almost as hyped an event as the World Cup itself, the Nike ad this year starred a host of big names, from our own Wayne Rooney through to Franck Ribiery of France, Italy’s Fabio Cannavaro and even shiny Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal. Most people will have seen at least one of the shorter clips, if not the full thing, and the eagle eyed among you will know that the guys at the Mill were on hand to provide the VFX wizardry.
For those of you that have been eagerly waiting for the next release of Fusion, you’ll be pleased to know that Version 6.1 is out now and available for shipping.
It’s been pretty busy for Nik since completing his VFX course a few weeks back. After a stint at Atticus Finch and then Framestore he’s now working at legendary post house MPC. We caught up with Nik, sat him down, and asked him what it’s like being the new FX TD on the block.
Today we’ve launched a brand new set of online mentored learning courses to offer a helping hand to international grads and drive the next wave of computer graphics talent. The twelve-month course offers the same high quality, interactive training experience as our flagship Visual Effects classroom course.