It’s fair to say that we’re well known amongst the VFX community for our top quality online VFX content. When it comes to educating yourself in the realms of VFX, Escape Studios YouTube/VLE (Virtual Learning System) will more often than not be on your list of first stop offs for online tips.
The biggest egg hunt that London has ever witnessed is taking place on the 21st February this year, all in the name of charity.
When I created this tutorial, my number one objective was to ensure that whoever was learning could really use what they create and incorporate it into something that they might already be working on. That’s why this animation tutorial is so substantial and has been separated into two parts! This month, we will use a pre-created rig, which you can buy here and use to explore the mechanics of bird locomation. It costs just $5 and trust me, it’s worth it.
Character Animation can be a tricky business. The industry is full of talented, creative people who are passionate and dedicated about what they do and this means they often have lengthy careers at the same company they first started out at. So, getting your first break can be tough because when those job opportunities arise, standards are high and so are expectations. Your work really does have to stand out.
This Friday, our Character Animation Tutor Alex Williams will be presenting a talk at the Aesthetica Short Film festival. Aesthetica Film Festival is hosted by Aesthetica Magazine a respected voice in contemporary art and culture. The talk being given by Alex is called: Creating and Designing Memorable Animated Characters and its aim is to help you achieve just that! There is certainly no better man for the job. Alex understands exactly what it takes to get to the heart of characters, giving them their very own personalities and making them totally believable. If you don’t believe us, you should check out his CV which includes: Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, The Lion King and The Iron Giant, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince and The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawntreader.
Pictured centre flanked by tutor Gideon Corby to the left and Training Manager Miles Petit to the right, Alex Williams savours the launch of his book with a glass of champagne.
Once again we are going to be running a couple of course specific Open Days for those would like to find out more about our courses and the sort of training we offer here at Escape.
One of the most entertaining parts of the Character Animation course that I teach at Escape studios is the lesson where the students invent, design and pitch an original animated character to myself and the rest of the class. The purpose of the exercise is to get students thinking not just about the technical side of character motion and action but also to think inventively and creatively. Can we invent characters as well as animate them? The visual effects industry is often demanding in terms of time and energy, and one of the best antidotes to the problem of "burn out" is to keep the creative spirit alive. After all, we all went into the arts to invent and create, not just to polish other people's ideas.
Shapes In Motion was founded in 2010 by Sarah Perry who is not just an actor but an acting and movement coach. Having met Sarah recently at Escape Studios I wanted to tell you more about the interesting coaching work she does with animators. Sarah has been working in the visual effects industry in various tutoring/coaching capacities on a freelance basis since 2008, with recent clients including MPC and Double Negative.
Giuseppe Candido is not only a recent character animation course escapee, but now also a very talented animator and a skilled Maya Generalist. He has put together one of the most charming demo reels we have seen here at Escape Studios. Giuseppe combined many of his student exercises into a circus project - creating a stunning short film in the process, and all completed from scratch in just six weeks.
The Animation Festival ‘Annecy’ invited me to give a talk about my career as an animator and to lift the lid on a few Animation Mysteries as well. As much as I love working at Escape Studios, it was great to talk about my life as a freelance animator and some of the jobs that have shaped my career like ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit’ and ‘The Lion King’. It was also nice to see that people were interested in this too!
Evgenia Golubeva recently finished our Character Animation course with us and has very quickly landed a commercials job at Partizan Lab in Soho on the strength of her excellent demo reel. She has also recently put together a short film titled "Hold Me Clothes", a stop-motion film written by her and animated in just one day at a recent film festival in Italy.
Evgenia Golubeva recently completed our animation course at Escape Studios and has put together one of the best student animation reels we have seen completed in just 6 weeks. Evgenia took full advantage of the Animation course and diligently completed all of the animation exercises, often working late into the evenings, and working relentlessly to improve her skills. Most of the shots on her reel have been taken from in-class exercises, but the way in which she has compiled the shots together into a single well-edited piece of work makes her reel far more entertaining to watch than a mere series of student shots cut together with music.
Our Character Animation Tutor Alex Williams needs little introduction. if you follow the world of Animation, you will have heard of him and his work. He is one of the most talented animators of the decade and has not only written books such as QC Cartoon Series, but also worked on well known titles such as The Lion King, Pocohontas, Looney Tunes: Back in Action, and most notably Who Framed Roger Rabbit. He makes quite an impression on most of the people he meets, and especially the students in his class.
On Tuesday we, our Recruitment Manager, Garreth Gaydon, and I were let out of the office for the day to go and visit Aardman! I have to say, it was awesome! Based in Bristol, it's a bit of a trek but well worth the effort. They are such a brilliant studio and it's every bit as cool as you'd imagine.
With 2011 around the corner, I wanted to reflect on some of the amazing things that Escape Studios has achieved this year. Opening our offices in LA, launching our brand new US website, the phenomenal success of CG Whiz and the launch of our Mentored Training Courses is just the tip of the iceberg. We've had Paul Frankin of DNEG talk to our students about the incredible VFX created for Inception and Christan Manz, VFX supervisor on the latest HP7 talk about how Framestore wowed with their character creation.
A couple of weeks ago, we featured the work of Tracey Chung, who recently completed our Character Animation course. Tracey has been very busy since then working on her showreel, and we will keep you updated on her progress. But what I want to share with you today is a bunch of illustrations that Tracey created one day when she was clearly missing us all at Escape.
I will be holding a free live webinar on November 4th. Here's a quick outline of what I will be discussing.