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Be one of the first to preview RealFlow 2013

Be one of the first to preview RealFlow 2013

For the first time ever the whole team from RealFlow are coming to London for an exclusive RealFlow 2013 Preview. This event will be the first time that the RealFlow team has previewed the advanced alpha version of this software in public and will be a unique opportunity for you to see first-hand what to expect from RealFlow 2013.

1 Comments Tim Flett

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Tim Flett
Thu 27 Sep 2012: 9:40am

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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.

0 Comments Mark Spevick

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Mark Spevick
Mon 24 Sep 2012: 9:05am

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Wild VFX

Wild VFX

VFX talent can be found all over the globe. We saw this lovely advertisement, the wild brainchild of New Zealand based Clemenger BBDQ, that has been brought to life by CG wizards Psyop and MPC.

0 Comments Robert Broadbent

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Robert Broadbent
Fri 21 Sep 2012: 4:45pm

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Partysaurus Rex!

Partysaurus Rex!

Like many other film fans, my journey with Pixar’s original animation classic Toy Story, has been an emotional one. From the age of 5 I’ve watched every instalment of the Toy Story trilogy, each time within a week of its release at the cinema, even the third, which as a 20 year old I saw in 3D, twice.

0 Comments Robert Broadbent

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Robert Broadbent
Thu 20 Sep 2012: 10:00am

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A guide to CG animations from 1964

A guide to CG animations from 1964

We often take CG for granted in modern films—everything from sci-fi flicks to action-heavy blockbusters include plenty of computer generated visuals. But in 1964 the process wasn't quite so widespread.

0 Comments Brad Collier-Brown

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Brad Collier-Brown
Tue 18 Sep 2012: 5:00pm

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The VFX Festival 2012 - Get your tickets now!

The VFX Festival 2012 - Get your tickets now!

Step into the mind-blowing world of VFX with The VFX Festival! Escape Studios has created the first ever four-day festival exploring the breathtaking world of visual effects, held in London on 10th-13th October.

Celebrating a decade of UK visual effects, the festival will be packed with the most respected VFX talent, visionaries and companies who have helped shape the industry. Offering inspirational insight behind the clever trickery in this booming VFX industry, with an exciting four-day programme packed with insider knowledge and information, showreel demos, hands-on workshops and exclusive premieres, it's perfect for those with a creative talent or thirst to develop their VFX Career.

19 Comments Bethan Lofthouse

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Bethan Lofthouse
Mon 17 Sep 2012: 1:30pm

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They don’t make films like they used to!

They don’t make films like they used to!

Who Framed Roger Rabbit? is one film responsible for inspiring a whole generation of animators. This is very much the case in the UK particularly, and largely because of the massive contribution from one very talented Brit, Richard Williams, and his team at Elstree Studios. And so, when I came across this posting on io9.com, I felt I should share the little nostalgic nugget with you all.

0 Comments Davi Stein

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Davi Stein
Mon 17 Sep 2012: 12:05pm

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Webseries spotlight: Red vs Blue - Part II

Webseries spotlight: Red vs Blue - Part II

Continuing on from Part I of this blog... then, at the start of season 8, and totally out of the blue, RvB started using action sequences, made with fully scripted fight scenes that involve stunts not possible with the previous game engine. CG had crept its way into the show, and in a big way; multiple people beating the incredible hell out of each other, huge explosions, space fights, giant weapons, and jaw dropping set pieces littered season 8, including a hilarious 8-minute sequence of Tex destroying the Reds and Blues, and flashbacks to Project Freelancer.

0 Comments Ash Miles

Posted by
Ash Miles
Mon 17 Sep 2012: 9:05am

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Webseries spotlight: Red vs Blue - Part I

Webseries spotlight: Red vs Blue - Part I
And here we arrive at the end of our spotlight on web series blogs that have cool visual effects. And fittingly, we will wrap up with one of my absolute favourite shows.
This show began with a few friends recording themselves playing Halo; Combat Evolved(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halo:_Combat_Evolved), and dubbed voices over the top to create humorous shorts. Now, ten years later, those few guys have become Rooster Teeth(http://roosterteeth.com/home.php), and are the proud owners of the internet's longest running webseries, Red vs Blue(http://roosterteeth.com/archive/?sid=rvb&v=more). RvB has won many awards, and now has a huge fanbase(http://rvb.wikia.com/wiki/Red_vs._Blue_Wiki) over the entire world. 
In the begining, RvB was a clever nod to the nuances of videogaming; two teams, of the aformentioned colours, trapped in a boxed canyon with two identical bases with no purporse or logical goal other than to kill eachother. There was a heavy emphasis on humour, specifically for gamers and Halo fans. Over the last decade, however, it has evolved. The length of the episodes has grown, the cast has greatly expanded, the plot has twisted and turned dramatically, and although they are split into seasons, the episodes actually tell one long continuous story from start to finish, which at this point clocks in at over 18 hours. It's basically one really, really long film. 
The comedy has continued - and improved - over the years. However what's more impressive is the story, and how, despite it being created on a year by year basis, it continuously managed to tie itself into past events to create on long complex yet sophisticated narrative.
Both visually and in terms of production value, you can see how the show has adapted over the years. In its beginning(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9BAM9fgV-ts), RvB was filmed in an almost bootleg fashion, where large black bars covered the top and bottom of the screen to cover the Halo HUD, and the aiming reticule is always visible in the centre of the screen (They have since gone back and 'remastered' these episodes for HD quality). As the popularity of the show increased, Bungie(http://www.bungie.net), the creators of the Halo series, gave the guys at Rooster Teeth the means to record and render their exploits with their own in game cameras. Rooster Teeth have also cleverly used their stories to explain the visual differences that occur as new versions on Halo are released. For example, when they began to use Halo 2(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halo_2), the cast were blown into the future, where everything looked better and shinier. 
Then, at the start of season 8(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VQ9pCqbwCFo&list=ELKa7KIIcrH8k&index=3&feature=plpp_video), and totally out of the blue, RvB started using action sequences have been made with fully scripted fight scenes that involve stunts not possible with the previous game engine. CG had crept its way into the show, and in a big way; multiple people beating the incredible hell out of each other, huge explosions, space fights, giant weapons, and jaw dropping set pieces littered season 8, including an hilarious 8 minute sequence of Tex destroying the Reds and Blues(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ke9wtbzGjCI&feature=relmfu), and her epic final battle against Washington and The Meta (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZgweBtQLL5g&feature=relmfu).
Since then, the show has cleverly incorporated fully CG sequences by showing flashbacks to Project Freelancer(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQ3OZfPsP2E&list=ELYWB-pNdHjy0&index=2&feature=plpp_video) that tie into the current story. They've also built models for their characters underneath the suits of armour they wear, allowing their helmets to come off. It's important to remember that this is still a low budget show so the graphics aren't movie quality, but it's perfectly forgiveable considering the sheer amount of action and artistic direction used. 
For those of you who're desperate to follow RvB in all its glory after this extremely  thorough and well-written blog (which, I'm sure, will be all of you) it's important to point out a few things. The first 3 season's do look a little rough by today's standards, and it takes just a little bit of time for the cast to refine their voices. While it's fine to skip ahead to see the kind of quality you'll end up with, I urge you to start at the beginning, otherwise you'll fail to grasp most of the long running jokes. Also; it's totally hilarious, heartfelt, intelligent and constantly impresses with its ability to create a complex and intriguing story using just a few multilayer maps from a video game. So you should watch it anyway. 
It terms of visual effects, RvB delivers incredibly over the top sequences that rival any film this side of The Avengers(http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0848228/). In terms of the series as a whole, there's a reason this show has been running longer that most television shows, keeps winning awards, had it's fictional game Griffball incorporated into Halo 3 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halo_3), and generally keeps getting better every year (this has even seen the inclusion of Elijah Wood to the cast). It's the best and longest running webseries out there, and well worth you're attention. Now go; you've got 18 hours of webshow to watch this weekend. Enjoy!

And here we arrive at the end of our spotlight on webseries blogs that have cool visual effects. And fittingly, we will wrap up with one of my absolute favourite shows.

0 Comments Ash Miles

Posted by
Ash Miles
Mon 17 Sep 2012: 9:00am

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Union VFX's 'River Zoom'

In a bid to cure our post-Oylmpic blues, we've been re-watching Union VFX's fantastic opening sequence, comprising a mix of real photography, animation and CG elements, which helped to kick off the celebrations at the opening ceremony for the Games. 

0 Comments Taran Spear

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Taran Spear
Thu 13 Sep 2012: 5:30pm

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September’s Free Tutorial: "Hellboy" Inspired Maya Animation

September’s Free Tutorial: "Hellboy" Inspired Maya Animation

For those of you looking to get more adventurous in Maya, September’s free tutorial is a must see. This is the perfect opportunity to spice up your showreel with something a little different, while learning a diverse range of new skills in the process.

3 Comments Ellen Payne

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Ellen Payne
Thu 13 Sep 2012: 4:50pm

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Weird Wins!

Weird Wins!

With the US release of Paranorman last month (UK release 14th September), sporting giants Nike have released a one of a kind edition of their synonymous, ‘foamposite’ sports trainer. Only 800 of these Paranorman themed pumps were made and get this - they could only be won by weirdos.

0 Comments Robert Broadbent

Posted by
Robert Broadbent
Tue 11 Sep 2012: 11:00am

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A Joker of a film?

A Joker of a film?

Here at Escape Studios, we’re all about the visuals. Cut us and we bleed visuals... I’m sure you’re well aware!

0 Comments Robert Broadbent

Posted by
Robert Broadbent
Wed 5 Sep 2012: 10:30am

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Dragons are cool, right?

Dragons are cool, right?

In pursuit of some new blog material, I managed to stumble across this über cool, VFX heavy advertisement. For the most extravagant collection of watches I think I’ve ever seen. And as far as product shots go, this one is a pretty elaborate example.

0 Comments Robert Broadbent

Posted by
Robert Broadbent
Thu 30 Aug 2012: 2:30pm

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Konami announce plans for Metal Gear Solid Movie

Konami announce plans for Metal Gear Solid Movie

If you, like me, were the owner of a PS1 back in the late 90’s, (or as we called it back then, simply ‘the Playstation’) there’s quite a high chance you would have owned stealth action game ‘Metal Gear Solid’, the successor to Konami’s MSX2 tactical action espionage game, ‘Metal Gear’, which this week celebrated its 25th anniversary.

0 Comments Robert Broadbent

Posted by
Robert Broadbent
Thu 30 Aug 2012: 12:00pm

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Allergy to Originality

Allergy to Originality

Seattle-based filmmaker and illustrator Drew Christie's latest animated Op-Doc, Allergy to Originality, is a feast for the eyes and quite the creative brain cell tickler too.

0 Comments Alison Cobb

Posted by
Alison Cobb
Wed 29 Aug 2012: 5:00pm

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Fubar Redux - A must watch!

Fubar Redux - A must watch!

Escapee Hasraf Dulull's fifteen-minute film is a true work of art! Set in an alternate reality with cats and dogs, it mixes some intense action with some serious drama, all emphatically enhanced by a unique animation visual style.

0 Comments Robert Broadbent

Posted by
Robert Broadbent
Fri 17 Aug 2012: 10:30am

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Rock on...another escapee success!

Adam Esat explains, that like many video games industry professionals, the first seeds of inspiration were sewn as a child, playing the likes of The Legend of Zelda, Metal Gear Solid and Pokémon. 
We soon found out that like the protagonists of his childhood inspirations, Adam had embarked on a pretty exciting journey of his own.
We caught up with this escapee in the wake of a recent poll from ‘develop online’, indicating Travellers’ Tales (His employers, and main producers of games under the Lego franchise) to be the number one UK game developer.
Adam explains that although he knew he wanted to enter he world of gaming, he didn’t quite have a clear cut vision so early on, and it took him three years at university to make a decision as to what he wanted to specialise in.
‘I loved 3D modelling most of all, which I dedicated my efforts to from then on.’
From here the foundations were set, and Adam could start stacking the building the blocks of his career. (If you’ll excuse the pun) Speaking of his time with us, he acknowledges the premium level of teaching and positive learning environment that Escape Studios has to offer.
‘The quality of the tutoring is what I consider to be world class; it truly was a creatively charged, collaborative place to study, which frankly made me strive to improve myself even more’
As with all of our success stories though, our resources are matched, if not trumped by the infallible commitment of our students, and it took Adam four patient months of meticulous alterations to his show reel before he felt it ready for job applications. These were four months though, that surely pale into insignificance now… 
‘Since then I've been happily employed at TT, whilst also pursuing my personal work in my free time’
We asked Adam to dispatch some industry wisdom for our students and any potential VFX artists out there  who may be reading his success story
I would say the most important thing is decide exactly what you want to do within the games industry, and focus on it, the key is to specialise. Work as much as you can on creating an awesome showreel targeted at the area you wish to specialise, It's incredibly competitive out there and if you want to succeed, you need to work hard. Show your prospective employer that you're the right person for the job and most of all that you want it more than anyone else.
Adam knows not what the future holds, as the industry is always evolving. But with a work ethic and skillset like his, we can be sure that this escapee has a very bright future.

Adam Esat explains, that like many other video games industry professionals, his first source of inspiration came as a child, playing the likes of The Legend of Zelda, Metal Gear Solid and Pokémon.

0 Comments Simon Fenton

Posted by
Simon Fenton
Thu 16 Aug 2012: 11:00am

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Shapes In Motion: Acting & Movement

Shapes In Motion: Acting & Movement

Shapes in Motion are hosting some exciting new Acting & Movement for Animator’s workshops coming up in Sept, Oct and Nov 2012. 

0 Comments Paul Wilkes

Posted by
Paul Wilkes
Wed 15 Aug 2012: 9:00am

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SIGGRAPH Round Up...

SIGGRAPH Round Up...

Another year another SIGGRAPH and what a packed in week it was. This year, LA didn't just give us earthquakes, heat waves and the biggest burritos known to man but also a full week of presentations from some of the biggest and newest studios plus an exhibition hall packed with the latest technology from around the world.  

Here is a quick summary and a few favourites from last week. These are just some of the things to check out:

0 Comments Tim Flett

Posted by
Tim Flett
Tue 14 Aug 2012: 11:25am

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