I was on holiday last week, enjoying the almost total lack of sun, and having a week long geekasm at the E3 coverage. Imagine my surprise, then, to come back to work at Escape to discover hardly a mention of all that awesomeness on the blog. This is not, I thought to myself, acceptable. So have a peek at this!
The Softimage Creatives launch event went ahead on May 29th as planned, and it was nothing short of amazing. There was an incredible turn out of XSI enthusiasts, which confirms to us all that the community of users is still very much alive. Over 150 people squeezed into Jerusalem Bar on Rathbone Place to celebrate the launch of the London Softimage user group, and among those were visitors who travelled from Ireland and the continent. It’s this dedication to the cause that will undoubtedly help make the independent Softimage user group a real success, and I’m sure it has proved to the SiC founders that their efforts have not been in vain.
At Escape Studios we are always looking to keep informed with different products that we can help you lovely folks increase your performance and streamline your workflow. Of late we have been very interested in the increase in project management software being used to boost productivity. So here is one you may not have heard about just yet…
We know it has been a long time coming but we finally managed to get our hands on some insider info into the HBO series Game of Thrones. The second season has been just as intense and enthralling as the first and with the production for the third season renewed just two days after the second series aired, we hope to see a lot more of Westeros soon!
Where there is light there is always dark, to maintain a little bit of balance in this world. Cartoon villains are something to be celebrated and the Animation World Network (AWN) have done exactly that, compiling two lists of the best villains- The Evil and The Funny. And hey… everyone needs a little light relief in their lives. And we are happy to provide it for you.
I am destined to never grow up and quite frankly I refuse to see why I can’t stay immature for my entire life. I loved every single aspect of my childhood but the most memorable things for me were TV shows. Saturday mornings you would find me virtually attached to the TV for cartoon after cartoon. And another thing you should know is that I have a penchant for all things a little kitsch and retro. So if you combine these two elements you will understand why it is not possible for me to contain my excitement, especially after hearing this news.
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?
As of last month Autodesk released the 2013 update of their 3D software, and with that you’ll find a variety of enhancements and new features that make these versions pretty special. In our competitive industry, having the latest and greatest tools to complete the job is always a bonus, and the 2013 versions may well set you on your way to creating work that stands out from the crowd. Of course for many of you, the cost can make upgrading a tricky business and that’s why we want to make sure you’re all aware of a promotion that could help stretch the pennies a little further.
Finally we can take a glimpse at the new Pixar feature animation, Brave. We’ve heard great things about the film, and so we’re all completely psyched about its upcoming release later this summer. This is Pixar’s first time to tackle a fairy tale, and it’s set to be much darker in tone to their previous Pixar releases, as it takes inspiration from the masters of whimsical storytelling, Hans Christian Anderson and Brothers Grimm.
I am part of a generation that has been particularly spoiled by the advances in stop motion animation. I remember watching TV shows like Noddy, Fireman Sam, Pingu and Postman Pat and films like The Nightmare before Christmas, James and the Giant Peach and Chicken Run as a kid and being in complete awe.
Last week Claire Anderson, Talent Manager at The Mill divulged some of the greatest tips and tricks young artists need to apply in order to cut it in the VFX Industry. I have to say; I couldn’t help but feel a little awestruck listening to our Training Manager and Claire chat away during the 40 minute webinar because of the room we were stationed at. It was like something from a bond movie – check out the pictures! Filled with The Mill’s previous conquests (let’s be clear that I’m talking about Oscars and Bafta’s here….) I kept expecting a drinks cabinet and a man with a white cat to appear from behind one of the walls. One thing’s for sure, The Mill certainly know what they’re talking about and have the awards to prove it.
The quality of work that our students create during their Visual Effects Production course is always awesome and there's no doubt it's getting better and better. When you consider that every student doesn't just attend their daytime lessons. They have to find, track, model, light, texture, render and composite a shot in just 6 weeks that shows the extent of their ability. One of our former students and now Studio Assistant Ashley Miles remembers how stressful it can get.
When Sue Rowe, Cinesite’s senior VFX Supervisor on John Carter, came in to talk to our students it was like a breath of fresh air. Reassuringly, despite having masses of technical and creative responsibility, her fundamental joy is much the same as the students studying with us – that blowing stuff up is what still excites her.
Every month, Develop review the brightest and best courses and colleges in the world of Computer Graphics. And this week, we've found ourselves in the spotlight!
IKinema is a UK based company with a great technology for quick full-body solving and animation. Their flagship product, IKinema Action, is a plug-in for Maya that enables artists to rig characters as well as stream, retarget and record motion capture data, in less time. It is also a very cost effective solution.
With the release of IKinema Action version 2.0 there has been a range of updates and enhancements made to an already very powerful technology. This upgrade also brings with it a new price. The new pricing will take effect from April 1st, so that leaves you with 2 days to purchase this new version under the old price. For more information on this, please contact our software team.
Moving on from the presentation by Kevin Jenkins we turned our attention to Ben Morris who gave us the low-down on his role as a VFX Supervisor. As we watched the end sequence of War Horse, which is the part where we discover the fate of our hero’s horse, we all became a little misty eyed, but were quickly reassured by Ben that no horses were harmed during the making of this film. Needless to say, we were all very impressed with the great VFX work done by the guys at Framestore and how realistic the horse looked. Surely Mr Spielberg wouldn't have it any other way.