If you are a user of any software package you'll know that at least once a year software developers deliver an update. Autodesk's Maya 2011 was no exception. 3D users had become accustomed to Maya's UI over the last 10 years but Autodesk thought it was time for a change, enter Maya 2011. So this release brings all sorts of challenges for the diehard Maya user, it has a new interface... I hear the screams of "where did you put that" and "what on earth does this icon represent"!
Hollywood's most successful cartoon rabbit is getting his turn to shine in the new 3D entertainment medium, as Warner Bros has confirmed the making of a 3D Bugs Bunny movie. It won't be the first time Bugs has been on the big screen. In 2003 he made a silver screen success out of Looney Tunes: Back In Action, and who could forget the time he starred alongside Michael Jordan in Space Jam? We spoke to Alex Williams our new Animation Tutor to get his opinion on 3D characters and whether this means that the animation industry is changing for good.
Last week, I had the pleasure of judging the short films produced by the graduating class of 2010, BA in Animation at the University of West England. The top prize up for grabs was our new Self-Directed ZBrush Course, and the top five contenders for the winning spot were (in no particular order):
I had a picture sent to me from an old colleague this week (above). It was taken in the "fake" Getaway pub on the 4th floor of SCEE’s (Sony Computer Entertainment Europe) offices in Soho.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Everyone knows the importance of a well put together show reel, but it's surprising how many there are out there that fail to tick all of the right boxes. Very often a show reel will fail to showcase the breadth of skill of the candidate, or will let itself down with a few issues that are fairly simple to fix. Therefore, we've put together a list of points to help you perfect your show reel and to maximise the impact it has on prospective employers. After much discussion at Escape Studios, plus a fair bit of back and forth on Twitter, we have whittled down the list to these 8 tips:
As many of you will know, we are running our first Animation course with our new tutor Alex Williams starting on July 5th, and we still have a couple of places remaining. If you are interested in learning how to become a professional animator, and want to take advantage of Alex’s expert knowledge, then please get in touch to reserve your place. There are only a couple of weeks to go, so make sure to get in touch straight away!
Meet our new animation tutor, Alex Williams who comes from a rich tradition of 2D animation. With over 20 years of industry experience that includes work as a storyboard artist, character designer and animator on more than 20 feature films for Disney, Universal, Warner Bros, Fox, DreamWorks and Sony, his film credits include animated masterpieces such as 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit?', 'The Lion King' and 'The Iron Giant'. His most recent work includes animation for the Oscar-winning 'Monster House', as well as 'Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince'.
In conjunction with their fantastic upcoming Ray Harryhausen – Myths and Legends Exhibition, the London Film Museum are offering the chance to meet the great man himself.
Following the Pixar masterclass, we asked Pixar’s Andrew Gordon to share his tips on creating a fantastic animated sequence and tell us how he came to work in the industry and at Pixar.
Step Seventeen - Right Arm.
I thought I’d give you all a sneak peek at what’s currently happening on our Animation course. The students have just completed a day of life drawing lessons to help with their understanding of composition, staging, silhouetting and several other traditional art skills vital for 3D animators.
Step Sixteen - Left Arm.