It’s hard to conceive, now, of the time when film production and visual effects were an American concern. Not much over a decade ago the majority of big blockbusters shot in and around LA, and effects houses in Malibu or the Presidio gave them their visual oomph. But things have swung so fast and so decidedly towards the UK that it now feels almost quaint to see a film made in the US. Next year’s biggest films – Avengers, Star Wars, Bond, Mission: Impossible – are all based here in Blighty, and more are queuing behind them.
You may have read that our main man Ash Miles was invited to the private cast and crew screening of Guardians of the Galaxy last weekend, and went along with a number of Escape graduates from MPC who worked on the project. His blog about it got us so excited that we had to get in touch with Adam Dewhirst, escapee and advisory board member who happened to be Framestore's Lead Modeller on the film, to ask a few questions, he was careful not to discuss any spoilers with us so read all about the project below in peace, and discover what it’s like to work on what is soon to be a truly iconic motion picture.
Last Thursday evening we hosted a recruitment event in honour of our Alumni from the last two years. The night was dedicated to celebrating their work in VFX so far, as well as a networking opportunity with recruiters from the leading VFX facilities in London. We were joined by Framestore, MPC, The Mill, Jellyfish Pictures, Milk VFX, Molinare, Rushes and ILM (Industrial Light and Magic).
Here at Escape Studios, we have subscriptions to the most cutting edge Industry publications delivered to our studios each month, and we fist punched the air recently when we saw both an Escape Tutor, AND one of our advisory board members featuring in 3D Artist Magazine and 3D World Magazine respectively.
Escape’s Head of 3D Mark Spevick harbours a special passion for all things Houdini, and last week his skills were called for on the continent, and he ventured to iMasterArt in Turin taly to host a master class with a handful of other pros with experience in all areas of VFX, here are his notes from the trip!
At Escape, we've been teaching visual effects for over 11 years. Our students have gone on to work on some of the biggest films ever made, the coolest TV shows, and the best adverts to have been created, all over the globe. And yet, it still amazes me what the VFX community gets up to in its spare time!
This year’s CG Student Awards competition has just launched and they are now taking entries. As big supporters of this competition we’re delighted to see it back for another year, and it’s looking bigger and better than ever. Dedicated to students studying for careers in Next-Gen Games and VFX / Animation industries, this competition is a great opportunity for students and alumni to showcase their work to industry experts, offering a little helping hand up the VFX career ladder.
Hi there! It's been a while (understatement) but I'm back with another instalment of Lee's App of the Week!
3D modelling is one of the very first skills we teach on our 3D for Visual Effects course. The backbone for all convincing 3D VFX, it requires a strong knowledge of topology, form, texture and detail. In every class we find someone with a natural flare for this craft and 8 years ago Adam Dewhirst was one such person.
Honestly, I was so busy driving over mountains on a motorbike to chase planes crashing into deserts in GTA V that I was barely even paying attention to Valve's triple announcements last week. They're making a new PC or something? I didn't care, there were heists to be having! Then this week, as I tried to play online, I received the same message as the other 10 million trying to get on...
Last Friday we took a train south to Bournemouth for the 2013 BFX awards ceremony, which was a truly wonderful event. Awarding and celebrating emerging talent from eleven UK universities, the teams who took part in this competition impressed us mightily.
Upon one of our recent trips to the West End, 2D and 3D students visiting our friends over at Realise Studios and Glassworks London spotted this intriguing sign outside of Sci Fi Mecca 'Forbidden Planet'. Unbeknownst of what it meant, we naturally visited the suggested website, and of course Twitter, to find out the back story of exactly what had happened outside of Forbidden Planet on September 24th.
It's been over two hours since I set a waypoint on my map, to go and steal a submarine for my next heist, but I'm nowhere near the location. I just keep getting distracted. Instead I robbed an armoured car by blowing it's doors off while cruising down the motorway and grabbing the loot. After I lost the cops, I stopped a mugging and returned a woman's purse. Then I jumped in a cable car and rode it to the top of a mountain, stole a dirt bike and accelerated down the steep cliffs getting wild air and pulling front flips for style and just about made it to the bottom before I bailed, and was eaten by a mountain lion.
Hello loyal readers, A P Miles here with sad, sad news. It seems that I've bucked the trend and decided to catch the winter cold rather early, turning my normally deep and soothing voice into a growley, crackly mess, and increasing the pressure in my head to somewhere close to 500 fathoms deep.
Often for a VFX artist there is a defining moment of clarity, whether it be during a TV program, an epic film, or just viewing a highly detailed drawing, most of the artists we encounter, when asked “what made you want to become a VFX artist?” Usually one of these occasions is cited as a reply.
This year we’re celebrating the 150th anniversary of the fabulous, London Underground.
Get ahead with tips from our webinar with The Mill’s Thomas Knight. For the vast majority of people, making the jump from training in your chosen field to actually working in it can be a daunting one to make, and this is no less true in the competitive world of VFX. Once you’ve got the skills, how do you stand out from the crowd and launch your career as a VFX artist?
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again - the role of an artist is a complex and often challenging one. Every artist, no matter what stage you’re at in your career, will struggle with diminishing motivation and inspiration. It’s incredibly easy to slip into this state as we work ourselves into the ground, letting the pot of ideas run empty. But you are not alone! I know this because last week I spent three days at Reasons to be Creative in Brighton and was surrounded by artists and developers from across the creative industries, all looking for a fix of something that would get their creative juices flowing…