Doing a VFX course can lead your career in many directions. For many of our students it has been the launching pad for a career in post-production, for film, TV and commercials. Many students have also gone on to work in other areas such as games and architectural visualisation. We teach the fundamentals and practicalities of working in CG, paving the way for what you will eventually specialise in.
This year, Escape Studios is ten years old, and it’s a pretty big deal for us. It’s also a big deal for all of the students who we’ve trained over the years and are now dotted throughout the world of VFX. So, from now on, every week, we’re going to be launching a story from our escapee Wall of Fame which will showcase all of the escapees who have gone on to work on the biggest and boldest films, TV shows, commercials and games over the years. It’s a chance for them to step up and take a bow, albeit a virtual one.
Batman? The Dark Knight? Wonder Woman? Not really, but these incredibly detailed, hand-crafted finger puppet designs by Tamara Maynes recall iconic heroes and villains who we’ve seen in the pages of comic books and as blockbusters on the big screen.
I recently went to see the Lucian Freud Portraits exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery. Wow! Intense, raw paintings that reflected his relationship to his sitters. I actually quite liked his early portraits that were very flat in dimension and lacking perspective in a stylised way. He painted the eyes of the faces quite large and dominant in the frame. But in most cases looking away, or 'blankly' towards the painter. This created for me a disturbing yet intriguing relationship between the viewer of the painting, me, and the personality of the person he is trying to portray. When we look at portraits or a picture of a person, we tend to look at the eyes first to connect in some way. Not being able to do that created a whole new approach of portraiture that I do not see often. Their eyes were wide, but not allowing a connection. The faces were rarely smiling and this one is a great example.
I travel on the underground every day on my journey to and from work, and unless there are disruptions on my route, I rarely need to examine the tube map. Over the weekend, while surfing the net, I came across this really cool 3D version of the map, which is such a simple but effective idea. In this video you can see a time lapse of the map being made from nails and coloured string. It’s so simple any one of us could have a go at making it. In fact it would make a very thoughtful housewarming gift for anyone moving to London.
Here is the trailer for the new 3D stop motion comedy thriller by Laika, the animation studio that brought us 'Coraline'. Norman 'I see dead people' Babcock is a local boy from a small New England Town who has the ability to see and speak with the dead. The movie will follow Norman as he takes on ghosts. zombies and worst of all, grown ups to save his town from a century old curse. Cannot wait to see this film! But what do you think of the trailer - we want to hear it!?
A very sad day indeed for the comics industry and for all of those like me who grew up within the amazing and imaginative world of Moebius. I have always been an avid comics fan and for me, the two most influential peolple have been Stan Lee (he taught me very important words such as puny proverbiale and imperious rex) and Jean Giraud who I stumbled upon by accident. He introduced me to the world of french comics and it was a revelation. The French are masters of comic art and narrative, and the works of Moebius have inluenced all manner of media including some of the most important science fiction films.
His legacy will no doubt live on - a true inspiration. You can read the full article on the Geek Out Blog.
After the usual slow down over the festive & new year period, here at Escape Studios recruitment department we're now experiencing a big surge in demand for freelancers, right across the board.
Sometimes, you just come across something which simplify defies logic and the laws of physics... Today, I did just that when I discovered this incredible piece of 3D printing. It just goes to show the magic you can create with such technology. And if you fancy trying to build something like that yourself, here is where you can find some instructions.
An old colleague of mine (thanks Miles!) recently posted this link on his Google+ profile and I was instantly mesmerised. Illustrator Dave DeVries has had the amazing idea of taking children’s drawings and representing them as ‘realistic’ paintings in a project called “The Monster Engine”. The results are absolutely amazing. The artist describes his initiative as “a book, a demonstration, lecture and a gallery exhibition. The premise for all three came from one single question: What would a child’s drawing look like if it were painted realistically?”
Every so often, I come across something that makes me pause for a second. I did just that yesterday in one of my usual web trawls.
A few months back FX Guide released an article on The Science of Fluid Sims. If you didn’t manage to catch it at the time, you should definitely check it out now. It is a great read for anyone looking to know a little more about the science and evolution of fluid simulation and what the future holds for its craft. The article should also set you up nicely to understand the importance of what the company Exotic Matter are working towards with their new product Naiad.
SIGGRAPH is the worlds leading conference on computer graphics and interactive techniques. Each year they welcome thousands of artists, research scientists, gaming experts and developers, filmmakers, students and academics to Vancouver from 74 countries around the world.
Are you a MARI user or have an interest in MARI, then you may be keen to know that a group of artists are getting together on November 24th in London, Soho for a few beers. The venue is currently top sectret but will be released soon.
Mingle and network with fellow MARI users over a drink. There are a few special gifts up for grabs too.
I've also heard that some of the MARI engineers should be attending, which is a great opportunity to ask those all important questions! Should be quite a geek fest.
There is a new VFX facility in town to have recently opened their doors for business. They are a trio of young visual effects professionals who have proven talents across a range of high profile projects both in the UK and US. This company is the Electric Theatre Collective, and we would like to congratulate them on a very impressive start up. We believe these guys are destined for great things as they venture into the sometimes uncertain territory of running their own facility and build a strong foundation around the name Electric Theatre. We wish Giles Cheetham, James Sindle, Daniel Stanhope Marum and their team every success in the years to come.
Yesterday afternoon The Foundry announced the release of KATANA 1.0, the much anticipated look development and lighting tool. In addition to this, The Foundry also shared the news that Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), a Lucasfilm Company, have purchased a licence of this latest version with the hope to boost their production pipeline across their ILM and Lucasfilm companies.
The UK has a flourishing VFX industry that is attracting business from all over the world. In terms of film production in this country, we’re securing huge business. The standard of work being produced here is world class, and it’s impressive to see how this industry is flourishing right across the United Kingdom. For those of us who work in London, sometimes we risk embracing the city as being the centre of the universe, paying far too much attention to what’s going on locally, rather than what’s happening countrywide. Granted Soho is a hub for post-production, but if we were to look beyond the M25 and further North, East or West, we would find an amazing number of talented companies working on some fantastic projects.
What relationship if any, a nineteenth century impressionist painter has to today's CG artists is an interesting question, and one that occurred to me whilst at the Degas exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts. Degas and the Ballet examines in detail the redoubtable French artist's devotion to his favourite subject, placing it in context alongside the then nascent, new media of film and photography.