Last Thursday, 11 December we hosted our last event of the year, and it just so happened to be an evening with two CG masters; an event for current students, our very own graduates and VFX enthusiasts to gain an insight into the industry from professionals themselves. If you missed out, don’t worry, we hope to be running more in the New Year so make sure you sign up to avoid disappointment!
On Friday 5 December, we visited Aardman Animations to celebrate the graduation of 11 students on a 12-week Character Animation course. Now in it’s second year, the course in a collaboration between NFTS, Creative Skillset and Aardman. The mission? The provide animation training that is industry focused and addresses the skills gap for animators in the UK. And from what we saw on Friday, this is just our kind of animation course - the kind where students are supported in realising their career ambition, towards getting a job after they graduate.
Are you a budding Visual Effects student? Do you have a student project to show to the world? Then look further!
At the end of this month (29th September to be exact), starts Escape’s very first dedicated Motion Graphics course – a 12 week (part time) evening course for creative folk who want to take their digital designs to new heights. And with an internship at CAKE up for grabs, this course is launching its graduates into the industry, firing on all cylinders!
The day started with a fab lesson from the guys that make Fabric Engine, a new procedural software for making tools for any 3D or 2D app, all accelerated on the GPU, very cool and exciting stuff; apparently it is the ice development team from the now defunct softimage. Lots of the big post houses have already adopted this software as an easier way of making tools and plugins.
Another great day at SIGGRAPH, we were up early for a meet and greet with educators in VFX, and discussions on how to teach VFX in the classroom and online. We then had a great panelled discussion on how to transition from a VFX Artist to a Teacher. The panel had some great Artists from ILM and top American Universities.
After 10hr flight and a spot of jet lag kicking in we registered at the one and only SIGGRAPH today in Vancouver (Sunday 10th August)
This time of year tends to be a busy time for VFX, particularly for Compositing departments, with film production schedules nearing the end of their pipeline, and VFX teams working towards looming delivery deadlines. During this busy time, it’s great to see our graduates benefitting from the industry’s demand for more experienced Compositors. This is certainly the case for Jacopo Landi who graduated from our Advanced Compositing for VFX course last March and is now working at Double Negative as a Digital Stereo Compositor.
Seeing a film at the cinema is often a contained experience - you'll go with one or two other people, silently praying that no one else in the theatre makes a noise for the next three hours, arrive just in time then leave straight away afterwards, casually asking the opinion of your companions as you leave to see if the cramp in your butt was worth it.
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).
Sci-Fi-London (The London International Festival of Science Fiction and Fantastic Film) kicks off today, boasting a fantastic line up of titles – some new and some offering more of a nostalgic trip down memory lane. We’re particularly excited about the short film programme, Shorts Programme 2, to be screened on the closing day, Sunday 4 May, at BFI Southbank.
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.
For some of you with your ear to the ground, this won’t be news. It’s been rumoured for some time now that Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) were considering an expansion into the UK, and now we can rejoice in knowing the rumours have been confirmed. Yes – ILM are in the process of setting up a new facility in central London and will be looking to hire UK based talent too.
How's your MARI awesomeness? Insane prizes up for grabs in this competition from The Foundry & CG Society!
If you’ve not heard of Lee Danskin – well now is the time to get introduced. When it comes to Autodesk Maya, this is a man worth knowing. Director of Technology at Escape-Technology and the man who had a hand in creating Maya 1.0 (the 3D package that revolutionised the industry), Lee has enjoyed an incredible 18-year career working on high profile projects for some of the UK’s biggest VFX studios.
With a new year fast approaching, there's never been a better time to think about your career prospects and embark in something new. For those of you looking to step up the ranks as a VFX ninja, 2014 could be the year to make it happen.
Horror films, at their core, probably garner the least amount of respect from the intuitive film goer. It's not hard to see why, as most films are designed to be windows of escapism, where the viewer allows them self to get lost in the twists of the story and emotional journey of the characters, where horrors try to accomplish the opposite; filling you with fear and dread, jumping at loud noises, making it impossible to actually settle down during the film.
What's the secret behind breath-taking visual effects? There are lots of elements we need to consider before answering this question – such as modelling, texturing and lighting your scene - but a pivotal point in the process of bringing a computer generated image to life, is rendering. And one man who has dedicated a great many hours into this area is The Mill's Head of Maya Development, Suraj Harrington-Odedra.
I loved the first Machete film, and when at the end of the film, the narrator announced “Machete will return in, ‘Machete Kills’ and ‘Machete Kills Again’”, my excitement was uncontainable. So naturally, I ran to the cinema to see ‘Machete Kills’ at the weekend, and I can say conclusively that I’ve never left a cinema with such an overwhelming feeling of confusion.