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!
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.
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).
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.
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.
Calling all Softimage (XSI) fans out there - get yourself down to the next user group event tomorrow night. With an awesome line up of speakers it’s another great opportunity to catch up with your fellow animation Softimage users and a chance to check out some of the Softimage projects from over the last year.
Considering a career in VFX? If you’re still undecided, then come along to our next open day on Wednesday 18th September. This is where we discuss the VFX industry and your career prospects as a skilled VFX artists. Next Wednesday we’ll be joined by Sean Danischevsky, a VFX Supervisor who has worked at many of the top VFX companies including Framestore and Method Studios.
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?
For those of you who are interested learning more about the tools being used by the pros, here’s a great article from the fxguide crew sharing details of the recent evolution of Naiad into Bifröst. In my opinion, this is one of the most exciting developments to come from Autodesk in quite some time. Find out more here.
I’m not sure if many of you have seen Kittywood Studios: Cat Videos Incorporated, but there’s definitely something in it! It seems the media world has gone cat mad. The advertising gurus of the 1900’s possibly missed a trick… ‘Cats sell…’ Why? Well I work with a group of people who avidly share cat videos with me (not that I’m complaining, I do enjoy them), but also my most recent cinema trip was made all the more enjoyable last weekend when I was introduced to MPC’s latest project – Be More Dog - by far one of the more entertaining commercials out there at the moment.
Tomorrow, August 1st, we're hosting a free webinar with Head of 3D and Escape tutor, Mark Spevick, who will be revealing some of the secrets at the heart of VFX. Introducing you to key techniques and exposing what this creative career is really like, Mark hopes to demystify the science behind the art.
Fan favourite film mag Empire recently released a list of cinema's greatest VFX shots as picked by industry experts and it certainly hit all the right notes. Classic scenes from Jurassic Park, Star Wars and The Abyss were all on there, but we were particularly proud to see number 1 being Davy Jones' face from POTC:DMC, which our very own Head of 2D and tutor Davi Stein worked on during her time at ILM! Congratulations Davi!
Beware the Batman, the new show about the Dark Knight, is facing somewhat of an uphill struggle. DC have decided to dumb down their animation hour this year, meaning fans of the incredible Young Justice and Green Lantern shows that were cancelled to make room for it are already on the back foot. And it's not reminiscent of the classic Bats shows; Alfred is a young, ex-military knucklehead. Kevin Conroy isn't providing his voice skills. And it's entirely CG.
Escape Graduate setting the trends in Brooklyn.
Delivering the most up-to-date curriculum to our students is always at the heart of Escape Studios’ training. To achieve this we rely heavily on our industry connections to keep us tuned into the latest trends, technologies and processes at use in the current VFX climate, helping us develop and deliver the most relevant training for those looking to forge a career in VFX. To help us with this, we’ve appointed an Advisory Board of top industry figures who share their thoughts on what’s happening in the industry, where it’s headed and what’s required from VFX artists at this time.
By now, we’re guessing, many of you VFX fans out there will have seen Zack Snyder‘s Man of Steel. If you haven’t, we’re sure you have a valid excuse. And for those of you who have, you may have noticed the epic credits list for the VFX department in particular. As we respectfully stay at the end of the movie to watch the credits roll, we’re always proud to spot names we recognise among the list – the names of our graduates.
When it comes to VFX, Compositors are the masters of make-believe. They're the magicians who create the illusion of reality in every CG shot. They can look at a shot and tell you exactly what's wrong with it and the best way to correct it. In essence, they are true artists with an eye for beauty and their devotion to it means we get to watch something stunning every time.