No doubt you’ll all be looking forward to the Oscars this weekend. It's particularly significant if you’re a VFX fan, with five nominees in the Visual Effects category this year rather than three.
Since winning our 2010 CG Whiz competition last year Stu Schwartz, Natalie Rocks and Justyna Galka have been on a world wind of activities. Stu wrote a blog recently about how excited he is to start studying with us in our brand new LA campus . He's also going to continue to blog about his experience on the course throughout his study so make sure you keep and eye out on our blog for that.
First of all, I want to take the time to thank you all for taking part in our recent satisfaction survey. More than 2,400 of you took part, and over the course of the following weeks, I will be sharing the results of our findings with you.
If you are a freelancer or a professional working in post-production, you can save on our courses with funding from Skillset. The level of funding you receive depends on whether you're employed or work as a freelancer, and could see you save as much as 80% on our online self-directed courses.
I don’t think anyone was too surprised by last night’s BAFTAs. Personally, I was really pleased to see Inception win the Special Visual Effects award. With the hardware becoming more powerful, the software more sophisticated and the work ever more creative, as an industry the bar is set incredibly high, and it’s always great to see how people are constantly pushing the boundaries of what’s possible. It’s even more impressive when you consider who else was nominated.
Have you seen the interview with our friends at Union VFX (the company behind the visual effects for 127 Hours) on HeyUGuys? With the Oscars around the corner, it’s good to get an insider’s view on one film that’s up for a few gongs.
This months free tutorial has been specifically created by our tutors to help you learn to control occlusion. It's not taken from any of our online courses so it truly is a unique tutorial. You'll start off by looking in depth at the mib_amb_occlusion texture node and how careful use of 2 attributes will ensure that you obtain the perfect ambient occlusion pass.
According to Nintendo’s president, low priced mobile phone games are one of the biggest risks for the games industry as they are giving the impression that all games should be cheap. Last night I had a fantastic gaming session with my son, not on a Wii, PS3 or xbox but on my iPhone and it cost me 59 pence. The success of the Wii is something that Sony also encouraged with eye toy, casual gaming that is fun and accessible for all kinds of people not just hardcore gamers. It strikes me as a little naive to think that the app generation is the biggest threat to the games industry. Though, the cost of a ds game is huge and takes a child ages to save up their pocket money
The iPhone has opened the Market to small developers, provided a fantastic opportunity for people to break into games and because it is so easy to use, has opened up the world of videogames to a whole cross section of society. My children and I get just as much fun from an iPhone game as well as a ds for a fraction of the price. Epic has produced an amazing looking game for only a few pounds and created a version of their awesome engine specifically to embrace this exciting platform. The biggest threat to the games industry is the CEOs not listening to gamers - they should be encouraging development every where creating internships and fostering talent.
The makers of angry birds have opened an academy, not bad for a little throw away game. Come on Nintendo Sony and Microsoft, get your act together! Speaking of internships one of our games students Chris Chorley is doing a six month internship at veemee. You also only have to look at the success of Portal to see that Valves approach to internships pays huge rewards.
As we move from January into February we’re left with no doubt that 2010 is well and truly behind us. What have we achieved this year? What did we create? Well, apart from 13 magazines – the creation was solely in your hands.
I'm really pleased to announce a new addition to our full-time classroom courses - Compositing Professional. This course builds on the amazing success of our 12 week compositing for production course and adds an additional 6 weeks of advanced training. This extra time will give students the opportunity to develop skills to really set them apart from other juniors looking to enter the industry - covering subjects such as compositing for stereoscopic and the advanced techniques needed to work with high end 3D visual effects. Part of the course includes a dedicated project week where you'll be able to work on your showreel and make sure that it really stands out from the crowd.
Please getting in touch with training team or come along to one of our open days to find out more.
Currently wowing audiences everywhere, and hot off the back of its Oscar nominations, Danny Boyle’s latest film 127 Hours is something we’ve been keeping a particular close eye on. Obviously we’re fans of Mr Boyle’s work (personally, I can’t wait to see the Olympic opening ceremony), but in this case we’re more interested in a small team of people working behind the scenes.
I just wanted to point you towards this article which discusses the amazing title sequence for Scott Pilgram. When I was a student wanting to get into the industry I found out about Shynola (a collective group of visual artists who have collaborated on a variety of projects) when a brilliant but very strange music video was produced by Unkle called "eye for an eye". When I came across this article of how Shynola worked with the Edgar Wright the director of Scott Pilgram, I decided to have a look.
Escape Studios is hitting the road this year undertaking a program of talks, presentations and master classes throughout the UK universities and colleges.
Roy Trosh (Head of Technology at The Mill) must be feeling pretty proud of his son James, Television Production student at Bournemouth University. He's the first person in the UK to attach a Go camera to a helium weather balloon and...a toy Robot! The project was initiated as part of a music video but produced some amazing footage of the earth’s curvature, the best bit is that it's being screened on tube station platforms as part of ‘Smile for London’; a campaign to brighten up the commuter's journey to work. James explains: “We attached the rocket and robot to a helium filled weather balloon with a GPS unit and mini HD camera to track and film the flight. The balloon then popped and fell down to earth with a parachute, where we found the robot and camera 11 miles away in a farmer's field.”
We know just how popular our webinars are on all things CG, well the next in line is all about our Mentored Training and includes a preview of our exciting e-Learning platform.
For those who can’t give up work for 12 weeks or come to our offices in London or Los Angeles, Mentored Training is just the ticket. You can study our VFX or Compositing online and still get expert mentoring and feedback from our tutors and share your creations with classmates on Facebook, YouTube and Vimeo (that’s thanks to our clever e-learning technology!).
So when an academy awarded influential film editor like Walter Murch makes very detrimental comments about 3D stereo some people should take a long hard look at it. What does 3D really add to the whole film experience except expense and a headache? You can find his comments here - all of which are very observant and true.
I came across this blog on the 5 miserable VFX Jobs that make movies possible and found it quite amusing... ;-)
We've had lots of questions about how our Mentored Training works and we thought it would be great to give people a guided online tour. We'll take you through what you'll learn on the course but more importantly, how you'll learn on this course - demonstrating our unique e-Learning platform.
We're never prouder than when our escapees get the recognition they deserve. This usually comes in the form of a first job with a top post house or commendation from the professional community for a perfectly executed shot, so when we found out that some of our escapees made it to the Autodesk 2010 Education showreel, we were beaming.