If you are a user of any software package you'll know that at least once a year software developers deliver an update. Autodesk's Maya 2011 was no exception. 3D users had become accustomed to Maya's UI over the last 10 years but Autodesk thought it was time for a change, enter Maya 2011. So this release brings all sorts of challenges for the diehard Maya user, it has a new interface... I hear the screams of "where did you put that" and "what on earth does this icon represent"!
Last week, I had the pleasure of judging the short films produced by the graduating class of 2010, BA in Animation at the University of West England. The top prize up for grabs was our new Self-Directed ZBrush Course, and the top five contenders for the winning spot were (in no particular order):
I had a picture sent to me from an old colleague this week (above). It was taken in the "fake" Getaway pub on the 4th floor of SCEE’s (Sony Computer Entertainment Europe) offices in Soho.
For me the best movie so far this year has to be Christopher Nolan's Inception. it will be interesting come Oscar time to see if the Academy and the world at large agree. It is a fantastic combination of amazing direction and cinematography, a gripping script and amazing VFX. The best VFX are the ones you don't see and only afterwards do you think "How did they do that?".
Those of you who see themselves as techno geeks and like to keep up with the latest research and developments in media production will want to check out this year’s CVMP conference.
Those of you who follow us on Twitter will know that we had our first ever realtime Twitter feedback session on Monday. I am told I should refer to them as Tweetups or Twitter parties, but if truth be told, it was a simple, honest, online showreel clinic! We asked our followers to send us links to their reels, and Lee Danskin, our Training Development Director, provided his usual professional feedback.
We all know that finding your first job in the CG industry can be tough, but we have good reasons to feel pretty confident about future job prospects. That's because the industry has seen growth for the ninth year in a row. There are jobs out there and I am particularly well placed to comment as I sit opposite our Recruitment Team and so I get to hear everything about the jobs they have available. Over the last few months, they have all been incredibly busy, and that's good news for all aspiring artists.
It’s always great to find out how escapees get on after their training and enter the world of work. Last week, we met up with ex-student Robert Holmes out at SIGGRAPH. Since his time at Escape, Rob’s gone on to work on some amazing projects at The Mill. He took time to tell us how he got his break and what’s needed to be successful in this industry.
For those that may not have heard, the UK Film council is under threat of closure after having its funding cut. The UK Film Council has done many great things for the industry since its inception in 2000. We now have the highest cinema attendance in 7 years, UK film exports are also the highest in 7 years, and inward investment in the industry has doubled from 2008 to now.
Firstly, a big thanks to everyone who has entered our CG Graduate Design Competition Award so far. Entries have been coming thick and fast and as always the standard has been exceptional.
Thanks also for keeping in touch via all our social networks - it really is great to hear from you all and it just reaffirms our belief that the UK and the US have a wealth of talent and will undoubtedly produce many future stars in the CG world.
Everyone who studies with us knows how much emphasis we place on our close ties with the industry. The members of our advisory board include some of the biggest names in CG, and they advise on everything from course content to placing escapees in work after they graduate. We are therefore very pleased to announce that Christian Roberton, MD of Film at MPC, has joined the team.
It's great to see entries coming through for our Graduate Design Awards. Just a quick reminder you need to upload your show reel to our YouTube channel and then complete your entry by sending your contact details to firstname.lastname@example.org. We need your name, showreel title, email address, telephone number, year of graduation, university and course attended.
We’ve launched the CG Graduate Design Awards aimed at uncovering talented uni grads in the UK and US. This is the first international competition of its kind, where we’ll be giving fresh talent, a helping hand into the competitive computer graphics world with our partners The Mill. So, if you’re a student or recent graduate dreaming of breaking into the industry, this is the opportunity for you.
Thanks to everyone that responded to our graduate survey a few weeks ago. It uncovered some interesting thoughts on the industry and challenges you face getting into CG.
We are launching our new online competition to uncover the crème of the CG class of 2010 on both sides of the Atlantic. The CG Graduate Design Awards is the first international competition of its kind, where we’ll be giving the most talented graduates out there a helping hand into the competitive computer graphics world.