How many of you play social games? I knew it was popular but I caught some figures on CNN’s website last week that really brought it home just how big it’s become. The FarmVille Facebook game is apparently being played by a staggering 27 million social gamers ever day, adding up to more monthly active users than the population of France.
Escape this Spring!
Welcome to our new fortnightly 'Featured Artist' blog post! From now on I'll be giving some insight into what's going on in the industry, as well as showcasing some of our outstanding candidates.
Are you a woman trying to break into the film industry? If so, this training course could be just what you’re looking for.
Games tutor Simon Fenton has made his media debut for Escape Studios on the Guardian’s Career Talk podcast. You can hear Simon talk about getting into the industry, his role as a tutor at Escape, his background and much more, alongside Tom Baskaya of Framestore, an Escapee and most recently a compositor on Avatar. Tom also talks about his time at Escape, as well as what it was like working on James Cameron’s masterpiece.
On the 25th of this month I'll be hosting a free Games webinar on Next Generation Asset Creation. We'll be looking at next gen techniques as well considering the part that low-poly still has to play in games art creation. High on the list of priorities for any Games Artist is knowing where to find their sources of inspiration - I'll show you what gets me going and how it helps me approach my own work.
As some of you may have seen, we've got a fantastic event coming up in March - a two day masterclass with the doyens of CG animation, Pixar.
This 3D reconstruction of ancient Pompeii is quite neat. Generated with Procedural’s CityEngine, it shows how quickly a 3D city can be created using a plug-in, and eliminate the time-consuming tasks of manual modelling and design often required in games, post-production and architectural visualisation. It is also up to 10 times more efficient at creating urban environments than existing packages. It is completely brand new to Escape Studios – no need to say we are quite excited about it.
Here's a selection of what our game course students have created. As I mentioned before, I'm really proud of what the guys have come up with, and I would love to show you every single students work, were it not for amount of space it would take up on the blog. So here, as a compromise, is a selection:
Our friends at Autodesk have released the first service pack for Mudbox 2010.
As I’m sure some of you would have seen, last week figures were released showing that revenues from UK videogames hit £1.73 billion last year – a whopping 44% higher than what was generated from UK films during the same time. If you consider some of the huge cinema releases we saw last year, it’s no mean feat that it was only UK television that made more money than the video games industry. Impressive stuff, but is it really a surprise? I’ve said before that playing videogames is becoming a family past time – games consoles are now found in the family living room rather than banished to a “geeky” teenager’s bedroom. Gaming has a far reaching appeal, and I doubt that the growth of the gaming industry will cease any time soon. Interest in our games course, particularly since Sony veteran Simon Fenton came on board, has continued to grow. It’s great to see this exciting industry gaining rightful recognition – not just in terms of increased sales, but in the demand for creative talent which boosts the development of video gaming in the UK. Would you rather spend two hours playing Modern Warfare 2 or watching Blackhawk Down?
You might have read that we recently surveyed people working in the industry for their thoughts about their jobs and the world they work in. We’ve now taken this one step further by asking graduates about their expectations of a career in this field.
Regular readers of the blog will know that last week we had the awards ceremony of the CG Whiz competition. We managed to grab the three winners and some of the judges, including Steve Venning from The Mill, to film their views on the competition. We think everyone had a great time, and over the next few months we’re hoping to have blog posts from Adam Droy, the overall winner, and runners up Ronan McMeel and Marco Barrato, to see how the competition prizes have helped them break into the CG industry.
Over the last few months we've spent a lot of time meeting various people from the CG world on Twitter, and have been discussing everything from the latest Autodesk upgrades or Softimage updates, to Nick's doodles and even elephant clocks (this conversation really did happen). After all of this interaction, we thought it was about time that we got to meet some of you face to face, so on Friday we invited three of the more vocal Twitterers to a beer and CG evening at Escape Studios.
Congratulations to all the finalists of our CG Whiz competition. We had a great time at the Reveal Event last night, meeting the future stars of the CG industry. As we’ve said before, we were overwhelmed by the sheer number and quality of the entries we’ve received.
You might have read a couple of weeks ago about the winners of a prize draw we held for those who completed our survey. We wanted to see what people in and around the CG industry thought about their jobs and the world in which they work. We had a fantastic response, with over 2,800 professionals, hobbyists and students answering questions for us, and the results make for interesting reading.
Here at Escape Studios, we pride ourselves on our close links with the industry. One of the ways we maintain these links is by having tutors who have done the jobs they teach. This means that our tutors are some of the best CGers in the business, and they’re an incredibly creative bunch.