The 10th Edition of the VES (Visual Effects Society) Awards is upon us, and whilst I know many of you will already be working on your entries for it, I thought I would take time to write about it in this blog to encourage those of you who haven't considered entering the competition.
I'm going to brave the topic of the recent consumer addiction to Apple products and why so many of us await the next newfangled version of iProducts. I mean what would we do without our minimum of twice a year apple hysteria?
Time’s up! Escape Studios’ CG Whiz competition 2011 is now closed. Our judges are starting work behind the scenes and boy, do they have some work to do! What a breath of fresh air this year’s entries have been! The standard has been exceptionally high and unbelievably inspiring. Not only are they technically accomplished, but they are also proof of the raw talent that continues to emerge. All, I'll say is that I’m glad I'm not judging the countless number of entries; they’d all get my vote!
If you’ve been thinking of entering CG Whiz 2011, but haven’t submitted your showreel yet, then there is still time. But you’ll have to be quick – the competition closes on Saturday. The standard of this year’s entries is incredibly high, but you shouldn’t let that put you off. Our judges are looking for your potential and creativity, not just good technique. If you think you’ve got what it takes -whatever your talent or specialism- then head to our Facebook page and follow the instructions to upload your reel.
There are some things at Escape Studios that we take very seriously. And pumpkin carving is one of them. The staff here have been furiously sculpting this weekend in an attempt to take top prize for ‘Best Pumpkin Carver’ and we really do have some very talented contenders. We were very impressed with all of the guys here for proving their skill and dedication however; our Software Manager Graeme Pitt might be disqualified for his attempt, blowing up an orange balloon with a scary face and then calling it a carved pumpkin. Now, we appreciate modern art as much as the next person but really, even we think this is a step too far. Judging is taking place this evening by students who have a very artistic eye – so let’s see who they crown king.
The whole point of CG Whiz is to give talented aspiring artists the kind of exposure necessary to kick-start their career, and there’s no better example of that than the first ever CG Whiz winner, Adam Droy. Following his 2009 success, Adam completed a twelve-week training course with Escape Studios, and now works as a 3D Artist at CG Whiz sponsors The Mill, at its UK studio in Soho, London.
CG Whiz 2011 has been open for entries for over a week now, and we’re already seeing lots of great work coming in. We know a lot of you will be hard at work on your showreels, so to give you some insight into what the judges will be looking for in the amateur category, we caught up with Lee Danskin, our Training Director and a CG Whiz judge since the competition started two years ago.
We’re delighted to announce that CG Whiz 2011 is now open! We’re accepting entries from today for the competition, with the winner receiving a 12 week classroom course at Escape Studios and a 12 week placement with The Mill in either its London or LA offices. This is a once in a life time opportunity that could kick start the career of one talented young artist. If you don’t believe us, see what past winners Stu Schwartz and Adam Droy say about what winning has meant for them.
Those of you who follow us on Twitter will probably have noticed that we are soon to launch the third edition of our now famous CG Whiz competition. So, since the 'cat's out of the bag' already, I thought I might just get away with giving you a bit of an insight in what we have been cooking up for this year's edition of CG Whiz.
Autodesk have an awesome competition running at the moment, with great prizes for the winning and runner-up entries. They are calling out for submissions of a scene or design created on either 3ds Max 2012 or 3ds Max Design 2012. The winning entry will be featured on the 3ds Max Design 2012 box cover and splash screen. Entries will not be judged on production quality, but rather on imagination, innovation and an ingenious use of the Max logo. They are looking for inventive concepts or renderings of architectural designs as well as mechanical or industrial production design. So be adventurous.
We just caught up with Stu Schwartz—last year’s CG Whiz winner. Here’s what he had to say about the experience and knowledge he’s gained and, of course, a few tips for this year’s submissions:
I learned a lot this last summer at Escape Studios as a student and intern but one of the most important things I want to make sure students and aspiring artists know is that I found out how important networking can be. The more you get out there and meet people, the more opportunities will present themselves. Escape is located right near the heart of countless studios and is always putting on events and connecting with other studios and industry professionals. It's been a great environment for meeting other artists and potential employers. So keep that in mind as you move forward in your careers.
Those of you starting out in the CG industry may be interested to know that the Sydney Opera House is currently running an animation competition.
C4 are running their E Stings competition once again. This is the perfect opportunity for CG artists to show off their skills. We'd love to see some escapee work go through to the final, even if it isn't selected it's a great opportunity to demonstrate your showreel and the skills that you have.
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.
Do you have lots of things to say about Escape Studios? We've put together a satisfaction survey which has been designed to help us understand what you'd like to see from Escape Studios. If there are things you think we can improve or are doing really well, we really do want to hear about it.
As you know we have spent the past month judging the 170-odd entries we received for this year’s CG Whiz awards. I have to say the standard of entries was incredibly high, and our judges had an extra-tough job singling out those who showed the sheer talent and potential they were looking for.
As this year’s CG Whiz competition finally closes, we’re delighted to announce we had 170 entries through the door (smashing last year’s entry tally) and the quality of reels blew us away. There’s definitely a lot of talented CG artists out there and we know just how much this competition can help up and coming artists get their foot in the door.