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.
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.
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.
We’ve had some fantastic entries for CG Whiz 2010, but the deadline is fast approaching. Any entries submitted after midnight tonight (Pacific Time – 8 am GMT or 7 pm in Sydney, Australia) will not be counted, so you’ve only got a few more hours to get your reel in. You can do this via Twitter, Vimeo, YouTube or Facebook, but remember to email CGWhiz@escapestudios.com with your contact details too.
In conjunction with their fantastic upcoming Ray Harryhausen – Myths and Legends Exhibition, the London Film Museum are offering the chance to meet the great man himself.
Then take a look at Escape Studios’ Graduate Survey. If you’re a student or have graduated from a UK university we’re keen to hear how you got on finding a job, and how well you think your university prepared you for the world of work.
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.
It's the moment you've all been waiting for... Escape Studios and The Mill are delighted to announce the shortlist of our CG Whiz competition. We’re astounded by both the level of interest and the standard of entries: we’ve had 136 entries, whilst the videos have received over 8,300 views! The shortlist (in no particular order) is:
A few weeks ago we ran a survey to find out what people thought of the CG industry, with a prize draw and some fantastic prizes for a lucky few. We’re please to say we can now announce the winners of the prize draw.