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Webinar reminder... don't miss out!

Webinar reminder... don't miss out!

For all budding Compositors out there, Alexander Swann is joining us for an exciting webinar exclusive next Wednesday. Roto Artist and escapee, Alex has spent the last couple of years mastering the art of 3D painting and rotoscoping at Framestore. Showing some examples from the very recent, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, we recommend that you check this one out.

0 Comments Ellen Payne

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Ellen Payne
Fri 24 Aug 2012: 5:44pm

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Film 4 Scene Stealers: Winner Announced!

Film 4 Scene Stealers: Winner Announced!

Just over six weeks ago, we blogged about a competition run by Film 4, called ‘Scene Stealers’.

0 Comments Robert Broadbent

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Robert Broadbent
Fri 24 Aug 2012: 5:00pm

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A one day VFX taster session!

A one day VFX taster session!

“Big things have small beginnings”, was an idea acknowledged in Ridley Scott’s Prometheus, released earlier this year. And for us, this statement couldn’t be more true. Taking the art of visual effects as a prime example, the spectacular CG you see on screens today was born from the most basic of concepts, and the people who created those effects invested significant time and energy to become the talented artists they are today. Every creative talent has to start out somewhere, and with the right levels of care and determination, it can evolve into something magnificent.

4 Comments Ellen Payne

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Ellen Payne
Fri 24 Aug 2012: 12:08pm

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Total Recall, Terrific Reception?

Total Recall, Terrific Reception?
This year’s remake of cult classic ‘Total Recall’ has sparked some serious controversy in the world of film. Here at Escape Studios we are PUMPED for its release, given the fact that a number of our graduates have been hard at work over the last year, on the VFX side of things.
A total of 1600 digitally enhanced shots are used in the film, the vast majority of which were worked on by our pals over at Double Negative in Soho – pretty damn cool right? 
The hugely complex cityscape of a futuristic London was some challenge for the artists, and it required some high detail rendering, luckily these digital wizards called upon previous lessons learnt from their work on the ground breaking, Oscar winning, Inception. 
Total Recall is yet to be released in the UK, so we can’t join the squabbling masses just yet. But if you do spend your bank holiday weekend watching this high action sci-fi flick, we want to know - Does this contemporary version do the original justice?
Twitter is telling me a number of different things, from…“WARNING: Total Recall remake is unbelievably boring.” To “Total Recall - Amazing cinematography, perfect execution. More exciting than Avengers. 9/10”
I just don’t know what to think! 

This year’s remake of cult classic ‘Total Recall’ has sparked some serious controversy in the world of film. Here at Escape Studios we are PUMPED for its release, given the fact that a number of our graduates have worked on it over the last year, on the VFX side of things.

0 Comments Robert Broadbent

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Robert Broadbent
Fri 24 Aug 2012: 10:00am

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Good news for desk dwellers!

Good news for desk dwellers!
Since starting an internship with Escape Studios, I’ve had to rapidly acclimatise to the nature of ‘ the desk job’, and I must say, like a nine to five Robinson Crusoe, I’ve made myself a home from home in front of my computer screen. 
There is one concern however, that I can’t seem to shake off… and that’s the impending worry of the dreaded spillage. On a daily basis, the would-be relaxing activity of consuming a delicious cup of tea is tarred, by the constant preoccupation of whether the sweet milky goodness will make its way onto my technological equipment, given my traditionally clumsy nature.
Unbelievably, I am yet to spill a drop since my desk-debut, now nearly 9 weeks ago - but I have experienced a couple of liquid disasters, and of course when a fiasco like this occurs - the keyboard is first in the line of fire.
Considering my ever present worry of this kind of incident happening to me, you can imagine my delight when I read this morning that ‘Logitech’ have released a waterproof keyboard… in fact, I nearly spat my tea out over my now seemingly primitive, run of the mill keyboard.
It’s selling itself as a ‘washable keyboard’, which is great when it comes to getting rid of those pesky crisp crumbs and sandwich morsels, without the aid of a pencil, but I’m quite sure that the magic of this spill proof equipment is its ability to not worry about a few drips of coffee disturbing our working day. Surely Since starting an internship with Escape Studios, I’ve had to rapidly acclimatise to the nature of ‘ the desk job’, and I must say, like a nine to five Robinson Crusoe, I’ve made myself a home from home in front of my computer screen. 

Since starting an internship with Escape Studios, I’ve had to rapidly acclimatise to the nature of ‘the desk job’, and I must say, like a nine to five Robinson Crusoe, I’ve made myself a home from home in front of my computer screen. 

1 Comments Robert Broadbent

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Robert Broadbent
Thu 23 Aug 2012: 3:00pm

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Ball of Twine or Game of Thrones? I Know What I'd Choose!

Ball of Twine or Game of Thrones? I Know What I'd Choose!

I've been watching and loving Game of Thrones since the moment it was introduced to me. Completely absorbed in the HBO action, it almost got to the point where if I needed to blaspheme, I would most likely yell out "JON SNOW" instead of the more traditional term.*

2 Comments Miriam Payne

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Miriam Payne
Thu 23 Aug 2012: 9:01am

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Get LinkedIn with The Art of VFX

Get LinkedIn with The Art of VFX

LinkedIn is a pretty awesome tool for lots of reasons, but one in particular is how it encourages some users to be quite industrious in their spare time. And a perfect example of this is how freelance digital compositor Vincent Frei has created a group called The Art of VFX. This is where Vincent shares interviews he’s had with a range of industry professionals working in VFX, offering us VFX geeks an inside scoop into what they’ve been working on.

1 Comments Ellen Payne

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Ellen Payne
Wed 22 Aug 2012: 5:44pm

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Epic VFX Time

Epic VFX Time
Today I discovered a VFX themed collaboration which includes one of my favourite Youtube faces, Harley Morenstein of  ‘Epic Meal Time’,  comes together with competitive gamer, filmmaker and part time VFX technician ‘Freddie Wong’, making for an outright ridiculous, (yet entertaining) couple of minutes…  
The VFX aren’t going to blow your mind, that’s for sure. But there are some serious chuckles to be had, Morenstein’s narrative throughout kills it, as he recites VFX related jargon in his notorious one liner style.  Fans of the Epic Meal Time and VFX alike will not be disappointed!

Today I discovered a VFX themed collaboration which includes one of my favourite YouTube faces, Harley Morenstein of  ‘Epic Meal Time’. He joins competitive gamer, filmmaker and part time VFX technician ‘Freddie Wong’, making for an outright ridiculous, (yet entertaining) couple of minutes of VFX action.

0 Comments Robert Broadbent

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Robert Broadbent
Tue 21 Aug 2012: 11:00am

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MARI: the best thing since sliced bread for texturing

MARI: the best thing since sliced bread for texturing

The latest version of 3D digital paint tool MARI is being harnessed by LucasArts to help power the impressive visuals seen in its hotly-anticipated title Star Wars 1313.

0 Comments Simon Fenton

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Simon Fenton
Tue 21 Aug 2012: 10:15am

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Our latest escapees break out!

Our latest escapees break out!

A fresh batch of escapees have broken out of the Escape studio and what a talented bunch to emerge, even if we do say so ourselves...

1 Comments Alison Cobb

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Alison Cobb
Fri 17 Aug 2012: 5:00pm

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Assimilate BBQ Date Change...

Assimilate BBQ Date Change...

We are sad to have to tell you that due to our demand for such a massive amount of beef for our BBQ, Argentina has told us that they don’t have enough cows.

0 Comments Tim Flett

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Tim Flett
Fri 17 Aug 2012: 11:30am

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Fubar Redux - A must watch!

Fubar Redux - A must watch!

Escapee Hasraf Dulull's fifteen-minute film is a true work of art! Set in an alternate reality with cats and dogs, it mixes some intense action with some serious drama, all emphatically enhanced by a unique animation visual style.

0 Comments Robert Broadbent

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Robert Broadbent
Fri 17 Aug 2012: 10:30am

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Nvizible create the outstanding CG in Grabbers

Nvizible create the outstanding CG in Grabbers

A film currently bringing an interesting element of humour to cinema screens in Ireland has been described as the heir to the “Shaun of the Dead” throne. This statement may not be far wrong. I won’t lie to you, the plot is a tad mental, but in that great tongue-in-cheek way that makes it the kind of film that will surely cheer you up at the end of a tough week. The film in question is Jon Wright’s Grabbers, and it’s one I hope you’ll all get a chance to see.

0 Comments Ellen Payne

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Ellen Payne
Fri 17 Aug 2012: 9:56am

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A-level results 2012: top marks drop for first time in 20 years

A-level results 2012: top marks drop for first time in 20 years
A-level results 2012: top marks drop for first time in 20 years
The number of students awarded top marks at A-level has dropped for the first time in 20 years, suggesting the biggest decline in A grades since records began according to the Telegraph.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/universityeducation/9479182/A-level-results-2012-top-marks-drop-for-first-time-in-20-years.html
I’m not sure this is so sensational especially given that the overall pass rate increased for a successive 30th year but the papers have to report it all!
There are always lots of facts and figures banded about when it comes to results and I guess we can get a little lost in them all. However we do know the importance of getting good grades. There is no doubt that it is increasingly more difficult for graduates at any level to find work and the competition for jobs is at its highest level. 
It’s also true outside of the mainstream, for our industry, VFX, students want to go to the best Uni’s to learn their trade and need the results to do so. They need to put in those extra hours, take on additional learning and finally focus on their show-reels… These are the ones putting themselves in the strongest position for work in one of the coolest industries on the planet (and beyond)!
Whatever your results today, we send you our best wishes and hope that if gets you your place in University or to whatever path you have chosen. Good Luck!

The number of students awarded top marks at A-level has dropped for the first time in 20 years, suggesting the biggest decline in A grades since records began according to the Telegraph.

0 Comments Mark Cass

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Mark Cass
Thu 16 Aug 2012: 12:30pm

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Rock on...another escapee success!

Adam Esat explains, that like many video games industry professionals, the first seeds of inspiration were sewn as a child, playing the likes of The Legend of Zelda, Metal Gear Solid and Pokémon. 
We soon found out that like the protagonists of his childhood inspirations, Adam had embarked on a pretty exciting journey of his own.
We caught up with this escapee in the wake of a recent poll from ‘develop online’, indicating Travellers’ Tales (His employers, and main producers of games under the Lego franchise) to be the number one UK game developer.
Adam explains that although he knew he wanted to enter he world of gaming, he didn’t quite have a clear cut vision so early on, and it took him three years at university to make a decision as to what he wanted to specialise in.
‘I loved 3D modelling most of all, which I dedicated my efforts to from then on.’
From here the foundations were set, and Adam could start stacking the building the blocks of his career. (If you’ll excuse the pun) Speaking of his time with us, he acknowledges the premium level of teaching and positive learning environment that Escape Studios has to offer.
‘The quality of the tutoring is what I consider to be world class; it truly was a creatively charged, collaborative place to study, which frankly made me strive to improve myself even more’
As with all of our success stories though, our resources are matched, if not trumped by the infallible commitment of our students, and it took Adam four patient months of meticulous alterations to his show reel before he felt it ready for job applications. These were four months though, that surely pale into insignificance now… 
‘Since then I've been happily employed at TT, whilst also pursuing my personal work in my free time’
We asked Adam to dispatch some industry wisdom for our students and any potential VFX artists out there  who may be reading his success story
I would say the most important thing is decide exactly what you want to do within the games industry, and focus on it, the key is to specialise. Work as much as you can on creating an awesome showreel targeted at the area you wish to specialise, It's incredibly competitive out there and if you want to succeed, you need to work hard. Show your prospective employer that you're the right person for the job and most of all that you want it more than anyone else.
Adam knows not what the future holds, as the industry is always evolving. But with a work ethic and skillset like his, we can be sure that this escapee has a very bright future.

Adam Esat explains, that like many other video games industry professionals, his first source of inspiration came as a child, playing the likes of The Legend of Zelda, Metal Gear Solid and Pokémon.

0 Comments Simon Fenton

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Simon Fenton
Thu 16 Aug 2012: 11:00am

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Online Academy - Free Trial!

Online Academy - Free Trial!
Is your mind a whirling dervish of creativity? Do your Ideas formulate out of the blue, and evolve from non-existence to an intrinsically detailed vision, in a matter of minutes? 
Maybe you need to apply the reins to such skills, and materialise your ideas in an industry where the boundaries are near limitless…
There is a universal rule for all occupations, and whether you’re a butcher, baker, or a candlestick maker, the only way to get to the top of your game, Is to learn from the best in the business. Escape studios is a testament to such a statement. Coupled with a healthy dose of hard work, our experienced professional tutors can keep you on the straight and narrow path towards VFX success.
We understand though, that in the bustling 21st century one of our classroom courses is not the most ideal option for everyone. Which is why we’ve invested a lot of time making our online VFX academy as close to our classroom course as possible.
Mentored by one of our expert tutors on a weekly basis, you’ll be guided personally through each project, all the while receiving feedback on your progress. Our virtual classroom also allows you to meet, chat and see critiques of other students work.  Isn’t technology marvellous?
We’re so pleased with our online set up in fact, that we’re inviting you to take part in a one week free trial of it! You’ll be taken on a tour of our online academy by one of our fantastically helpful training advisors, after which you’ll proceed swiftly onto your costless one week trial. 
Don’t pass up the chance to get stuck into a piping hot, plentiful serving of VFX expertise. It really is an opportunity not to be missed!

Is your mind a whirling dervish of creativity? Do your ideas formulate out of the blue, and evolve from non-existence to intrinsically detailed visions, in a matter of minutes? Channeling these skills can be an adventure, especially if you enter an industry where the boundaries are seemingly limitless…

0 Comments Bethan Lofthouse

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Bethan Lofthouse
Tue 14 Aug 2012: 10:30am

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This Too Shall Pass

Musical originality and relentless visual ingenuity are two of the many reasons that make American indie rock outfit ‘Ok Go’, one of the most forward thinking, and simultaneously underrated, bands of the 21st century.
Having dazzled us with their treadmill synchronised choreography in the video for their single ‘Here it goes again’ back in 2006, (Which is, to the infuriation of many loyal fans, their most well-known hit to date, thanks to the video) they have continued to raise the bar.
2010’s ‘This Too Shall Pass’ is a single from their most recent studio album ‘Of The Blue Colour Of The Sky’, and shows  their very own Rube Goldberg machine in action.
I was pleasantly surprised this week to discover that ‘the Mill NY’ had done some retouching on the final project. 
A video which defies belief in the first place, It is understandable that the band had to call in the help of some fellow creatives.to ensure finesse in the final cut.
Fans of originality in all forms should set aside half an hour to peruse this group’s back catalogue. I can guarantee satisfaction.

Musical originality and relentless visual ingenuity are two of the many reasons that make American indie rock outfit ‘Ok Go’, one of the most forward thinking, and simultaneously underrated, bands of the 21st century.

0 Comments Robert Broadbent

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Robert Broadbent
Tue 14 Aug 2012: 9:30am

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The Daily Grind

The Daily Grind

It is a truth universally acknowledged that Escape students possess a unique ability to intake an insanely-high level of caffeine. Some claim it assists their CGI wizardry in the classroom, others argue it's due in part to our breakout space housing the largest cappucino machine ever created by mortal hands.

0 Comments Alison Cobb

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Alison Cobb
Mon 13 Aug 2012: 11:00am

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Spirograph - Spirogreat!

Spirograph - Spirogreat!
I recently commandeered a kinder egg toy from my colleague Ellen in the form of a mini-spirograph!
It has subsequently stolen enough minutes of my working day to justify a blog post.
After a bit of research into this eighties megadoodle phenomenon, I found its evolution to be a fantastic representation of our evolving use of spare time, in the wake of the technological revolution.
Youtube provides an interesting distinction between the retro adverts, showing spirograph as fun for all the family, (is this what the world did before the internet?) to contemporary videos of digitalised spirographs, often using laser omitting contraptions to further enhance the visual tantalisation!
I recommend having a look If you’re overdue a healthy dose of nostalgia.

I recently commandeered a kinder egg toy from my colleague Ellen, in the form of a mini-spirograph!

1 Comments Robert Broadbent

Posted by
Robert Broadbent
Mon 13 Aug 2012: 10:45am

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The FREE tutorial for August!

The FREE tutorial for August!

August’s free tutorial goes out to all the Compositors. Take this opportunity to breathe a little life into your projects, using some NUKE trickery. Based on a technique applied while working on Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn TreaderCompositing tutor and Head of 2D at Escape, Davi Stein looks at how to enhance basic elements within your scene for a more filmic look.

0 Comments Ellen Payne

Posted by
Ellen Payne
Fri 10 Aug 2012: 12:00pm

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