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Under the hood

Under the hood

As a follow-up to my post on learning resources for coding, I'd like to share our recent efforts to open source some of our in-house code.

0 Comments David Joos

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David Joos
Tue 15 May 2012: 10:36am

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Our Second Visit to the Framestore London Studio

Our Second Visit to the Framestore London Studio

I have found that there are many advantages to studying at Escape Studios. Aside from the obvious vast amount of knowledge that you acquire, you also get to visit and meet some very cool places and people. Last Friday we had the pleasure of visiting Framestore for a presentation with Ben Frost and Chas Jarrett to hear about their experiences working on the second Sherlock Holmes movie - A Game of Shadows. In particular, they discussed with us the typical hurdles and constraints they came across and what we as VFX artists may expect to experience working in the VFX industry.

0 Comments Brad Collier-Brown

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Brad Collier-Brown
Wed 9 May 2012: 1:00pm

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The Studio Workshop: Exporting Camera From Maya to NUKE

The Studio Workshop: Exporting Camera From Maya to NUKE

So it’s almost bank holiday weekend and your old pal Ash is gonna give you another one of his awesome tips before you spend the next three days drinking your body weight in alcohol and watching The Avengers… seriously, how awesome is that film?!

0 Comments Ash Miles

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Ash Miles
Thu 3 May 2012: 4:44pm

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A Successful NAB for The Foundry

A Successful NAB for The Foundry

The Foundry returned triumphant from this year’s NAB show in Las Vegas. For them, this was by far their biggest and most successful NAB, as they exhibited their most advanced portfolio yet. Showcasing the latest versions of NUKE, NUKEX, HIERO, KATANA and MARI they had crowds gathering throughout the event to check out live demos of all these products, as well as the incredible line-up of speakers invited to share their experiences using each of the products above.  

0 Comments Tim Flett

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Tim Flett
Wed 2 May 2012: 4:50pm

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Upgrade to Autodesk 2013 Promo!

Upgrade to Autodesk 2013 Promo!

As of last month Autodesk released the 2013 update of their 3D software, and with that you’ll find a variety of enhancements and new features that make these versions pretty special. In our competitive industry, having the latest and greatest tools to complete the job is always a bonus, and the 2013 versions may well set you on your way to creating work that stands out from the crowd. Of course for many of you, the cost can make upgrading a tricky business and that’s why we want to make sure you’re all aware of a promotion that could help stretch the pennies a little further.

0 Comments richard mcguinnesss

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richard mcguinnesss
Wed 2 May 2012: 3:00pm

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SiC: Softimage User Group Launch Event

SiC: Softimage User Group Launch Event

For Softimage fans out there, you may be glad to hear that the loyal community of Softimage users are regrouping. Under the new name Softimage Creatives (SiC), this is an independent user group based here in London. Following a user group meeting held last November, a discussion began to revive the community among Softimage users. Six industry professionals expressed their interest in helping make this a reality, and with the support of Escape Studios SiC London was born.

0 Comments mark spevick

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mark spevick
Wed 2 May 2012: 12:00pm

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The Studio Workshop: Camera Scale

The Studio Workshop: Camera Scale

Happy Tuesday, loyal readers. Here's a quick one relating to a problem that popped up a few times for the students last week. This is for anyone taking who has tracked footage into Maya and finds their tracking markers don't line up, because they've forgotten one simple step.

2 Comments Ash Miles

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Ash Miles
Tue 1 May 2012: 10:32am

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ZBrush Interview & Webinar

ZBrush Interview & Webinar

In an interview with BioWare, the company responsible for the art in Mass Effect, Pixologic find out how ZBrush was used in the making of Mass Effect 3. The ambitious game series has exhibited some pretty impressive artwork during its time, and the work in ME3 is no exception. Read the exclusive interview here.

0 Comments Ellen Payne

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Ellen Payne
Mon 30 Apr 2012: 5:38pm

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The Studio Workshop: ID passes - Part Two

The Studio Workshop: ID passes - Part Two

It's important to only isolate three separate elements per ID pass, or the technique becomes redundant. For example, if I had made both the windows and door red in the image for Part One of this blog, then any colour correction I applied to the red channel in NUKE would affect them both. You've already seen a broad example, but there's no reason you can’t use ID passes to focus on more specific areas of your render. The image above shows an example of an ID pass refined to specialise in the windows only. This kind of pass would be useful if the texture I added to the window transoms (red bits) had rendered far too dark, but everything else rendered correctly, as I would be able to adjust them without damaging the rest of my render.

0 Comments Ash Miles

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Ash Miles
Fri 27 Apr 2012: 2:46pm

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The Studio Workshop: ID passes - Part One

The Studio Workshop: ID passes - Part One

Because nobody demanded it....ID passes!

0 Comments Ash Miles

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Ash Miles
Fri 27 Apr 2012: 12:17pm

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Industry Coaching with The Mill

Industry Coaching with The Mill

The current VFX Professional class were assigned The Mill as part of the ‘Industry Coaching’ scheme, which is a new initiative for us here at Escape Studios. The main idea behind the scheme is that we invite established post-production houses in Soho to mentor our students as they prepare to enter the industry as VFX artists. The VFX Professional course is our more advanced course for students who have completed the VFX Production course or artists already in the industry who are looking to further their knowledge in the field. For these students, getting advice from professionals working in the industry is golden, helping them prepare better for what is to come. Emmy Castelain was among the group during this visit, and this is what she had to say about their time at The Mill…

0 Comments Flora Ho

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Flora Ho
Wed 25 Apr 2012: 3:40pm

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A “Prometheus” Viral by Hoxton Redsox

A “Prometheus” Viral by Hoxton Redsox

Our friends at Hoxton Redsox recently completed a very fun job for one of their clients, Fox. This is the viral video for the upcoming release of Ridley Scott’s latest feature, PrometheusHappy Birthday David was designed and directed by Johnny Hardstaff and shows the unboxing of Weyland Industries robot David 8, played by Michael Fassbender. A great addition to a range of teasers produced for the lead up to this film, we recommend you all take a look.

2 Comments Tim Flett

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Tim Flett
Tue 24 Apr 2012: 1:01pm

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Escape Studios’ Studio 5 Framestore Visit

Escape Studios’ Studio 5 Framestore Visit

A recent venture undertaken here at Escape was to invite established post production houses in Soho to coach our students, to offer them direct feedback on their work here at our studio, and subsequently helping them prepare for what is expected once they enter the industry. On Thursday, 12th April 2012, the alumni class of Studio 5 attended the final coaching session with Framestore commercials, where they got to present their ‘end of course’ project to the VFX producers for feedback. Charles Downman was among the group presenting work that day, and here’s what he had to say about the experience...

2 Comments Flora Ho

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Flora Ho
Tue 24 Apr 2012: 12:18pm

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The Studio Workshop: Naming Conventions

The Studio Workshop: Naming Conventions

Following on from last Friday, welcome back to the Studios Assistant workshop, where Brad Collier-Brown and I share a few of the most common queries and solutions from the Escape Studios classroom, so you guys at home can learn a little something from us too.

2 Comments Ash Miles

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Ash Miles
Mon 23 Apr 2012: 2:27pm

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Now is When the Real Work Starts…

Now is When the Real Work Starts…

So we have a new class of students for the Visual Effects Production course and I thought I’d quickly run through what this class has been up to recently and where they’re at now in their studies. We are currently on week four and they have just started their first major project after covering the ins and outs of Maya (the industry go-to package in VFX). So far, we have covered modelling, UV’ing, texturing, some lighting and rendering and a bit of Photoshop just to mix it up a bit. To put all they have learnt into practice, they have been asked to create a CG object, integrate it into a backplate and to make it look photo-realistic.

1 Comments Brad Collier-Brown

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Brad Collier-Brown
Mon 23 Apr 2012: 1:48pm

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I Only Have Eyes For Nuke "2.5D" Part Three

I Only Have Eyes For Nuke "2.5D" Part Three

For any 3D system to work efficiently, a sufficient camera solve is essential. This is a virtual representation of the real-world camera move shot on scene. After downloading the assets, I attempted to follow the tutorial video only using the track pad. Regardless of the system, as a NUKE user, the Wacom pen and pad have become second nature when navigating the interface. As anticipated, it was straight away confirmed that the lack of a Wacom pen and tablet made the task extremely awkward and I've found myself falling behind. Therefore, plugging in an external to my Air has been far easier than being constrained to a track pad. Connecting the tablet allowed me to finish the task efficiently, even ahead of the tutorial.

0 Comments Simon  Richardson

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Simon Richardson
Fri 20 Apr 2012: 2:30pm

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The Studio Workshop: Hidden Faces

The Studio Workshop: Hidden Faces

Welcome to the Studio Assistant workshop, with Ashley Miles and Brad Collier-Brown, and here's our debut issue. As studio assistants, our main job is to make sure both students and escapees are getting the most out of the Escape Studios experience, which involves answering a lot of weird and wonderful questions. We thought it'd be a good idea if we blogged a few of the most common queries and solutions every week, so you guys at home could learn a little something from us too.

1 Comments Ash Miles

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Ash Miles
Fri 20 Apr 2012: 2:00pm

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I Only Have Eyes for NUKE - Part One

I Only Have Eyes for NUKE - Part One

I can't help the techy-ness of this blog post but I guess now its official, NUKE is my one true love. And, it's not just me! NUKE has become the alpha compositing tool of choice within the VFX world.

0 Comments Simon  Richardson

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Simon Richardson
Wed 18 Apr 2012: 1:00pm

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Windows Beta for HIERO Now Open

Windows Beta for HIERO Now Open

Since its official release last month, HIERO 1.0 has been wowing the post-production industry as it is introduced to top studios here in the UK and worldwide. This is the new project management, conform and review application from The Foundry, and like their other tools, this software is going to dramatically change the way you work, for the better.

0 Comments Tim Flett

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Tim Flett
Tue 17 Apr 2012: 10:00am

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