Blog

Partysaurus Rex!

Partysaurus Rex!

Like many other film fans, my journey with Pixar’s original animation classic Toy Story, has been an emotional one. From the age of 5 I’ve watched every instalment of the Toy Story trilogy, each time within a week of its release at the cinema, even the third, which as a 20 year old I saw in 3D, twice.

0 Comments Robert Broadbent

Posted by
Robert Broadbent
Thu 20 Sep 2012: 10:00am

Tags: , , , ,

The Economic Impact of the UK Film Industry

The Economic Impact of the UK Film Industry

Following a lot of doom and gloom surrounding the UK economy, it’s always nice to read something positive about an industry contributing towards economic growth. The BBC posted an article this week discussing an independent report examining the impact of the film industry on the UK economy. And we feel this report is just the thing we need to restore faith in the creative talent that exists this side of the pond, so it can be nurtured allowing the industry to flourish even further.

0 Comments Ellen Payne

Posted by
Ellen Payne
Wed 19 Sep 2012: 12:05pm

Tags: , , ,

A guide to CG animations from 1964

A guide to CG animations from 1964

We often take CG for granted in modern films—everything from sci-fi flicks to action-heavy blockbusters include plenty of computer generated visuals. But in 1964 the process wasn't quite so widespread.

0 Comments Brad Collier-Brown

Posted by
Brad Collier-Brown
Tue 18 Sep 2012: 5:00pm

Tags: , ,

Right up our street!

Right up our street!

Good day film fans! Here’s something we saw online that is sure to tickle your pickle!

0 Comments Robert Broadbent

Posted by
Robert Broadbent
Tue 18 Sep 2012: 12:00pm

Tags: , ,

The VFX Festival 2012 - Get your tickets now!

The VFX Festival 2012 - Get your tickets now!

Step into the mind-blowing world of VFX with The VFX Festival! Escape Studios has created the first ever four-day festival exploring the breathtaking world of visual effects, held in London on 10th-13th October.

Celebrating a decade of UK visual effects, the festival will be packed with the most respected VFX talent, visionaries and companies who have helped shape the industry. Offering inspirational insight behind the clever trickery in this booming VFX industry, with an exciting four-day programme packed with insider knowledge and information, showreel demos, hands-on workshops and exclusive premieres, it's perfect for those with a creative talent or thirst to develop their VFX Career.

19 Comments Bethan Lofthouse

Posted by
Bethan Lofthouse
Mon 17 Sep 2012: 1:30pm

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

They don’t make films like they used to!

They don’t make films like they used to!

Who Framed Roger Rabbit? is one film responsible for inspiring a whole generation of animators. This is very much the case in the UK particularly, and largely because of the massive contribution from one very talented Brit, Richard Williams, and his team at Elstree Studios. And so, when I came across this posting on io9.com, I felt I should share the little nostalgic nugget with you all.

0 Comments Davi Stein

Posted by
Davi Stein
Mon 17 Sep 2012: 12:05pm

Tags: , , , , ,

Webseries spotlight: Red vs Blue - Part II

Webseries spotlight: Red vs Blue - Part II

Continuing on from Part I of this blog... then, at the start of season 8, and totally out of the blue, RvB started using action sequences, made with fully scripted fight scenes that involve stunts not possible with the previous game engine. CG had crept its way into the show, and in a big way; multiple people beating the incredible hell out of each other, huge explosions, space fights, giant weapons, and jaw dropping set pieces littered season 8, including a hilarious 8-minute sequence of Tex destroying the Reds and Blues, and flashbacks to Project Freelancer.

0 Comments Ash Miles

Posted by
Ash Miles
Mon 17 Sep 2012: 9:05am

Tags: , , , , , ,

Webseries spotlight: Red vs Blue - Part I

Webseries spotlight: Red vs Blue - Part I
And here we arrive at the end of our spotlight on web series blogs that have cool visual effects. And fittingly, we will wrap up with one of my absolute favourite shows.
This show began with a few friends recording themselves playing Halo; Combat Evolved(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halo:_Combat_Evolved), and dubbed voices over the top to create humorous shorts. Now, ten years later, those few guys have become Rooster Teeth(http://roosterteeth.com/home.php), and are the proud owners of the internet's longest running webseries, Red vs Blue(http://roosterteeth.com/archive/?sid=rvb&v=more). RvB has won many awards, and now has a huge fanbase(http://rvb.wikia.com/wiki/Red_vs._Blue_Wiki) over the entire world. 
In the begining, RvB was a clever nod to the nuances of videogaming; two teams, of the aformentioned colours, trapped in a boxed canyon with two identical bases with no purporse or logical goal other than to kill eachother. There was a heavy emphasis on humour, specifically for gamers and Halo fans. Over the last decade, however, it has evolved. The length of the episodes has grown, the cast has greatly expanded, the plot has twisted and turned dramatically, and although they are split into seasons, the episodes actually tell one long continuous story from start to finish, which at this point clocks in at over 18 hours. It's basically one really, really long film. 
The comedy has continued - and improved - over the years. However what's more impressive is the story, and how, despite it being created on a year by year basis, it continuously managed to tie itself into past events to create on long complex yet sophisticated narrative.
Both visually and in terms of production value, you can see how the show has adapted over the years. In its beginning(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9BAM9fgV-ts), RvB was filmed in an almost bootleg fashion, where large black bars covered the top and bottom of the screen to cover the Halo HUD, and the aiming reticule is always visible in the centre of the screen (They have since gone back and 'remastered' these episodes for HD quality). As the popularity of the show increased, Bungie(http://www.bungie.net), the creators of the Halo series, gave the guys at Rooster Teeth the means to record and render their exploits with their own in game cameras. Rooster Teeth have also cleverly used their stories to explain the visual differences that occur as new versions on Halo are released. For example, when they began to use Halo 2(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halo_2), the cast were blown into the future, where everything looked better and shinier. 
Then, at the start of season 8(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VQ9pCqbwCFo&list=ELKa7KIIcrH8k&index=3&feature=plpp_video), and totally out of the blue, RvB started using action sequences have been made with fully scripted fight scenes that involve stunts not possible with the previous game engine. CG had crept its way into the show, and in a big way; multiple people beating the incredible hell out of each other, huge explosions, space fights, giant weapons, and jaw dropping set pieces littered season 8, including an hilarious 8 minute sequence of Tex destroying the Reds and Blues(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ke9wtbzGjCI&feature=relmfu), and her epic final battle against Washington and The Meta (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZgweBtQLL5g&feature=relmfu).
Since then, the show has cleverly incorporated fully CG sequences by showing flashbacks to Project Freelancer(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQ3OZfPsP2E&list=ELYWB-pNdHjy0&index=2&feature=plpp_video) that tie into the current story. They've also built models for their characters underneath the suits of armour they wear, allowing their helmets to come off. It's important to remember that this is still a low budget show so the graphics aren't movie quality, but it's perfectly forgiveable considering the sheer amount of action and artistic direction used. 
For those of you who're desperate to follow RvB in all its glory after this extremely  thorough and well-written blog (which, I'm sure, will be all of you) it's important to point out a few things. The first 3 season's do look a little rough by today's standards, and it takes just a little bit of time for the cast to refine their voices. While it's fine to skip ahead to see the kind of quality you'll end up with, I urge you to start at the beginning, otherwise you'll fail to grasp most of the long running jokes. Also; it's totally hilarious, heartfelt, intelligent and constantly impresses with its ability to create a complex and intriguing story using just a few multilayer maps from a video game. So you should watch it anyway. 
It terms of visual effects, RvB delivers incredibly over the top sequences that rival any film this side of The Avengers(http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0848228/). In terms of the series as a whole, there's a reason this show has been running longer that most television shows, keeps winning awards, had it's fictional game Griffball incorporated into Halo 3 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halo_3), and generally keeps getting better every year (this has even seen the inclusion of Elijah Wood to the cast). It's the best and longest running webseries out there, and well worth you're attention. Now go; you've got 18 hours of webshow to watch this weekend. Enjoy!

And here we arrive at the end of our spotlight on webseries blogs that have cool visual effects. And fittingly, we will wrap up with one of my absolute favourite shows.

0 Comments Ash Miles

Posted by
Ash Miles
Mon 17 Sep 2012: 9:00am

Tags: , , , , , ,

Union VFX's 'River Zoom'

In a bid to cure our post-Oylmpic blues, we've been re-watching Union VFX's fantastic opening sequence, comprising a mix of real photography, animation and CG elements, which helped to kick off the celebrations at the opening ceremony for the Games. 

0 Comments Taran Spear

Posted by
Taran Spear
Thu 13 Sep 2012: 5:30pm

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

VFX Union

VFX Union

A subject that started off as an online murmur, has gathered a considerable amount of momentum over the last few weeks, as many VFX artists and industry professionals have begun to campaign, (or at least talk about campaigning) for the unionisation of VFX artists.

0 Comments Garreth Gaydon

Posted by
Garreth Gaydon
Wed 5 Sep 2012: 4:30pm

Tags: , , , , , ,

Prime Focus Effects on 'Total Recall’... Part II

Prime Focus Effects on 'Total Recall’... Part II

Following on from Part I... Of course, the challenging work didn’t stop there. The team was faced with a range of tasks, including the China Falls sequence, creating multiple Synths for the Synth bay as well as getting the reflective metal and shiny plastic surfaces just right. To tackle this, the team customised their pipeline to help make the workload all the more manageable. Alex continued saying...

0 Comments Ellen Payne

Posted by
Ellen Payne
Wed 5 Sep 2012: 4:07pm

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Prime Focus Effects on 'Total Recall’... Part I

Prime Focus Effects on 'Total Recall’... Part I

If a movie is a massive studio blockbuster, then the Prime Focus World visual effects team have most likely had some involvement in its making. Prime Focus was responsible for creating the stunning effects for titles such as Men in Black 3, Dredd 3D, Mirror Mirror and Total Recall…to name just a few! And of course, every new VFX project comes with its own challenges. Len Wiseman’s remake of Total Recall was one such project that allowed the team to flex their creative and technical muscle.

0 Comments Ellen Payne

Posted by
Ellen Payne
Wed 5 Sep 2012: 2:00pm

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

A Joker of a film?

A Joker of a film?

Here at Escape Studios, we’re all about the visuals. Cut us and we bleed visuals... I’m sure you’re well aware!

0 Comments Robert Broadbent

Posted by
Robert Broadbent
Wed 5 Sep 2012: 10:30am

Tags: , , , , , ,

Badboy Cowboy reboot on the way!

Badboy Cowboy reboot on the way!

Being the one and only up to date source of information in this modern age, the internet has pleasantly informed me that not only is there going to be a remake of classic western series the Lone Ranger (in film form), but none other than Johnny Depp will be starring as the Rangers Native American sidekick Tonto. And despite him looking a bit like Jack Sparrow with face paint on, the buzz online is palpable, given that they’ve finished shooting this bad-boy cowboy boots and spurs reboot this week, according to producer Jerry Bruckenheimer's blog.

0 Comments Robert Broadbent

Posted by
Robert Broadbent
Tue 4 Sep 2012: 3:00pm

Tags: ,

An insight to VFX with escapee Chris Chadwick

An insight to VFX with escapee Chris Chadwick

If you’ve not had access to the internet over the last week, (why else wouldn’t you be keeping up to date with the hottest VFX blog on the planet?) as well as some highly informative, highly entertaining, VFX related internet titbits, you’ve missed out on a few smashing success stories.

0 Comments Robert Broadbent

Posted by
Robert Broadbent
Tue 4 Sep 2012: 1:00pm

Tags: , , , ,

HaZ Dulull - Plenty o'Success!

HaZ Dulull - Plenty o'Success!

Hasraf Dullul is part of a generation of VFX artists first inspired by the film ‘Bladerunner’, since this early awakening, Hasraf, or Haz, as he is more fondly known by his contemporaries, has assembled a portfolio of some considerable weight; it includes a number of prestigious awards and world renowned projects. Batman: The Dark Knight, Planet Dinosaur and NOVA – Life beyond Earth, not to mention numerous VES (Visual Effects Society) awards nominations!

The most recent fruits of his labour have flourished in the form of his own VFX driven short film, ‘Fubar Redux’, which has been fondly described as ‘Animal Farm meets Platoon’ quite an intriguing round up right? Be sure to check it out here, we think it’s marvellous!

0 Comments Miriam Payne

Posted by
Miriam Payne
Fri 31 Aug 2012: 4:35pm

Tags: , , , , , ,

Compositing Escapee: Carlos de la Sotilla

Compositing Escapee: Carlos de la Sotilla

Taking the leap from Storyboard Artist to Compositor is no easy feat at the best of time. Well what if I was to tell you that recent escapee, Carlos de la Sotilla, managed it in less than 2 years.

0 Comments Ellen Payne

Posted by
Ellen Payne
Fri 31 Aug 2012: 2:43pm

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Konami announce plans for Metal Gear Solid Movie

Konami announce plans for Metal Gear Solid Movie

If you, like me, were the owner of a PS1 back in the late 90’s, (or as we called it back then, simply ‘the Playstation’) there’s quite a high chance you would have owned stealth action game ‘Metal Gear Solid’, the successor to Konami’s MSX2 tactical action espionage game, ‘Metal Gear’, which this week celebrated its 25th anniversary.

0 Comments Robert Broadbent

Posted by
Robert Broadbent
Thu 30 Aug 2012: 12:00pm

Tags: , , , , ,

Webinar Exclusive: Snow White & The Huntsman with Amy Cuthbertson

Webinar Exclusive: Snow White & The Huntsman with Amy Cuthbertson

Our visual effects and compositing students have gone on to work on some pretty awesome projects over the years. These include the many studio blockbusters that light up cinema screens around the world. Seeing escapee names in the rolling credits at the end of such films never fails to give us that warm fuzzy feeling of pride – proud to see they have achieved the goal they had when we first met them on our courses. And this was very much the case when some of the Escape team went to an exclusive screening of Snow White and The Huntsman at Framestore a few months ago.

0 Comments Ellen Payne

Posted by
Ellen Payne
Tue 28 Aug 2012: 5:41pm

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

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

Posted by
Robert Broadbent
Fri 24 Aug 2012: 5:00pm

Tags: , , ,