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MediaCity UK - Salford Quays, Manchester

MediaCity UK - Salford Quays, Manchester

I was invited up to take a look around MediaCityUK UK last week. I didn't really know what to expect, I had heard quite a bit about the developments over the past few years but it had always been 'up North' and at the back of my mind.

3 Comments Mark Cass

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Mark Cass
Mon 29 Nov 2010: 3:21pm

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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1

I went to see HP7 at the weekend. We are all different but I really miss the magical events of the early Potter, I guess I just didn't want him to grow up!

The VFX work was amazing, as always, well done to everyone involved. Would the film have been enhanced if it was in 3D? I think possibly so, but as we all now know, 3D as an afterthought is not the way to go.

I do worry about having a 'two parter' personally, you are going to the cinema knowing that there will not be a resolution. But that said, the cinema was full and that has to be a good thing for the industry. Count down to the final film... or will it be?

0 Comments Mark Cass

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Mark Cass
Mon 22 Nov 2010: 10:58am

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More VFX Wizardry from Framestore with Harry Potter

More VFX Wizardry from Framestore with Harry Potter

Here I am, sat in the airport with some time to kill – so I start reading the papers and the front pages are all covered with reviews of last night’s premiere of Harry Potter (The Deathly Hallows Part 1) in London. That’s lucky, because I really like Harry Potter and I am quite looking forward to seeing the film.

0 Comments Isabelle Duarte

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Isabelle Duarte
Wed 17 Nov 2010: 3:28pm

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Pixar's RenderMan amazing 40% price reduction!

Pixar's RenderMan amazing 40% price reduction!

Yesterday, Pixar announced an unprecedented price drop in their flagship product RenderMan® Pro Server. The 40% reduction will allow studios and freelancers that were previously unable to buy into the technology, to get a slice of the Film / VFX industry standard renderer. With the global CG expansion, Pixar appreciate that the growth of renderfarms is real and happening now, this move allows existing customers to ramp up their rendering capabilities in a more cost effective manner whilst allowing smaller shops and freelancers access to the toolset.

0 Comments Mark Cass

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Mark Cass
Tue 16 Nov 2010: 10:39am

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Escape Studios' Mo progress

The team here at Escape are on day 12 of the Mo' growing, for some of us it's more like no growing... But it's all for The Prostate Cancer Charity so we don't care!

We have some updated pictures, please laugh, we are every day!

Please sponsor us, any amount really appreciated!

1 Comments Mark Cass

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Mark Cass
Fri 12 Nov 2010: 11:40am

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CG Whiz is closing

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.

1 Comments Isabelle Duarte

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Isabelle Duarte
Fri 12 Nov 2010: 9:27am

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The Pitfalls of Digital Perfection

The Pitfalls of Digital Perfection

At the end of every one of our intensive classroom courses, we get our students to present their finished work to their classmates and to our Training Development Director Lee Danskin. Last Friday, it was the turn of the escapees from our latest Visual Effects Production Course.

0 Comments Miles Pettit

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Miles Pettit
Thu 11 Nov 2010: 11:06am

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Escapee Jacob Flint Lands First VFX Job at The Mill

Escapee Jacob Flint Lands First VFX Job at The Mill

VFX escapee, Jacob Flint has just bagged a job at The Mill which as you can imagine he's pretty pleased about. The truth is, we are too.  Having studied with us for 12 weeks on our VFX Production course, Jacob learned all of the vital skills that he needed to get started in the industry right away.  He was pretty nervous during his interview but ultimately his skills shone through.

0 Comments Miles Pettit

Posted by
Miles Pettit
Wed 10 Nov 2010: 2:45pm

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First Look at Students Work From Our VFX Mentored Course

First Look at Students Work From Our VFX Mentored Course

Having started at the beginning of October, the first batch of students from our Online Mentored Visual Effects Course are well under way and the initial results of their work has been great.

0 Comments Paul Wilkes

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Paul Wilkes
Wed 10 Nov 2010: 12:05pm

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MA Way

Last week, we launched our first academic qualification, an MA in Visual Effects Production, which we’re running with the University of Bradford. You’ll probably be wondering what we’re up to, what with everything that’s been in the news about how much university tuition is going to cost in the UK. Having collaborated on this project with some leading industry pros, however, I reckon we’re on to a winner. Here’s why: 

0 Comments Isabelle Duarte

Posted by
Isabelle Duarte
Tue 9 Nov 2010: 1:39pm

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What’s Your Favourite CG Film or Scene of all Time?

Our CG Whiz competition got us thinking about what our favourite CG films and scenes of all time are. One thing led to another, much "debating" took place around the office and then we thought it would be best to let our Twitter followers have the last say. After being inundated with many great suggestions from them, here are the top five.

2 Comments Isabelle Duarte

Posted by
Isabelle Duarte
Tue 26 Oct 2010: 12:27pm

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CG Whiz : 3 Weeks to Go

I have been checking out all the entries received so far into our CG Whiz competition, and it's been a lot of fun watching all the work submitted. Thanks to everyone who has entered so far.

0 Comments Isabelle Duarte

Posted by
Isabelle Duarte
Mon 25 Oct 2010: 8:00am

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Bursaries Available for Escape Studios' New Short Courses

We've just launched some new short courses which are going to be taking place here at Escape before Christmas. Each of these consists of five days intensive full-time classroom training from one of our industry professional tutors.

We have four courses on offer, and they are...

2 Comments Paul Wilkes

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Paul Wilkes
Thu 21 Oct 2010: 11:30am

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Conrad Olson's take on Escape's Compositing Course

Conrad Olson's take on Escape's Compositing Course

One of our escapee - Conrad Olson - recently posted a story on our LinkedIn group which I thought would be of use to all of you who are currently considering taking our Compositing Course.

0 Comments Isabelle Duarte

Posted by
Isabelle Duarte
Mon 18 Oct 2010: 3:05pm

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3D Conversion of Harry Potter Cancelled - One for the Studios!

According to Variety we have been saved from yet more badly converted stereo films - check out the story here. Warner Brothers have canned the release of Harry Potter Deathly Hallows part 1 in 3D. This is due to quality issues, that were mainly due to time constraints, and Warner have come to the conclusion that the converted film was not high enough quality. I can only applaud them for not releasing yet another stereo nasty.

5 Comments Lee Danskin

Posted by
Lee Danskin
Fri 15 Oct 2010: 10:19am

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Pixar's RenderMan Studio 3 is out!

Pixar's RenderMan Studio 3 is out!

RenderMan Studio 3 has arrived and it packs some punch! Speed and lots of features and enhancements, including support for Maya 2011.

RenderMan Studio is Pixar's advanced suite of tools for shading and lighting TD's.

4 Comments Mark Cass

Posted by
Mark Cass
Thu 14 Oct 2010: 9:44pm

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New Skillset Bursaries Available for Escape Studios Training

New Skillset Bursaries Available for Escape Studios Training

Skillset have recently announced a new funding scheme which will allow individuals working in the UK film industry to apply for a bursary towards various types of training.  The scheme is aimed at increasing the high-end visual effects skills within the film industry so individuals who want to get additional training under this new funding can identify a course or a training provider that meets his or her needs and apply for bursary from Skillset.

0 Comments Paul Wilkes

Posted by
Paul Wilkes
Wed 13 Oct 2010: 9:30am

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Escape Studios Awarded Pixar's RenderMan International Reseller of the Year 2010!

Escape Studios Awarded Pixar's RenderMan International Reseller of the Year 2010!

I am delighted to announce that Escape Studios has been bestowed the honour of being Pixar's RenderMan International Reseller of the Year 2010! With around 20 worldwide RenderMan partners, we are super pleased with this news!

0 Comments Mark Cass

Posted by
Mark Cass
Mon 11 Oct 2010: 8:26am

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HDR Video the next stage...

It's been a few years since Paul Debevec produced his paper with Jitendra Malik, Recovering High Dynamic Range Radiance Maps from Photographs, at SIGGRAPH. Since then, people all the world have begun to generate high dynamic range still images and probes - essentially capturing all the light information from a scene in mulitple passes using digital cameras and then merging these into a single HDR image. A simple web search for HDR Images in google images will present you with an array of hyper-real looking images, or try here for some examples.

1 Comments Lee Danskin

Posted by
Lee Danskin
Fri 8 Oct 2010: 2:30pm

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Portrait of an escapee: How Nick Illingworth Became TD at MPC

When Nik Illingworth came to an Open Day last year, he was brimming with CG enthusiasm. He knew that he wanted a career in VFX but didn't really know how he was going to make it happen. After studying for 12 weeks with us, Nik was up and running.  He finished his course, was offered his first job at Frametore and accepted it, then a short while later he decided to come back to us for 6 weeks of final professional training.  He's now Effects Technical Director at MPC and still has the same love for the industry that he started off with. Nik's is one of many stories of CG enthusiasts who come to study with us and that's why we wanted to share his case study with you - getting a career in VFX off the ground really is easier than you think.

1 Comments Miles Pettit

Posted by
Miles Pettit
Thu 7 Oct 2010: 11:07am

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