I was on holiday last week, enjoying the almost total lack of sun, and having a week long geekasm at the E3 coverage. Imagine my surprise, then, to come back to work at Escape to discover hardly a mention of all that awesomeness on the blog. This is not, I thought to myself, acceptable. So have a peek at this!
Did any of you hear the breaking news this week that Disney have unveiled what will be their latest CG project? If not, then have no fear. I can now share with you that Frozen is set to be their next classic. Unfortunately there's very little information released on this, but as we receive more information we’ll pump it out to you.
When you consider the people who work in animation and VFX, many are guilty of picturing the stereotype in their minds; a bunch of geeky men working in a cramped computer room to produce the stunning images we see on screen. And I write to you now, with a sigh of relief, knowing that this is actually not the case. The Visual Effects Society (VES) has uploaded a video to their website which shows the NAB 2012 panel, consisting of five women, sharing their views, opinions and experiences working in the industry. The panel includes: questions from Randi Altman with answers from Jenny Fulle, Gabby Gourrier, Joni Jacobson, Jody Madden and Sarah McGrail.
If you're anything like me, you'll have a favourite developer, and mine just happens to be Valve. For those of you who don’t know Valve, it's an entertainment software and technology company that has been around since 1996. Since its beginning, it has produced an overwhelming amount of award winning games, with the most recent including Left 4 Dead 1 & 2, Portal 1 & 2, Half-Life 2 and Counter-Strike. It is also the developer of leading-edge technologies including game engine Source, and premier online gaming platform Steam.
We are really pleased to have been invited to partner with The Foundry at the VES Career Fair and Technology Expo this weekend.
Want to introduce yourself to some of the fundamental techniques of compositing? Well now you can. The lovely Simon Richardson, compositing escapee and one of our esteemed Studio Assistants here at Escape, has put together a free NUKE tutorial that will demonstrate exactly that. This short video will walk you through a basic CG rebuild inside NUKE, using Maya’s Mental Ray passes. For anyone starting out using this software, it’s a great insight into the processes behind building a shot ready for edit.
The Visual Effects Society (VES) are holding their annual worldwide VFX career fair this year in LA, New York, Montreal, San Francisco and London. This daylong event brings together some of the biggest names in the business and aims to inform, educate and employ the VFX community.
You may or may not have heard about a recent preview, so to speak, of Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit, a movie due in cinemas at the end of this year. This has created some concern and confusion over the film. Now before I continue, the aim of this blog isn’t to go into depth about these concerns specifically, because to be honest there are many websites already talking about it and I simply want to suggest some of the potential repercussions.
As we all know the countdown to the 2012 Olympics is on, in fact it is at 77 days to be precise. The buzz of the Olympics is infectious and seems like a time for us to celebrate all things British, especially when it comes to VFX. So thankfully I found this in little beauty in the VFX news this week, the final version of Studio AKA’s introduction sequence for the BBC and their Olympic Torch Relay Coverage.
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.
On Thursday 29th March, Escape Studios are hosting an event at the Barbican Centre that will discuss the art of 3d visualisation. Joined by four industry speakers this is an opportunity to discover how professionals in film and other media create stunning as well as captivating animated visuals. The event is aimed at anyone working in the business of 3d visualisation, whether that’s in architecture, design, engineering or media and entertainment. We would like to invite you all to this exclusive event as we expose the creative side of this visual form.
Around half an hour into the demonstration, after setting up the HUD and preferences, Jeff turned to the group and said, "Now, select your cube, and press the 'Fireball' button, then press play!"
We believe it's crucial for students to not just have a thorough knowledge of work flow and software, but also understand the VFX industry and pipeline where they will work. So during their course we invite established post production houses to coach them, this means they get direct feedback on their work from respected VFX supervisors.
This was hardly surprising news, but the positive spin put on this stat by Universities UK, was that the drop wasn’t as great as predicted. However, a decrease of 8.7% is significant, and demonstrates prospective students are unable or unwilling to pay the increase in fees imposed by the current government.
There were more women than men applying, but the biggest drop is not amongst school leavers, down only 3.6%, but from older students over 21 which were down significantly.
However, there was also a slight increase in overseas students applying here, and conversely more UK students are applying abroad, for example, Maastricht University forecasts 600 applications.
It’s not rocket science figuring out that fees of £9000 p/a over a three year degree, plus all living costs will be a considerable sum to repay, and for a non-vocational degree, it will require serious thought to justify. After all, if the degree studied will not guarantee a job at the end earning you X amount, then being saddled with that kind of debt is a hefty burden to bear.
Even the prospect of the student idyll and those first tastes of freedom living away from the parents, in the life of Riley, may now seem a little indulgent.
In our sector, Animation and Computer Graphic degrees are wide ranging and extensive, but this can be both their strength and their weakness. Yes, you may learn a wide range of skills, direct your own mini movie masterpiece, and if you’re exceptionally talented and hardworking, this film may lead to a job winning Showreel.
The reality is too often we see films that are either strong in one discipline but severely lacking in others, so making the overall effect disappointing. Or either, so many students have worked on one jaw dropping movie, that it’s hard to see exactly how much of a role any one individual played in the overall execution.
If getting a job is your top priority, fair to say it’s better to study an in-depth industry specific course, such as we offer here at Escape Studios, rather than something less focused.
When Amy Cuthbertson finished her degree in Music Technology, she didn’t expect to find herself starting a career in CG, but that’s exactly what happened. Wandering around a careers fair, Amy spotted the Escape Studios stand, got talking about her love of animation and the rest is history, as they say.