Blog

On yer bike..

On yer bike..

I was recently asked to ride the Chiltern 100,  I’m attempting the 58 miles ride for a children’s charity at the end of May.

Now for those that know me, well, they know I am not particularly ‘active’ – I guess that’s why they ask people like me to do charity events, it’s a challenge!

2 Comments Mark Cass

Posted by
Mark Cass
Tue 8 May 2012: 9:38am

Tags: , , ,

How did I get a job with that reel?

We always like to showcase our wonderful ‘Escapees’ work. Adam Dewhirst is no exception. However, what I thought we would do is take a look back to Adam's early work to where he is today... It's an interesting journey…!

0 Comments Mark Cass

Posted by
Mark Cass
Fri 13 Apr 2012: 11:22am

Tags: , , , , , , ,

One to Watch: Naiad Fluid Sim

One to Watch: Naiad Fluid Sim

There was a great article on FX Guide on Fluid Simulation recently. It's a computational issue that has been around for quite some time now and clearly it's something that the makers of big packages like Maya and Houdini cannot focus 100% of R&D time on.

0 Comments Mark Cass

Posted by
Mark Cass
Fri 23 Sep 2011: 3:23pm

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Scratch-and-Sniff

Scratch-and-Sniff

I suspect that readers of the Escape Studios Blog will not be the type to rush out to the big screens to see Spy Kids 4D. Or at least admit to it...

4 Comments Mark Cass

Posted by
Mark Cass
Wed 7 Sep 2011: 12:57pm

Tags: , , ,

Hayes Davidson Put Our V-Ray for Max Course to The Test

Hayes Davidson Put Our V-Ray for Max Course to The Test

Matt Clinch is an Associate Partner at world renowned architectural visualisation practise Hayes Davidson; we asked Matt to give us some feedback on one of our recent online courses, V-Ray for Max, and here is what he had to say.

0 Comments Mark Cass

Posted by
Mark Cass
Fri 5 Aug 2011: 10:41am

Tags: , , , , ,

A Lost Art?

A Lost Art?

My walk down memory lane continues... 

I went on a simulator ride called 'Slot Car Boogie' at the weekend. it was actually made by some old friends at Rocket Films in Bournemouth quite some years ago. 1996 I believe! Rocket Films are sadly no longer trading but it lead me to wonder who makes these kind of films today? It's hard to find any reference of it in the UK, which is a shame as we were obviously quite good at it.

This work would have been done on a Silicon Graphics machine running PowerAnimator. To put this into perspective, this would have cost around £60-80K for the SGI hardware and the software for just one artist... Oh, how lucky we all are now! 

If you know of any companies that do this type of work in the UK, do let me know.

As with most of my memory lane trips, the memories were normally pre Internet revolution. I have however found this on YouTube, Slot Car Boogie by the originator Ian Williams.

1 Comments Mark Cass

Posted by
Mark Cass
Tue 2 Aug 2011: 8:34am

Tags: , , , , ,

Memories of Digital Media World...

Memories of Digital Media World...

I had an email reminder today that Siggraph is less than two weeks away. It got me thinking about travel and how many of us probably miss the good old days when we would all go to Siggraph on our annual trip. These days, we are not only too busy, it's also harder to justify when all the information we could only find in trade shows is now available at our finger tips on the Internet. 

For some reason 'Digital Media World' popped into my head. Is anyone old enough to remember DMW? It was THE show to be at in Europe and was held in London every November. It was the trade show part of an awards ceremony called LEAF. I did a quick Google search, but couldn't actually find any links to DMW that I could point you towards - it's obviously that long ago!

2 Comments Mark Cass

Posted by
Mark Cass
Thu 28 Jul 2011: 11:12am

Tags: , , , , ,

Farewell to Potter

Farewell to Potter

It wouldn't be right to let Potter go by and not say a word about it?

Personally I loved it - the early days especially and finally HP7 which was amazing, even in 3D!

And for all our friends in Soho, it's also an end to something which has played a major part in the rise and growth of VFX in the UK. The Industry would have survived and prospered without it but I am not sure it would have had the meteoric rise it did if ILM had not passed the work over to this side of the Atlantic...

2 Comments Mark Cass

Posted by
Mark Cass
Wed 20 Jul 2011: 2:55pm

Tags: , , ,

A Crowded Market?

A Crowded Market?

For many years now Massive has owned the crowd sim market space, especially at the high end of VFX. Of course some of the larger post-houses have written their own tools, but the availability of any other commercially viable product has been limited.

0 Comments Mark Cass

Posted by
Mark Cass
Fri 8 Jul 2011: 9:00am

Tags: , , , , , , ,

L.A. Noire in 7 Years!

L.A. Noire in 7 Years!

So how long does it take to make a console game? Of course it varies from project to project but Team Bondi are no strangers to long haul development.

0 Comments Mark Cass

Posted by
Mark Cass
Mon 27 Jun 2011: 4:25pm

Tags: , , , ,

Zappar: A Total Geek Fest!

Zappar: A Total Geek Fest!


I thought it was going to be one of those 'office' moments when a colleague pulled some papers out of his bag and said "you must see this"... He is important, so I paid good attention...!

2 Comments Mark Cass

Posted by
Mark Cass
Tue 21 Jun 2011: 10:25am

Tags: , , , , ,

Annecy Animation Film Festival

Annecy Animation Film Festival

Every June I look forward to heading off to Annecy, not for the sight seeing (although it is a very beautiful place) but for the Film Festival of course. Sadly however, I didn’t attend this year.

1 Comments Mark Cass

Posted by
Mark Cass
Thu 16 Jun 2011: 10:49am

Tags: , , , , ,

The Core Skills of VFX

The Core Skills of VFX

Skillset, the industry body which supports skills and training for people and businesses in the UK have put together a nice VFX Core Skills handbook that you may be interested in.

0 Comments Mark Cass

Posted by
Mark Cass
Fri 3 Jun 2011: 9:40am

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Visual Effects Society Slams Hollywood

Visual Effects Society Slams Hollywood

Some of you may have never heard of the Visual Effects Society (VES) - see the previous link or last paragraph if you have not.

0 Comments Mark Cass

Posted by
Mark Cass
Thu 26 May 2011: 2:30pm

Tags: , , ,

Escape Studios Courseware On The iPad?

Escape Studios Courseware On The iPad?

We had an enquiry from one of our online students asking if she could view our online courseware on an iPad via the Skyfire app to view flash content... As we have not yet worked on mobile releases of our learning system (busy building fab courses), I thought I would take a look at it as I was kind of intrigued.

So I invest my £2.99 and loaded her up! I was amazed I could get in to our system and play the video content! Sadly my joy soon tempered when I could not make out the text in the 3DS Max interface. #disappointed!

The loading was also a little clunky to be honest, you would select a video to view and it would load a little window in the bottom left hand of the screen and find the video. Not elegant.

Not to be beaten I decided to look at some additional apps. Whilst I am sure there are others I came across iSwifter. It was also cheaper at £1.79 ;-)

So I was again a little disappointed, this time with the speed of scrolling in our system... However - once I played a video it was seamless, no drop outs excellent quality and I was really very happy with the results.

Whilst we do not 'officially support' the iPad or mobile devices, I now know at least I can grab iSwifter and load up a video with my iPad. If you do have an iPad and want to try this out iSwifter do allow you to take a peak so why not grab one of our free tutorials and give it a go?

Have a great weekend everyone.

1 Comments Mark Cass

Posted by
Mark Cass
Fri 20 May 2011: 7:57am

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

Digital Domain IPO?

Digital Domain IPO?

We have talked recently about how well the UK is doing in VFX so it's nice to see some noise happening in the US also. Digital Domain saw its revenue from visual effects climb to $101.9 million last year - up 70% from 2009, according to its filing. Whilst DD have already had one attempt at going public in 2007, they seem convinced that now is possibly the right time.

0 Comments Mark Cass

Posted by
Mark Cass
Tue 17 May 2011: 11:51am

Tags: , , ,

Pixar Release RenderMan Pro Server 16

Our friends at Pixar have announced the release of RenderMan Pro Server 16! 

0 Comments Mark Cass

Posted by
Mark Cass
Tue 10 May 2011: 7:40am

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Looking for a Summer Internship?

Looking for a Summer Internship?

Are you looking for something to do this summer? Ever heard of StudioAKA? They are a London based multi-BAFTA winning animation production company, known world-wide for their amazing innovative work. And they may want you for the Summer!

They are looking for a bright spark to work in the field of DB & pipeline development (within June to August).

5 Comments Mark Cass

Posted by
Mark Cass
Fri 6 May 2011: 11:47am

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

The Pixar Podcast

The Pixar Podcast

I stumbled across 'The Pixar Podcast' recently, I just thought I would share it with you in case you had not seen it.

0 Comments Mark Cass

Posted by
Mark Cass
Tue 3 May 2011: 2:56pm

Tags: , , ,

V-Ray Online Training - Shhhh.... Keep It Secret

V-Ray Online Training - Shhhh.... Keep It Secret

Shhhh, don't tell anyone but the images in this blog have been 'lifted' from our brand spanking new self directed course: VRay 2 for 3DS Max... We are very happy with it... But keep it quiet as it may help improve your skills ;-)

7 Comments Mark Cass

Posted by
Mark Cass
Thu 21 Apr 2011: 2:58pm

Tags: , , ,