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.
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.
I’m sure you’re all aware by now that upgrades to Adobe CS6 will be available soon, and with this new version we can all look forward to accelerated performance and interactivity. Yes, now you can feel safe in the knowledge that Adobe Creative Suites now support NVIDIA Quadro and Tesla GPUs, opening a whole world of enhanced efficiency for their programmes.
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…
PC Pro recently took advantage of an exclusive opportunity to test-drive Boston's Quattro 1332-T, a machine that may challenge current misconceptions about micro-servers. The outcome was a positive one, where the team at PC Pro gave it their seal of approval, recommending it an ideal cloud platform. By combining qualities like high server density and low power consumption, this machine may give blade servers a run for their money.
The MARI vs. Photoshop webinar held on November 2nd 2011 was hugely successful. Registrations were record breaking and there was an encouraging attendance on the day. For what is becoming a popular topic at the moment, The Foundry are certainly paving the way for the future of compositing pipelines with products like NUKE and MARI.
The UK has a flourishing VFX industry that is attracting business from all over the world. In terms of film production in this country, we’re securing huge business. The standard of work being produced here is world class, and it’s impressive to see how this industry is flourishing right across the United Kingdom. For those of us who work in London, sometimes we risk embracing the city as being the centre of the universe, paying far too much attention to what’s going on locally, rather than what’s happening countrywide. Granted Soho is a hub for post-production, but if we were to look beyond the M25 and further North, East or West, we would find an amazing number of talented companies working on some fantastic projects.
MARI is a relatively new piece of software, and is becoming more popular with artists as its reputation for efficiency and adaptability becomes more widely known. As with any piece of new software there is a period of trial and error before you really get to know its full capability. It is in light of this that Henry South, lead texture artist at Framestore, is offering to share his top 23 tips when working with MARI.
Ever find yourself wondering about a better alternative to your current network setup? Could there be a larger, faster and more predictable solution out there for your server / storage requirements? You are not alone in asking this question. This is fast becoming a major concern for many IT teams in the media and entertainment sector. That’s why we will be addressing this very topic at a special event being held in London on September 16th, 2011. Andy Bechtolsheim, a highly respected figure in the Information Technology industry is coming to London to share his expertise on this issue. Andy has been involved in the IT industry throughout his career. He has witnessed first-hand how computing infrastructures have scaled over the decades, and how network speeds have failed to keep up.
In a fast paced industry, where new technologies are being introduced more frequently, it can be difficult to stay on top of which products successfully aid efficiency and quality in our work. It’s great to know that some companies take an opportunity to show off their products and how they are being utilised in the industry. Last Thursday I made a special effort to attend an event for NUKE and MARI software. The torrential down pour that evening made venturing out difficult, so I was glad to see so many people were able to attend. Armed with umbrellas and rain coats well over one hundred of us braved the weather to enjoy an evening with NUKE and MARI, an event hosted by Escape Studios in collaboration with The Foundry and HP.
We all know that finding your first job in the CG industry can be tough, but we have good reasons to feel pretty confident about future job prospects. That's because the industry has seen growth for the ninth year in a row. There are jobs out there and I am particularly well placed to comment as I sit opposite our Recruitment Team and so I get to hear everything about the jobs they have available. Over the last few months, they have all been incredibly busy, and that's good news for all aspiring artists.
Everyone knows the importance of a well put together show reel, but it's surprising how many there are out there that fail to tick all of the right boxes. Very often a show reel will fail to showcase the breadth of skill of the candidate, or will let itself down with a few issues that are fairly simple to fix. Therefore, we've put together a list of points to help you perfect your show reel and to maximise the impact it has on prospective employers. After much discussion at Escape Studios, plus a fair bit of back and forth on Twitter, we have whittled down the list to these 8 tips:
We've teamed up with 3D World to give you guys the chance to improve your Maya Skills. Seth Gollub, senior animator at Framestore New York shares some of his Maya animation tips, letting us in on a few secrets along the way.