Escape’s Head of 3D Mark Spevick harbours a special passion for all things Houdini, and last week his skills were called for on the continent, and he ventured to iMasterArt in Turin taly to host a master class with a handful of other pros with experience in all areas of VFX, here are his notes from the trip!
Every now and then, pieces of technology (and those who create it) come along and make people say ‘wow’. Whether it be a mad VFX shot created by a 3D whiz, or an app you use daily that makes you say “WHY DID I NOT THINK OF THIS BEFORE!?”, more and more people are getting to grips with the building blocks of the digital world, and these kind of occurrences are only going to become more frequent.
2D whiz Simon Richardson gave us a window of time recently to get our hands in his brain, and find out exactly what it takes to be a compositor. This unsung art form is one of the most important in VFX and more often than not, a viewer will have been fooled by the artistry of a compositor before any acting in a scene has even happened.
Every VFX artist wants to get to grips with state of the art software, it’s essential in an industry that is constantly evolving to keep nipping at the heels of the proverbial beast.
How's your MARI awesomeness? Insane prizes up for grabs in this competition from The Foundry & CG Society!
If you’ve not heard of Lee Danskin – well now is the time to get introduced. When it comes to Autodesk Maya, this is a man worth knowing. Director of Technology at Escape-Technology and the man who had a hand in creating Maya 1.0 (the 3D package that revolutionised the industry), Lee has enjoyed an incredible 18-year career working on high profile projects for some of the UK’s biggest VFX studios.
Considering a career in VFX? If you’re still undecided, then come along to our next open day on Wednesday 18th September. This is where we discuss the VFX industry and your career prospects as a skilled VFX artists. Next Wednesday we’ll be joined by Sean Danischevsky, a VFX Supervisor who has worked at many of the top VFX companies including Framestore and Method Studios.
Get ahead with tips from our webinar with The Mill’s Thomas Knight. For the vast majority of people, making the jump from training in your chosen field to actually working in it can be a daunting one to make, and this is no less true in the competitive world of VFX. Once you’ve got the skills, how do you stand out from the crowd and launch your career as a VFX artist?
So the Friday feeling has been spreading around the office a bit - we've had chocolates! - and I think it’s time to share some of it with you, our loyal reader.
So, there's been a bit of a change around here at Escape since I posted my last blog...
Tomorrow, August 1st, we're hosting a free webinar with Head of 3D and Escape tutor, Mark Spevick, who will be revealing some of the secrets at the heart of VFX. Introducing you to key techniques and exposing what this creative career is really like, Mark hopes to demystify the science behind the art.
Fan favourite film mag Empire recently released a list of cinema's greatest VFX shots as picked by industry experts and it certainly hit all the right notes. Classic scenes from Jurassic Park, Star Wars and The Abyss were all on there, but we were particularly proud to see number 1 being Davy Jones' face from POTC:DMC, which our very own Head of 2D and tutor Davi Stein worked on during her time at ILM! Congratulations Davi!
Beware the Batman, the new show about the Dark Knight, is facing somewhat of an uphill struggle. DC have decided to dumb down their animation hour this year, meaning fans of the incredible Young Justice and Green Lantern shows that were cancelled to make room for it are already on the back foot. And it's not reminiscent of the classic Bats shows; Alfred is a young, ex-military knucklehead. Kevin Conroy isn't providing his voice skills. And it's entirely CG.
Delivering the most up-to-date curriculum to our students is always at the heart of Escape Studios’ training. To achieve this we rely heavily on our industry connections to keep us tuned into the latest trends, technologies and processes at use in the current VFX climate, helping us develop and deliver the most relevant training for those looking to forge a career in VFX. To help us with this, we’ve appointed an Advisory Board of top industry figures who share their thoughts on what’s happening in the industry, where it’s headed and what’s required from VFX artists at this time.
By now, we’re guessing, many of you VFX fans out there will have seen Zack Snyder‘s Man of Steel. If you haven’t, we’re sure you have a valid excuse. And for those of you who have, you may have noticed the epic credits list for the VFX department in particular. As we respectfully stay at the end of the movie to watch the credits roll, we’re always proud to spot names we recognise among the list – the names of our graduates.
When it comes to VFX, Compositors are the masters of make-believe. They're the magicians who create the illusion of reality in every CG shot. They can look at a shot and tell you exactly what's wrong with it and the best way to correct it. In essence, they are true artists with an eye for beauty and their devotion to it means we get to watch something stunning every time.
Like all our Open Days here at Escape, the next is set to be even more epic than the last. On July 10th we’ll be joined by industry legend Steve Begg, who’s 27 years' of experience in the industry is quite intimidating. VFX Supervisor on titles such as Skyfall, Batman Begins, Casino Royale, The Golden Compass, Red Dwarf, Aliens... the list goes on… Steve has a great many anecdotes to share, as well as some golden nuggets of wisdom!
Ever found yourself watching something with really cool effects and were left wanting to know how on earth they made that? If the answer is yes, then you’re not alone. We meet people like you every day here at Escape, and it’s your curiosity in the mechanics of VFX that shows you have the right aptitude to take it in and understand the technology behind it. VFX artists are curious beings by nature, who love experimenting with new technologies and ideas. It’s why they have so much fun in their day jobs.