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Good news for desk dwellers!

Good news for desk dwellers!
Since starting an internship with Escape Studios, I’ve had to rapidly acclimatise to the nature of ‘ the desk job’, and I must say, like a nine to five Robinson Crusoe, I’ve made myself a home from home in front of my computer screen. 
There is one concern however, that I can’t seem to shake off… and that’s the impending worry of the dreaded spillage. On a daily basis, the would-be relaxing activity of consuming a delicious cup of tea is tarred, by the constant preoccupation of whether the sweet milky goodness will make its way onto my technological equipment, given my traditionally clumsy nature.
Unbelievably, I am yet to spill a drop since my desk-debut, now nearly 9 weeks ago - but I have experienced a couple of liquid disasters, and of course when a fiasco like this occurs - the keyboard is first in the line of fire.
Considering my ever present worry of this kind of incident happening to me, you can imagine my delight when I read this morning that ‘Logitech’ have released a waterproof keyboard… in fact, I nearly spat my tea out over my now seemingly primitive, run of the mill keyboard.
It’s selling itself as a ‘washable keyboard’, which is great when it comes to getting rid of those pesky crisp crumbs and sandwich morsels, without the aid of a pencil, but I’m quite sure that the magic of this spill proof equipment is its ability to not worry about a few drips of coffee disturbing our working day. Surely Since starting an internship with Escape Studios, I’ve had to rapidly acclimatise to the nature of ‘ the desk job’, and I must say, like a nine to five Robinson Crusoe, I’ve made myself a home from home in front of my computer screen. 

Since starting an internship with Escape Studios, I’ve had to rapidly acclimatise to the nature of ‘the desk job’, and I must say, like a nine to five Robinson Crusoe, I’ve made myself a home from home in front of my computer screen. 

1 Comments Robert Broadbent

Posted by
Robert Broadbent
Thu 23 Aug 2012: 3:00pm

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Ball of Twine or Game of Thrones? I Know What I'd Choose!

Ball of Twine or Game of Thrones? I Know What I'd Choose!

I've been watching and loving Game of Thrones since the moment it was introduced to me. Completely absorbed in the HBO action, it almost got to the point where if I needed to blaspheme, I would most likely yell out "JON SNOW" instead of the more traditional term.*

2 Comments Miriam Payne

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Miriam Payne
Thu 23 Aug 2012: 9:01am

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Get LinkedIn with The Art of VFX

Get LinkedIn with The Art of VFX

LinkedIn is a pretty awesome tool for lots of reasons, but one in particular is how it encourages some users to be quite industrious in their spare time. And a perfect example of this is how freelance digital compositor Vincent Frei has created a group called The Art of VFX. This is where Vincent shares interviews he’s had with a range of industry professionals working in VFX, offering us VFX geeks an inside scoop into what they’ve been working on.

1 Comments Ellen Payne

Posted by
Ellen Payne
Wed 22 Aug 2012: 5:44pm

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Mortal Kombat: Legacy

Mortal Kombat: Legacy
Mortal Kombat (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mortal_Kombat) is a franchise everyone's familiar with. Along with Street Fighter (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Street_Fighter) and Tekken  (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tekken), it's one of the classic beat 'em ups of early arcades and game consoles, pitching several outrageous competitors against each other in an excessively violent fight to the death for who cares what the reason was it was awesome. Spawning a huge list of games from 1992 all the way to the present day, MK has helped taint innocent childhoods for 20 years. It had two major films, one acceptable (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0113855/), one classically woeful,(http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0119707/) and last year, around the release of Mortal Kombat 9 (http://www.ign.com/games/mortal-kombat/ps3-14317281), came a pleasant surprise; Mortal Kombat: Rebirth. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x9YUeTTaVqo)
Rebirth was a 8 minute short film from director Kevin Tancharoen(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kevin_Tancharoen), who wanted to create a 'proof of concept' for a MK movie. It retold the MK story in a style that focused on realism, without the Outworld or any of the supernatural elements from the game, and was used as a way to convince Warner Brothers (http://www.warnerbros.com/) to reboot the MK film franchise. While they didn't immediately agree, they did help Tancharoen create his webseries Mortal Kombat: Legacy. (http://www.youtube.com/show/mortalkombatlegacy?s=1)
Legacy was the follow up to Rebirth, telling the stories of several different MK characters, mostly in the same gritty, real world fashion, with some others taking a less grounded approach. Although both had famous actors in them, you can see through the series that they've spent their modest budget wisely, even though there are some episodes that rely more of VFX than others. While the story of Jax, Sonya and Kano focused more of acting and gunfights, Kitana and Mileena's episodes were heavily supernatural and involved both 2D and 3D animation. My favourite of the bunch is Raiden's (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5tWh4Z42SJk&list=SL) story which is both raw and stupendous at the same time, and packs an emotional punch. 
It's another example of how webseries' are evolving to incorporate brilliant visuals with real production and producing something that is legitimately worth watching. Its worth noting that the series did so well that Warner Brothers have now agreed to let Tancharoen helm a new MK feature film! Keep your eyes peeled for my next Webseries spotlight, where I'll show my favourite web show. And if you have anything that you think should be covered, sound off in the comments below!

Mortal Kombat is a franchise everyone's familiar with. Along with Street Fighter and Tekken, it's one of the classic beat 'em ups of early arcades and game consoles, pitching several outrageous competitors against each other in an excessively violent fight to the death for...well who cares what the reason was, it was awesome! Spawning a huge list of games from 1992 all the way to the present day, MK has helped taint innocent childhoods for 20 years. It had two major films, one acceptable, one classically woeful, and last year, around the release of Mortal Kombat 9, came a pleasant surprise; Mortal Kombat: Rebirth.

0 Comments Ash Miles

Posted by
Ash Miles
Wed 22 Aug 2012: 5:00pm

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The Decisive Moment Winners Announced

The Decisive Moment Winners Announced

We announced back in May that the Chaos Group in association with CG Society, NVidia, MAXON and BOXX would be running the “Decisive Moment” competition. The challenge was to create a single image, using any application and V-Ray to render, that tells a decisive moment in time.

0 Comments Tim Flett

Posted by
Tim Flett
Wed 22 Aug 2012: 4:00pm

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Epic VFX Time

Epic VFX Time
Today I discovered a VFX themed collaboration which includes one of my favourite Youtube faces, Harley Morenstein of  ‘Epic Meal Time’,  comes together with competitive gamer, filmmaker and part time VFX technician ‘Freddie Wong’, making for an outright ridiculous, (yet entertaining) couple of minutes…  
The VFX aren’t going to blow your mind, that’s for sure. But there are some serious chuckles to be had, Morenstein’s narrative throughout kills it, as he recites VFX related jargon in his notorious one liner style.  Fans of the Epic Meal Time and VFX alike will not be disappointed!

Today I discovered a VFX themed collaboration which includes one of my favourite YouTube faces, Harley Morenstein of  ‘Epic Meal Time’. He joins competitive gamer, filmmaker and part time VFX technician ‘Freddie Wong’, making for an outright ridiculous, (yet entertaining) couple of minutes of VFX action.

0 Comments Robert Broadbent

Posted by
Robert Broadbent
Tue 21 Aug 2012: 11:00am

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MARI: the best thing since sliced bread for texturing

MARI: the best thing since sliced bread for texturing

The latest version of 3D digital paint tool MARI is being harnessed by LucasArts to help power the impressive visuals seen in its hotly-anticipated title Star Wars 1313.

0 Comments Simon Fenton

Posted by
Simon Fenton
Tue 21 Aug 2012: 10:15am

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Our latest escapees break out!

Our latest escapees break out!

A fresh batch of escapees have broken out of the Escape studio and what a talented bunch to emerge, even if we do say so ourselves...

1 Comments Alison Cobb

Posted by
Alison Cobb
Fri 17 Aug 2012: 5:00pm

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Fubar Redux - A must watch!

Fubar Redux - A must watch!

Escapee Hasraf Dulull's fifteen-minute film is a true work of art! Set in an alternate reality with cats and dogs, it mixes some intense action with some serious drama, all emphatically enhanced by a unique animation visual style.

0 Comments Robert Broadbent

Posted by
Robert Broadbent
Fri 17 Aug 2012: 10:30am

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Nvizible create the outstanding CG in Grabbers

Nvizible create the outstanding CG in Grabbers

A film currently bringing an interesting element of humour to cinema screens in Ireland has been described as the heir to the “Shaun of the Dead” throne. This statement may not be far wrong. I won’t lie to you, the plot is a tad mental, but in that great tongue-in-cheek way that makes it the kind of film that will surely cheer you up at the end of a tough week. The film in question is Jon Wright’s Grabbers, and it’s one I hope you’ll all get a chance to see.

0 Comments Ellen Payne

Posted by
Ellen Payne
Fri 17 Aug 2012: 9:56am

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A walk on the-not-so-wild side...

A walk on the-not-so-wild side...

Wow. Sometimes you strike it lucky; I certainly did last week when our wonderful PR agency Inkling mentioned they could get me a family ticket to the Wilderness Festival in Oxfordshire at the weekend.

0 Comments Mark Cass

Posted by
Mark Cass
Wed 15 Aug 2012: 4:22pm

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Get your game on at Gamescom 2012

Get your game on at Gamescom 2012

Gamescom, Europe's premier gaming event, starts today in Cologne, Germany and will run through until the end of this week (15th - 19th August). With over 275,000 visitors, more than 5,000 journalists and 557 exhibitors from 39 countries, Gamescom is the World's largest games event, uniquely showcasing all interactive game segments from PC and console right through to mobile gaming. This is the place for game devs and manufacturers to make an impression on Europe's tastemakers and games journalists.

0 Comments Emma Lee

Posted by
Emma Lee
Wed 15 Aug 2012: 12:00pm

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The Walking Dead Season 3

The Walking Dead Season 3

Despite all its woes over the first season, AMC's The Walking Dead amassed a huge following during its second season. Even though the story has arguably dragged at times, there is no doubting the fantastic special effects work that goes into each and every episode of the zombie thriller. Based on Robert Kirkman’s popular zombie apocalypse comic book series by the same name, The Walking Dead has captivated TV audiences for two seasons and is already whetting appetites for its highly anticipated third season, scheduled to air in the UK in October. The story follows a group of survivors, lead by police officer Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), who band together in the midst of a gruesome zombie apocalypse. The creative concoction that is The Walking Dead blends real-world and CG elements, characters, and environments. Artists at Stargate Studios, an international production services and postproduction company, merge that which is real and imagined, as well as dead and undead, into a convincing, cohesive whole on a rather impressive weekly basis.

0 Comments Emma Lee

Posted by
Emma Lee
Tue 14 Aug 2012: 4:00pm

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SIGGRAPH Round Up...

SIGGRAPH Round Up...

Another year another SIGGRAPH and what a packed in week it was. This year, LA didn't just give us earthquakes, heat waves and the biggest burritos known to man but also a full week of presentations from some of the biggest and newest studios plus an exhibition hall packed with the latest technology from around the world.  

Here is a quick summary and a few favourites from last week. These are just some of the things to check out:

0 Comments Tim Flett

Posted by
Tim Flett
Tue 14 Aug 2012: 11:25am

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Disney Research showcases facial-capture technology at SIGGRAPH

Disney Research showcases facial-capture technology at SIGGRAPH

So as many of you will know, SIGGRAPH was in full swing last week, where the nerdy world of CGI congregate in LA to share innovations, lectures and an incredible amount of boasting. SIGGRAPH is the Official Conference and Exhibition on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques, where leading personnel and companies in the CGI world get together and share what's been going on for them in the past and will be in the future.

0 Comments Brad Collier-Brown

Posted by
Brad Collier-Brown
Tue 14 Aug 2012: 11:00am

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Online Academy - Free Trial!

Online Academy - Free Trial!
Is your mind a whirling dervish of creativity? Do your Ideas formulate out of the blue, and evolve from non-existence to an intrinsically detailed vision, in a matter of minutes? 
Maybe you need to apply the reins to such skills, and materialise your ideas in an industry where the boundaries are near limitless…
There is a universal rule for all occupations, and whether you’re a butcher, baker, or a candlestick maker, the only way to get to the top of your game, Is to learn from the best in the business. Escape studios is a testament to such a statement. Coupled with a healthy dose of hard work, our experienced professional tutors can keep you on the straight and narrow path towards VFX success.
We understand though, that in the bustling 21st century one of our classroom courses is not the most ideal option for everyone. Which is why we’ve invested a lot of time making our online VFX academy as close to our classroom course as possible.
Mentored by one of our expert tutors on a weekly basis, you’ll be guided personally through each project, all the while receiving feedback on your progress. Our virtual classroom also allows you to meet, chat and see critiques of other students work.  Isn’t technology marvellous?
We’re so pleased with our online set up in fact, that we’re inviting you to take part in a one week free trial of it! You’ll be taken on a tour of our online academy by one of our fantastically helpful training advisors, after which you’ll proceed swiftly onto your costless one week trial. 
Don’t pass up the chance to get stuck into a piping hot, plentiful serving of VFX expertise. It really is an opportunity not to be missed!

Is your mind a whirling dervish of creativity? Do your ideas formulate out of the blue, and evolve from non-existence to intrinsically detailed visions, in a matter of minutes? Channeling these skills can be an adventure, especially if you enter an industry where the boundaries are seemingly limitless…

0 Comments Bethan Lofthouse

Posted by
Bethan Lofthouse
Tue 14 Aug 2012: 10:30am

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This Too Shall Pass

Musical originality and relentless visual ingenuity are two of the many reasons that make American indie rock outfit ‘Ok Go’, one of the most forward thinking, and simultaneously underrated, bands of the 21st century.
Having dazzled us with their treadmill synchronised choreography in the video for their single ‘Here it goes again’ back in 2006, (Which is, to the infuriation of many loyal fans, their most well-known hit to date, thanks to the video) they have continued to raise the bar.
2010’s ‘This Too Shall Pass’ is a single from their most recent studio album ‘Of The Blue Colour Of The Sky’, and shows  their very own Rube Goldberg machine in action.
I was pleasantly surprised this week to discover that ‘the Mill NY’ had done some retouching on the final project. 
A video which defies belief in the first place, It is understandable that the band had to call in the help of some fellow creatives.to ensure finesse in the final cut.
Fans of originality in all forms should set aside half an hour to peruse this group’s back catalogue. I can guarantee satisfaction.

Musical originality and relentless visual ingenuity are two of the many reasons that make American indie rock outfit ‘Ok Go’, one of the most forward thinking, and simultaneously underrated, bands of the 21st century.

0 Comments Robert Broadbent

Posted by
Robert Broadbent
Tue 14 Aug 2012: 9:30am

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Spirograph - Spirogreat!

Spirograph - Spirogreat!
I recently commandeered a kinder egg toy from my colleague Ellen in the form of a mini-spirograph!
It has subsequently stolen enough minutes of my working day to justify a blog post.
After a bit of research into this eighties megadoodle phenomenon, I found its evolution to be a fantastic representation of our evolving use of spare time, in the wake of the technological revolution.
Youtube provides an interesting distinction between the retro adverts, showing spirograph as fun for all the family, (is this what the world did before the internet?) to contemporary videos of digitalised spirographs, often using laser omitting contraptions to further enhance the visual tantalisation!
I recommend having a look If you’re overdue a healthy dose of nostalgia.

I recently commandeered a kinder egg toy from my colleague Ellen, in the form of a mini-spirograph!

1 Comments Robert Broadbent

Posted by
Robert Broadbent
Mon 13 Aug 2012: 10:45am

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A new Kinetica exhibition space launches at Emigre Studios

A new Kinetica exhibition space launches at Emigre Studios

Saturday 18th August sees the launch of a new Kinetica exhibition space at Emigre Studios. For those of you who don't know, Kinetica is an awesome art organisation, which exhibits kinetic/moving interactive art installations that often involve video and digital art.

0 Comments Davi Stein

Posted by
Davi Stein
Mon 13 Aug 2012: 10:30am

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