With 2011 around the corner, I wanted to reflect on some of the amazing things that Escape Studios has achieved this year. Opening our offices in LA, launching our brand new US website, the phenomenal success of CG Whiz and the launch of our Mentored Training Courses is just the tip of the iceberg. We've had Paul Frankin of DNEG talk to our students about the incredible VFX created for Inception and Christan Manz, VFX supervisor on the latest HP7 talk about how Framestore wowed with their character creation.
Lighting and Shading are an integral part of the VFX pipeline and if you want to take your skills to a professional level these tutorials are the best place to start learning. What’s great about these tutorials is that they tackle pretty complicated subjects head-on and they are practical so, although you’ll understand the theory, you’ll also learn how to practically apply this knowledge. The best part is that these tutorials will sit in our resource centre permanently, so you can access them whenever you want and learn whenever it suits you.
Here's a link to a fantastic reel from our friends at Displace Studios, they worked with us earlier this year to create some eye popping 3D brand furniture for our new website and other collateral. They did an amazing job for us and I wish them every luck with this new venture.
Last Wednesday, Escape Studios had the honour of having Christian Manz, VFX Supervisor at Framestore come into our studios and talk to our students about life in the industry. Christian discussed the bits about the job that are great (Like getting to see your name up on the big screen after arduous months of working on a project) and the bits which aren’t quite so good (Like the long hours). It wasn’t just our students who enjoyed it, we loved it too. Christian’s thirteen year career has been an epic one and his latest contribution to the industry as VFX Supervisor on the latest HP7 is particularly impressive. We spoke to Christian about the highs and lows of his career so far, and what it feels like to have been part of one of the biggest films of our recent times.
Last night we had some of the finest brains and talent in Soho out for our Technology Christmas drinks.
We just want to really thank all those who came along and hope you enjoyed the evening.. We certainly did and it was great to see so many new and familiar faces!
So an Iconic mascot after 4 decades has finally become a CG character. Having done this myself with the first CG Tony the Tiger I have to wonder whether this will work. The British public being such a fickle bunch! CG Tony was to be a furry character but was squashed at the last moment by Kellogg's in the States as going to far away from the 2D character of Tony (shame he was so cool furry).
Irvin Kershner, director of 'The Empire Strikes Back' died on Saturday in Los Angeles, aged 87. 'Kersh'', as he was affectionately known on the set of the 1980 sequel, deserves credit for directing easily the finest of all the Star Wars films, and for a diverse and varied career in which the inter-galactic blockbuster was something of an anomaly.
I went to see HP7 at the weekend. We are all different but I really miss the magical events of the early Potter, I guess I just didn't want him to grow up!
The VFX work was amazing, as always, well done to everyone involved. Would the film have been enhanced if it was in 3D? I think possibly so, but as we all now know, 3D as an afterthought is not the way to go.
I do worry about having a 'two parter' personally, you are going to the cinema knowing that there will not be a resolution. But that said, the cinema was full and that has to be a good thing for the industry. Count down to the final film... or will it be?
Here I am, sat in the airport with some time to kill – so I start reading the papers and the front pages are all covered with reviews of last night’s premiere of Harry Potter (The Deathly Hallows Part 1) in London. That’s lucky, because I really like Harry Potter and I am quite looking forward to seeing the film.
Yesterday, Pixar announced an unprecedented price drop in their flagship product RenderMan® Pro Server. The 40% reduction will allow studios and freelancers that were previously unable to buy into the technology, to get a slice of the Film / VFX industry standard renderer. With the global CG expansion, Pixar appreciate that the growth of renderfarms is real and happening now, this move allows existing customers to ramp up their rendering capabilities in a more cost effective manner whilst allowing smaller shops and freelancers access to the toolset.
The team here at Escape are on day 12 of the Mo' growing, for some of us it's more like no growing... But it's all for The Prostate Cancer Charity so we don't care!
We have some updated pictures, please laugh, we are every day!
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We’ve had some fantastic entries for CG Whiz 2010, but the deadline is fast approaching. Any entries submitted after midnight tonight (Pacific Time – 8 am GMT or 7 pm in Sydney, Australia) will not be counted, so you’ve only got a few more hours to get your reel in. You can do this via Twitter, Vimeo, YouTube or Facebook, but remember to email CGWhiz@escapestudios.com with your contact details too.
VFX escapee, Jacob Flint has just bagged a job at The Mill which as you can imagine he's pretty pleased about. The truth is, we are too. Having studied with us for 12 weeks on our VFX Production course, Jacob learned all of the vital skills that he needed to get started in the industry right away. He was pretty nervous during his interview but ultimately his skills shone through.
Having started at the beginning of October, the first batch of students from our Online Mentored Visual Effects Course are well under way and the initial results of their work has been great.
Last week, we launched our first academic qualification, an MA in Visual Effects Production, which we’re running with the University of Bradford. You’ll probably be wondering what we’re up to, what with everything that’s been in the news about how much university tuition is going to cost in the UK. Having collaborated on this project with some leading industry pros, however, I reckon we’re on to a winner. Here’s why:
Our CG Whiz competition got us thinking about what our favourite CG films and scenes of all time are. One thing led to another, much "debating" took place around the office and then we thought it would be best to let our Twitter followers have the last say. After being inundated with many great suggestions from them, here are the top five.