This year’s CG Student Awards competition has just launched and they are now taking entries. As big supporters of this competition we’re delighted to see it back for another year, and it’s looking bigger and better than ever. Dedicated to students studying for careers in Next-Gen Games and VFX / Animation industries, this competition is a great opportunity for students and alumni to showcase their work to industry experts, offering a little helping hand up the VFX career ladder.
Gravity has been celebrated across the film industry for it's outstanding achievements in VFX – a real testament to the skills of the production teams here in the UK. London based VFX studio Framestore managed the creation of the ground-breaking visuals, and 3D conversion company Prime Focus World created the 3D effects. We'd like to send everyone on the Gravity production team our congratulations on the success of their work.
For some of you with your ear to the ground, this won’t be news. It’s been rumoured for some time now that Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) were considering an expansion into the UK, and now we can rejoice in knowing the rumours have been confirmed. Yes – ILM are in the process of setting up a new facility in central London and will be looking to hire UK based talent too.
3D modeling is one of the very first skills we teach on our 3D for Visual Effects course. The backbone for all convincing 3D VFX, it requires a strong knowledge of topology, form, texture and detail. In every class we find someone with a natural flare for this craft and 8 years ago Adam Dewhirst was one such person.
With VFX heavy films receiving a huge amount of positive reception in the 86th Academy Awards nomination lists, we’re seeing more people than ever with a keen eye on the 12th Annual Visual Effects Society (VES) Awards nominees. The leading titles recently announced are 'Gravity', 'Frozen', 'The Croods' and 'Game of Thrones', and the question on which of these is going to scoop up the most awards is creating quite a buzz around here.
Seeing escapees working on Hollywood blockbusters is a regular occurrence here at Escape Studios, and 2014 promises to be no change from the usual schedule, as we recently spoke to escapee Simone Cilliani who has worked on one film we’re particularly looking forward to; ‘300: Rise of an Empire’, set for release in March 2014.
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.
With a new year fast approaching, there's never been a better time to think about your career prospects and embark in something new. For those of you looking to step up the ranks as a VFX ninja, 2014 could be the year to make it happen.
What's the secret behind breath-taking visual effects? There are lots of elements we need to consider before answering this question – such as modelling, texturing and lighting your scene - but a pivotal point in the process of bringing a computer generated image to life, is rendering. And one man who has dedicated a great many hours into this area is The Mill's Head of Maya Development, Suraj Harrington-Odedra.
Calling all Softimage (XSI) fans out there - get yourself down to the next user group event tomorrow night. With an awesome line up of speakers it’s another great opportunity to catch up with your fellow animation Softimage users and a chance to check out some of the Softimage projects from over the last year.
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?
For those of you who are interested learning more about the tools being used by the pros, here’s a great article from the fxguide crew sharing details of the recent evolution of Naiad into Bifröst. In my opinion, this is one of the most exciting developments to come from Autodesk in quite some time. Find out more here.
On Wednesday Aug 7th rotoscoping guru Martin Body, whose work spans from 2001: A Space Odyssey to Casino Royale to Skyfall, is speaking at our Open Day about his epic career in the world of Visual Effects. Pre-digital, Martin was an optical and rostrum cameraman and even used to roto by hand using paper and scissors to create matts back in the day!
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!
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!