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.
As the end of 2010 approaches we're filling up fast for our next round of courses in January 2011. The last spot on our Compositing course has just gone, so the next seats available for that are now in April. We have also just filled our Character Animation course with Alex Williams so we now only have a few seats left on the two Visual Effects Production courses, taught by Mark Spevick and Dan Shutt.
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.
We've just launched some new short courses which are going to be taking place here at Escape before Christmas. Each of these consists of five days intensive full-time classroom training from one of our industry professional tutors.
We have four courses on offer, and they are...
According to Variety we have been saved from yet more badly converted stereo films - check out the story here. Warner Brothers have canned the release of Harry Potter Deathly Hallows part 1 in 3D. This is due to quality issues, that were mainly due to time constraints, and Warner have come to the conclusion that the converted film was not high enough quality. I can only applaud them for not releasing yet another stereo nasty.
Skillset have recently announced a new funding scheme which will allow individuals working in the UK film industry to apply for a bursary towards various types of training. The scheme is aimed at increasing the high-end visual effects skills within the film industry so individuals who want to get additional training under this new funding can identify a course or a training provider that meets his or her needs and apply for bursary from Skillset.
It's been a few years since Paul Debevec produced his paper with Jitendra Malik, Recovering High Dynamic Range Radiance Maps from Photographs, at SIGGRAPH. Since then, people all the world have begun to generate high dynamic range still images and probes - essentially capturing all the light information from a scene in mulitple passes using digital cameras and then merging these into a single HDR image. A simple web search for HDR Images in google images will present you with an array of hyper-real looking images, or try here for some examples.
When Nik Illingworth came to an Open Day last year, he was brimming with CG enthusiasm. He knew that he wanted a career in VFX but didn't really know how he was going to make it happen. After studying for 12 weeks with us, Nik was up and running. He finished his course, was offered his first job at Frametore and accepted it, then a short while later he decided to come back to us for 6 weeks of final professional training. He's now Effects Technical Director at MPC and still has the same love for the industry that he started off with. Nik's is one of many stories of CG enthusiasts who come to study with us and that's why we wanted to share his case study with you - getting a career in VFX off the ground really is easier than you think.
Here's my final post showing some work from the courses which have just finished. These clips are from escapees who were on the Visual Effects Production course taught by Dan Shutt. Again these are 'work in progress' and need a little more polishing but you can see they are both great ideas that have been really well executed.
Absolute genius on the part of the creatives at Leo Burnetts for Norton.
We've just had another round of courses finish and again we've seen some really great work!