This Course is Perfect…
- If you're looking for hands-on training from industry professionals who have worked at leading VFX studios
- For anyone who needs to balance their day job with evening classes
- If you're looking to learn real-world VFX production skills and gain industry recognised NUKE training
- For anyone with a real eye for detail, photo-realism and enjoys working with tools similar to Photoshop
- If you’re passionate about creating prefect images that look so real the VFX is invisible
- For students or graduates preparing for the job market and want to gain the skills employers are looking for
- If you're a career changer and want the skills to seriously pursue a career in the VFX industry
- Want to find out more? Book a 1-2-1 with our admissions team now
- Free online primer course before you start studying - so your foundation skills are up to speed
- Access to our VLE system where you will be able to access additional resources to supplement your training throughout the duration of the course and 12 months of free access after completing the course
- Escape Aftercare and career support
- Help and advice on your CV, showreel and job applications
- London, UK
- Tues and Thurs: 7 - 10pm
- 20 Weeks
- Start Dates:
- October 28th 2014
- January 13th 2015
- Nuke, Silhouette
- Early Bird Discount:
- Save £500 when you pay in full, 3 months before the course starts
- Payment Plan:
- Pay £750 deposit to reserve your place and then 3 instalments of £1,000 on weeks 1, 6 & 12
Serious about a career in VFX?
In visual effects, there is a department where artists have mastered the art of make-believe. Responsible for bringing together the final image in a motion picture sequence, this is the point in the production process where the illusion of reality is born - where VFX becomes invisible and the impossible seems possible!
If you’ve ever dreamed of becoming a VFX artist, studying compositing for visual effects in the evening is the perfect way to kick-start your career. The course follows the same principles as our Compositing for Visual Effects full-time course and is designed to teach you a multitude of compositing techniques.
Introducing you to NUKE, the industry's standard VFX compositing tool, we'll cover rotoscoping, rig removal, paint prep techniques, colour balance, mastering 2D / planar tracking and how to create detailed keys of a shot. You’ll also work with NUKE's 3D projection system, camera tracking and how to integrate CG render passes into live action backplates.
Want to know more? Contact us and one our training team will be in touch shortly.
You may have seen escapee Laura Macfadyen on our #ShowreelSunday feature, we had to catch up with her after we'd seen some of the work she had created!
NAME: Laura Macfadyen
COURSE STUDIED: Compositing for VFX Evening Course
FAVOURITE MOVIE ONE LINER: Ace Ventura Pet Detective. Ace: If I'm not back in five minutes... just wait longer.
WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY WORKING ON? Guardians of The Galaxy
(I have work on my latest showreel that I cannot show until the films are out! I’ll be adding my latest work to my vimeo channel later on this year!)
WHAT WAS THE BEST THING ABOUT STUDYING AT ESCAPE STUDIOS? The availability of staff to help with advice, as well as being able to arrange using the facilities around lessons.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE VFX AS A CAREER PATH? Because I wanted to have a fun job that would make me smile, a job that I could be creative in. While it can sometimes mean long hours at a computer, and demanding deadlines, there is a hell of a lot of reward to it too.
ADVICE FOR THOSE CONSIDERING ENTERING THE INDUSTRY? Make sure you have direction in what you want to do, and find out what softwares you will need to practise! I used to find online DMP challenges, archived ones that I could have a go at at my own pace. Then post your work in forums or on LinkedIn pages, learn from peoples critique and feedback and continue to push your skills, and you will get noticed!
Yousuke Matsuno tells us about his favourite projects since becoming an Escapee and working for MPC as a senior compositor
NAME: Yousuke Matsuno
COMPANY: MPC London (Advertisement) as Senior Nuke Compositor
COURSE STUDIED: Compositing For Visual Effects (Part-time)
FAVOURITE VFX CLIP: The Third & The Seventh by Alex Roman
WHY VFX AND WHY ESCAPE STUDIOS: Simple, because it's such great fun to create magic. Especially Compositing, being that it is the final process of it all.
Back in Japan I had experience as a VFX artist, but I knew that compositing was where I wanted to end up, and that required a different set of skills altogether.
After deciding that London was where I wanted to make it happen, a friend told me about Escape Studios. I read the course description and knew they covered everything I needed to get started as a compositor. Specifically, they teach NUKE, which is a de-facto standard piece of software within the industry.
WHY THE EVENING COURSE: It was perfect, work in the day-time, study in the evenings; It was also such a great way to meet other like-minded people. Everyone was in a similar position to me, wanting to re-train but not being able to study during the day-time. It gave me a fantastic grounding in the industry too. My tutor was superb and actually introduced me to the guy’s at MPC which is where I’m working at the moment. You always feel like Escape has got your back and I wouldn’t be where I am without them.
PROJECTS: It’s impossible to pick just one favourite! I can pinpoint my top three though, first - Assasins Creed, next, the hilarious (and viral) Dancing Pony for Three and last but not least - the rather epic ‘King of TV’ Ad for Samsung.
ADVICE: All I can say is just continue to learn and try to move forward with your passion, but more than anything else, enjoy yourself!
Escapee David Robinson studied our Evening Compositing Class and catches up with us about his journey so far, in the world of 2D
NAME: David Robinson
COMPANY: Visualhouse London
COURSE STUDIED: Compositing For Visual Effects (Part-time)
FAVOURITE MOVIE ONE LINER: “We’re all interested in the future, for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives” - (Plan 9 from Outer Space)
WHY VFX: I began my career as a software engineer and then after ten years or so, retrained as a graphic designer. That’s kind of where it began. I’d always been fascinated by effects in films since my Dad ruined one of my favourite films by telling me the ships where all models. As a child I was quite put off, but there began a fascination that has grown stronger and stronger over the years.
After our daughter was born, I was in the position of stay-at-home dad for a number of years. When it became time for her to begin school I decided to go for it. While I was at home I had a lot of time on my hands which i filled by studying mathematics and this has stood me in good stead for this career.
PROJECTS: My favourite project that I’ve worked on so far was the Audi Hummingbird shot at Escape, although every shot is a special thing. It was a great and rare opportunity to work on a shot from a VES Award nominated spot. I loved taking what began as only a set of render passes and then pushing the shot over the edge into something that looked photographic.
ADVICE: Research the various roles and then choose which part of the pipeline you find the most interesting. VFX is very specialised, especially at the larger studios. Once these steps are taken you can begin working on learning and demonstrating the skills required for the role you have chosen.
Paul Daiko has just started working at ILM, and it has been fantastic so far.
COMPANY: I currently work at ILM as a Roto Paint Artist, and it's been fantastic so far. I've only just started, so I can't tell you much about what I'm working on.
Before ILM, I was working at MPC as a Roto/Prep Artist on films such as The Lone Ranger, World War Z, 300: Rise Of An Empire, Maleficent and Guardians of the Galaxy - which involved some quite challenging wire, set and crew removals.
FAVOURITE MOVIE ONE LINER: From Raisers of the Lost Ark - "Asps... very dangerous, you go first!" A classic!
PROJECTS : Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie has to have been my favourite project to date. It was a real challenge but I got to do a lot of different prep and also some compositing work on it. The film turned out to be really good as well – which is always a good feeling!
WHY VFX? Like many people in the industry, my initial interest was to get involved in animation. I think this stems back to seeing Jurassic Park in the cinema as a 9 year old and being convinced that the Dinosaurs were real! I went on to study computer animation at Teesside University but post Uni I struggled to really get anywhere with it. Looking back now I realise I was pretty awful at it... Ha!
ABOUT? Before I started at Escape I was running at some stop motion animation companies in Cardiff. It was there I met a chap who was doing some compositing for the shows in after effects. I was watching him work and a light bulb went off above my head - but I had no idea where to begin in terms of pursuing this as a career.
Through a contact of my uncle I was able to secure an internship at ReelFX in Dallas, Texas. There was a small problem though, in order to get the required visa I needed to prove to the US Embassy that I had been in recent education. I then began to Google around and found out about the compositing evening class at escape. This was ideal for me as I did not live in London and the timing of the course was perfect for when ReelFX wanted me to fly over the US. Now I’ve come full circle and find myself in London at ILM. It’s been an interesting journey so far!
Paul's Top Tips
First and foremost you need to be 100% sure that you want to enter this industry. It's very competitive out there especially when you are starting out in the industry. It's also hard, tiring work, the hours can be long but the job satisfaction can’t be beaten. I have done work in film and commercials and I think that film is where I want to focus on. It's a much longer process requiring pixel perfection but I think a great VFX film reaches a much bigger audience.
I would of course advise people to consider a course at Escape. It ended up being far more valuable to me than a university degree. Just be prepared to work hard outside of the classroom perfecting your reel. Once that is ready, be patient, but also persistent in looking for work.
Starting out as a Research and Planning Executive at a creative branding consultancy, Finola had always longed to work in the film industry, having originally studied the subject at university.
COMPANY: The Mill
FAVOURITE YOUTUBE CLIP: Christian The Lion
FAVOURITE PROJECTS: Three little pigs - The Guardian
WHY VFX? Finola saw Escape Studios compositing course as an opportunity to build her knowledge of 2D and 3D techniques, and ultimately as her route into the VFX industry. She believed that given the nature of Compositing—the combination of all VFX elements into a final piece—Escape’s Compositing for Production would be "the best route to understand the VFX pipeline for a future career in production."
ABOUT: After leaving Escape, Finola gained experience as a runner and then a Games Production Assistant at The Mill, before taking up the role of Production Assistant at Pixomondo. Finola’s experience and knowledge of the industry has led her to understand that her strengths and interests lie more in the coordination and production side of VFX, rather than necessarily working as a VFX artist, and she has since returned to The Mill, where she has taken on the role of Production Assistant.
ADVICE: Finola’s words of wisdom to all of those aspiring Compositors out there are: “you only get out of it what you are prepared put in. The success stories you hear are from people who worked extremely hard, and you will be expected to work extremely hard in the industry—it’s not something to pick up on a whim, nor is it for the faint-hearted!”
Escapee Carlos de la Sotilla speaks to us about his career highlights since studying with us in 2011.
The Formula to success…
When we caught up with Carlos de la Sotilla he celebrated how Escape offered him all the necessary tools to open the door to the VFX industry, but that a lot of hard work and passion was needed too. Emphasising hard work and determination, these were the words of wisdom Carlos would share with our fresh faced new students.
In the 2 years Carlos has been working in the film industry, he has really ‘put the oar in’, as they say, and has been enjoying the fruits of his labour – covering the genre spectrum on a number of different projects.
Having started off his artistic career storyboarding, in early 2011 he made the leap to come to Escape and commence his studies our 12 week compositing courses.
After graduating he soon landed a job through our well-oiled engine of a recruitment team – compositing for the same movie he had storyboarded for just some months previously!
“Having the opportunity to experience the pre-production and post-production process was a real joy, and I must say since finishing at Escape I haven't stopped working. Escape has definitely been a very good and valuable choice.”
Since then Carlos has worked for Soho based Double Negative, applying his skills to the latest action packed instalment of James Bond ‘Skyfall’ and recently has earned the opportunity to work as a VFX assistant on set for an independent movie called ‘Grand Piano’. Elijah Wood and John Cusack, are just a couple of the names involved. Not bad eh?
Speaking in reflection of the past 12 months Carlos explains,
“I would say it has been a year of my life where I have worked hardest, but having worked on so many movies in such a short time it has been the most interesting and exciting year at the same time”.
What a roaring success – great to hear that Carlos is doing so well. But we want to know, should you be up here? If you were a student here, drop us a line and let us know what you’re doing now!
After an overdue stint on our professional Compositing course at the beginning of 2011, it’s fair to say that ever since, Carlos has grabbed the bull by the horns and tamed it into his very own four legged chauffeur.
Roto Artist at Double Negative
Batman – Dark Knight Rises, Total recall, and now the new Bond film, what can I say, a dream come true!
A dream come true indeed! After an overdue stint on our professional Compositing course at the beginning of 2011, it’s fair to say that ever since, Carlos Conceição has grabbed the bull by the horns and furthermore, tamed it into his very own four legged chauffeur.
Now living in London and working in the heart of the VFX industry with Soho’s Double Negative, Portuguese born Carlos Conceição has worked with some of the largest names in the business on some truly ground breaking cinematic projects. For Carlos though, working in the VFX industry was not always so straight forward.
“Back in the days when I decided to enter the VFX industry, I searched the internet for options, inside and outside of Portugal; Escape Studios was the best option out there in terms of reviews and general opinion”
Although Carlos was aware of Escape Studios at this time, finances were a considerable factor in his career progression, being fresh out of University in Europe, a move to the UK was a huge decision…
“In the end I chose the Portuguese option and went into Architecture Visualization, and worked there until I decided that I wanted to progress in my career further…then came the Escape dream again… fortunately I got the chance to do the course, and it changed my life. It's not easy getting to the top of your career in Portugal and then starting all over again in the UK… back home, I was a senior ‘Arch Viz Artist’ and a Master Class Teacher, but there is nothing compared with the Film industry.
After completing a professional Compositing course at Escape Studios, Carlos found himself almost immediately knees deep within the industry..
The Foundry, Electric Theatre Collective and his current employers - Double negative, are all firms who have made use of Carlos’s extensive skillset over the last year. One of his favourite projects was during his time at the Electric Theatre Collective…
”I went to Electric Theatre Collective to work on a cool project with the Sesame Street characters. There were also some other escapees there from my course. Those days were amazing, the team environment was flawless and ETC is such a great place to work”
Today’s escapee is brought to you by the letter S, that’s S for SUCCESS… sorry we just couldn’t resist…
Since then it’s been peak after peak for Carlos, who has recently been working on the new Batman motion picture Dark Knight Rises, due for release later this month, and the new Bond film Skyfall, amongst other things.
We asked Carlos what advice he would give to any prospective escapees hoping to do the same, following their career dreams into the VFX industry.
My advice to the new students should be, learn from the best, Escape studios teachers are the best, but try to be creative somehow, try to get new footage, try and understand how to film, how to make photography, and why not do a bit of directing and producing? I did it with my military friends and it was so fun, the result got me my dream job!
The veracious combination of personal determination and extensive resources provided here at Escape can propel you to unimaginable places. For obvious reasons we can’t provide a link to the Dark Knight Rises (!) but you can see Carlos’s show reel here. Have a look and see what starting off in the business is all about.
Our Open Days often feature guest industry speakers, so you can get a real insight into what life is like as a VFX Artist. Watch this space for more information on when our next industry guest will be joining us and also when our next Open Days will be taking place. If you'd prefer a more personal experience, you can also attend our studios for a 1-2-1 meeting with a member of our admissions team, just click here to Book a 1-2-1 session.
Next Industry speaker: 15th October, Paul Franklin
Join us at our London campus to:
- Learn about the specialised jobs in VFX and Compositing
- Understand the course options which suit you
- Be a fly-on-the-wall in one of our classroom courses
- Review successful student reels
- Understand what skills you need to become studio-ready
- Learn about student perks and soak up the atmosphere
Online Virtual Learning Environment Tour
If you are thinking about studying Visual Effects online, then why not arrange for an Online VLE (Virtual Learning Environment) Tour?
The purpose of the Online VLE Video Tour is to demonstrate how students use our Unique VLE system to study 3D or Compositing for VFX online. If this is something you're interested in, fill out the form to the right and select 'Online Virtual Tour' and then 'Online Tour - any date' and we'll be in touch with a link to our Online VLE Tour video.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you need more information about our Open Days or Online Tours.