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Compositing For Visual Effects – Taster Course

Why take this course?

  • Sample life as a professional compositor
  • Find out more about the art of compositing
  • Get an introduction to Escape's courses and tutors
  • Get advice on routes into professional compositing jobs

What the day includes:

  • A hands-on introduction to Escapes training and courses
  • Unique access to the industry standard hardware and software
  • A day's tuition, advice and training guidance with one of our Pro-tutors
  • Lunch with our admissions team
  • Free coffee all day in our break-out space

Course Details

London, UK
09:30 - 17:30
One Day
Start Dates:
  • September 25th 2014
  • September 26th 2014
  • November 12th 2014
  • November 13th 2014
  • November 14th 2014

Compositing course – one-day taster

CompositingTasterCourse PageSmall Image

Compositors are masters of make-believe. But just what is it? Well, it's Visual Effects for a start. Confused? Sometimes people think compositing is a separate thing altogether when actually it's the final, most crucial part of the Visual Effects pipeline.

Compositors are the guys who hand over the final scenes to the director. 'Here you go sir, I hope I've interpreted your vision accurately...' EEK, no pressure then.

But are you a natural compositor? Compositors are good at stitching up the story. The person who makes the viewer think that each shot is believable - that actually, the car really did travel nearly a mile over water before crashing down.


Success stories

Leo Neelands

Compositing For Visual Effects – Taster Course

Leo Neelands

VFX loving Leo Neelands has traversed the globe on a ship built of his much sought after VFX expertise.

Compositor (Freelance)

I was inspired by my favourite childhood films ‘Back to the Future’, ‘Star Wars’, ‘ET’, ‘Tron’, ‘Bladerunner’, and ‘Indiana Jones’. The visuals in these films were magic, and I wanted to be part of that. I genuinely look forward to going to work every day.

‘The Hobbit’ was incredible to work on. Weta Digital is an amazing company, with some of the cleverest people in the world working there, as well as some of the nicest. I loved it!


‘This is Spinal Tap’ is full of some of the best lines ever. My favourite would be; “It’s like, how much more black could this be? And the answer is none. None more black.” A friend at FuelVFX, reminded me of the line a couple of weeks ago and I’ve been chuckling to myself ever since.


VFX loving Leo Neelands has traversed the globe on a ship built of his much sought after VFX expertise. From MPC to Cinesite, Fuel VFX to Weta Digital. He truly has a number of serious motion pictures under his belt. It only takes one glance at his IMDB profile to see that his back catalogue is nothing short of impressive. We recently caught up with escapee Leo, to find out about his journey into this realm.

In 2005, after a number of years working as a Drug & Alcohol Worker, a career change beckoned, and the creative platform that was VFX was calling his name. After undertaking a HND course at South Nottingham College, his skills were recognised by a tutor there, who advised him to make his way down to London. Some industry based friends coerced him into furthering his skills, eventually streamlining them at Escape Studios.


Be brave - I was terrified when I started at Escape. I was a yokel from the midlands moving to the hub of the film industry. I wasn't confident that I was going to be able to meet the standard required, but Escape was a great place to be; very relaxed and fun which put me at ease, but also very focused on the industry and on gaining employment. It felt like a serious course and was an inspiring place to be. It made me want to learn more and work harder. I don't remember thinking or talking of much else but VFX for a couple of months... in hindsight, I may have been a little boring to be around in that period!

Enjoy your career - I've met a lot of lifelong friends through this industry, so I am rather lucky to have lots of fun in and out of work with them. Myself and Jon Van Hoey Smith, (a compositor from MPC) started a band a couple of years ago, after realising we tapped our angle poised desk lamps with our wacom pens in a pleasing way whenever a ska tune came on.

Don’t expect family and friends to understand - I would tell them about the 700gb per frame deep rgba file I had to grapple with on The Hobbit. It was a scary monster of a thing to deal with, where in technology is moving faster than the hardware capabilities.  In response, they would look at me with empty expressions, and ask me what the cider was like in New Zealand… it was great by the way!

Carlos Conceição

Compositing For Visual Effects – Taster Course

Carlos Conceição

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.

Open Days

Open days

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.

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 admissions@escapestudios.com if you need more information about our Open Days or Online Tours.