When Night Falls, Learn Visual Effects
Fancy doing something productive with your evenings? How about becoming a VFX Pro? Our evening Visual Effects (VFX) course is a condensed version of the second half of our full-time course taught over 28 weeks. Each week you’ll be introduced to new concepts until you can create 3D elements and integrate them seamlessly into live footage just like in the films. Making magic has never been easier. You’ll complete the course by using all of your newly acquired skills to produce a VFX shot of your own from start to finish.
The Visual Effects evening course is the part-time equivalent of the second 6 weeks of the Visual Effects Production day course.
This Course is Perfect…
- For passionate individuals who want a career in this exciting industry
- For those who want to study VFX around work or other commitments
- For students and graduate 3D Artists preparing for the job market
- For creative career changers
- For those who want the skills to pursue a serious career in the industry
- Free online primer course before you start studying - so your foundation skills are up to speed
- Access to Escape’s unique online learning platform
- 12 months free access to the online course related to your classroom training
- Escapee after care and career support with our Relationship Manager
- Help and advice on your CV, showreel and job applications
- London, UK (EU citizens only)
- Mon & Weds or Tues & Thurs 7pm-10pm
- 28 Weeks
- Maya, Photoshop, 3D Equalizer, Mudbox, Nuke, Matchmover
- Early Booking Discount:
- Save £380 when you pay in full, 30 days before the course
- Payment Plan:
- Pay £780 deposit to reserve your place and then 5 installments of £780 on weeks 5, 10, 15, 20, 25
- Course Prerequiste:
- Good Maya skills to level taught in Maya Core Evening Course
Escape graduate and escapee James Dower finishes Visual Effects Course and lands job at Framestore.
FAVOURITE YOUTUBE CLIP: Man Gobbles at Turkeys, Turkeys Gobble Back
PROJECTS: “If I told you I’d have to kill you”… but seriously, I can’t actually say its top secret at the moment.
WHY VFX? : “I saw a presentation from Dneg a few years back while I was studying; I was blown away, and thought “that’s what I want to do for a living””
ABOUT: James finished a VFX Professional course at Escape Studios just a few months ago, and after helping out at industry events and The VFX Festival as well as perfecting that all-important showreel he’s landed a job as a runner at Soho based post production giants, Framestore.
James’ Top Tips
ADVICE: 1) Don’t rush your showreel. It can be really tempting to get it uploaded as soon as you finish your course, but if you aren’t happy with the work on there, it’s going to work against you. Get a second opinion from someone who knows what they’re talking about, not just a friend!
2) Get a LinkedIn account if you haven’t already. It’s great to have an easily accessible list of your education, experience and skills on show, and it’s very useful in finding out what companies are recruiting and when.
3) Network as much as you can. There are quite a few events and expos for VFX out there. Meeting those already in the industry as well as aspiring artists like yourself is really helpful - you never know who might be working at a company you’re applying for in a few years’ time!
Escapee Maxime Cazaly speaks to us regarding his recent appointment at Framestore.
FAVOURITE MOVIE ONE LINER: “my favourite movie one liner is from a gentleman called Arnold Schwarzenegger, in cinematic masterpiece ‘Predator’… "Get to da choppa!".
PROJECTS: Recently, ‘Ronin’ (featuring Keanu Reeves)
WHY VFX? Since a young age I have loved VFX, but once I had a real idea of the working environment, I knew I wanted to get involved in this industry. The team I'm working with at the moment are absolutely amazing, and we do a lot of things together: football, drinks (a lot of drinks!) clubs, movies, you name it! You feel like part of a big engine that’s creating something really cool. It's very rewarding!
ABOUT: Maxime is a recent Escape graduate, who took a year out to travel in New Zealand last year, perfecting his English, and came to England to pursue his dream of a career in VFX. Now working at the world renowned Framestore, we asked Maxime to share his journey, and how he got to where he is today; because it’s always good to get tips and advice from escapees who have made it.
ADVICE: 1) My best advice for students is to work hard, work as hard as you can, and when you’re finished doing that, work hard some more. Dedicate yourself entirely to whatever you’re doing.
2) Being able to take criticism is extremely important as well; some people are a bit defensive when someone else criticises their work. Accept and embrace the critiques, because your work is going to be criticised on a daily basis in the industry.
3) Probably the most important piece of advice though, is to love what you do. This isn’t an easy job, there is no place for lazy people, but if you are passionate about VFX, you will love every second of it.
Carmine finished his study with us on April 1st 2011, and by the following September, was working at Baseblack and shortly after, MPC.
“The VFX world is as fascinating as it is complex, and I think the only way to be part of it is to continue working hard, continue studying and above all, believe in what you do, never feel 'arrived'”
These words of wisdom considered, it was ironically the film Never Ending Story that first sparked escapee Carmine Agnone’s intrigue in the world of VFX. Described to us as a “HOW DID THEY DO THAT!” moment, it inspired him to begin creating his own VFX, from his first amateur production at the age of 16, to recently working on Tim Burton’s latest film Dark Shadows. This lifelong Burton fan come VFX expert has ticked off some incredible career achievements since his time with Escape Studios.
Carmine finished his study with us on April 1st last year, and by the following September, was working at Baseblack and shortly after, MPC, both giants in the VFX industry. Having earned a position as a Matchmove artist and 3D Generalist, Carmine explains how his experience at Escape prepared and enticed him further into a career in visual effects.
“There were so many beautiful experiences at Escape, but the best were in the relaxation room, where I chatted with other escapees about our plans, projects, dreams and hopes for working in the world of VFX after the course… for many of us this dream came true.”
Having also worked on other projects for films World War Z and Dredd, Carmine is just one of the many who continued to fulfil their career ambitions and draw from industry knowledge acquired here at Escape.
“The key benefit for me at Escape was the opportunity to learn how the work is organised in a VFX company. Coming from a different working environment in Italy, this part of the course was essential for me, equally important was visiting The Mill where we could experience the various stages of post-production, in order to better decide which path to take.”
At the moment, Carmine is working with 3D computer graphics software, Maya, studying and specialising in digital environments. He is also currently practising this research on a camera projection project with a portion of Chicago skyscrapers. His career is obviously moving forward to pastures green, and on discussing this current project explains his motivation…
“I love the architecture, set extension and camera movements!”
Under the ethos of never feeling like he’s arrived and being proactive when it comes to satisfying a hunger for knowledge, Carmine is furthering his career at rapid pace, building on the experiences acquired at Escape. To see exactly what Carmine’s been working on, you can watch his showreel here.
“Escape is brilliant. It’s just such a hub for this entire industry… they’re pretty well connected.”
Head of Maya Development, The Mill
“Escape is brilliant. It’s just such a hub for this entire industry… they’re pretty well connected.”
Fascinated by Pixar’s Toy Story back in 1995, Suraj Harrington-Odedra began to realise his ambitions for CG at the age of twelve. Fast forward six years, Suraj took his first steps in 3D by enrolling on an Animation degree at Swansea Metropolitan University. The degree taught him a lot, but he needed more, so the VFX Production course at Escape Studios seemed the perfect stepping-stone between university and working in the industry. And by Jove it was. On completing the then five month course in 2008, Suraj landed a job at The Mill and has never looked back. Over the past five years Suraj has made an incredibly quick transition from junior tracking artist to a senior position in their commercials 3D department. Over that time, Suraj earned himself the impressive title of Lead 3D Artist, and is now the Head of Maya Development.
“I remember thinking to myself… wait, this could be a career? That’s kind of awesome! Finishing my course at Escape, I immediately started at The Mill and was put to work on a job for Infiniti, which is an American brand of car. I was brought in to help with tracking, and over time I got quite good at it. However, having made a name for myself in this area, I got labelled as a tracker for the first year or so, and ended up spending most of my time tackling various difficult tracking jobs. After a while I had to put my hands up and say to the guys that I wanted to try something else.”
Life at The Mill
Luckily for Suraj he was working with a lovely group of people who completely understood his frustration and admitted to having taken advantage of his patience and his talent for tracking for far too long. During that fist year at The Mill, Suraj was co-leading a project for the commercials department, giving him the opportunity to dip his toe into other areas. This got him noticed by the rest of the team as being someone who was equally talented in a range of areas. As a result, Suraj was entrusted with many of the more technically demanding jobs, helping him to push himself that extra bit further, and getting him where he is today.
As Lead 3D Artist for the commercials department, Suraj was responsible for leading projects, laying out pipelines and generally figuring out the quickest and cheapest way to complete the job. One of the advantages to working somewhere like The Mill is the range of work that comes in and of course the fact that they have international facilities.
“The beauty of working in the commercials department is that you’re faced with a different problem to solve every week. It definitely kept me on my toes. The schedulers are all really sympathetic to the kind of work you want to do, because ultimately they know if you’re doing a project you want to do, then you’ll put your heart into it, and give it so much more.”
Over the past five years Suraj has undoubtedly ranked up an impressive list of credits, but here’s just a few of his proudest moments: Audi A8 Advanced State of Mind (the first major stereo job at The Mill - London), Muller’s Wonderful Stuff, Tetley's Reanimation, Wrigley’s 5 React Gum and Samsung’s Incredible Journey.
Have you been trying to imagine yourself in his shoes? What a great thought, that you too could work in an industry as dynamic and as fun as this. If you’ve had even the tiniest inclination to get into this line of work then maybe its time you got in touch with us. Escape could well be the start to your new career. Make sure to check out our courses and other success stories in more detail.
Sophie Robinson was inspired to become an artist from an early age and it was traditional forms of art like model making and set design that held the most appeal for her...
Creature TD at Double Negative
“Some of the most talented CG artists work in London and its great to be working along side them"
Sophie Robinson was inspired to become an artist from an early age and it was traditional forms of art like model making and set design that held the most appeal for her. However the idea of also being able to sculpt and create digitally excited her. It made her think about the endless creative possibilities that were available to her in a 3D world. So she decided to take a look at some courses and here she is, a few credits later, with the likes of Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, Inception & Fantastic Mr Fox under her belt.
Let’s start at the Wimbledon School of Art where Sophie studied her degree. “Even though I was modelling 3D physically on a daily basis, I became intrigued by the idea of also being able to creating these models digitally. I’d heard about the CG industry and I thought it would be good to have another set of skills and tools”. After some research Sophie came across the Visual Effects course at Escape Studios. “The opportunity to learn the skills directed at a specific occupation, like visual effects, was so appealing”.
Remembering the 18-week Visual Effects Course, she explained how impressed she was with the quality of what was taught. “The course was so intense and I’m sure most students have said this, but you really have to want to become a VFX artist. It’s a pretty hard-core course and there is so much to take on board. Not only are you getting to grips with new software but you have to think technically and creatively at the same time. The tutors’ knowledge is really helpful though – it wasn’t just theoretical, but practical hands-on advice with tricks on how to do stuff’.
Sophie left Escape Studios and started out as a Matchmover at Double Negative. “Although I didn’t use the Recruitment Service at Escape, the guys were always hugely supportive and it was great to know that you had them on side if you needed advice about your showreel. What I love most about this industry is that there is so much to learn and do, and you could specialise in one particular area or keep things open and become a generalist. The opportunities are huge and the projects are really exciting. Escape Studios helped me take my artistic skill to the next level and I can’t thank them enough for that”.
“From Animation-wanabe to Animator at DNEG – I owe Escape big time.”
Animator at DNEG
“From Animation-wanabe to Animator at DNEG – I owe Escape big time.”
Animation is where it’s at
It’s official: Animated Characters have taken over British TV. With the likes of Alexander the Meerkat, who has made us all laugh, to the latest CG Andrex Puppy who has divided the nation, the animation market is flourishing. Good job that escapee Ben Wiggs has a secure position as Animator at one of London’s top post production houses; DNEG. Ben has worked on some huge titles: Cadbury's - Spots vs Stripes, Ademe - Garbage Monster, Want to See Something (short film), York - Polar Bear and Airwick –Freshmatic, to name but a few. Ben is in the perfect role at the perfect time but let’s take a look at his journey and how he got there.
Ben is someone who knows what he wants and from the time he first saw ‘Akira’ aged thirteen he was hooked on the idea of becoming an animator. “I was so smitten I began dabbling with a bit of stop-motion on an old cine camera, before teenage life kicked in and distracted me totally from it. ”But, it wasn’t long before his passion for animation was re-ignited by the legendary Ray Harryhausen who inspired Ben to follow his dream “I was totally fascinated by him and particularly loved ‘Clash of the Titans’. It undoubtedly had a direct effect on my willingness to try some stop-motion animation and I knew what I wanted to do with my life I just needed the skills to get me there”.
To Escape and Beyond
Ben didn’t study at University because he just wasn’t convinced he was a ‘University type of guy’. So, he set to work on the internet looking up courses, eventually finding Escape Studios. Before he knew it, he was coming in for an open day tour and signing up to study his dream subject. Ben told us that the main reason he chose to study with Escape was because he knew that Maya was the industry-standard software of choice and the courses taught at Escape were 12 week comprehensive Maya master-classes. “It was perfect for me as a young animator-wannabe trying to find a way in to this industry. It was more than I could ever have hoped it would be! The course literally took a bunch of novices and set us up ready to start a career in CG”.
Once Ben had completed his course he was ready to start looking for his first job in the industry. So, he did what all of our graduates do and met with our Recruitment Team: “Escape's recruitment service played a massive role in my career. After a stint at Weta in New Zealand, I came back and approached Escape as an ex-student hoping for some contacts. Within weeks they found me my first job in London at Steel Drum Studios, where I stayed for two years. Then later in my career, as a freelance animator, Escape got me gigs at the likes of Glassworks, Not to Scale and Th1ng – I know I couldn’t have done with without them.”
Join us at our London campus for an advisor-guided tour. You’ll get a broad understanding of the VFX industry, a potential career path within it, and the ESCAPE experience to get you there.
Here’s what to expect.
Learn about the specialized jobs in VFX and Compositing
Understand the ESCAPE course options & which suit you
Be a fly-on-the-wall at an Accelerated Classroom session
Review successful student reels
Get a deeper understanding of what studio-ready means
Learn about student perks and soak up the atmosphere
Head to the VFX bar for a drink and to ask any burning questions
For those of you living in distant lands, or thinking about studying VFX online or relocating to London, take our virtual tour. We cover the main points listed above and will guide you through the ESCAPE experience. You’ll just need to buy your own drink at the end!
Sounds great right? Just give us a call at 0207 3481920 or fill out the form to schedule your Academy Tour today.