Friday, 24 March 2017

Escape Studios Seeks Animation Tutor

Escape Studios in London is looking for a new animation tutor.

Escape is searching for "a skilled animator with good industry credits, someone who is a good communicator - and ideally with a fair bit of teaching experience."

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Raphael Obaro Animator at Muslim TV

Congratulations to Raphael Obaro who has started a new animation job as an animator at British Muslim TV.

Muslim TV is a new channel, which describes itself as "a fresh and exciting TV channel, bursting with a range of educational and entertaining content".

The channel is starting up a new animated TV Series that revolves around a family - an animated comedy,  aimed at the UK Muslim community.

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Apply Now For Our Online MA in 3D Animation

The world's first online MA in animation
We're currently taking applications for our online MA in animation, launched here at Animation Apprentice in partnership with Buckinghamshire New University in September 2015.

We are currently looking at portfolios for the September 2017 intake.

This is a unique degree (the first of its kind) which can be undertaken by students anywhere in the world, leading to a formal qualification in the field.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Kevin Richards Animator with Cloth Cat

Congratulations to Escapee Kevin Richards who has just started a new job as an animator with Cloth Cat animation in Cardiff.  Kevin is a traditional animator who took the three-month intensive animation course at Escape Studios last summer, which included access to the Animation Apprentice videos and other course materials. Kevin converted his 2D skills to digital 3D animation in Maya.  working hard on his demo reel, and getting regular feedback to make his reel, website and CV job-ready.

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Gesture Drawing by Proko

Gesture drawing is an important skill for animators - it helps us learn how to capture a pose, and to master the art of visual storytelling. After all, planning your animation with quick thumbnail sketches that tell a story is still one of the core skills of the 3D animator - it's why we still need to know how to draw - at least just a little bit.  Here at Escape Studios we're recommending this series of videos by Proko, all hosted for free at his YouTube channel. There are lots of great videos but the particular playlist we're interested in is titled "Figure Drawing - How to Draw People". You can find it here.

Monday, 13 March 2017

How to Stop Feet Sliding in a Walk Cycle.

How do you stop the feet sliding when you animate a walk cycle? It's a question often asked by students starting out at Animation Apprentice. The answer is a little technical, so here is a video which explains how to tackle the problem. It runs about 10 minutes, and should help explain how to get it right first time, and stop those feet from slipping around.

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Anna Laura Zielinska Animator at King Bee

Congratulations to Anna Zielinska, one of our online MA students, who has recently landed an animation internship with King Bee animation, based at the historic Elstree Studios in Borehamwood, just outside of London.

King Bee have worked on many animation projects, including music videos and TV series. They use Maya, Flash and Photoshop to do much of their work. To see the King Bee reel, watch the video below.

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Great Free Maya Rigs by Truong CG Artist

Chameleon by Truong 3D. Animation by Dave Novis
Here is a great 3D artist's website with some lovely rigs that we're recommending here at Animation Apprentice.

The author is a Vietnamese CG artist and short film maker, who has released a lot of rigs that are free for student use.

We're particularly enjoying seeing some very nice results from students using the chameleon and leopard rigs.

Friday, 3 March 2017

StoryBoarding is Back at Escape Studios

Storyboarding is back! I'm running a class in storyboarding at Escape Studios in Shepherd's Bush, West London, starting on 21 March 2017. It costs £995 and it's a part-time evening class, designed to fit around jobs and families.

The class is taught by me and (most likely) by Francesca Adams, a very talented Blue Zoo storyboard artist who helped us out last year.  Also like last year, we'll have a live industry brief to give our students experience of what an industry storyboard test is actually like.

Thursday, 2 March 2017

The Industry Panel at the VFX Festival - What Does the Future Hold?

Industry Panel discussion at the Escape Studios VFX Festival
The Industry Panel at the recent VFX Festival included panel members (from left) Hector MacLeod (Glassworks), Kevin McDowell (Creative Assembly), Anna Hollinrake (Climax Studios), Dave Throssell (fluid Pictures and Rob Holmes (The Mill) - all about the future of our industry.

So, where is the industry going, what skills are demand, and what does the future hold?

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Anna Zielinska and Giuseppe Candido Junior Animators at Touch Surgery

Many congratulations to Anna Laura Zielinska and Giuseppe Candido on their new jobs as animators at Touch Surgery, a London (and New York City) based company that specialises in medical animation - bringing surgical procedures to life, helping to teach the next generation of surgeons their life-saving skills.

Monday, 27 February 2017

MPC Reveals The Secrets of the Jungle Book

The Jungle Book was one of the most impressive films of 2016, and its secrets were recently revealed at the Escape Studios VFX Festival, with MPC's Ben Jones (CG Supervisor) explaining how the London VFX house brought the characters and creatures of this classic tale to life, re-imagining one of the best-loved of the Walt Disney Studio's animated films.

So, how did MPC create this most extraordinarily ambitious movie?

Saturday, 25 February 2017

Get Ready For our March 6th Animation Class!

What kind of preparation should students do before starting with us  at Animation Apprentice on March 6th?   It's always good to do a little preparation and get a bit of a head start.

Below is a brief list of stuff to get you under way. It's not a comprehensive list, and you don't have to do all of it, but tick off a few of the things on this list and you will be a making a great start on your animation career.

Friday, 24 February 2017

How Do You Get an Animated TV Series Launched? Giles Pilbrow Reveals All

On Wednesday 1st March Escape Studios is hosting an evening with Giles Pilbrow: cartoonist, animator and one of the writers of the UK's longest-running satirical magazine, Private Eye.

Giles also brought the Horrible Histories to TV, and is the creator of the CBBC series Scream Street.

So for any of our students in the London area, come along on March 1st - it's a free event - and find out how you could get your own animated TV series off the ground.

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Animation Jobs - Where Are They?

Careers and Recruitment Panel 2017
The Careers & Recruitment Panel at the recent Escape Studios VFX Festival was a packed house.

Where are the jobs in our industry? Who is hiring? What skills are in demand right now?

This year the panel was hosted by Andy Brassington. Guests included (from left) Harriet Finney from the Creative Industries Federation, Amy Smith from Framestore, Tom Box from Blue Zoo, Paul Wilkes, recruiter for MPC advertising, Jill Wallace from Axis, Henry Bull from The Mill, and Clare Norman from Milk FX.

So, where are the jobs in the animation industry today, and who is hiring?

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Dave Novis Joins Escape Studios as Animation Studio Assistant

Dave Novis Animation Reel from David Novis on Vimeo.

Dave Novis took the Escape Studios animation short course last summer, which also included access to the course materials at Animation Apprentice, and online support at our Facebook Classroom. Dave has just joined Escape Studios as an animation studio assistant this week, helping to support students learning 3D animation in Maya.

Monday, 20 February 2017

Animation Masterclass by Blue Zoo

At the recent VFX Festival in London, Blue Zoo's Tom Box introduced one of their animation directors to give a "Masterclass in Cartoony Animation".

Blue Zoo does many styles of animation, trying "not to get known for just one style", but much of their work is done for TV format, where schedules are punishing and animators have to work fast.

Blue Zoo have to be creative, efficient, and find ways to stay competitive - even in a high-cost city like London, where rents and wages are much higher than overseas.

They also encourage their staff to get involved creatively, developing in-house projects which can be brought to the screen, and also doing short films - BZ Shorts - within the studio, developing new styles of animation and experimenting with new ways of doing things.

So - what are their secrets for a fast, efficient animation workflow?

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Frame Store's Fantastic Beasts - And How They Made Them

At the VFX Festival last week, Framestore's Christian Manz talked about "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them", explaining how Framestore brought these amazing digital creatures to life.

The address followed on from a packed recruitment talk also given by Framestore - both events were standing-room only.  Framestore is one of London's leading VFX houses, one of the reasons why London is a global hub for high-end visual effects work.

So, what were the secrets behind this remarkable film, and how did Framestore bring photo-realistic goblins and other fantastical creatures to life?

Monday, 13 February 2017

Star Wars Rogue One at the VFX Festival

This past week the Rich Mix arts centre in Shoreditch played host to the London VFX Festival, and ILM's presentation of The making of "Star Wars Rogue One" was - unsurprisingly - one of the most popular events.

John Galloway - compositing supervisor at ILM, and Steve Ellis, CG Supervisor, were there to introduce the "Star Wars Rogue One" story, one of 2016's most successful VFX movies.

So, how did the London ILM team help to create such an impressive film, and how did they meet the expectations of the legions of Star Wars fans?

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Govt Industrial Strategy Highlights Creative Industries - Good News for Our Students

Support for "Creative Industries"
Theresa May's Government recently released an Industrial Strategy that highlights a number of sectors that they believe will lead to new jobs and growth in the future.

Among these are listed the creative industries, suggesting that our Government will continue to offer support to the business of - among other things - animation, games and visual effects.

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Sci Fi Animation by Joe Gamble.

Check out this excellent Sci Fi animation by Animation Apprentice student Joe Gamble, who has taken the basic brief of animating a walk cycle and pushed it to the next level. As with everything we do, animators are not just technicians - we are entertainers and story-tellers. Joe has created an intriguing world for his character and - best of all - makes us want to know "what will happen next?". Congratulations to Joe on some great work.