This is not for the faint hearted but for those with a passion for computer graphics who are willing to work hard to break into the world of visual effects. It is open to students, graduates and hobbyists, giving you the chance to get professional (as in, with the big boys) training, followed by a four-week placement at The Mill, and a one-year subscription to CG Society. Runners up will also receive mentored and online courses and magazine subscriptions to 3D Artist.
Renown London CG academy Escape Studios are launching today a new kind of online course: online mentored learning courses.
The mentored learning courses are perfect for international graduates who can’t travel to their facilities in London or those who need to balance work and study commitments. Students get access to a virtual classroom, where they can interact and seek feedback from their tutors and fellow classmates. The programme is fully integrated with social media sites like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, allowing students to update their profiles and work together with their friends on projects.
The mascots were developed and designed by Iris London over an 18 month period, while the production of the 3 min 45 sec animated film was completed at breakneck pace, from design and storyboard to completion and launch in just 10 weeks.
All pre and post production was done in London, with Cavalli designing the non-mascot characters, working with Teddy Hall on maquettes and Pete Western on storyboard. Production design and backgrounds were by Neil Campbell Ross, editing by Richard Graham, with final grading and output at UNIT.
The animation was done by Crystal CG, the company responsible for the Beijing 2008 Olympics animations and graphics, through their offices in London and Beijing.
Within 48 hours of launch, the movie on the official LOCOG mascots’ site had already clocked up 750,000 unique hits, while the same video was the ‘most watched’ on YouTube worldwide in the same period.
According to the Daily Express Tim Burton is taking on the creation of a new animated 3D version of The Addams Family. He is hoping CG will resurrect the spooky Addams Family, who last appeared on the big screen in 1993’s Addams Family Values.
Deadline.com has reported that Illumination Entertainment acquired the rights to the original cartoons by Charles Addams and the company’s boss Chris Meledandri will act as producer. Tim Burton’s intention is to stay away from the original TV series or the 90s films and instead get closer to the original “Addams Family” designs once published in New Yorker Magazine.
Penguins are no longer flightless birds, how? Thanks to gravity zero and the help of a handful of talented animators, director Frank Vroegop and art director Federico Costa. Another brilliant production created by Delapost in Paris.
It’s quite visible how much fun this must have been, is like reproducing the dreams of someone who has too much cheese and chocolate the night before. Because the animation is quite realistic, and a lot of the details are too, you kind of wish it was real. You can enjoy it all the same and still smile as you see these dashing seabirds finally taking off.
Here is an interesting behind-the-scenes look at The Art of Mass Effect 2. This video focuses on the animation side of things and how that is implemented in the game. It’s part of a series of 5 videos that detail the art behind this game.
You would think that life as a stone would be boring, right? Wrong! After I saw Das Wheel (The Rocks) I realised, you could have a blast of a time! Imagine using a pine nut as a hand grenade, which you can throw near by your victim. only instead of an explosion a tree would spring in a matter of seconds, or what seems to seconds to you.
This is one of the most clever concepts I’ve seen in an animation, the idea of time and how absurd longevity makes Earth feel like a completely different planet with different rules of physics. I can see a lot of thought went into this and the planning must have been fun in itself.
Escape Studios are conducting a survey to find out what their students and readers think of their courses. Whether you are just starting out, studied with them a long time ago, or just use their free tutorials they could use your input!
By January 22nd one of lucky winner will be drawn at random from the survey participants for the opportunity to receive a private CG masterclass with VFX expert Lee Danskin, plus lots of Amazon vouchers.
Isabelle Duarté, Lee Danskin, Charlotte Wills, Alex Amelines and Jeff Pratt
Last Friday evening I had the opportunity to take a close look at the working machinery of the animation training titan that’s Escape Studios.
I can safely say that Escape are one of the best CG academies in the world, you can train there on anything from creature rigging to animation, special effects and games. Their students or ‘Escapists’ as they call them have access to top end machines to work on, a team of vastly experienced tutors, fantastic head quarters, hardware and software retail store with student discounts and even their own bar/cafe on the ground floor.
In less than an hour I met more talent than my brain can grasp
In less than an hour I met more talent than my brain can grasp, firstly there was Lee Danskin, their VFX tutor, who has worked at The Film Factory at VTR, The Moving Picture Company and co-founded Smoke and Mirrors 3D; Then I had a chat with the legendary Jeff Pratt, ex-Nasa and Pixar man in charge of the animation course. I could not find out what made him give up sunny California for our ‘picturesque’ British weather, what ever the reason the Escapists should consider themselves lucky that he did. Finally I chatted to the bubbly Nick Savy, their creatures and characters Jedi master, who used to work at Sega, Sony, Psygnosis, Glassworks, Indestructable, Double Negative and Cinesite. You can straight away sense their passion and insight in their fields. They were nice enough to have a look at my work, which threw some encouraging comments as well, thanks guys.
Jeff Pratt and I have something in common with Bigfoot: We’re both blurred. (Thanks Ryan!)
I managed to peek at some of their workshops in progress, in the games they were developing new levels for the no-yet-released version of Unreal, which I imagine they will all be testing later chasing each other with lasers. And just across the corridor the class was having an interesting open discussion with a visiting VFX expert from Russia, who travelled to give them feedback on the sequences they were working on for ‘The Hunt for Gollum’ project. I really didn’t want to leave the room, as you’d imagine I was crest fallen when we had to leave the classroom.
Vast experience aside they are all also really good natured people, unpretentious, friendly and with a sense of humour. I’ll definitely make sure to stay in touch with this great bunch.
Addendum: Lee if you’re reading this, I thought of another one: Coolworld, 1992. I loved the eclectic feast of styles to which Ralph Bakshi generously treated us.