Tuesday, 29 January 2019

Don't Throw the Baby Out with the Bathwater

One of the most common mistakes made by junior animators is to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

It's very tempting, mid-way through a piece of complex animation, to want to start again from scratch. Problems with animation can be hard to solve, especially when you're new to the game, and sometimes a blank screen can feel like a tempting solution.

It can be especially hard to dig into the Graph Editor to manipulate the curves when everything seems a bit like a mess of coloured spaghetti.

Monday, 28 January 2019

VFX Festival Lineup 6-7 February 2019

Escape Studios' 2019 VFX Festival is taking place next week at London's South Bank Centre, on February 6th and 7th.

The VFX Festival hosts many industry speakers coming to talk about the latest developments in Animation, Games and VFX.

This year participants include Framestore, MPC Film, Jellyfish Pictures, Blue Zoo, AXIS animation The Third Floor and Creative Assembly, all coming to talk about their latest work.

Thursday, 24 January 2019

Why Every Animation Needs an Idea

Animators need an idea
Every Shot Needs an Idea. One of the most common mistakes made by junior animators is to animate a scene of dialogue without clearly thinking through what the shot is really about.

Animators are actors, with a pencil, or a mouse. Like stage or screen actors, animators must always think carefully about what their character is thinking about. Who is the character talking to, and what is the scene about? What do they want, and what do they fear?

These things are important because unless these questions are asked, and answered, the scene will tend to feel empty of meaning, and lack compelling interest.

Tuesday, 22 January 2019

What is "Head Muppeting"?

What is "Head Muppeting" in animation? It's a term I first heard used by veteran animator Sydney Padua when she was teaching an animation class at Escape Studios.

"Head Muppeting" is a similar concept to that of "hitting the accents", developed by Richard Williams in his book The Animator's Survival Kit.

It means that, when you are animating a dialogue shot, you need to keep the character's head in motion, to make the audience believe that the character is saying the lines.

Monday, 21 January 2019

Free Maya Character Rigs at Nelson Hurst

We're liking this very useful edit of Maya character rigs, free for student use, hosted at Nelson Hurst.com.

Nelson's collection of Maya rigs is a very helpful edit because it breaks down the free character rigs into sections, such as simple, intermediate, complex and creatures.

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

What is a "One Sheet"?

What is a "One Sheet"? And who needs one? A One Sheet is a movie poster, and you need to make one if you've got a movie or short film to sell.

A "One Sheet" is a single image that encapsulates what your film is about and - hopefully - will make people understand the film and also want to go and see it.

Think of the posters you see on the wall as you leave the movie theatre. You walk down a hallway, past a wall of posters, and you think: "that movie looks cool, I might just go and see that".

2019 VFX Festival 6-7 February

The UK's annual VFX Festival, hosted by Escape Studios, is taking place in three weeks from 6-7 February at London's South Bank Centre, in the Purcell Room.

The 2019 VFX Festival is a great place to find out about the latest developments in Animation, Games and VFX, and we encourage all our students, past and present, to attend if they can.

This year the VFX Festival kicks off with the "Emerging Talent" event, aimed at students and recent graduates, which runs for two days, from February 6th to 7th.

Monday, 14 January 2019

Animating Dialogue: Avoid Famous Lines

Animators: avoid lines like "go ahead punk..."
One of the most common mistakes junior animators often make when selecting their first line of dialogue to animate is to pick one of their favourite lines from a movie, usually spoken by a famous actor.

The reason that this is a bad idea is that famous lines spoken by famous actors tend to come with too much baggage.

Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Mend the Gap with Film London on Feb 4th

On February 4th 2019 Film London is hosting an event in London titled: Mend the Gap: a debate on animation training and employment.

Here in the UK we have something of a disconnect between what industry needs, and what a lot of animation degree courses actually teach.  As a result, many animation studios often recruit young talent primarily from European animation schools, not from the UK. So what is the cause of this problem, and what can be done to fix it?