Hello, I’m Ben and I’m a 1st year undergraduate Visual Effects (VFX) student at Escape Studios. This year we are covering all the subjects taught at Escape Studios, including: VFX, Animation and Game Art.

My first term

Our first term was a mixture of studying basic digital art skills, such as photography, cinematography and art foundations as well as learning about teamwork, producing for VFX and animations and some introductions to software. These were all very interesting as they provided me with a broad idea of all the different digital skills I would develop further over the years as well as some specialisms further down the line.

The first term enabled me to develop skills that would become very useful after Christmas. In the second and third terms we are currently going through a short module for each topic. I began with 2D for VFX – this introduced us to compositing and the software ‘Nuke’. After that I spent a few weeks doing the Game Art module which involved me creating a potion bottle in Maya, texturing it using Substance Painter and creating a final render in the game engine ‘Unreal’..’

I am currently working on the Animation module and learning about making characters walk and run. By the end of the module, I will have created a ten second animation demonstrating all that I have learned over the previous weeks. Finally, I will work on the 3D for VFX module which will take me to the end of the year. This module will involve me creating something in the 3D application ‘Maya’ to be added to a VFX shot. So far, my favorite module has been the 2D for VFX course as that is the subject I want to peruse, and I enjoy the creative freedom it can give you as a digital artist.

My weekly timetable

My timetable consists of three days per week. Two of those days I am currently learning from home and joining my lectures via an online video link and one the other day I am at our building in London for an in-person lecture.

‘Work Fitness’ events are also held once or twice per term. These are sessions where someone from the industry comes in to hold a talk and can offer advice and experience about working in the industry. They are very exciting opportunities for those who want to gain as much knowledge as possible on working in the industry.

-By Ben Williamson (1st year VFX student)