Partnership with Epic Games

Escape Studios has developed close relationships with an impressive range of industry partners and advisors, and they’re involved in everything we do - from the curriculum we teach and how it’s delivered, to our webinars and special events.

We have formed a unique partnership with Epic Games, the creator of Fortnite, Unreal, Gears of War, Shadow Complex, and the Infinity Blade series of games. Epic's Unreal Engine technology brings high-fidelity, interactive experiences to PC, console, mobile, AR, VR and the Web. 

Unreal-Engine-Authorised-Training-Centre

Our Unreal Training courses

TA's part of this collaboration, Escape Studios is delighted to be the UK’s only Unreal Authorized Training Centres (and one of only two in Europe). As part of this we organise a variety of training sessions through the year – our most recent series of courses included:

  • Fundamentals of Unreal Engine 
  • Introduction to Blueprints  
  • Realtime Rendering for Animation  
  • Lighting in Unreal Engine  
  • Introduction to Materials  
  • Introduction to Niagara FX 

These Unreal Engine classes were run through Zoom for screen sharing, and attendees were able to use remote access through Parsec. We also used Veyon, to be able to monitor the class and assist students who might need extra help. For more information about our Unreal Engine Courses please email hello@escapestudios.com.

Our Unreal Bootcamp to support industry

Thanks to huge support from the Games and VFX industry, we developed a curriculum to support furloughed and regrettably made redundant VFX artists to retrain and upskill in real-time production techniques. The objective was to prepare the industry for eventual growth during the time of lockdown by making the most of furloughed people’s free time, initiating new real-time techniques and workflows within the VFX industry. 

Escape ran the course with a staff of six over 20 weekdays in August/September 2020, along with a dedicated team of expert support staff, led by Escape’s Saint John Walker and Andrew Brassington. Whilst Escape’s Head of 3D VFX Mark Spevick was the ever-present online showrunner, the team were complemented by guest Unreal experts from the industry and Epic Games: 

  • Quentin Marmier, Senior Environment Artist at Epic Games 
  • Roel Bartstra, Solution Architect at Epic Games 
  • Malachi Duncan, Technical Artist at Epic Games 
  • Galen Davis, Evangelist/Producer at Quixel 
  • Jon Moncrieff, Education Training Lead at SideFX 
  • Saga Alayyoubi, Senior 3D artist and art director 
  • Simon Verstraete, Tech Artist at SideFX  
  • Dave McDonnell, Owner/Directors of Last Pixel 
  • Carlos Ulloa, Interactive Developer & designer 
  • Rob Stauffer, Senior Production Consultant at SideFX 

Whilst mornings were full of tuition and presentations, the afternoons were the time for participants to work in teams on a unique project- to replicate an iconic street scene from Alfonso Cuaron’s film Children of Men (2006) in Unreal. 

Each week leading VFX supervisors from contributing companies also encouraged, coached, commented or challenged the teams: 

  • Paul Franklin, Co-founder of DNEG (Oscar winning VFX Supervisor Inception, Interstellar)
  • Ben Loch, Framestore (Hobbs and Shaw, Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindelwald) 
  • May Leung, DNEG (Bohemian Rhapsody, Star Trek Beyond) 
  • Shahid Malik, DNEG (fx artist Gods of Egypt) Hadrien Auger, Independent (Ragnarök 2019) 
  • Stuart Penn, Framestore (Avengers: Endgame. Paddington 2) 
  • May Leung, BDG architecture + design (Hadrien Augier) 

A surprise guest on the final week was Frazer Churchill, the original VFX Supervisor from 2006’s Children of Men, who joined in on Zoom to see how students had re-created the original We’ll be looking to develop further sessions like this again in the future, so for more information, please contact hello@escapestudios.com.  

Unreal Engine Image

Industry Feedback

Paul Franklin, Co-founder of DNEG  
“Films are held to a standard of objective reality which is the benchmark we’re always trying to achieve. We always want it to look like it's something we went out and filmed, so trying to figure out how to get that, to match that is key. You can see how successful many of the (student) projects have been in picking out the details and understanding atmosphere…and the way it is staged. I loved the fluidity of some of the camerawork I saw. It’s pretty exciting.” 

Mark Flanagan, Education Partner Manager at Epic Games 
“This has been absolutely inspiring for people who have been learning the Unreal Engine for four weeks. We’re hugely grateful for Escape pushing through with this”. For the students he had some comments “What you’ve managed to achieve is really quite remarkable. Hopefully you’ll grow the relationships you have formed. Hopefully you’ll continue sharing what you’re doing.” 

Andrew Schlussel, Global Head of Talent Framestore 
“The Unreal bootcamp was an extraordinary response to these unusual circumstances. All of the London visual effects companies are in a similar situation on two fronts: losing staff due to the slowdown of work as a result of covid, and a burst of excitement and buzz around incorporating real time tools like Unreal Engine into their use in virtual production and more of the visual effects pipeline.”