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 Engine, 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 Engine training courses

As part of this collaboration, Escape Studios is delighted to be the UK’s only Unreal Authorized Training Center. Through this partnership, we organise a variety of training sessions through the year – recent courses have included:

  • Fundamentals of Unreal Engine 
  • Introduction to blueprints  
  • Real-time 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.

Unreal Pick and Mix

In March 2021, we partnered with ScreenSkills and Epic Games to deliver the ‘Unreal Pick and Mix’, an online suite of free workshops for freelancers and furloughed film/high-end television professionals. This was commissioned by the ScreenSkills Film and High-end TV Skills Funds with contributions from major VFX, Animation and Film production companies. 

The programme of specialist Unreal Engine training allowed beginners to take the complete two weeks, and intermediate users to ‘pick’ and ‘mix’ single or multiple days depending on where they wanted to upskill.  

With ScreenSkills’ help, we reached out to the UK nations and regions, encouraging a more diverse and often overlooked part of the film and TV industry.

Game Art Tutor, Tom Harle, talks through photogrammetry and asset detail

Game Art Tutor, Tom Harle, talks through photogrammetry and asset detail

Ty Carriere teaches rendering from California

Ty Carriere teaches rendering from California 

Head of Game Art Simon Fenton introduces Unreal Engine

Head of Game Art Simon Fenton introduces Unreal Engine

Our Unreal Engine Bootcamp

During 2020, we launched 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. The course ran through August and September 2020, led by Saint John WalkerAndrew Brassington and Mark Spevick from Escape Studios.

The team were complemented by guest Unreal Engine 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

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 LochFramestore (Hobbs and Shaw, Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindelwald) 
  • May LeungDNEG (Bohemian Rhapsody, Star Trek Beyond) 
  • Shahid MalikDNEG (Gods of Egypt) 
  • Hadrien Auger, Independent (Ragnarök 2019)
  • Stuart PennFramestore (Avengers: Endgame, Paddington 2)
  • May Leung, BDG architecture + design (Hadrien Augier)
Unreal Engine Live Training

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.

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.”

Emma Turner, ScreenSkills’ CPD lead

“In these extraordinary times it’s more clear than ever that is important that we innovate and prepare industry to work with emerging and new tech. We believe that our investment in the Unreal Pick and Mix will help future-proof the industry, embrace virtual production and enable professionals whatever their background to get in and get on.”

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.”