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London-based Escape Studios is an academy that specialises in training students in computer graphics who are looking to break into games, film, TV and commercials.
Having also just opened an LA studio, pupils can study through a full-time intensive course that lasts over 12-to-18 weeks, such as Visual Effects Production, which teaches students elements in VFX including polygon modelling, texture mapping, and advanced lighting and texturing.
Each of these classes consist of no more than 12 students taught by industry veterans.
“As well as professional tutors who have over ten years experience, we have training assistants who help out in the classrooms, and an interactive, community driven online learning system that students get access to during and after their course,” says Escape Studios training sales director Paul Wilkes.
“It enables them to interact with their classmates, the Escape Studios communities at large and their tutors, but crucially also revisit and revise the lessons that they have learned in class.”
Students are also able study part-time for 20-to-30 weeks, following the same curriculum as their full-time counterparts. These courses, Wilkes says, are aimed at professionals looking to secure better jobs or seeking to re-train.
As well as this, Escape runs online mentored courses delivered through its online learning service, and takes pupils just under a year to complete. Wilkes says this is designed for “perfect artists” who want to train whilst still in work and to those who can’t reach the academy in London.
“We currently have students all over the world on these courses,” he states.
“They receive on-going support from their tutor, and are able to follow the course with a group, getting access to a virtual classroom where they can interact and share the experience with others.”
He adds that all its courses are closely aligned with what employers in the industry are looking for from their computer graphics artists, and that the academy uses its experienced tutors and close contacts within the industry to make sure it achieves this aim.
“Our courses are constantly evolving and being updated to ensure the tools and techniques we are teaching are relevant to the industries our students want to work in,” explains Wilkes.
“As these are not academic courses they do not require accreditation or approval and it gives us the flexibility to update the curriculum or change the software we teach when we need to.
"Through close contact with the industry and the relationship we have with software and hardware manufactures we are able to mimic the industry environments in which our students will end up working.”
Wilkes also reveals that Escape is currently looking at the format and delivery methods of its classroom courses to ensure it is keeping up with the changing demands of the industry, and that it could take the academy into new locations and industry sectors in future.