Meet The First Year Tutors at Escape Studios

Who Teaches the First Year Undergraduate VFX, Animation and Games students at Escape Studios?  Our first year at Escape Studios is a “common year” – ie it is the same for all our undergraduate students, whether they are studying animation, games, or visual effects.

That means that in the first year of studies (“Level 4”), all our students study a broad, flexible curriculum, enabling everyone to understand the whole animation, games and VFX pipeline – before committing to a single specialism in their second year of studies.

Lorenzo Mannicia – Art Foundation and 2D Compositing
Lorenzo Mannicia is an experienced 2D VFX artist with skills in compositing and also in matte painting. Lorenzo is also the overall co-ordinator for the First Year at Escape Studios.

In Semester One (starting in September), Lorenzo teaches “Art Foundation”, one of the first mini-modules our students will tackle in their first year at Escape Studios, part of Module CR4002 – Creative Foundations.  In Art Foundation our students learn the basics of human anatomy and the fundamentals of environment design.
Students are asked to produce anatomical sketches, assemble a moodboard and do thumbnail sketches – all in preparation for a final “photobash” concept artwork.
In Semester 2, Lorenzo teaches 2D VFX (Compositing) to our first year undergraduate students, chiefly in Nuke.
Federico Arculeo – 3D VFX

Federico Arculeo – 3D VFX

Federico Arculeo teaches 3D VFX to our first year undergraduate animation and vfx students, introducing them to the principles of 3D Modeling, texturing and lighting.

After studying VFX with Escape Studios, Federico joined us as a Studio Assistant, during which he learned new skills such as Unreal Engine.

 Later Federico joined Framestore, working as VFX artist, and recently returned to Escape to teach 3D VFX.
Julien Rashti – Animation 1
Julien Rashti – Animation

Julien Rashti joined us in January 2023 to teach AN4001 “Locomotion & Mechanics” to our first year animation students.   Julien comes to us from MPC where he worked on animated films such as “Pinocchio”, “Disenchanted” and the forthcoming remake of Disney’s “Snow White“.

Julien Rashti is a 3D and 2D animator who also has experience in 3D Layout.   He has a Master’s Degree in Computer Animation.

AN4001 is a 15 Credit module that teaches the fundamentals of character and creature animation. The module lasts four weeks, and covers all the basic principles of animation from bouncing ball to locomotion and mechanics.

Marc Stevenson – Animation 1 
Marc Stevenson – Animation

Marc Stevenson also teaches Animation 1 (Module AN4001) to our first year students.

Marc is an experienced animator with credits on multiple Hollywood VFX films including Fast & Furious 6, Underdog, Beverly Hills Chihuahua, Avengers, X-Men – The Last Stand, Age of Ultron, Moon, and Victor Frankenstein.
Marc has also created many animation tutorials for our students, which you can find at our Animation Vimeo Channel. These are especially useful for beginners.
Steven Sole – Movement & Narrative
Character Designer Steven Sole

Steve Sole teaches our first year undergraduate students Movement & Narrative, a mini-module in Semester One in which students develop their skills in creativity, design, and visual narrative.

Steven Sole is an experienced animation character designer who comes to us from Framestore and from Tiger Aspect Productions, where he was Art Director on Mr Bean.

Clement Gharini – Cinematography

Cinematographer Clement Gharini

Clement Gharini teaches cinematography to our first year undergraduate students, in which students get experience with live action cameras.  He also teaches compositing to our 3rd year VFX students, and runs the motion capture pipeline at Escape Studios.

Clement Gharini started 20 years ago as a cameraman on productions such as Harry Potter and Mission Impossible.  Clement then turned to Visual Effects and became a Digital Compositor for 10 years, contributing to productions such as Game of Thrones, Doctor Who as well as Oscar winning Ex Machina. Clem also specialises in virtual production, creating photo realistic digital humans.

Michael Hunter – Photography
Michael Hunter – Photography

Michael Hunter is an experienced photographer whose work has been exhibited widely.  Michael teaches the mini module Photography and Composition, in which students learn to use DSLR cameras and shoot with them in manual mode in the streets of London.  Students learn about aperture, shutter speed, lenses (and what they do) and camera ISO.

Students also learn the principles of composition, the shape of images and how line, form, negative space and perspective all combine to make strong and dynamic visual imagery.

Dr Ian Palmer – TRAP – Teamwork Academic Writing & Presentation
Dr Ian Palmer – TRAP

Dr Ian Palmer, Principal of Escape Studios, teaches the Semester One mini-module Teamwork, academic writing, and presentation skills.


Dr Ian Palmer’s career spans developing taught programmes in digital media, games, animation and visual effects.  Ian began his career working on state-of-the-art software and hardware for communications and radar systems. His interest in research resulted in him studying computer graphics and developing animation software aimed at making realistic animation easier for non-technical users, developing the REALISM system which incorporated behavioural features into the animated objects themselves. This work led to him being awarded a DPhil based on this work in 1994.
Gregorio Piscitelli
Gregorio Piscitelli

Gregorio Piscitelli teaches the Art of Games to our first year students. This module introduces students to the basic principles of modelling in Maya, as well as texturing and lighting in a games environment.

Gregorio’s past and presents clients include Google Deepmind, ARM and the Tour De France.  Gregorio creates 3D assets and gameplay dynamics in Unreal Engine and Unity3D.

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