Anim 1 Demo Reel and 2023 Schedule

Our first year undergraduates at Escape Studios study a common curriculum, ensuring that all our students get a full understanding of the animation, games and VFX pipelines.  Our core animation module – Animation 1 – finishes at the end of May.  AN4001 is a 15 Credit module that teaches all our first year students the fundamentals of character and creature animation. The module lasts four weeks, and covers all the basic principles of animation. To see some of the best work done by our first year undergraduate animators, watch the short video below.

Introduction to Maya


Yr 1 Animation

AN4001 is where our students first tackle Maya, and the basics of character animation.

Bouncing Ball
The class starts with this he basics – the classic “bouncing ball”, and builds up to complex locomotion and character actions.
This year the lead tutor is Julien Rashti, an experienced animator and a veteran of multiple VFX hits.

AN4001 – Animation Basics

“Foxy Tail animation by Maria Robertson

AN4001 is a 4 week “introduction to animation” module, where our first year undergraduate students explore the basics of animation, from a bouncing ball through to sophisticated motion.  Assignments include walks, runs, jumps and the use of live action reference to animate complex action.

Industry Brief
The module builds up to a final industry-related brief. You can see an example of project work below by undergraduate animator Maria Robertson, then in her first year of studies.

Tutor – Julien Rashti

Julien Rashti

Julien Rashti is our newest animation tutor at Escape Studios.  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 has skills in both 3D and also 2D animation – as we broaden our animation teaching to embrace the recent revival in 2D computer animation.

Marc Stevenson
AN4001 is also taught by veteran Escape Studios’ tutor Marc Stevenson, who has built up a comprehensive library of animation video tutorials, which can be found at his personal YouTube Channel here.  Marc’s animation tutorials are all free, and can be used at any time by any of our students to catch up on classroom exercises or develop their animation skills

Studio Assistants
We have a number of Studio Assistants helping out with AN4001, including Stevie Stedman and also Austin Hill.

Software – Autodesk Maya

Maya – still the leading 3D Software Package

The software we teach is principally Autodesk Maya, still the global leader and industry standard for animation and visual effects.

Toonboom Harmony

Our students on the new “2D Animation Pathway” may use Toonboom Harmony, Adobe Animate or Photoshop.

Vimeo Channel

We have 100s of tutorial videos at Vimeo

We have hundreds of videos available at our Vimeo Tutorial Channel. They are all password protected, so make sure to ask us for the password.

Escape Method
These videos form part of what we call “The Escape Method“, intensive classroom teaching combined with online support and industry engagement to mimic as closely as possible the experience of working in a real animation studio.

Start with the Bouncing Ball

Introduction to Maya
Maya basics by Michael Davies

Bouncing Ball – Intro to Animation
Bouncing Ball by Amanda Costa
For more on the Bouncing Ball tutorial by Amanda Costa, read this blog post.

Meet the Pixo Jr Lamp Hop!

Luxo Lamp Hop
Luxo Lamp hop cycle and performance by Alexander Williams
Also read this blog post.

Basic Walk Cycle with a Biped Primitive  
Basic Walk Cycle by Amanda Costa
For more on the basic walk cycle tutorial, read this blog post.

Basic Walk Cycle with a Human Biped
Basic Walk Cycle with “Heavy” from Team Fortress by Alex Williams


Character Walks with “Monty”
Character Walks with a Biped Primitive by Alexander Williams 
For more on the character walks tutorial by Alex Williams, read this blog post.

How to Stop Feet Sliding in a Walk Cycle
How to stop feet sliding in a walk cycle

Run Cycle by Amedeo Beretta

Run cycle with Rocket Girl

Run Cycle with Rocket Girl, by Amedeo Beretta
For more on the Run Cycle with Rocket Girl, see this blog post.

AN4001 Weekly Schedule
Classes began on Monday 9th January 2023 at 9.30am at 190 High Holborn, WC1.  Classes take place from 12.30pm to 4.30pm on Mondays, and all day Wednesdays and Fridays, from 9.30am until 4.30pm. Tuesdays and Thursdays are self-study days, a good time to watch out Vimeo tutorials and catch up.

AN4001 Calendar
Classes run from January 2023 until the Friday 21st May 2023. To see how the room allocations work, take a look at the table below: Animation is blue, Games orange, VFX in purple (3D VFX) and light orange (2D VFX).


2023 Calendar
AN4001 is taught four times, in four different groups.
After Easter 2023


Assignment Brief

Students will create a short animation between 10 to 15 seconds long. The animation must feature a biped doing a cyclical action (running, walking, sneaking, etc) and another action, which may or may not be cyclical (a jump, fall, punch, etc).

The actions should be combined in such a way in order to tell a simple story. Basic props can be made or downloaded from if necessary.  You can find useful rigs at UG Shares.

First year at Escape Studios – and 2nd, 3rd & 4th years

Escapees at the 2022 Oscars

To see more detail about how undergraduate animation and VFX works at Escape Studios, follow these links:

The Escape Studios VFX Blog offers a personal view on the art of visual effects. 

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