news • 11 July 2024

What hardware do you need to study at Escape Studios?

In the vibrant world of digital art, imagination and possible opportunities are infinite. For the realisation of your art, the tools of the trade can be as crucial as the talent wielding them. Escape Studios, one of the UK’s leading schools for animation, games and visual effects (VFX) is known for nurturing some of the best creative minds in the creative industries and understands the importance of high-class hardware to bring your artistic visions to life.  

To study at Escape Studios, it is not mandatory to own your own machine. However, if you are looking into building your own workstation, our Escape Studios IT Team highlight some of the essentials for a smooth workflow. 

Workstation Essentials 

A robust and reliable workstation is the foundation of any digital artist’s toolkit. During your studies and your own projects, the demands of high-resolution rendering, complex simulations and real-time editing necessitate a powerful machine.  

While desktop workstations are more customisable, compared to a laptop they are less portable. Laptops also have less expandability than desktops. For those looking into the laptop option, one option would be a “Gaming” laptop, which provides a higher specification than a standard laptop. 

Core specifications to look at are listed below. Given the fast-paced nature of technology advancements, we will not be providing exact specifications as they are subject to change and dependent on personal budgets: 

  • Processor (CPU): The processor with its multi-threading capabilities is necessary for rendering and processing heavy computational tasks efficiently. CPU’s from AMD are cheaper than the equivalent Intel CPU but offers slightly less per-core performance.  

  • Graphics Card (GPU): A powerful GPU is indispensable for rendering, video editing and working with high-resolution textures. Generally, there are two main vendors, NVIDIA and AMD. In most cased either is good, however there are some specialist applications that might only support one or the other (usually NVIDIA).  

  • Memory (RAM): Sufficient RAM is crucial for handling large files and running multiple applications simultaneously without slowing down.  

  • Storage: SSDs provide faster load times and quick access to files, essential for smooth workflow and productivity. An additional HDD for extra storage can also be beneficial. To have enough storage for your projects, an average of 512GB is needed. 

You may find it helpful to check the specific requirements as advised for the industry software you will be using on your programme e.g. Unreal Engine or Autodesk Maya.  

Operating System 

With Mac, Windows and Linux competing in the operating system space, the best choice is the one that works for you. It is generally advised to check beforehand whether the necessary software is available for the operating system you are looking to use.

At Escape Studios, Windows and Linux are the systems on our workstations, as a lot of studios in the visual effects industry use Linux. We would not recommend using Mac as we have found it is not widely used in the VFX and games industries. 


To make your studies easier, a graphics tablet can be a helpful tool when working on your projects at home. While it is not mandatory, a graphics tablet allows for precision in digital drawing, painting, and sculpting, offering a more intuitive and natural interface than a mouse. 


Escape Studios provides a creative hub with cutting-edge courses and technology, teaching the most relevant industry software. While owning your own workstation is not mandatory, for more details for those who are looking into equipping themselves with their own tools, our IT Team provides a full guide on Hardware Requirements.