3D for VFX Students went into Soho this week, for a studio tour with one of the world leaders when it comes to groundbreaking Visual Effects, MPC. Escape Student Annie Rowland wrote about the experience...
So I've had a pretty eventful few weeks. We're working hard on our projects, but occasionally we get a kind of 'school trip' to visit the kinds of places we'll be looking to work at after we've finished the course.
We were lucky enough, on Tuesday, to visit MPC (The Moving Picture Company) in Central London. MPC are one of the global leaders in VFX, based not only in London, but all over the world, including Vancouver, Montreal and Bangalore to mention a few. Covering a hugely successful range of films and advertising campaigns as well as the owner of several prestigious awards, it was certainly intimidating to say the least! Their huge portfolio of work includes Harry Potter, The Lone Ranger, and Prometheus to name a few, as well as some very exciting upcoming projects like the looming season of Game of Thrones, and Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy.
In short, you'll probably have seen their fantastic work somewhere along the line. That advert with the cat singing in a bike basket? Yeah, that was them.
We were taken into a very smart screening theatre, where we were given a presentation by Matt, a member of the recruitment team. He explained to us their various locations, and the timeline they worked along. Their studios abroad will start work at the GMT equivalent of 12am, and then London will pick up where they left off in the morning, work through till six, where their base in Vancouver will take on from there. This essentially means they can operate 24/7 across the globe, which is an impressive feat! Their staff can often transfer between these locations too, which means there are lots of opportunities to travel around the world, and cover a huge variety of projects.
He then took us through the details of their pipeline, the different teams that make it up, and showed us some brilliant shot breakdowns which took us through the details, from concept art to compositing, and the final shots. The software they use for this is top notch, of course, and they even have a development team that create software specifically for the company. The industry continually requires better and better software, so this is an absolute necessity! We were lucky enough to see breakdowns from some of their recent work, such as Life of Pi and World War Z! The crowd simulations for the 'tumbling' scene in World War Z are absolutely mind-blowing, as on top of all the complicated animation, each of these zombies needs to be textured realistically, especially in some of the closer shots. It was a wonderful insight into how a global leader in VFX works through its process, and a fantastic look at how high the current standard is for visual artists.
All in all, it was a hugely inspiring trip, and it makes me even more excited to get out there and start working in the industry! I can only aspire to be as talented as some of the people that work there but give me a couple of years and we'll see!