Dom, Mark and I were delighted to play hosts to Ed Vaizey – the UK Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries – yesterday.
I had an email reminder today that Siggraph is less than two weeks away. It got me thinking about travel and how many of us probably miss the good old days when we would all go to Siggraph on our annual trip. These days, we are not only too busy, it's also harder to justify when all the information we could only find in trade shows is now available at our finger tips on the Internet.
For some reason 'Digital Media World' popped into my head. Is anyone old enough to remember DMW? It was THE show to be at in Europe and was held in London every November. It was the trade show part of an awards ceremony called LEAF. I did a quick Google search, but couldn't actually find any links to DMW that I could point you towards - it's obviously that long ago!
I’ve been looking at the latest version of IKinema, and I reckon those of you out there who work on game animation might want to take a look at it. If you don’t know what IKinema is, the official marketing description is “A full-body animation technology that allows effortless run-time control of characters during game play to achieve full adaptation to a scene giving users a new game animation experience”.
It wouldn't be right to let Potter go by and not say a word about it?
Personally I loved it - the early days especially and finally HP7 which was amazing, even in 3D!
And for all our friends in Soho, it's also an end to something which has played a major part in the rise and growth of VFX in the UK. The Industry would have survived and prospered without it but I am not sure it would have had the meteoric rise it did if ILM had not passed the work over to this side of the Atlantic...
Chris Mulcaster is a great example of someone who got to where he wanted to be through hard work and determination. Chris studied our VFX Production course and it gave him all of the skills he needed to secure a job in the VFX Industry. But he didn't just study the course, he poured his heart and soul into it. This is the sort of dedication which pushes you to achieve great things and which sets you apart in a very competitive industry.
His films certainly divide modern critics and audiences alike, which is perhaps no surprise. In a Hollywood saturated with formulaic product for multiplex audiences, his films are an anomaly, breaking from a conventional narrative and featuring extended, languid shots of the natural world that often serve to emphasise his character's - and therefore Man's - insignificance in the face of events.
If you want to replicate the complexity of real world objects, you need to create materials that mimic them and this month's free tutorial will show you exactly how to do that. A car body is made up of lots of materials or layers, like metal and paint. If you want to create a rusty car you'll need more materials to create the common signs of deterioration. Many Maya users will be familiar with the 'layered shader' and 'layered texture' nodes. This tutorial asks what happens if you are using the MIA material and rendering in Mental Ray.
Here's another escapee reel for your viewing pleasure.
The Animation Festival ‘Annecy’ invited me to give a talk about my career as an animator and to lift the lid on a few Animation Mysteries as well. As much as I love working at Escape Studios, it was great to talk about my life as a freelance animator and some of the jobs that have shaped my career like ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit’ and ‘The Lion King’. It was also nice to see that people were interested in this too!
Finland native, Miska Janhunen had been working for his family’s visual design firm as a Webmaster for some time, but he harboured a dream of working in VFX. For years he has been trying to find time and flexibility to study CG. “Because of my location and current situation in life, it felt more or less ‘mission impossible’. Then, in the autumn of 2010, I found Escape Studios’ Online Mentored VFX course and all the pieces fell into place.”
When I see students go from first day newbies to fully-fledged VFX artists I can’t help but feel that they absolutely deserve it. After weeks of rigorous training learning how to create believable CG, the moment comes when they start looking for a job. And that’s exactly what happened to Pasquale Riefoli and Maria Busco who have both secured jobs at Double Negative!
I thought it was going to be one of those 'office' moments when a colleague pulled some papers out of his bag and said "you must see this"... He is important, so I paid good attention...!
As promised here's another escapee reel. This time from Ben Revens, one of our recent VFX graduates. This is a great reel with good examples of work from two of our most popular courses. The violin and tank shots were produced during our 12-week Visual Effects Production course. The more elaborate and advanced staircases shot was produced during our 6-weeks Visual Effects Professional extension which Ben took straight after his VFX Production course.