A common misconception amongst Junior Artists when preparing their first reel is that they have to come up with some overly elaborate and complex VFX shot to wow future employees. These usually feature exotic spaceships, massive explosions and weapons of mass destruction. It doesn't have to be like that. So, what makes a good CG shot? I had a chat with our Training Development Director and Maya Guru Lee Danskin to find out.
"Dad, can we go to the cinema?" Yes it was that time of the summer holidays when the children will do anything to get out of the house. I exclaimed "But we have already seen everything that's any good!"
If you are a user of any software package you'll know that at least once a year software developers deliver an update. Autodesk's Maya 2011 was no exception. 3D users had become accustomed to Maya's UI over the last 10 years but Autodesk thought it was time for a change, enter Maya 2011. So this release brings all sorts of challenges for the diehard Maya user, it has a new interface... I hear the screams of "where did you put that" and "what on earth does this icon represent"!
Hollywood's most successful cartoon rabbit is getting his turn to shine in the new 3D entertainment medium, as Warner Bros has confirmed the making of a 3D Bugs Bunny movie. It won't be the first time Bugs has been on the big screen. In 2003 he made a silver screen success out of Looney Tunes: Back In Action, and who could forget the time he starred alongside Michael Jordan in Space Jam? We spoke to Alex Williams our new Animation Tutor to get his opinion on 3D characters and whether this means that the animation industry is changing for good.
If you want to gain more production-level modelling skills, this is a great tutorial. It’s taken from the final part of our Advanced Shading with Maya online course and looks at the steps needed to create a realistic render, by adding bump detail with procedural textures and making use of effects.
Last week, I had the pleasure of judging the short films produced by the graduating class of 2010, BA in Animation at the University of West England. The top prize up for grabs was our new Self-Directed ZBrush Course, and the top five contenders for the winning spot were (in no particular order):
As part of our ongoing commitment to the US, we have recently been on a whistle stop tour of California visiting all of the leading lights in the VFX and animation industry. Lee and I were lucky enough to visit the likes of ILM, Pixar, Dreamworks, Sony Imageworks and Tippett Studio. It was like walking into a living museum of the best VFX and animation has to offer, from the original costumes and matte paintings from the Star Wars series to the giant Luxo Jr outside Pixar's HQ. We were completely in geeky film heaven. Lee's excitement at seeing models and maquettes from some of his favourite movies was very obvious. For those of us who know him, well there is no volume control!
Now almost as hyped an event as the World Cup itself, the Nike ad this year starred a host of big names, from our own Wayne Rooney through to Franck Ribiery of France, Italy’s Fabio Cannavaro and even shiny Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal. Most people will have seen at least one of the shorter clips, if not the full thing, and the eagle eyed among you will know that the guys at the Mill were on hand to provide the VFX wizardry.
Today we’ve launched a brand new set of online mentored learning courses to offer a helping hand to international grads and drive the next wave of computer graphics talent. The twelve-month course offers the same high quality, interactive training experience as our flagship Visual Effects classroom course.
It's great to see entries coming through for our Graduate Design Awards. Just a quick reminder you need to upload your show reel to our YouTube channel and then complete your entry by sending your contact details to email@example.com. We need your name, showreel title, email address, telephone number, year of graduation, university and course attended.
As many of you will know, we are running our first Animation course with our new tutor Alex Williams starting on July 5th, and we still have a couple of places remaining. If you are interested in learning how to become a professional animator, and want to take advantage of Alex’s expert knowledge, then please get in touch to reserve your place. There are only a couple of weeks to go, so make sure to get in touch straight away!
We are all looking forward to the UGM tonight with our very technical friends at Pixar! Over 200 people in attendance... should be a great night and plenty of Escape $ behind the bar!
Meet our new animation tutor, Alex Williams who comes from a rich tradition of 2D animation. With over 20 years of industry experience that includes work as a storyboard artist, character designer and animator on more than 20 feature films for Disney, Universal, Warner Bros, Fox, DreamWorks and Sony, his film credits include animated masterpieces such as 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit?', 'The Lion King' and 'The Iron Giant'. His most recent work includes animation for the Oscar-winning 'Monster House', as well as 'Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince'.
Frank Frazetta, one of the first and most influential fantasy artists in the industry, died last week aged 82.
If you haven’t seen this already from our tweet a while back, you must check out this awesome piece of work from Patrick Jean.
Following the Pixar masterclass, we asked Pixar’s Andrew Gordon to share his tips on creating a fantastic animated sequence and tell us how he came to work in the industry and at Pixar.