We are proud to congratulate Helen Streeter on her new position as a runner at The Mill. Helen recently completed the character animation course at Escape Studios, and worked hard on putting together a showreel demonstrating her animation skills. The Mill is one of London's leading VFX houses and recently re-opened its film division following strong successes in commercials and music videos. The biggest hurdle in visual effects is always getting that first job and we couldn't be more pleased for Helen - congratulations.
If you want to create a seamless finish for your CG scenes, this is the video tutorial for you. This month, I've created a tutorial that explores how paint effects can be used to embed models into backplate environments simply and easily.
What's in this Tutorial?
First off, we'll take a look at paint effects and will explain how you can paint onto geometry. In order to do this, you’ll need to understand the importance of an object's UV which we will discuss as well. You'll then learn how to access a host of preset paint effect brushes that you can find in Maya.
Starting out in VFX can be difficult for junior artists, but the best place to start is your showreel. It needs to be compelling and to demonstrate all the technical skills that you possess.
My walk down memory lane continues...
I went on a simulator ride called 'Slot Car Boogie' at the weekend. it was actually made by some old friends at Rocket Films in Bournemouth quite some years ago. 1996 I believe! Rocket Films are sadly no longer trading but it lead me to wonder who makes these kind of films today? It's hard to find any reference of it in the UK, which is a shame as we were obviously quite good at it.
This work would have been done on a Silicon Graphics machine running PowerAnimator. To put this into perspective, this would have cost around £60-80K for the SGI hardware and the software for just one artist... Oh, how lucky we all are now!
If you know of any companies that do this type of work in the UK, do let me know.
As with most of my memory lane trips, the memories were normally pre Internet revolution. I have however found this on YouTube, Slot Car Boogie by the originator Ian Williams.
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!
A few weeks ago, I wrote about how buoyant the VFX industry is and how Senior NUKE Compositors are in high demand. Well, the surge in demand for mid-level and senior artists is continuing. With some of the biggest releases for 2011 and 2012 (films like The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn and War Horse) being worked on in London's Soho, the post houses have never been busier.
I met up with Jon Wadelton at The Foundry a few days ago and we had a chat about what's new in NUKE 6.3. Here's what he had to say.
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.
How VFX artists can seize the opportunities of this changing landscape
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!