A few weeks back, August 14th, we said our farewells to another class of Compositing graduates, ready to embark on a professional career in VFX. An exciting day for all involved, we had the opportunity to check out their end of course projects. Presented to tutors as well as fellow students, each project got some constructive feedback from the pros on where improvements could be made, and where their talents excelled.
The other night I had a quiet evening at home and decided to have a flick through the documentary section of iTunes and see what was new.
Hasraf Dullul is part of a generation of VFX artists first inspired by the film ‘Bladerunner’, since this early awakening, Hasraf, or Haz, as he is more fondly known by his contemporaries, has assembled a portfolio of some considerable weight; it includes a number of prestigious awards and world renowned projects. Batman: The Dark Knight, Planet Dinosaur and NOVA – Life beyond Earth, not to mention numerous VES (Visual Effects Society) awards nominations!
The most recent fruits of his labour have flourished in the form of his own VFX driven short film, ‘Fubar Redux’, which has been fondly described as ‘Animal Farm meets Platoon’ quite an intriguing round up right? Be sure to check it out here, we think it’s marvellous!
For all budding Compositors out there, Alexander Swann is joining us for an exciting webinar exclusive next Wednesday. Roto Artist and escapee, Alex has spent the last couple of years mastering the art of 3D painting and rotoscoping at Framestore. Showing some examples from the very recent, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, we recommend that you check this one out.
“Big things have small beginnings”, was an idea acknowledged in Ridley Scott’s Prometheus, released earlier this year. And for us, this statement couldn’t be more true. Taking the art of visual effects as a prime example, the spectacular CG you see on screens today was born from the most basic of concepts, and the people who created those effects invested significant time and energy to become the talented artists they are today. Every creative talent has to start out somewhere, and with the right levels of care and determination, it can evolve into something magnificent.
Today I discovered a VFX themed collaboration which includes one of my favourite YouTube faces, Harley Morenstein of ‘Epic Meal Time’. He joins competitive gamer, filmmaker and part time VFX technician ‘Freddie Wong’, making for an outright ridiculous, (yet entertaining) couple of minutes of VFX action.
Escapee Hasraf Dulull's fifteen-minute film is a true work of art! Set in an alternate reality with cats and dogs, it mixes some intense action with some serious drama, all emphatically enhanced by a unique animation visual style.
A film currently bringing an interesting element of humour to cinema screens in Ireland has been described as the heir to the “Shaun of the Dead” throne. This statement may not be far wrong. I won’t lie to you, the plot is a tad mental, but in that great tongue-in-cheek way that makes it the kind of film that will surely cheer you up at the end of a tough week. The film in question is Jon Wright’s Grabbers, and it’s one I hope you’ll all get a chance to see.
Despite all its woes over the first season, AMC's The Walking Dead amassed a huge following during its second season. Even though the story has arguably dragged at times, there is no doubting the fantastic special effects work that goes into each and every episode of the zombie thriller. Based on Robert Kirkman’s popular zombie apocalypse comic book series by the same name, The Walking Dead has captivated TV audiences for two seasons and is already whetting appetites for its highly anticipated third season, scheduled to air in the UK in October. The story follows a group of survivors, lead by police officer Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), who band together in the midst of a gruesome zombie apocalypse. The creative concoction that is The Walking Dead blends real-world and CG elements, characters, and environments. Artists at Stargate Studios, an international production services and postproduction company, merge that which is real and imagined, as well as dead and undead, into a convincing, cohesive whole on a rather impressive weekly basis.
Another year another SIGGRAPH and what a packed in week it was. This year, LA didn't just give us earthquakes, heat waves and the biggest burritos known to man but also a full week of presentations from some of the biggest and newest studios plus an exhibition hall packed with the latest technology from around the world.
Here is a quick summary and a few favourites from last week. These are just some of the things to check out:
Is your mind a whirling dervish of creativity? Do your ideas formulate out of the blue, and evolve from non-existence to intrinsically detailed visions, in a matter of minutes? Channeling these skills can be an adventure, especially if you enter an industry where the boundaries are seemingly limitless…
It is a truth universally acknowledged that Escape students possess a unique ability to intake an insanely-high level of caffeine. Some claim it assists their CGI wizardry in the classroom, others argue it's due in part to our breakout space housing the largest cappucino machine ever created by mortal hands.
August’s free tutorial goes out to all the Compositors. Take this opportunity to breathe a little life into your projects, using some NUKE trickery. Based on a technique applied while working on Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Compositing tutor and Head of 2D at Escape, Davi Stein looks at how to enhance basic elements within your scene for a more filmic look.
There have been some exciting changes at Escape Studios recently, and with that we are very pleased to welcome our new Relationship Manager, Anita Gribble. In this role Anita will have two main responsibilities. One is to work closely with post houses up and down the country to continue building on the industry coaching scheme we currently have for our full-time students. As well as this she will be helping to maintain our relationship with recruiters at a variety of post houses to further benefit our students.
It’s been a little quiet for a lot of Compositors this summer, but there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel. I’m hearing that some companies will be busy this Autumn and into next year. So while you’re waiting for that call, there are lots of things you can do to spend this down time wisely.