Over the weekend we attended the London VES Career Fair & Tech Expo, and let’s just say it put Love Box to shame with the numbers who turned out for the event itself! Queues of aspiring VFX artists patiently lining up to speak to representatives from some of the world’s greatest post houses, including ILM, Framestore, Pixomondo, Method Studios, Cinesite, Prime Focus and Disney, really highlighted just how much competition there is to get your foot on the first rung of the ladder in the world of Visual Effects.
We are really pleased to have been invited to partner with The Foundry at the VES Career Fair and Technology Expo this weekend.
Doing a VFX course can lead your career in many directions. For many of our students it has been the launching pad for a career in post-production, for film, TV and commercials. Many students have also gone on to work in other areas such as games and architectural visualisation. We teach the fundamentals and practicalities of working in CG, paving the way for what you will eventually specialise in.
Welcome back everyone!! I hope you all had a cracking weekend. Right now we are going to pick up where we left off on Friday with FG Maps.
Scott Squires, of Industrial Light & Magic, has a blog called Effects Corner. Scott talks everything VFX, from artistry to wages. If you are looking to read the frank ins and outs of the VFX world then Scott’s blog is the place to go. Scott has 35 years’ experience in the industry and has work on film projects like Van Helsing, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer and Stars Wars: Episode I – Phantom Menace.
His articles are well written and packed full of industry top tips. He talks you through key skills like camera tracking and 3D match-moving as well as providing links to some of the latest visual effects news.
I recently went to see the Lucian Freud Portraits exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery. Wow! Intense, raw paintings that reflected his relationship to his sitters. I actually quite liked his early portraits that were very flat in dimension and lacking perspective in a stylised way. He painted the eyes of the faces quite large and dominant in the frame. But in most cases looking away, or 'blankly' towards the painter. This created for me a disturbing yet intriguing relationship between the viewer of the painting, me, and the personality of the person he is trying to portray. When we look at portraits or a picture of a person, we tend to look at the eyes first to connect in some way. Not being able to do that created a whole new approach of portraiture that I do not see often. Their eyes were wide, but not allowing a connection. The faces were rarely smiling and this one is a great example.
It's important to only isolate three separate elements per ID pass, or the technique becomes redundant. For example, if I had made both the windows and door red in the image for Part One of this blog, then any colour correction I applied to the red channel in NUKE would affect them both. You've already seen a broad example, but there's no reason you can’t use ID passes to focus on more specific areas of your render. The image above shows an example of an ID pass refined to specialise in the windows only. This kind of pass would be useful if the texture I added to the window transoms (red bits) had rendered far too dark, but everything else rendered correctly, as I would be able to adjust them without damaging the rest of my render.
The current VFX Professional class were assigned The Mill as part of the ‘Industry Coaching’ scheme, which is a new initiative for us here at Escape Studios. The main idea behind the scheme is that we invite established post-production houses in Soho to mentor our students as they prepare to enter the industry as VFX artists. The VFX Professional course is our more advanced course for students who have completed the VFX Production course or artists already in the industry who are looking to further their knowledge in the field. For these students, getting advice from professionals working in the industry is golden, helping them prepare better for what is to come. Emmy Castelain was among the group during this visit, and this is what she had to say about their time at The Mill…
Every month, Develop review the brightest and best courses and colleges in the world of Computer Graphics. And this week, we've found ourselves in the spotlight!
I was pretty shocked last week when the Coalition Government reversed its position in their dramatic Budget announcement. The UK government has declared its intention to establish a nationwide games tax break policy, in a manoeuvre that leaves the British sector in shock and jubilation. They stated: "Following consultation on the design, the Government will introduce corporation tax reliefs for the video games, animation and high-end television industries from April 2013, subject to State aid approval," read the official budget report.
A very sad day indeed for the comics industry and for all of those like me who grew up within the amazing and imaginative world of Moebius. I have always been an avid comics fan and for me, the two most influential peolple have been Stan Lee (he taught me very important words such as puny proverbiale and imperious rex) and Jean Giraud who I stumbled upon by accident. He introduced me to the world of french comics and it was a revelation. The French are masters of comic art and narrative, and the works of Moebius have inluenced all manner of media including some of the most important science fiction films.
His legacy will no doubt live on - a true inspiration. You can read the full article on the Geek Out Blog.
Here is my usual jumble of news to start off this week. There are tutorials, news of various software releases, a cool "Making of Rango", and really sweet advert for Twinnings tea, and lots more. Feel free to add anything I may have forgotten.
It's the time of the week when I share with you the news that picked my interest over the last seven days. This time, there are the following goodies on offer: a cool making of from Framestore, some great new tutorials, a trailer of Pixar's "Brave", a new trailer for Spiderman and lots of education news related to Michael's latest announcements regarding education reforms.
After an absence of a week, I am back again with my usual digest of news. This week, we have some great showreels from the likes of Pixomondo, a great trailer from Spiderman and even some tutorials.
This was hardly surprising news, but the positive spin put on this stat by Universities UK, was that the drop wasn’t as great as predicted. However, a decrease of 8.7% is significant, and demonstrates prospective students are unable or unwilling to pay the increase in fees imposed by the current government.
There were more women than men applying, but the biggest drop is not amongst school leavers, down only 3.6%, but from older students over 21 which were down significantly.
However, there was also a slight increase in overseas students applying here, and conversely more UK students are applying abroad, for example, Maastricht University forecasts 600 applications.
It’s not rocket science figuring out that fees of £9000 p/a over a three year degree, plus all living costs will be a considerable sum to repay, and for a non-vocational degree, it will require serious thought to justify. After all, if the degree studied will not guarantee a job at the end earning you X amount, then being saddled with that kind of debt is a hefty burden to bear.
Even the prospect of the student idyll and those first tastes of freedom living away from the parents, in the life of Riley, may now seem a little indulgent.
In our sector, Animation and Computer Graphic degrees are wide ranging and extensive, but this can be both their strength and their weakness. Yes, you may learn a wide range of skills, direct your own mini movie masterpiece, and if you’re exceptionally talented and hardworking, this film may lead to a job winning Showreel.
The reality is too often we see films that are either strong in one discipline but severely lacking in others, so making the overall effect disappointing. Or either, so many students have worked on one jaw dropping movie, that it’s hard to see exactly how much of a role any one individual played in the overall execution.
If getting a job is your top priority, fair to say it’s better to study an in-depth industry specific course, such as we offer here at Escape Studios, rather than something less focused.
Are you an aspiring CG artist who’s trying to get your CG career off the ground? Are you working in the creative industry and want to transfer your skills to VFX? We know how difficult it can be to make decisions and chose the right path, but that’s where our Careers Guide can help. By revealing the many opportunities that exist within the CG industry, the guide helps you overcome some of the hurdles you might face when you start making career choices.
There's all sorts of goodies in this week's edition of my News Round Up: we have free sofware from DAZ3D, some cool VFX breakdowns, the usual Oscar related stories, and lots of lots of news on the state of the UK education system. Hope you enjoy it, and as usual, I welcome your feedback.
When Amy Cuthbertson finished her degree in Music Technology, she didn’t expect to find herself starting a career in CG, but that’s exactly what happened. Wandering around a careers fair, Amy spotted the Escape Studios stand, got talking about her love of animation and the rest is history, as they say.