About 18 months ago I quit my job as a support analyst for IBM, left the comfort of my friends and family in Dublin and moved to London to pursue my dream of working as a visual effects artist in the post production industry.
Last night, Thursday 29th March, was the Art of 3D Visualisation event at the Barbican Centre, and we’re delighted to report it was a great success. To start with, the setting was spectacular. The Barbican is an inspiring setting for architectural design. The event kicked off in the conservatory terrace, a hidden treasure in the heart of the Barbican and a lavish space with a back drop of decorative tropical plants. This time was spent wisely, arming ourselves with a cold drink the proceedings moved to Cinema 3 where we and our guests were treated to four presentations from five fantastic speakers.
Moving on from the presentation by Kevin Jenkins we turned our attention to Ben Morris who gave us the low-down on his role as a VFX Supervisor. As we watched the end sequence of War Horse, which is the part where we discover the fate of our hero’s horse, we all became a little misty eyed, but were quickly reassured by Ben that no horses were harmed during the making of this film. Needless to say, we were all very impressed with the great VFX work done by the guys at Framestore and how realistic the horse looked. Surely Mr Spielberg wouldn't have it any other way.
Last Friday, 23rd March, the students at Escape Studios had a much deserved break from the studio in Soho. It was nice to finally catch a bit of sunlight as all of us have been cooped up indoors, out from this amazing weather. However, the blast of sunshine was short lived as we were to enter one of the largest VFX studios in Soho.
Pixomondo, an international visual effects company with eleven facilities worldwide, have a very talented team right here in London. Based just off Old Street, the London facility opened in 2010 and is one of the more recent additions to the Pixomondo global network. The company is currently growing from strength to strength, and is working on some very highly anticipated projects such as Snow White and the Huntsman, The Amazing Spiderman, and the new series of Game of Thrones. Over the past five years, Pixomondo has provided VFX production and supervision for over thirty high-concept feature films, including popular titles like Hugo, Red Tails, Sucker Punch, Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, Super 8, Fast Five, Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief and 2012, to name just a few.
Check out the new official trailer for 'Prometheus' by Ridley Scott. The film will consist of the following all star cast: Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Guy Pearce, Idris Elba, Logan Marshall-Green and Charlize Theron. Conceived as a prequel to Scott's 1979 science fiction horror film Alien, it is in fact a separate story and is not directly connected to the Aliens franchise.
There are so many useful apps on the market and I have found a couple of super useful and cool iPhone apps for the VFX artist and digital photographer. Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be sharing these with you in a series of blog posts.
Pixologic are at it again! Another release of ZBrush (4R3) and not disappointingly they have added another bunch of cool new features!
What makes this taste even sweeter for ZBrush customers is that again the upgrade is completely FREE! Since day one Pixologic have never charged for an upgrade, which is pretty amazing. Of course it means it now has a huge following and user base. Quite smart really!
HP has partnered with DreamWorks since the beginning, helping the business mature into the well-oiled animation machine we know today. HP is responsible for the hardware platforms at the very heart of the company, with a storage infrastructure that allows the team to share data quickly and easily over a global network, as well as state of the art workstations and monitors for creating detailed and realistic effects. In the video above, the team at DreamWorks discuss how HP technology has contributed significantly to the company staying on the cutting edge and how this technology brought to life the 2011 production of Puss in Boots.
If you want to be taken seriously as a 3D artist you’ll need to approach your workflow professionally. This means being super organised when managing your assets and in this month’s free tutorial we are going to show you how this is done.
On Thursday 29th March, Escape Studios are hosting an event at the Barbican Centre that will discuss the art of 3d visualisation. Joined by four industry speakers this is an opportunity to discover how professionals in film and other media create stunning as well as captivating animated visuals. The event is aimed at anyone working in the business of 3d visualisation, whether that’s in architecture, design, engineering or media and entertainment. We would like to invite you all to this exclusive event as we expose the creative side of this visual form.
It's great to see our escapees leading the way in a new film from Skillset promoting the computer graphics industry.
As an avid zombie fan, I spend my days either killing zombies on the game console or watching them get hacked to pieces on tele (not to mention seeing one in the reflection of the mirror, the morning after a night of partying). One TV series which I'm sure most of you have heard of, is 'The Walking Dead'. Apart from the ghastly zombies and the characters of the show - one of the most common things people talk about is the lovely VFX. The talented guys at Stargate Studios are responsible for the VFX for The Walking Dead and they have just released their Season 2 showreel.
Enjoy, VFX/Zombie fans!
A few friends of mine have posted the Nike 'FlyKnit' commercial link on Facebook and I can't help but share it with you all because it's so cool. Nike is showing off its latest technology for the upcoming 2012 Olympics in London. It was created at Digital Domain, and is directed by David Rosenbaum and VFX supervised by Aladino Debert.
The whole shoe weighs a mere 160g (5.6 ounces) for a size 9 and has been worn by the first, second and third place athletes in the men's marathon at the 2011 World Championships. Nike released the Flyknit HTM Racer in London on Saturday 25th of February, to much anticipation.
I think you'll agree that the commercial looks amazing and stylish. It just makes me want a pair of these bad boys! Well done to the guys at Digital Domain!
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.
We have been hard at work planning our next set of video tutorials for you all to enjoy but right now, we are very keen to hear directly from you what sort of tutorials would help you most. Since we understand that you are all busy, we have put together a super quick, super simple 5 question survey, and all those who fill it in will get a chance to win a free Maya Essentials online course or a ZBrush for 3D Artist online course.
The fifth week of the Maya Core evening course is equivalent to day five of the intensive day time class, so we have now covered one week of the comparable daytime course. The advantage of the evening course is you have more time to soak in the deluge of information showered onto you, but the daytime class are constantly thinking in Maya so perhaps absorb it more thoroughly.
Pixomondo’s first Oscar was won for their contribution to Martin Scorcese’s 3D cinematic triumph, Hugo. Visual & Digital Effects Supervisors Ben Grossmann and Alex Henning were there to pick up the award, but the entire Pixomondo worldwide family contributed to the success, including a couple of escapees here in London.