Few VFX artists can claim to have as prestigious a career as Paul Franklin. From junior VFX artist to co-founder of Double Negative, one of London's most prestigious post houses, Paul has been on quite a journey. He's worked on some of the most memorable and successful films of recent times, titles such as Batman Begins, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince and The Dark Knight. His work has brought him nominations for an Oscar and two BAFTAs along the way.
"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"!
I spent my weekend at IBC in Amsterdam, poor me I hear you cry!
For the hardcore 3d artists who have been doing this for many a year, it's sad to see an iconic brand lose its identity after such a long and illustrious career. it has always been a love hate relationship for ATI/Nvidia among all 3D artists. I come from a time when graphics cards in PC's where absolutely atrocious; that was before VGA and when 4 colours was a big deal. There was I, with my silicon graphics 4D20 and a geometry engine running GL. How advanced was I?!
Stereographic: looks like this time it might be here to stay. But with differing techniques in post and production and delivery mechanisms still in flux who's getting it right?
So, to celebrate the launch of our Online Mentored VFX course, we have decided to go mad and give away for free the first week of the course to fifteen lucky people.
I had a picture sent to me from an old colleague this week (above). It was taken in the "fake" Getaway pub on the 4th floor of SCEE’s (Sony Computer Entertainment Europe) offices in Soho.
For me the best movie so far this year has to be Christopher Nolan's Inception. it will be interesting come Oscar time to see if the Academy and the world at large agree. It is a fantastic combination of amazing direction and cinematography, a gripping script and amazing VFX. The best VFX are the ones you don't see and only afterwards do you think "How did they do that?".
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!
Our friends at 4DMax are 3D data capture specialists and have been blazing a trail recently with their work scanning heads, bodies, objects and environments for some very high profile VFX movies. We’ve tried the technology here at the Escape Studios’ offices using the heads of a few weary volunteers to see how the technology works. The results are amazing!
Our friends at Chaos have just released a brand new fluid simulator plug-in for 3ds Max called Phoenix FD. The new plug-in is designed to make it easier for artists to simulate fire, smoke and haze more realistically and accurately than in 3ds Max alone.
Autodesk have just releasd a brand new Hot Fix for Autodesk® 3ds Max® 2011 and Autodesk® 3ds Max® Design 2011.
We all know that finding your first job in the CG industry can be tough, but we have good reasons to feel pretty confident about future job prospects. That's because the industry has seen growth for the ninth year in a row. There are jobs out there and I am particularly well placed to comment as I sit opposite our Recruitment Team and so I get to hear everything about the jobs they have available. Over the last few months, they have all been incredibly busy, and that's good news for all aspiring artists.
We’re really excited about this month’s free tutorial because it’s taken from our new soon-to-be launched ZBrush Course. This tutorial is great if you’re looking to up your ZBrush skills to an advanced level. It’s an in-depth tutorial that demonstrates how to use tools to create fine details, specifically ‘Wear and Tear’ on a pre-made Gas Mask model. Plus, it’s only 12 minutes long so you’ll be able to squeeze it into your lunch break.
It’s always great to find out how escapees get on after their training and enter the world of work. Last week, we met up with ex-student Robert Holmes out at SIGGRAPH. Since his time at Escape, Rob’s gone on to work on some amazing projects at The Mill. He took time to tell us how he got his break and what’s needed to be successful in this industry.