Changing career is never easy. It takes lots of thought, and above all courage and commitment. But that's exactly what escapee Richard Sowerby did. He sudied multimedia at Cheltenham University and forged a very successful career as a systems/graphics analyst. It took him 7 years to pluck the courage to follow his dream of working in the VFX industry and start looking for courses in compositing. And boy, did his determination pay off!
I'm really honoured to have been asked to join a panel of speakers for a session on Continual Professional Development (CPD) Education and Training at the International Animation Festival (LIAF) in London.
I felt a little bit like an old-school headmaster last week, taking our latest set of compositing students to MPC where they were to have their work critiqued for the second time. Lots of worried faces trudged behind me - nerves apparent and laughter a little thin on the ground. As usual, all of their concerns were completely unfounded and they all actually left the place beaming and proud of their achievements. But I do understand how showing your work to a bunch of seasoned professionals can be very daunting - despite the team at MPC doing their best to make the experience a relaxed one for our students.
Following a commission from STA Travel Australia, director Rick Mereki, DOP Tim White and actor Andrew Lees, set off on an epic journey to shoot three short films. Themed around the basic elements of travel: moving, eating and learning, they somehow cleverly capture the enormity of their subjects, all within one minute of footage per film, quite some feat by anyone's standards.
Our friends at Autodesk have just announced that from 27 September 2011, selected 2012 versions of Autodesk software will be available for download for subscription customers. Autodesk Subscription Advantage Packs offer early access to new product enhancements, giving you the very latest in Autodesk software. Subscriptions are available to contract managers, software coordinators or anyone who has been granted access to Autodesk product extensions.
Some of our escapees are appearing in Arch 21 - an exhibition which is showcasing great student projects in architecture and VFX. Carlos Lora is one of the team responsible for organising Arch 21 (Pictured in the very centre) and was a student on our VFX for Production course which finished in April this year. Congratulations to you Carlos, it's quite an acheivement already!
If you're interested in Architecture and VFX, you should definitely go and have a look at the work being exhibited. With over 50 architecture students, graduates and VFX artists presenting their most recent work, it promises to showcase some amazing talent. The exhibition is at Blackhall Studios in Shoreditch from the 3rd to the 14th of August 2011 and is open from 10am to 8pm daily with the closing night being held on Saturday 13th of August.
Both animation enthusiasts and novices alike, will be delighted by The Barbican Centre's brilliant animation show Watch Me Move. From Winsor McCay's 1914 classic Gertie the Dinosaur, to Steven Spielberg's T Rex in the 1993 blockbuster Jurassic Park, the exhibition educates and entertains in equal measure.
There is one television series that got us all excited here at Escape Studios this year. I am sure you can already guess which one it is... Yes, you got it, it was The Game of Thrones. There have been many discussions and debates about it over coffee in our office. So much so, that I decided it was time we featured BlueBolt on our blog.
In honour of the recently released Autodesk Entertainment Creation Suite, Escape Studios are hosting a webinar to highlight some of the nifty tools in this 2012 version. Maya guru Lee Danskin will be walking through how these artist driven tools can assist with multiple pipelines without compromising on creativity. With one click solutions that give faster results, this new edition promises to increase creativity, flexibility and productivity, and won’t burn a hole in your wallet.
Here is something cool to brighten your Friday afternoon and to prepare you for the weekend. It has been doing the rounds this week, and was even featured in the Metro earlier in the week.
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.
Matt Clinch is an Associate Partner at world renowned architectural visualisation practise Hayes Davidson; we asked Matt to give us some feedback on one of our recent online courses, V-Ray for Max, and here is what he had to say.
I was driving home from work last night, and as per usual, I tuned into the PM program on BBC Radio 4. Among the usual daily political squabbles about the Hacking Scandal, the debt crisis in America and the conflicts in Libya and Syria, there was a piece about the 2011 Sats results that caught my attention. Well, when I say "caught my attention", I actually mean that it left me reeling with anger and bemoaning the fact that we so often fail children. Let me explain...
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.