While the days are cold, the nights are long, and we’ve seen the back of Christmas and New Year festivities, at one point or another, we all find ourselves daydreaming about the return of the summer sun. The smell of sun cream, the call of the beach, and the excuse to whack on a pair of shades, making ourselves look AT LEAST 20% cooler, is but a dream away at this, the tail end of January.
Joy riders are a worry in many communities, and at a time of year when the icy roads have us all thinking twice about our speed, here’s a little bit of CG that lowers the speed limit.
Having started a VFX course here at Escape Studios, I’m keeping a diary to share with you on how the course is going. Here's my update from week 11!
Many 3D fans will be aware of the power of Maya, and the influence it has on the world of VFX, from blockbuster films to major games series, Maya is one of the most incredible creative tools on the planet. But like a pack of Arctic Huskies, it demands time and attention if you wish it to take you voyaging across the vast plains of 3D.
We hit a Social Media milestone last week, obtaining our 10,000th follower on Twitter...10,000! So to celebrate this, we thought it only right to catch up with the man who took us to the 10,000 mark.
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.
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…
Last night my partner in crime (Fellow marketeer Ellen Payne) and I were fortunate enough to attend an exclusive premiere at Framestore’s in-house cinema to see Snow White and The Huntsman and wow – it was good. After a long busy day in work, I didn’t really have any expectations of how good the film might be (in fact, I was more excited about the possibility of an end-of-day cinema snooze). But no such luck, the film was awesome! And I sat wide eyed for the whole 127 minutes. As well as the dashing huntsman (Chris Hemsworth, Thor), the Visual Effects was nothing short of incredible. From the dark army made of a thousand shards of glass to the oil-dripping evil queen Ravenna and sparkling gold animated mirror, it really is a feast for the eyes.
I came across this video the other day and as well as making me laugh (for quite some time...) it got me thinking. How many film / cinema buff type people exist out there who are secret VFX stars in the making? I'm talking about the naturals here, the people you go to the cinema with who appreciate the stuff that doesn't even cross your mind, or the friend who is an absolute Playstation wizzard. Sometimes, putting two and two together doesn't come easily and associating your love of film or great visual trickery with a career are poles apart. Or sometimes for whatever reason it just isn't possible. Because of family or work commitments maybe becoming the person who's sat behind the cinema screen, rather than someone who's watching it just wasn't an option. So watch the video let us know if the bear is familiar!
2D or 3D - which camp are you in? This age old fight is battled out by two of our studio assistants and it seems, there is a rather heated argument for both. I'll leave it up to the guys to convince you either way. If however, we can't resolve it in this post, a mud wrestle might be the only answer.
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.
When it comes to catching recruiters’ eye, it’s all about looking good. And this is when only the best showreels will cut the mustard. You have 10 seconds to impress and there is no room for error or work that you're half hearted about.
The quality of work that our students create during their Visual Effects Production course is always awesome and there's no doubt it's getting better and better. When you consider that every student doesn't just attend their daytime lessons. They have to find, track, model, light, texture, render and composite a shot in just 6 weeks that shows the extent of their ability. One of our former students and now Studio Assistant Ashley Miles remembers how stressful it can get.
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.
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.
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.