How does someone go about getting a Junior Compositor role at an international VFX studio like The Mill? Well in this month’s tutorial Simon Richardson reveals how it all started for him. From experimenting with Adobe’s After Effects at University, Simon was introduced to basic keying techniques in a layer based system. And this was when the seed was planted that would flourish into him conquering NUKE, and working at one of the top VFX studios in the world.
F1 fans out there may have found themselves watching a new animated series over the last few months, following the fictional antics of McLaren drivers, Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button.
With the help of some top class industry speakers, cinemas in a handful of the world’s most prolific post houses, a dedicated team of Escape staff and some fantastically helpful VFX Marshalls, it is no surprise the UK’s first ever VFX Festival, was a storming success.
As you probably know Escape Studios organised and hosted the UK’s first VFX Festival last week with events, seminars and master classes taking place across London. The VFX Festival went down an absolute storm and was a fantastic platform to demonstrate the success of the UK’s ever-expanding visual effects industry.
Last week saw the UK’s very first VFX Festival, hosted by Escape Studios—a four-day spectacular exploring the breath-taking world of visual effects. Our industry pals and we celebrated the last decade of VFX with a jam-packed schedule of exclusive events, and it was our tutor-led workshops at Escape HQ that seemed to particularly whet the appetites of all those budding VFX artists out there.
Want to be a part of a European forum to discuss the latest research, advances and state-of-the-art industry practises?
Last Thursday, Escape Studios launched the UK’s first VFX Festival with an exclusive panel debate made up of the industry’s top flag bearers!
Step into the mind-blowing world of VFX with The VFX Festival! Escape Studios has created the first ever four-day festival exploring the breathtaking world of visual effects, held in London on 10th-13th October.
Celebrating a decade of UK visual effects, the festival will be packed with the most respected VFX talent, visionaries and companies who have helped shape the industry. Offering inspirational insight behind the clever trickery in this booming VFX industry, with an exciting four-day programme packed with insider knowledge and information, showreel demos, hands-on workshops and exclusive premieres, it's perfect for those with a creative talent or thirst to develop their VFX Career.
Last Wednesday we sauntered down to our friends at Saddington Baynes, devoured some gourmet Pizza, washed it down with some ice cold beer and cleansed our pallets with some invigorating VFX related conversation, all in the name of our second graduate reunion…who says you can’t mix business with pleasure? And with a high calibre of industry employed attendees from the likes of Double Negative, Framestore, The Mill and MPC London, conversation was rife.
IKinema has been the go to plug-in for Autodesk Maya when it comes to creature and model animation especially after their performance on smash hit films like Wrath of the Titans and X-Men: First Class. With the release of IKinema Action 2 in April there was a bit of a buzz around the newest features included in the latest version (check out my previous blog for more details!)
I have found that there are many advantages to studying at Escape Studios. Aside from the obvious vast amount of knowledge that you acquire, you also get to visit and meet some very cool places and people. Last Friday we had the pleasure of visiting Framestore for a presentation with Ben Frost and Chas Jarrett to hear about their experiences working on the second Sherlock Holmes movie - A Game of Shadows. In particular, they discussed with us the typical hurdles and constraints they came across and what we as VFX artists may expect to experience working in the VFX industry.
A recent venture undertaken here at Escape was to invite established post production houses in Soho to coach our students, to offer them direct feedback on their work here at our studio, and subsequently helping them prepare for what is expected once they enter the industry. On Thursday, 12th April 2012, the alumni class of Studio 5 attended the final coaching session with Framestore commercials, where they got to present their ‘end of course’ project to the VFX producers for feedback. Charles Downman was among the group presenting work that day, and here’s what he had to say about the experience...
IKinema is a UK based company with a great technology for quick full-body solving and animation. Their flagship product, IKinema Action, is a plug-in for Maya that enables artists to rig characters as well as stream, retarget and record motion capture data, in less time. It is also a very cost effective solution.
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.
We believe it's crucial for students to not just have a thorough knowledge of work flow and software, but also understand the VFX industry and pipeline where they will work. So during their course we invite established post production houses to coach them, this means they get direct feedback on their work from respected VFX supervisors.