When Nik Illingworth came to an Open Day last year, he was brimming with CG enthusiasm. He knew that he wanted a career in VFX but didn't really know how he was going to make it happen. After studying for 12 weeks with us, Nik was up and running. He finished his course, was offered his first job at Frametore and accepted it, then a short while later he decided to come back to us for 6 weeks of final professional training. He's now Effects Technical Director at MPC and still has the same love for the industry that he started off with. Nik's is one of many stories of CG enthusiasts who come to study with us and that's why we wanted to share his case study with you - getting a career in VFX off the ground really is easier than you think.
Here's my final post showing some work from the courses which have just finished. These clips are from escapees who were on the Visual Effects Production course taught by Dan Shutt. Again these are 'work in progress' and need a little more polishing but you can see they are both great ideas that have been really well executed.
Absolute genius on the part of the creatives at Leo Burnetts for Norton.
We've just had another round of courses finish and again we've seen some really great work!
If you work in TV or produce work for TV as a freelancer, you could receive between 50% (employees) to 80% (freelancers) off the price of four of our visual effects courses. These are online courses, so can be done in your own time. They are: Maya Core; Nuke for 3d Artists; Zbrush Foundation; and Advanced Lighting and Shading.
A common misconception amongst Junior Artists when preparing their first reel is that they have to come up with some overly elaborate and complex VFX shot to wow future employees. These usually feature exotic spaceships, massive explosions and weapons of mass destruction. It doesn't have to be like that. So, what makes a good CG shot? I had a chat with our Training Development Director and Maya Guru Lee Danskin to find out.
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.
I went to see Scott Pilgrim vs. the World at the weekend and I was taken with the visual style of the whole movie. Eccentric humour aside, the movie was pretty simplistic as far as plot is concerned, but the aesthetic complexity displayed was pretty amazing. The use of augmented reality styling with major references to to the likes of the Tekken franchise were really interesting to see.
"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!
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.
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?".
Those of you who follow us on Twitter will know that we had our first ever realtime Twitter feedback session on Monday. I am told I should refer to them as Tweetups or Twitter parties, but if truth be told, it was a simple, honest, online showreel clinic! We asked our followers to send us links to their reels, and Lee Danskin, our Training Development Director, provided his usual professional feedback.
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.
Now almost as hyped an event as the World Cup itself, the Nike ad this year starred a host of big names, from our own Wayne Rooney through to Franck Ribiery of France, Italy’s Fabio Cannavaro and even shiny Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal. Most people will have seen at least one of the shorter clips, if not the full thing, and the eagle eyed among you will know that the guys at the Mill were on hand to provide the VFX wizardry.
It’s been pretty busy for Nik since completing his VFX course a few weeks back. After a stint at Atticus Finch and then Framestore he’s now working at legendary post house MPC. We caught up with Nik, sat him down, and asked him what it’s like being the new FX TD on the block.