If you’ve not heard of Lee Danskin – well now is the time to get introduced. When it comes to Autodesk Maya, this is a man worth knowing. Director of Technology at Escape-Technology and the man who had a hand in creating Maya 1.0 (the 3D package that revolutionised the industry), Lee has enjoyed an incredible 18-year career working on high profile projects for some of the UK’s biggest VFX studios.
With a new year fast approaching, there's never been a better time to think about your career prospects and embark in something new. For those of you looking to step up the ranks as a VFX ninja, 2014 could be the year to make it happen.
What's the secret behind breath-taking visual effects? There are lots of elements we need to consider before answering this question – such as modelling, texturing and lighting your scene - but a pivotal point in the process of bringing a computer generated image to life, is rendering. And one man who has dedicated a great many hours into this area is The Mill's Head of Maya Development, Suraj Harrington-Odedra.
Get ahead with tips from our webinar with The Mill’s Thomas Knight. For the vast majority of people, making the jump from training in your chosen field to actually working in it can be a daunting one to make, and this is no less true in the competitive world of VFX. Once you’ve got the skills, how do you stand out from the crowd and launch your career as a VFX artist?
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again - the role of an artist is a complex and often challenging one. Every artist, no matter what stage you’re at in your career, will struggle with diminishing motivation and inspiration. It’s incredibly easy to slip into this state as we work ourselves into the ground, letting the pot of ideas run empty. But you are not alone! I know this because last week I spent three days at Reasons to be Creative in Brighton and was surrounded by artists and developers from across the creative industries, all looking for a fix of something that would get their creative juices flowing…
Tomorrow, August 1st, we're hosting a free webinar with Head of 3D and Escape tutor, Mark Spevick, who will be revealing some of the secrets at the heart of VFX. Introducing you to key techniques and exposing what this creative career is really like, Mark hopes to demystify the science behind the art.
Ever found yourself watching something with really cool effects and were left wanting to know how on earth they made that? If the answer is yes, then you’re not alone. We meet people like you every day here at Escape, and it’s your curiosity in the mechanics of VFX that shows you have the right aptitude to take it in and understand the technology behind it. VFX artists are curious beings by nature, who love experimenting with new technologies and ideas. It’s why they have so much fun in their day jobs.
Last week we were joined by Junior Lighting TD and Escape graduate Alastair Cross for a webinar that shows another side to VFX. The Hollywood side of VFX is probably why most of us want to work in the CG industry, but CG artists are putting their skills and knowledge to good use in lots of different areas. If you missed this webinar, the great news is we recorded it and the recording is now available to watch on our YouTube channel.
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a career in Visual Effects is far from boring. As far as careers go, this is an industry that keeps us on our toes, offering us a never ending number of new creative project ideas to be realised, fun new problems to be solved and new technologies to be developed. This is an industry that constantly pushes us to learn and discover more.
It's very easy to lose creative motivation and it's something every artist will experience at some stage in their career. We all got into Visual Effects to work in a creative career, so why stop living the dream? To remain on the cutting edge of creativity, sometimes you need to take yourself out of your comfort zone and remind yourself of the things in VFX that speak to you the loudest - because ultimately that’s what will drive your best work.
This was the 9th iteration of the CVMP conference, and it certainly lived up to its billing. The conference struck just the right balance between academic research and commercial production, providing a hugely rich and diverse array of ideas, challenges, successes and future endeavours.
Last Monday, November 19th, we ran a very popular webinar with Victor Perez, a master when it comes to using Python inside NUKE. A whopping ninety nine people attended this live webinar to hear what Victor had to share, and we’ve had an incredible number of requests from people who couldn’t attend to share the webinar recording. For us, this interest has been very encouraging, and we look forward to bringing you more webinars like this.
“Big things have small beginnings”, was an idea acknowledged in Ridley Scott’s Prometheus, released earlier this year. And for us, this statement couldn’t be more true. Taking the art of visual effects as a prime example, the spectacular CG you see on screens today was born from the most basic of concepts, and the people who created those effects invested significant time and energy to become the talented artists they are today. Every creative talent has to start out somewhere, and with the right levels of care and determination, it can evolve into something magnificent.
LinkedIn is a pretty awesome tool for lots of reasons, but one in particular is how it encourages some users to be quite industrious in their spare time. And a perfect example of this is how freelance digital compositor Vincent Frei has created a group called The Art of VFX. This is where Vincent shares interviews he’s had with a range of industry professionals working in VFX, offering us VFX geeks an inside scoop into what they’ve been working on.
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…
August’s free tutorial goes out to all the Compositors. Take this opportunity to breathe a little life into your projects, using some NUKE trickery. Based on a technique applied while working on Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Compositing tutor and Head of 2D at Escape, Davi Stein looks at how to enhance basic elements within your scene for a more filmic look.