Following on from last Friday, welcome back to the Studios Assistant workshop, where Brad Collier-Brown and I share a few of the most common queries and solutions from the Escape Studios classroom, so you guys at home can learn a little something from us too.
So we have a new class of students for the Visual Effects Production course and I thought I’d quickly run through what this class has been up to recently and where they’re at now in their studies. We are currently on week four and they have just started their first major project after covering the ins and outs of Maya (the industry go-to package in VFX). So far, we have covered modelling, UV’ing, texturing, some lighting and rendering and a bit of Photoshop just to mix it up a bit. To put all they have learnt into practice, they have been asked to create a CG object, integrate it into a backplate and to make it look photo-realistic.
Welcome to the Studio Assistant workshop, with Ashley Miles and Brad Collier-Brown, and here's our debut issue. As studio assistants, our main job is to make sure both students and escapees are getting the most out of the Escape Studios experience, which involves answering a lot of weird and wonderful questions. We thought it'd be a good idea if we blogged a few of the most common queries and solutions every week, so you guys at home could learn a little something from us too.
Following on from yesterday’s post, I want to continue the discussion of why NUKE has revolutionised the industry and is an incredible asset to any compositor. The popularity of NUKE is largely down to its advancements in 3D integration, not only with its own user interface (UI), but also its ability to communicate with other packages such as MARI and AtomKraft. Being acutely punned as NUKE's 2.5D space, the 3D system has sped up the conventional 2D workflow in areas such as paint and roto, as well as depth compositing. This 2.5D space allows users to build rudimentary geometries, which can then be projected on, textured, lit, shaded and rendered as complimentary 3D assets or as part of a standard 2D workflow.
Here is an amazing chap called Michael Hansmeyer. Michael studied as an architect and programmer. He explores the use of algorithms and computation to generate architectural forms for artistic and commercial purposes.
The images of the forms that he creates are very intricate and beautiful...check them out.
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.
Last week Claire Anderson, Talent Manager at The Mill divulged some of the greatest tips and tricks young artists need to apply in order to cut it in the VFX Industry. I have to say; I couldn’t help but feel a little awestruck listening to our Training Manager and Claire chat away during the 40 minute webinar because of the room we were stationed at. It was like something from a bond movie – check out the pictures! Filled with The Mill’s previous conquests (let’s be clear that I’m talking about Oscars and Bafta’s here….) I kept expecting a drinks cabinet and a man with a white cat to appear from behind one of the walls. One thing’s for sure, The Mill certainly know what they’re talking about and have the awards to prove it.
Being relatively new to CG and to Escape Studios I am still astounded by the standard of work that comes from our students. Despite studying Media Production at University, where I majored in Scriptwriting, I never knew the actual amount of effort that goes into creating CGI. It gives me a completely new perspective on everything that I watch in the cinema and at home on TV.
Every year Sci-Fi London runs a competition inviting Sci-Fi fans and filmmakers to take part in a 48hrs film challenge. Armed with a title, a line of dialogue, a scientific theme and a specified prop, competing teams have two days to develop and make a 5 minute short film. The winning film is premiered during the London Sci-Fi Film Festival, and also benefits from a promotional platform through The Guardian newspaper website, as well as a development deal with independent UK production company, Vertigo Films.
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.
When Sue Rowe, Cinesite’s senior VFX Supervisor on John Carter, came in to talk to our students it was like a breath of fresh air. Reassuringly, despite having masses of technical and creative responsibility, her fundamental joy is much the same as the students studying with us – that blowing stuff up is what still excites her.
Industry proven among some great names in the VFX industry, SCRATCH has played a significant role for an impressive list of film and documentary titles. Developed by software vendor, ASSIMILATE Inc., it is the highly flexible and comprehensive tool for digital workflows, giving you a range of features at your disposal. SCRATCH can manage dailies, versioning, conform, colour grading and finishing all within one application. Often referred to as a ‘post-house in a box’, this tool has a great many qualities to impress.
Every month, Develop review the brightest and best courses and colleges in the world of Computer Graphics. And this week, we've found ourselves in the spotlight!
Those smiles pretty much tell this story! On 28th of March 2012 one of our Compositing classes had the exciting opportunity of having their work critiqued by two of MPC's finest: Christine Troianello and Doug Larmour and they loved every minute of it. The project they were asked to complete was a 115'" shot requiring both roto and keying which is taught on the course. The assignment was not without its challenges though! They had to deal with heavy motion-blur, integration of the key and the roto, as well as the amount of detail certain parts of the shot required. Toya Drechsler took the time to explain what the whole experience was like.
Facebook isn't just a great tool for knowing what's going on in the world but it's also the perfect place to showcase your work and sign up for the latest freebies.
Last night, Thursday 29th March, was the Art of 3D Visualisation event at the Barbican Centre, and we’re delighted to report it was a great success. To start with, the setting was spectacular. The Barbican is an inspiring setting for architectural design. The event kicked off in the conservatory terrace, a hidden treasure in the heart of the Barbican and a lavish space with a back drop of decorative tropical plants. This time was spent wisely, arming ourselves with a cold drink the proceedings moved to Cinema 3 where we and our guests were treated to four presentations from five fantastic speakers.
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.