Skillset have recently announced a new funding scheme which will allow individuals working in the UK film industry to apply for a bursary towards various types of training. The scheme is aimed at increasing the high-end visual effects skills within the film industry so individuals who want to get additional training under this new funding can identify a course or a training provider that meets his or her needs and apply for bursary from Skillset.
It's been a few years since Paul Debevec produced his paper with Jitendra Malik, Recovering High Dynamic Range Radiance Maps from Photographs, at SIGGRAPH. Since then, people all the world have begun to generate high dynamic range still images and probes - essentially capturing all the light information from a scene in mulitple passes using digital cameras and then merging these into a single HDR image. A simple web search for HDR Images in google images will present you with an array of hyper-real looking images, or try here for some examples.
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.