Diarmid Harrison-Murray is VFX Supervisor at world renowned post house MPC, the company responsible for the VFX in blockbuster films such as Godzilla, the Harry Potter franchise, X-Men, Prometheus and Life of Pi, and famous advertising campaigns for brands such as Samsung, Coca Cola, Sony, Three Mobile and Channel 4.
Before joining Escape, jumping aboard one of our courses back in 2005, Diarmid was working in photography, dabbling in some of his own projects while also working as a photographer’s assistant and digital re-toucher.
He confesses to having had itchy feet in this profession, and being frank, didn’t see any long term stimulation deriving from this career path, when upon an honest word from a friend in the CG industry, who, identifying his transferrable skills, informed him that the right level of dedication would put him in good stead for work in the world of CG.
An old friend of mine who worked as a CG supervisor at the time mentioned CGI as a possible career path. He said that it was a huge subject to try and learn, but that if I stuck at it, and had some talent, there were jobs on the other side. I don't know how serious he thought I was, but I took him at his word and started teaching myself CG. This was the beginning of the winding road that led me to where I’m sitting now.
Having thrown caution to the wind, Diarmid made his way to Europe’s most prolific CG Academy, Escape Studios, to hone his skills as a CG artist, and hone his skills he did!
The success of our escapees speaks volumes when it comes to reaffirming the learning culture we have here at Escape, so naturally, we asked Diarmid about his time with us, and what he remembers the most about the learning process…
I guess the thing that I remember most fondly is just being in a supportive learning environment in which I could just explore and experiment with both creative and technical ideas. Surrounded by really smart tutors, most of whom had come directly from the industry, and other like-minded students, really meant it was a time of accelerated learning.
Diarmid has gone on to work on projects with BMW, Pepsi, Nokia, LG, and Coca Cola oh, and did we mention Diarmid was the CG supervisor for the opening Bond sequence? A subject we are looking forward to discussing with him in more depth in our upcoming live interview.
It was a great experience and a real honour to work on something with such a legacy. It has always been a dream of mine to work on a Bond title sequence, and being the CG Supervisor for the project. It was very hands on!
With such a stellar portfolio on his hands, it’d be rude not to ask for some golden words of wisdom, from the man who has climbed this proverbial VFX Mountain…
Stick at it. Make sure you gain a good understanding of all areas of 3D, and then start to focus your mind on the area that really interests you. It's a huge subject and you can't do all of it. Also make sure you learn around the area that you wish to master. If you're into ZBrush and sculpting, then why not sign up for a real clay sculpting course? If you're into rendering, then make sure you learn about real cameras and movie cameras as well. You really need to try and develop a skill base that is broad and more abstract that just learning a bit of software. Software will drift in and out of fashion, and if you just learn a bit of software without considering the underlying principles you run the risk of the same thing happening to you.