2D or 3D - which camp are you in? This age old fight is battled out by two of our studio assistants and it seems, there is a rather heated argument for both. I'll leave it up to the guys to convince you either way. If however, we can't resolve it in this post, a mud wrestle might be the only answer.
Ash Miles - 3D is just awesome.
There's certainly no doubt that the line between 2D and 3D is moving marginally closer, but lets be honest, there's still pretty big gap between us. I doubt the 2D guys could whip up a new Batmobile from scratch, or blow up The Enterprise, or rebuild Serenity. That's the great thing about 3D; the creativity. And I'm not showing off here, I know that 2D is complex. It involves adjusting and correcting other peoples work, whether its original plates, green screen footage or our own CG. We (The 3D Massive...) on the other hand, get to make stuff. We push, pull and knead models to our liking, sculpt and paint them, spin them round, animate them, admire them, then blow the life out of them. It's like working with your hands...except you're on a computer.
I completed the 18 weeks Visual Effects Professional course a year ago at Escape Studios, and I can assure anyone that the last six weeks of the Professional course is not only a tonne of fun, but also invaluable for anyone who wants to add a real world element to their work. After spending 12 weeks learning how to create photo-real CG, its so great to learn how to take it to the next step and add accurate forces to it. That could be ncloth flags fluttering in the wind, smoke chugging from a chimney, or particle dust blowing across the street. And of course, the massive explosions.
That's not to say 2D skill isn't essential to VFX work and that we certainly cannot live without the talented Compositors. However, as much as their technology is moving closer to ours - sorry guys, that also means our technology is also moving closer to theirs. SideFX, for example, have a full compositing network active inside Houdini (http://www.sidefx.com/docs/houdini9.5/nodes/cop2/) alongside their 3D tools, meaning advanced Houdini users can composite their own CG.
Of course, I'm not trying to sway you either way (well, I am...). We still need Roto guys and Compers as much as we need Trackers and Generalists. You could go either way. I guess, when it comes to choosing between 2D and 3D, you just have to ask yourself one question - Do you like being awesome?
Simon Richardson - 2D needs no clever title.
Do you like being awesome - what's he talking about?! Look, for many, the 'glam' of being a 3D artist is where it's at. However, without wanting to burst the bubble (Ash's in particular), the gap is closing fast. With the arrival of technologies such as Deep Compositing, Stereoscopic 'Ocula' and the Alembic file format, the Compositor is empowered with more freedom and control. This is not to say that we currently have the capability of replicating roles, but we are now more able to support a 3D-heavy pipeline. A great example of this is AtomKraft as it provides Nuke with the capability of shading, lighting & rendering 3D assets. The skill with 2D lies within the art of deception and an ability to get people to beilieve the unbelievable.
At Escape, we aim to tag team with the industry and follow the growth of these hybrid technologies. With the fresh arrival of our 18 weeks Compositing Professional Course and advanced exercises, we can now extend on where we left off with our 12 week Compositing training. Having personally had the pleasure of assisting the development of this new 6-week programme, I've reaped the benefits of learning these pioneering techniques, not only strengthening my knowledge in 2D, but in the 3D realm as well. We guide students through the learning of The Foundry's 'Mari' and 'Ocula', branching out to 'Maya' essentials, and more importantly expanding on The Foundry's 'Nuke', with my personal favourite exercise remaining the 'Destruction of Canary Wharf' (see main image).
In response to Ash's question, I will also ask you one. And that's a bit more soul searching. When it comes to choosing between 2D and 3D - Do you like being cool?
Whoah there boys! We hate to break-up good fight (especially on a Friday) but surely we're all on the same team really? But what do you think? Who's camp are you in? We want to know...answers on a postcard (or our blog) please.