Meet Nik Illingworth – Escape Graduate and now VFX TD at MPC

It’s been pretty busy for Nik since completing his VFX course a few weeks back. After a stint at Atticus Finch and then Framestore he’s now working at legendary post house MPC.  We caught up with Nik, sat him down, and asked him what it’s like being the new FX TD on the block.

1. How did Escape Studios compare with your time at uni?

After finishing my university course I found myself hungry for the technical knowledge that would help me land my dream job. My first experience at Escape was so refreshing, though the hours were a shock at first!  At uni, it was a few hours per week of 3D tuition but at Escape you have an intensive 10am to 5pm lecture time plus the additional study time in the evenings. I matured as a 3D artist in a matter of weeks.

2. You've just got a job working at MPC - what's that like?

Working at MPC is brilliant! To be working in a team that created iconic commercials and films that have set milestones in the industry over the past decade is fantastic. 

3. What is your job title and what do you actually do?

My job title at MPC is Junior FX TD, and my day-to-day tasks can include anything from MEL scripting, Fluid dynamics, Rigid Body Dynamics, Particle Simulation and Fluid Simulation to Lighting and Rendering FX elements generated by the FX team and myself. My daily software toolset includes Maya, Realflow, Mental Ray and RenderMan.

4. Can you say what you're working on at the moment or is it all too secret?

I am currently working on numerous high-end commercials and other stuff that cannot be revealed at this date. My past experience includes films such as Clash of the Titans 3D, Your Highness and The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.

5. What inspired you to become a 3D artist and what advice would you give to an aspiring one?

As a child I had seen the film industry take a big step forward in the realm of visual effects, from Jurassic Park to Mighty Joe Young. I had always been amazed at what could be achieved on the big screen, firstly with special effects that then translated into visual effects. After watching a special features DVD from The Lord of the Rings (2001) on how Weta digital created environments to hero CG creatures, I was inspired by the possibilities and knew that this is what I wanted to have as a career.

0 Comments Garreth Gaydon

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Garreth Gaydon
Mon 19 Jul 2010: 5:29pm

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