Escape Studios – Making it as a VFX Artist Open Day

 

Escape Studios Headquarters here in the UK is having another special open day for professionals and students a like. This time 3D Creative Director from world reknowned studio The Mill, Jordi Bares is taking the helm for the day and telling us what we need to know about being a VFX artist and why/how education can help.

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Interview with Head of Character Animation (Dreamworks Animation) Jason Schleifer

Megamind: Bad. Blue. Brilliant.This week I had the opportunity to interview a talented animator and mentor, who’s truly open to sharing his thoughts and experiences working in the film industry. He has worked on a number feature films and has always pushed to not only learn, but to educate others when it comes to character animation and the technical side of  setting 3d characters up for animation. Having conducted many workshops related to his expertise and continuing to be an inspiration for both present and upcoming artists. He is  a recipient of  Honorary Doctorate of Arts from Digital Media Arts College and a Maya Master Award recipient as well. I inquired what he thinks about animation and the industry itself. This is what he had to say…

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Are You What I Am Looking For?

Are you what I am looking for?

Sounds a bit like something out of a princess movie! Are you what I am looking for? (If you cued singing birds and dancing butterflies cut it out! I’m trying to be serious here!) My name is Tim Girard. I am a creative writer focusing on short stories. I have two animation projects developed, a horror story in the works and a bevy of stories waiting to be told. I have been an independent writer for more years than I can shake a stick at and recently began working with www.xomba.com as a freelance writer as well as Yahoo and a host of others. While I enjoy writing articles my true passion is in storytelling. As a freelance writer it is difficult to garner the appropriate, money making attention we all crave. On one of my recent endeavors I decided to go it alone, become a true independent artiste and I began the search for animation artists. In the process I learned a few things. From one artist to the next I would like to pass what I have discovered off to you in the hope what I am seeking will help you, the artist, the company, the aspiring animator, to hone your craft and be as marketable as possible.

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Super 8! and JJ Abrams

JJ abrams interview

JJ Abrams and an interviewer

Every once in a while, it is nice to have a comforting action movie. Aliens have been delivered hot, scary, and funny in the past but in J.J. Abram’s “Super 8” we get a square meal with an extra helping of nostalgia. (I assume for older folks, I saw E.T. and Close Encounters about the same time as Star Wars and Men in Black, so…) The point is, that J.J. wanted to give us the year 1979 not as it actually was, but as “how we remembered” it.

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NYC Events and Updates!

Clear blue skies, women coming out of their yearly slumber to reaffirm just how good exercise and dieting can persuade a man to do just about anything, and awesome events. Now for most of us, the summer is usually known for its lagging time, constant reruns on television, and of course blistering heat. That’s why most people tend to take their vacation in the summer. With all of the states and countries campaigning for a promising get-away, sun burned tans that peel with the slightest wind gust, and that brazilian wax you’ve always wanted–why should one stay home? You shouldn’t! Explore the world and on certain dates come to NYC and VA where some great and interesting events are taking place.

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The Art of Freelancing

Many times over the past few years I have thought long and hard about what would be the best way to deal with clients who offer low budget pricing for their production work.  So drawing on my experiences networking at conventions, internships and local screenings, I decided to ask a spectrum of professionals, traditional animators, motion graphic artists, illustrators, producers and directors to give their opinions on the following six questions:

1.  When is it okay to take Low paying jobs?

2.  How to handle clients that are clueless on the going rate.

3.  At what point do you stop taking low paying jobs and why?

4.  What is the value of freelancing in different states, countries?

5.  Thoughts on freelancing in New York City?

6.  The Importance of Unions.

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KUNG FU PANDA 2!!!

I find it particularly exciting to learn the back story of Po the Panda, after I got to meet him in the first “Kung Fu Panda.” It’s like the hand held lift you get from your buddy when you need to vault yourself through the air and fight a bunch of wolves. Po’s story of inner peace, identity, and ninja-bashing is given to us in a variety of forms. Either this is a ‘triptych’ metaphor or a ‘basket weaving’ joke,  I’m not sure which is best. The prologue of the film is a dusty shadow puppet tale, with a delicate paper finery that exceeds what exists in our world. The flash backs I imagine were created by a whispy 17 year old Japanese girl who grew up watching the Little Mermaid and after a long day at Dreamworks, ink brushes a private collection of anime woodblock prints. And finally, the main story is in excellent 3D animation. The tangibility of Lord Shen is frightening.

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New Graduate Program from the Moving Picture Company

One of the biggest VFX monsters have announced a new 8-week program for aspiring VFX students. This is aimed to help students improve there skills needed for the industry and to help with there studies. The program is broken down into 3 sections.

8 Week Summer School: Students will get to spend 8 weeks living in the heart of Soho and working alongside artists at MPC on actual film shots. They will receive live feedback from experienced artists on their work and gain valuable insight into life at MPC.

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Interview with Senior 3d Artist Steven Stahlberg

Lizard Poster

This week I caught up with Steven Stahlberg, an artist with 21 years of professional image making (11 years in digital form) experience and a forerunner when it came to 3d Character Modeling but also an exceptional 2d Artist in his own right. He has made his mark on the artistic community with his digital works and contributions, having conducted various lectures, workshops on courses related to cg. One of the first artists to have a digital character sponsored by a modeling agency, Elite in 1999. He has also won the Honorary Mention Price d’Ars Electronica in 1998, recipient of the Maya Masters Award and multiple Cgtalk.com choice awards. His works have been featured in Ballistic Publishing Books Exotique 1, Exotique 2, D’Artiste Digital Painting, D’Artiste Character Modeling, Essence, Spectrum 13, Spectrum 14. I asked him about his art and general process for creating his master pieces and this is what he had to say…

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Event – VES Career Fair and Workshop (US)

Another new exciting event for job seekers coming up in June. The Visual Effects Society in partnership with CreativeHeads are hosting a 1-day event at the Rennaissance Hollywood Hotel on Saturday June the 25th.

This is another excellent opportunity to network and greet people as well as talk to some of the big names in VFX and gaming and a chance to attend some workshops to brush up on some of your skills. Workshops are being hosted by the likes of Adobe and Side Effects.

For VES members it’s free for anyone else you have purchase a ticket for $25.00. To RSVP follow the link below and scroll to the bottom of the page to fill in the form.

VES Career Fair and Workshop

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