As our reputation for vfx training grows, we get more and more calls from various people asking us to do complex visual effects and animation for free. After all, students don’t expect to be paid. They need experience, right?
One of my favorite things about Houdini is the diagnostic tool used to identify missing images in a render.
When your average render engine goes to do a job, it begins by loading referenced geometry, images and whatever else might be needed for a given frame. If an image is missing, it won’t show up in a render.
Recently I was part of an interesting discussion about doing things the “correct” way in a VFX production pipeline. Specifically, we were talking about scene scale and relative object scale. In general it is a good idea to build geometry to “correct” scale and to build scene environments to “correct” scale so that for any given situation, any arbitrary object will just drop into any arbitrary scene and fit without puzzling over math and doing research to check real scales and make adjustments.
Cast shadows, we are told, are the sharp shadows you can see cast by an object that is lit by a light source like a sun or light-bulb while contact shadows, apparently, are those kind of indistinguishable darkenings without a discernible edge that seem to appear as an object gets close to, and touches, a surface, like a car tire on the road on a cloudy day.
This region has established itself as the largest visual effects hub in North America. Tax credits and the lower Canadian dollar initially attracted investment in our industry. Hard work and exceptional talent kept in here.
Smart people tend to come to CG Masters for visual effects training. Often these smart people will already have a credential from another institution, usually an accredited university. Sometimes they have completed a visual effects training program at a university. You’d expect this to be a very good thing. After all, they have shown resilience, commitment, and perseverance.
The culture of animation and visual effects today embraces the concept that the production line must be in constant crisis which forces us to work insane hours to do impossible things. It repeats again and again that there is nothing we can do about it because “That’s just how the business is”.
Senior figures from the VFX sector have dismissed union concerns over working conditions – with the co-founder of The Mill suggesting that disgruntled staff should leave the industry.
Being a great commercial digital artist only BEGINS with your technical and aesthetic skills. Beyond this, it is about how you work in a collective, whether or not you maintain situational awareness, plug in to your team resources, share information openly and seek collaboration. Unfortunately, today’s world is all about social individualism. Do what makes YOU happy.
I have had quite a few requests from people to “pick my brains” over a beer and learn the secrets of great lighting. I’d be happy to do this, but I can’t. In order to explain why, you’ll need a little background, so here it is: