Learn to create your own digital objects, and to proficiently paint and animate them. Rendering and compositing can create many snags, but don’t worry! You will learn to proficiently navigate your way through the creative process. Make photo-real CG images in your very first term!
Digital Animation & VFX – Term 1
Term 1 Courses
Core Skills. Learn to create your own digital objects. Paint and animate them. Render and composite them. Make photo-real CG pictures in your very first term!
At CG Masters School of 3D Animation & VFXl, Term 1 begins with core skills.
You will learn to create 3D models of cars, robots, spacecraft and other hard shapes. Next you will learn to paint textures for your models. Your rigging class will teach you how to set it up for animation and your animation class will teach you how to give it realistic motion. You might even learn to blow it up. After that, you will discover the fine and rare art of lighting and shading taught by one of the finest and most experienced lighting and shading gurus on the planet. Here is where your work will really begin to stand out from others.
With gorgeous renders under your belt, you will go to your compositing class where you will learn how to key greenscreens, rotoscope, track and blend different layers seamlessly, even computer generated layers with live footage that you shot yourself. Students will take classes in drawing and photography.
We teach drawing so that students will learn how to see the world as an artist does; without the flawed perceptions of human intellect and fuzzy observation. We teach photography not to learn how to make photographs, although that will certainly be a happy side effect, but to teach optics and camera technology. You see, every digital artist working in 3D uses a virtual camera. And this virtual camera has essentially the same settings and functions as a real camera. Most artists working in the industry today do not understand even the most basic aspects of camera optics. Here is where you can set yourself above the rest. For if you do not understand photography, how can you be a virtual photographer? If you do, you are rare and valuable. By the end of your first term you will have work you created yourself that will be worthy of your demo reel. This is just one of the reasons CG Masters is a good choice for your professional training.
This course teaches production theory and terminology you will put into practice for the rest of your training. You will learn the fundamentals of what makes an animation or visual effects studio tick. We’ll fill you in on how to ensure you never lose your work, always get the right feedback and, above all, keep your shot moving toward final. We’ll talks about systems, procedures, and methods to improve team and individual workflow. We’ll talk about philosophy and the business model. Sure, it’s great to know how to make beautiful pictures, but you also need to know what is going on around you and how a studio production operates.
Isn’t this supposed to be digital art? Doesn’t the computer do the drawing? How is this going to help me learn computer animation?
These are common questions. The answer is that drawing class isn’t about learning to draw. It’s about learning to see. You see, there is far too much information in daily life for our brains to process, so we filter it. We acknowledge only the important things and learn to ignore the rest. After all, who needs to notice the quality of a shadow under a car or the reflective highlight on it’s chrome bumper when all we’re trying to do is cross the street safely, which way the hips tilt as we walk or how the contours of the shoulder join the body? As adults, we have so many filters that we miss most of the things we need to see in order to make great pictures. Drawing is the first step in retraining your mind to turn off the filters of your flawed, conscious mind and see the world as it truly is. Once you are on this path you will begin to see everything differently, including the quality of your digital renders. You see, digital animation and visual effects school isn’t just about learning to work the software and click the buttons. The computer will never bring your pictures to life, give them character or drama or impact. That is up to you and your visual interpretation of the world around you. If you have no training in drawing, you will lack the skill to both observe and to recreate the world as it really is. This is the fundamental problem facing most CG artists working in the industry today. At CG Masters School of 3D Animation & VFX, we understand very well not only the need for a drawing class as an observational exercise, but also how to help you get the most out of it.
CAMERA OPTICS AND PHOTOGRAPHY
Perhaps the most ignored skill and knowledge in visual effects training is photography. An artist sits at a computer monitor, creates and paints objects, lights and renders them without ever considering that the objects are being rendered through the eye of a virtual camera that is designed to behave, for the most part, like a real camera, and that often those cameras have many of the same parameters as real cameras such as optical axis, optical distortion, field of focus, field of view, filmback and exposure controls. Without knowledge of camera optics, visual effects training can never be complete. Ignoring these aspects of digital art would be like asking a surgeon to perform an appendectomy without every having been told about a scalpel, yet most CG artists out there have little or no knowledge of photography theory or camera optics. At CG Masters School of 3D Animation & VFX, we place a heavy emphasis on completeness of knowledge so you can wield all your tools with skill, confidence and creativity. Camera & Studio Equipment
MODELING AND TEXTURING I
It can be one of the most fun tasks in any production pipeline, especially if you like cars, spacecraft or monsters. You will discover Virtual Three-Dimensional space and begin creating 3D digital objects for 3D Animation, starting with simple shapes and moving into more complex geometry as your skills and toolsets grow throughout the term. You will learn how to lay out the geometry into “UV Maps” in preparation for texture painting, and you will be introduced to basic texture painting techniques. By the end of your first term, you will have created a model you are proud to show your friends and family.
RIGGING AND SCRIPTING I
Computer Animation requires rigging which is the process of preparing a model for animate such as: * articulating the arms and legs of a robot or * rotating the wheels and doors of a car. * setting up a series of gears so that they will remain coordinated as they rotate Students will use models from their modeling course or those supplied by the rigging instructor to learn the fundamentals of “rigging”. These skills are used every day in production and can range from the simple to incredibly complex such as the robot characters in the Transformers movies or complex organic creatures.
3D ANIMATION I
Computer animation is almost the most fun you can have as a commercial artist. Computer animation means using software tools to manipulate digital characters such as people, animals and “inanimate” objects so that they have life, character and tell a story. Some refer to this as 3D Animation or Character Animation. Character animators are a special lot. Character animation usually require special study and dedication on the part of the artist, usually so much so that they don’t work in any other field. Most of the great character animators are ONLY character animators. Generalist CG artists can often animate as well, but they tend to animate things like vehicles, debris, physical effects like water, cloth, hair and so forth, leaving the fine art of character computer animation to the purists.
At CG Masters, you can be sure you will be taught by great animators who have over a decade of real experience on the front lines of production. This means that, in addition to learning animation techniques, you will find out exactly why things are done this way instead of that way, how it all relates to the production team and what your responsibilities and expectations should be while working within a professional team.
LIGHTING AND SHADING I
Learn from one of the world’s foremost experts in CG Lighting and Shading. Few digital artists in the world have the depth of experience in the art and technology of digital rendering that our lighting Master Nicholas Boughen has. We guarantee that you will see the world in a completely different way after you have taken this course.
This course covers all the basics of CG lighting and shading from the perspective of someone who has been not only a digital artist for decades, but a professional scenic and lighting designer for years before that. Mr. Boughen is a 38 year veteran in the entertainment industry, bringing him a unique perspective and a deep body of knowledge and experience. Mr. Boughen continues to participate in the development of major lighting and shading tools and brings a highly technical perspective to his classes.
DYNAMIC FX I
The industry standard tool is Houdini for particles and dynamics. Houdini is the most procedural, and therefore the most powerful such software available. That’s why we teach it here. Physical simulations such as particles, fluids and dynamics form some of the most complex challenges and most amazing results in the world of 3D. Fire, water, smoke, cloth, hair, fur and massive, worldwide destruction are only some of the effects possible using particles and dynamics. In this introductory course, you will learn the fundamentals of particle behaviors from our Master Houdini TDs. He will introduce you to basic physical properties and dynamics such as Rigid Bodies and simple fluids. This course is a precursor to Particles and Dynamics 2 in which you will explore more advanced fluids, hair, cloth and other cool explody effects. CG Masters is a Houdini Certified School for Visual Effects by SideFX
Visual effects school requires an understanding of compositing. Compositing involves assembling all the visual elements, whether they are computer generated render passes, filmed footage, greenscreen elements, motion graphics or effects. A compositor is responsible for creating a final, beautiful shot. It’s a critical role and requires a skillful eye. Here you will learn and practice the skills needed to successfully combine all these elements. You will also be introduced to green screen removal and keying, travelling mattes, rotoscoping and colour correction. This course will also cover multi-layer digital image creation and composition. This course is important for all CG artists, and in particular those who have a compositing or lighting career in mind.
Next Training Session Starts August 27th 2018
If you have questions about our program, feel free to contact us. We look forward to helping you!