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What part of VFX am I interested in?

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Scott O'HaraWhat part of VFX am I interested in?
by on May 14, 2012 at 3:23:17 pm

Hey all,

I've posted a lot about going to school for VFX and seeking ways to further my understanding of such programs, BUT, I'm also looking at internships, training, etc., with VFX companies...

So whatever avenue I take or I'm able to pursue, I'm running into the problem of articulating what I want to do exactly when it comes to VFX... and I was hoping you guys could help since you actually know what you're all doing..

I know there's a lot of different things you can focus on, from 3d to compositing to animation and on and on. What I want to do is to be able to do FX like you see in feature films or even TV. Whether that's creating glass exploding from someone's head being smashed through a window to an alien ship transforming into something else, I want to be a very well rounded VFX artist. I use AE, and I'm trying to get into different places to learn other programs, but I admit I get a little lost as to what I'm trying to really learn.

When you watch tutorials they often take different skills to create the desired effect, (like Andrew Kramer for example) and I end up trying to learn what they're doing.. But again he uses other programs and you can tell his knowledge base is quite large compared to just using AE. I think, wow, I want to be able to create things like that, but I'm not sure what to pursue to get there.

Any advice?

Thanks everybody,
Scott


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David GhastRe: What part of VFX am I interested in?
by on May 14, 2012 at 4:20:28 pm

Its better to ask real VFX artists, AE is not a real VFX program.


http://www.vfxtalk.com/forum.php


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Scott O'HaraRe: What part of VFX am I interested in?
by on May 14, 2012 at 4:51:59 pm

Thank you, I'll check it out.


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Walter SoykaRe: What part of VFX am I interested in?
by on May 14, 2012 at 6:11:22 pm

[David Ghast] "Its better to ask real VFX artists, AE is not a real VFX program."

Sure it is -- you just have to know when it's the right tool for the job. A lot of animation is Maya and most feature compositing happens on Nuke, for example, but something like UI animation is almost universally AE.

Scott, check out The Core Skills of VFX [link] -- it's a great overview of VFX fundamentals.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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mathew fullerRe: What part of VFX am I interested in?
by on May 14, 2012 at 10:13:10 pm

"by David Ghast
Its better to ask real VFX artists, AE is not a real VFX program."

David... don't be such an elitist a**hole. More feature films than you can imagine have composites done in AE. I know.. I've done them. Of course Nuke is far superior on the high end... but not all situations call for that.

To tell someone new that AE isn't a real compositor tells me you are either not smart enough to figure out how to use it as such... or are repeating what others told you without putting any thought into how stupid it sounds... or how untrue it is.

You can accomplish many things with a 7D and After FX... maybe you can't.... but many do.

The higher they fly... the much.
My Reel:






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David GhastRe: What part of VFX am I interested in?
by on May 15, 2012 at 6:20:13 am

"To tell someone new that AE isn't a real compositor tells me you are either not smart enough to figure out how to use it as such..."

Thats good to know because i didnt say AE wasnt a real compositor, i said AE wasnt a real VFX program.

You have a pretty impressive reel there, i cant believe you did that all singlehandedly. I mean, why else would you show clips without any description of your part in it?


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Tudor "Ted" JelescuRe: What part of VFX am I interested in?
by on May 14, 2012 at 7:55:47 pm

I agree with Walter- visual effects come in many shapes or forms. There are tools and people that use them. Just because one uses Nuke that does not make one a real vfx artist. I used Flame, Combustion, dabbled in Nuke and ended up in AE. There are different ways of approaching a VFX shot. I have finished TV commercials shot on RED, with extensive VFX all in AE.
That being said, to answer your question, here's a piece of advice:
figure out what you want to do, not only from the perspective of the effects you are looking to achieve but from how that will shape your life. If you want to do film fx or tv shows, then you will most likely work on long term projects in a very specialized pipeline. For commercials, music videos and shorter projects you will change projects faster and most likely be able to do more than one thing (compositing, particles and so on), sometimes even all of it, from concept to finishing. Think about what would make your day to day life fun and fulfilling and go that way.

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist


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Scott O'HaraRe: What part of VFX am I interested in?
by on May 14, 2012 at 8:38:24 pm

Awesome advice, thanks guys.

So assuming I chose a particular path, ie film and TV, how would you decide which specialty to pursue? Obviously I'd want to know which parts I excelled in and therefore would be best at, but do you find that out by taking classes? Dabbling in numerous programs?

I was looking at courses offered at Gnomon, they look great but it's really expensive.


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Tudor "Ted" JelescuRe: What part of VFX am I interested in?
by on May 14, 2012 at 9:12:56 pm

From my experience, school is good, but learning from a master is better. So if you can "steal" the trade, learn from watching get ready then to spend numerous nights consuming large amounts of coffee while trying to replicate.

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist


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mathew fullerRe: What part of VFX am I interested in?
by on May 14, 2012 at 10:16:49 pm

I've been a VFX artist for 10 years. PM me and I can get you off to a good start I promise.

The higher they fly... the much.
My Reel:






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David GhastRe: What part of VFX am I interested in?
by on May 15, 2012 at 6:26:05 am

Well if you want some wisdom then pose your question backwards in the form of an answer, yknow like yoda:

You do not choose a path, a path chooses you.

But yeah, go for it, apply for jobs and such and eventually you'll figure out what you like and dont like. Consider starting out as a roto-bot, its stupid easy to do so you dont have to know every program upfront to get a job in a vfx house, just how to rotoscope in every program.


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