-Economist says NDP's 'corporate welfare' for film industry won't save jobs.
-Just what we need, another VFX Town Hall Meeting. We could use less talk, more action.
-Awesome TED talk about Grit being the key to success.
Her talk rings very true to me. Way back in high school, I was not the most talented artist, but I worked very hard at it. I was a very average (probably below average) compositor when I first started, but because I also had a job as a teacher, I had to learn more about the areas that I didn't understand (very much like her 'focused practice'). I continuously did this for years; learning new techniques, practicing what I learned at my studio job, teaching what I learned to my students.
After 11 years of doing this, I finally feel pretty comfortable with compositing. But it was a long road filled with head-banging frustration along the way.
From the 'no shit' department:
-Visual Effects Workers in film industry 'overworked' says the BBC. Why the quotes around overworked?
-Interesting article about a guy who worked at Microsoft who came to realize the importance of the 40 hour work week.
-Old news, but a good article about how Adobe's move to cloud subscription will affect you.
-Paul Franklin's live Twitter chat, archived.
-How many jobs in North Carolina did Iron Man 3 really create? Here's another article very critical of the 69 million N.C. gave to Hollywood studios.
-51 things game developer students should know.
-Vancouver sees a sharp drop off in film and TV production.
-Looks like ILM will be opening an office in London. If you go to their job posting website, the UK is a drop down choice.
-Hollywood Reporter takes a look at the state of Matte Painting.
-Interesting article about finding talent.
-Pinewood will be opening a studio near Atlanta.
-Canon released an update to the 5D Mark III. FX Guide has the details.
-Pixomondo closes it's Berlin office.
-It's always nice to hear that your industry is 'crumbling'.
-Post a pic online? Forget about ownership of it.
-UK Chancellor pushes for more UK tax credits in the creative industries.
-Report says Louisiana tax credits have a negative impact for the state.
-FMX report from Animation Magazine.
-Wage theft is 'The Invisible Epidemic'. How many times in VFX have I worked an extra hour here and there for free?
-The CEO of Activision says that Britain's 2012 budget that includes huge tax incentives for the gaming industry is "a good first step". Perhaps a better first step would be not paying yourself $64.9 million dollars.
-Awesome breakdown video. All should be so pretty:
-Autodesk released a video giving a very good explanation of Open Subdiv.
-This is happening a lot faster than I though. Sony and FIFA are going to broadcast some matches in 4K.
-Electronic Arts restructures, hundreds of layoffs, two studios close. Another report says that they'll be laying off up to 10 percent of their workforce. Here's the internal memo they sent out.
-Mike Seymour at FX Guide wrote a great article explaining Spherical Harmonics.
-Nothing to do with Visual Effects specifically, but Bangladesh's garment workers organized a protest with hundreds of thousands turning out. Imagine if VFX artists could be as unified and organized.
-Very interesting talk by Pixar's Ed Catmull about managing and running Pixar.
-Rick McCallum (producer of the Star Wars prequels) sums up a huge issue in VFX
-Based on the strength of the UK's tax incentives, Double Negative is launching a TV division. Their first project will be "The Vatican" on Showtime.
-There's a Kindle book for VFX producers
-Pixomondo will be doing the VFX for Jiang Wen's film "Gone WIth Bullets" less than a month after it closed it's Shanghai studio.
-Capcom says that excessive outsourcing resulted in a decline in quality, which lead to lower sales.
-More jobs to China. This is a big one.
-Don Ankleer has an article about VFX and the Chinese Connection.-This is making the rounds on Twitter, a study by the "Center on Budget and Policy Priorities". Even though it's a few years old, it makes a series of compelling points.
-Another old article (it's new to me...). Steps that the UK take to add cultural awareness of their VFX industry, a VFX Festival.
-You can donate to VFX Solidarity by buying a T-Shirt.
-Cool site about Photoshop Etiquette. I should make a site about comp etiquette... or maybe I need one ;)
-Interesting article about subsidies. It's about the disaster with 38 Studios in Rhode Island, but it's applicable to VFX.
Scott Squires is collecting a survey regarding Visual Effects working conditions. In a few weeks he'll post the results. I'd urge anyone working in VFX to answer honestly and truthfully. I'm very interested to see what the results turn up.
I'll just quote the rest instead of embedding each individual Tweet:
"So you might want to consider how well the boogeyman of a Union driving VFX from CA is working out, seeing R&H go from 450 to 0 artists. The offshoring ship is already sailing *now*, regardless of anything workers are doing in the US.
As for R&H, the international people we trained will have to continue the quality of work, but more importantly the quality of treatment of artists that R&H LA started, & if that means organizing to protect themselves, they’d benefit from US VFX unions
The boogeyman of offshoring is irrelevant. We can protect what’s left regardless.
l will be able to get to or continue high quality work on, I hope the high quality of artist treatment continues as I saw the slippery slope of taking advantage of them start in the last years of R&H. #vfx
The same people massively underbidding jobs had no hesitation assigning “extra hours” to the non-OT paid crews. #vfx
They paid for productions’ incompetence, in weeks of 80 hours, shamefully asked for, yet generously giving by hard workers. #vfx
The answer to every bid session a producer said “This is a lot more than we charged the client” was to grind it from overseas. #vfx
Now that layers of buffer between productions and overseas are gone, I hope they protect themselves. Because we in LA didn’t. #vfx
We thought we were above organizing; we believed our own BS, and thought we’d escape what clearly was going down for years. #vfx
And when it was in R&H’s interest to hide the truth from us about how bad it was, we got left holding the bag. #vfx
As plenty of people have before me, as you probably will after me. #vfx
It was 70-30 studios' fault versus R&H's. The 30% R&H *could* fix is what made me the most mad. #vfx
"How can we be more efficient?"
"Schedule labor better, limit OT"
"We can't do that"
Then why do you ask every week? #vfx
If you're going to have proprietary #vfx software, it better be *loads* better than off the shelf, especially factoring time for #vfx artists to get proficient in it. Sadly, a lot of ours was got further behind as we understaffed
Outdated paint & comp software=more overtime to do the same #vfx thing. But we were told *we* had to made the case with data for something else."
This tech was shown a few years ago at the 2011 Adobe MAX conference. Very glad to see it making it's way into Photoshop.
-A sad post from Jason Iverson talking about Rhythm and Hues
-One of the best things as a VFX worker you can do is to share information about your salary. Ask yourself, who benefits from keeping this a secret? The Wall Street Journal has an interesting article about this.
-Wired has a good article about the first digital generation (those born in 1993 and later). The first wave of this generation is just starting to trickle into my classroom now.
Dave Rand, who is one of the more vocal VFX workers advocating unionization, was on a podcast recently. That interview can be found here. Haven't listened to it yet, but he's always good on these things.
This brief clip of Steve Jobs is making the rounds on Facebook/Twitter. Great clip, short, direct and to the point. Awesome advice for just about anyone.
On May 31st, there's going to be a Digital Media Job Fair at City Hall in Toronto. The press release says "This carnival type marketplace is designed to create opportunities for the Film and Television community graduating students, freelance creative artists and studios to meet and mingle from across Ontario."
There will be no cost to attend. There will be panel discussions, screenings and live music (??!!) Companies can sit in the VIP Lounge and watch student's work, and students can sit in the Council Chambers and watch companies demo reels.
More information can be found here at the CASO website. It's really nice to see the studios in town organizing something like this. I have a classroom full of grads that are about to go out job hunting soon, so it's great that the studios in town are putting out this effort.
Great article about the gaming industry, but a lot of this is directly related to VFX as well. I do know a lot of VFXers that have been in the game for over 10 years though...
The Toronto Animation Arts Festival International is running their 'Pitch-A-Palooza' again this year. From the press release:
This year, TAAFI's Pitch-A-Palooza will welcome 80 lucky writers and artists to pitch their next big idea to over 20 industry leading production and broadcast executives during the weekend of July 26th, 2013 This exhilarating speed pitching event puts you up front and center with at least three (3!) established broadcast and production development executives who are eager to hear your big animation idea!
There's a lot more to it than this, you can see the entire press release here.
For the past year or two, I've been meaning to document some of the graffiti that's around where I live. A lot of it is really outstanding. I wish I had these skills. Here's a few nice pieces, but the whole gallery is here.
I put out a new tutorial today, how to use Shuffle and the ShuffleCopy node in Nuke. I often see beginning compositors having issues with this node because of the confusing (at first) UI, but once you start using it, it's pretty easy to wrap your head around it. You can check it out here:
I constantly have my iPad in my hands when I'm relaxing and not doing much of anything. One of my favorite apps is Paper by 53. There are much more advanced drawing programs for iOS, but this one has won me over, probably because it's so minimal.
There's a lot of things that you can't do in this program. You can't zoom in to add detail, so you're limited to what your fat little fingers will allow you to do. You can't clone, blur, change opacity, draw on different layers or a million other things that I've grown accustom to in programs like Photoshop.
You have five brushes, an eraser, undo, and a color palette. That's it. The brushes are really well done, it's hard to describe, but they have a really nice feel to them. The color mixer is also really well done, there's a very detailed article about how they went about designing it. It's very impressive to see the amount of research that was done for something that you would think would be a basic feature.
Because you can't zoom in, you can't get bogged down into the details of your images. You have to work with the big picture, so I tend not to fixate on things. I just 'let it flow', and while none of my pictures turn out to be perfect, I find I don't obsess over the little details that often stop me. I've done dozens of sketches in this program, while the technically more advanced Sketchbook Pro doesn't get much use from me.
Here are some of my fun sketches that I've done, usually laying on the couch half-listening to the TV.
-An interesting Ted talk was posted recently. What makes us feel good about our work?