Andy Moorer is a VFX artist and TD working in the film industry.

Archive for Studios

Jan
08

Garman posts some thoughts about dailies

Posted by: | Comments (0)

Garman Herigstad once gave me a slew of advice years ago, and every bit of it has proven useful to me over the years. So when he voices an opinion, I listen. Such is the case in his most recent blog post where he discusses dailies.

Dalies are at the heart of VFX. It’s where artists get feedback and develop their eye. It’s where production is kept on track. It’s also where seniors develop opinions on their artists, where directors evaluate their teams, and where critical choices are made.

My best advice for artists attending dailies for the first time is to be quiet and pay full attention. Take notes, as Garman suggests. Keep your mouth shut unless your input is needed or asked for. Never lie, never try to spin anything, never be defensive or explanatory – just listen to the instructions that are given, ask questions if anything is unclear, and be professional.

20120107-100501.jpgThe people evaluating the work are almost always aware of issues or concerns an individual artist is not exposed to – a VFX sup may be thinking about continuity with other shots, upcoming changes, or criteria passed down from a director. The leadership attending or running the dailies may also not have much time, or the viewing theatre may have other teams waiting, so the general rule is to let the person(s) making decisions quickly and accurately evaluate what they are being shown, make a decision, and convey that decision as directives for action.

And always, always as an artist address the notes you are given. The people giving notes remember what they ask for, and nothing infuriates a director or VFX sup more than to give the same notes over and over. If you are dialing in towards a result, ie if the notes are on the order of “more” or “less,” that’s ok. But if the notes keep coming back as “where’s the fix?” then you are probably pissing someone off.

Anyway, it’s a good read, on an important subject, from a knowledgable source worth listening to.

Comments (0)
Dec
22

New gig…

Posted by: | Comments (0)

So I’ve picked up a position as VFX Supervisor at StereoD, a company which started in 2009 doing stereoconversion and which in less than 3 years has grown to a leading edge studio of over 600 artists and growing.

 

 

The visual effects department is new, having risen from a small group of artists who performed miscellaneous visual effects as needed to enhance or fill out the stereo process, and my job as I see it is to lay a foundation for growth given the large demand for services we’re encountering. The effects vary from show to show, from environmental and supportive effects (snow, rain, smoke, fog etc) to more unusual effects, some of which are only possible in the realm of stereo.

 

Challenging, and a lot of fun. When I first arrived at StereoD I was staggered by the number of shows they are running concurrently, below are just a few, in no particular order. If you’re an experienced visual effects artist and are looking for a place that is growing and evolving and has work on some of the largest and most advanced films being created, StereoD should definitely be on your radar. And most amazing of all? Unlike some places (cough) the VFX dept at StereoD is already showing profit and has more requests for work than we can accommodate…. ;)

 

Comments (0)
Oct
30

Misc Images

Posted by: | Comments (0)

These are pretty much randomly chosen screenshots and production images, plus some photos, in no particular order…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories : 3D Graphics
Comments (0)
Oct
30

Misc Images

Posted by: | Comments (0)

Categories : 2D Graphics, 3D Graphics
Comments (0)
Sep
23

ICE default nodes

Posted by: | Comments (0)

I’ve been slamming away at production here at Method NYC, but when Vladimir Jankijevic posted this image to the XSI list I had to take a moment to put it here. This is an image of all the nodes which come with ICE by default. Considering that many regular ICE users add about 100+ of their own custom nodes, that makes for a pretty crazy number of options. ICE and Nuke both appeal to me for many of the same reasons… both are well thought out and excel at being both powerful and fast tools for demanding work. Now, back to this gig…

 

Categories : 3D Graphics
Comments (0)

I don’t know the folks at Meindbender, but I’d like to. What gorgeous work! They really show off what the Maxwell renderer is capable of, and the artwork is top-notch.

 

Categories : 3D Graphics
Comments (0)
Jul
30

SIGGRAPH 2010 Redux

Posted by: | Comments (0)

Well, another siggraph has come and gone. As I await my flight in LAX, I might as well post some initial thoughts. The journalists will cover the changes to products and the like, so I’ll focus on overall experience and impressions.

First, the trivial… The weather was cool, which was a bit startling. And siggraph 2011 is going to be held in Canada. Wtf, we seem to have broken the long standing tradition of baking siggraph attendees in desert or tropical heat. Adding to the surreal feeling, the exhibits area was once again smaller, perhaps because Autodesk has consumed half the industry…


Speaking of Autodesk, this year their area was dominated by a pretty mediocre and endlessly repeating spiel about “virtual production” which basically tied together a hypothetical production workflow nobody actually uses but which gave them an overly polished way to show some basic new features of Maya and Mudbox. XSI and Max were, well, not really visible in the slightest. While I’m sure some lip service was given them, you sure couldn’t tell from a casual survey of their booth. And since there was no Softimage User Group event, siggraph pretty much was XSI free. Heck, lightwave was front and center by comparison. The only real mention of XSI was the announcement that it’s part of the basic bundle, phrased in such a way that ICE seemed like the only reason it was included at all. Thanks for the snub, Autodesk. I use Maya in production, sure, but frankly its showing its age, so why cram it down our throats when XSI is so robust?

(Edit – Some folks at autodesk disagree with my assessment. Sorry, but I watched demo people tweak the weighting of a character rigged in maya over and over on the big screen but didn’t see xsi anywhere. I know there is great work being done by the softimage folks – but marketing matters, and I’m reporting what I saw… which was that XSI was lacking visibility. That may step on taboos or be unmentionable in Autodesk circles. Tough.)

The show was far more interesting at the smaller booths, where stereo, 3d printing, and GPU rendering were all engaged in healthy competition. AMD was home to Mach Studio which was showing off it’s exciting new shader construction tools, and nearby pixel farm was showing off it’s rather bizzare companion to PFtrack, which adds a node-based workflow (cool) but which lacks some of the core power of PFtrack (wha?). Desktop 3d printers were everywhere, including the makerbot which was cleverly if less visibly off the exhibit floor and hanging out near emerging technologies with some other delinquents like the gigapan. How did that happen?

Emerging technologies was its usual combination of really cool stuff that doesn’t quite work, stupid stuff with no practical application beyond provoking thoght to a greater or lesser degree, and some eye popping technology that had me muttering “we wants it my preciouss.” Foremost in that latter category was the 3D volume display presented by Sony. Remember the 3d volume displays of a few years back that relied on spinning plates of leds? The ones that contained murky glimpses of CG objects you could walk around and wish were actually working? Well, they work now. Really well, in fact. As in they feel ready for market. Nice work, Sony, when you guys aren’t awash in marketing droids and hype you can still make some amazing stuff.

The papers and course presentations were quite good, which are as far as I’m concerned the living, beating heart of Siggraph, and I’m happy to say it’s still strong. There were the usual crowd-pleasers like an excellent panel on Tron which had the added benefit of showing us 8 minutes of unseen footage (it’s looking great.) But more importantly, the more academic presentations were still there, sharing and pushing the state of the art. I particularly enjoyed a half day course on volumetrics.

Disney had a highly visible and impressive showing on all fronts, from excellent and impressive presentations on procedural hair and trees in Rapun-oops”Tangled” to the Tron presentation, etc. They did a good job of re-establishing themselves in my mind as leaders in the industry, both artistically and technically. MPC, DD, Tippet and the Mill also brought their A-games.

The parties were parties, techies, geniuses and academics were abound, and students still want to get hired… all in all I’d say that while Siggraph is still the incredibly shrinking con, it was just as valuable as ever where it counts – in getting a feel for the state of the industry and the technology, in seeing colleagues and friends who are rarely in the same place at once, and in sharing and extending the techniques, tools and insights so vital to computer graphics. I plan to continue attending, and suggest that anyone serious about computer graphics shoulddo the same. Remember people, judging siggraph by the size of the showroom is missing the point entirely – we don’t really need sales pitches, but you won’t find any other venue where other studio professsionals and academics mingle and share like they do at Siggraph. See you there next year!

Categories : 2D Graphics, 3D Graphics
Comments (0)

Andy Moorer

Copyright © 2010 All Rights Reserved