Monday, 17 November 2014

Animation Apprentice Goes to Blue GFX

Blue GFX

Last week Animation Apprentice went to the Blue GFX Expo in London – a massive annual visual effects event sponsored by Autodesk, and a great opportunity to find out about the latest developments in our industry. There were presentations about Autodesk Maya, 3D Studio Max, a chance to try out the latest Cintique tablets, and best of all a talk by Framestore about the work they did on Gravity, a film that looks and feels like a live action movie, but is entirely animated. OK, George Clooney and Sandra Bullock were real – but the rest is CG magic.

Nomad Games

I went to a fascinating lecture by Don Whiteford of Nomad Games, who talked about how his company got started – an excellent introduction to the challenges of starting up a small games business and adapting to new technology and changing markets. They created Talisman – now a 30 year old game, and he talked about how business need “not just one product, but something that gets updated and can be rolled out over time, with expansions and extensions” to the existing game. He also explained that here in the UK, Creative Skillset will fund creative salaries at 50% for a year – hugely useful for a start-up company short on cash.

Autodesk Maya

Graham Bell of Autodesk introduced some of the latest features of Autodesk Maya, including how to use their hair tools to create realistic fur and grooming for CG animals and creatures.

Overall, the event was a huge success, and a great way for our students to catch up with new developments in our business.

Blue Zoo
To see more about Blue GFX 2013, see this post about the use of Maya's latest hair and fur tools, read about how Blue Zoo revealed the secrets of making a new animated TV series, find out about how Frame Store did the title sequence for Skyfall, and learn about how animators can get a job with Blue Zoo, the UK's largest indie TV animation company.


To sign up for our January classroom at Animation Apprentice, follow this link. For more information on finding work and surviving in the animation and visual effects business, read our post on how to find a job in the animation industry, and check out our post about what not to do at a job interview. Also see our post on starting your own small animation business, learn how to create an invoice, and see how we are helping our students find work through our film co-operative Nano Films.  Download the free Escape Studios Careers in VFX Handbook. Take a look at how can help you find a job, and read our piece about how to survive as a freelance animator. Also, find out what Cinesite look for in a student's demo reel, and read our post on setting up your own animation business. Also see our post about freelancers and taxes.  

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