Advice from a Game Animator and CG Spectrum Alumni
We talk to senior and junior artists on why mentorship is so important in the visual effects industry.
Is there anything better than a perfectly executed and seamless VFX scene like the colourful set pieces in Thor: Ragnarok? Or anything worse than an obvious, unconvincing CG? (We refuse to name names here). We all want to be working on the next Deadpool, Legend of Zelda instalment, or anything that comes out of Pixar, but how do you stand out from the crowd?
Anywhere you look today you will see beautifully rendered 3D animation and visual effects. From advertising and video games to your favourite movies and T.V. shows. If our world is so saturated with computer generated imagery, why then do we not hear more from people working in the Visual Effects and 3D Animation industry? How do people transition from contemplating game or movie design to living their dream career with an animation job?
The Animated Film & Video Game industry is on the rise and so are online computer animation courses. International consumption of digital entertainment is at an all-time high. Think about the currently most popular movies, video games, even mobile apps. Talented artists are using increasingly sophisticated technology to entertain and amaze a more tech-savy audience. With a rapidly expanding market, there is increasing demand for talented, passionate 3D animators and CGI artists.
You’re fresh out of a course and gearing up for a job in VFX, running through everything you’re going to need to succeed. Skillset up to date and qualification in hand? Check. Networking efforts online and offline in full swing? Check. Vimeo playlist getting positive comments? Check.
Specialist or Generalist? Read enough interviews with pro artists or studio recruiters and you’ll often see opposite opinions on which kind of hire is more valued by the VFX and games industries.
In July, we hosted an action-packed studio day with our industry partners in Melbourne, Australia. Students met future employers, professional studio mentors and alumni working in the heart of Australia’s world-class VFX & gaming scene, including the artists behind titles like Game of Thrones, Doctor Strange and more. It was a career-making opportunity, and an important part of the student experience at CG Spectrum.
"My advice is to work as hard as possible and always be on the lookout for alternative measures to increase efficiency without sacrificing quality."
CG Spectrum's Animation Department Head, Mark Pullyblank, provides some invaluable advice on what Animation Supervisors look for in a demo reel. He also gives some great tips on what to do and what NOT to do.
CG Spectrum’s 2016 Online Advanced Diploma students achieved an incredible 90% placement rate into studio jobs. We spoke to students, mentors and alumni working in studios like Ubisoft, Double Negative and Iloura to get their advice on giving yourself the best chance of scoring the job of your dreams.
A very interesting read right here, The 10 Big Myths About Video Games, Debunked By The People Who Make Them. The article breaks down misconceptions that people have towards game developers, things like: Profit margins, Bugs and DLC.
For some people, the idea of working as a freelance artist is the dream. Managing yourself, taking the work that suits you best and working flexible hours from home in a dressing-gown.
Steph Pryor was one of our 2016 season scholarship students and completed our Advanced Diploma of 3D Modelling. During her time here with us, her work went from amazing to spectacular and it was always fun to see what she was working on.
By seamlessly blending digitally created assets, like characters, explosions, backgrounds and more, with real world shots, our amazing VFX Compositing students have made the unbelievable believable.
Complete with spear wielding Spartans, skateboarding Ninja Turtles, music-loving zombies and photo-realistic human anatomy, these digitally sculpted models are nothing short of spectacular.
Humongous explosions. Raging fires. Devastating destruction. Stifling smoke. This has everything you could possibly ask for from a visual FX showreel, and much more.
Whether it's beautiful art styles, endearing characters, enthralling story lines, exhilarating game play or a mixture of all of these factors, video games can whisk us away to different worlds and put us in situations we would never usually find ourselves.
For Mentor of Game Programming Michelle Osborne, making video games initially started out as a way for her to couple her art skills and her practical skills together to build the little worlds she had in her head.
Lauren Wakley is one of our 2016 season scholarship students studying Concept Design here at CG Spectrum. We have all enjoyed watching her skills develop and expand over the year.
Some of us go to events for the good times and bright lights. Others go to dress up as their favourite characters and meet new people. And some people go with folio in hand looking to find their dream job.
Just prior to their humongous success at the 68th Emmy Awards in Los Angeles, we had the pleasure of visiting scholarship partner Iloura, one of Australia's leading animation and VFX houses and speaking to industry legend Glenn Melenhorst.
Contrary to popular belief, Australia is quickly reclaiming it's position as an integral part of the digital arts and video game development industries.
Stephen Clark is one of our many incredibly talented 3D Modelling students currently studying with us. His work is constantly evolving and it has really been a joy watching his skills grow and evolve over the year.
It's been over a week since that epic battle scene from Game of Thrones Season 6, episode 9. Although we hold spoiler etiquette up there with never eating the last slice of pizza at a party or talking in the cinema, I think it's safe for us to share this amazing breakdown reel from our friends at Iloura Animation and Visual Effects in Melbourne and Sydney.
Check out some amazing FX and Simulation work by Subhaan Asif. Subi is not only and incredibly talented artist, but also a fantastic guy and a joy to work with.
Having completed work on both the official animated movie and video game, Jake Collinge talks Ratchet & Clank telling us about his main duties being on set designs with some secondary work on spaceship and prop design for the animated movie.
Preparing for life after graduation is an exciting time for everyone involved. Opportunities seem endless. Exciting new adventures await. And your skill set will continue to expand.
Concept Art and Illustration student Tom Garden's art style is incredibly diverse and recognisable. From fire-breathing dragons to samurai warriors, all of Tom's work is as equally astounding as it is polished.
Stephanie Lee is one of our initial scholarship students based in Perth, Western Australia. She is currently completing the 1 year Diploma of Visual Arts here at CG Spectrum.
The Game Design Pipeline is broken down into 3-parts in this article. The artists creating the look and style of the game, the designers forming the layout and story line and the programmers who input all the data and write it into code.
CG Spectrum's goal is to make our students the most employable artists in the film and game industry. We do this by carefully selecting the best mentors and teachers who are currently employed to accomplish the school and student's unified goals.
Jake Collinge is CG Spectrum's Concept Art Department Head, he also works as an Illustrator and Entertainment Artist in Vancouver, Canada.
Deciding where you want to begin your studies is an incredibly important and often overwhelming decision to make.
Networking is essential to finding new work. It's something we here at CG Spectrum have spoken about before. And it's so true.
Everyone wants to know the right path to take, so let’s give you some insight into this fine question, Specialist or Generalist?
Introducing our latest free animation rig, Bad Bob the gun-toting rabbit.
We had a chance to interview 3D Modelling mentor Francisco Alvarez who talked to us about his experience working as a 3D Modeller on feature films like Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice.
Concept art is not just beautiful, it's fascinating. And Industrial Light and Magic's recent release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens concept art is no exception.
For us at CG Spectrum, Melbourne International Games Week could only be topped if Christmas, your birthday and Easter and a new Star Wars premier all fell in the same week.
Back in November of 2015 we released the tiger upon the world, asking anyone willing to show us their creative talent and animate our striped friend.
“Some people can create fantastic images, but can’t draw anything.” – Greg Hird-Rutter, Senior FX Artist at Bioware, formerly at Ubisoft
Katerina has been working in the industry for over a decade as a modeller, texture artist and animator. she's worked on everything, from feature films to triple-a video games.
Ever wondered what it would be like to work for Pixar? Well, after an inspiring night at ACMI with animators Chris Sasaki and Andrew Gordon, we can assure you that it's pretty awesome!
Pause Fest is a convention designed to help creatives get inspired, get informed, network and better themselves. It's wonderfully broad array of amazing speakers allow attendees to branch out and learn about different fields of creativity.
Having a strong network of friends and colleagues in a wide variety of professions is a great way to find new work and explore new avenues of opportunity in your industry.
Great news! You've finally got enough high quality work that it's time to gather it all up and make a demo reel or portfolio and start getting it out there.
Last week we were lucky enough to talk to Senior Compositor at Industrial Light and Magic Patrick Conaty about what it's like working in the visual effects industry.
At CG Spectrum we want you to meet our mentors and get to know the people who will be teaching you. Greg Hird-Rutter has been working in the FX industry for over 15-years and has worked in TV, film and games. Greg is currently working as a Senior FX Artist at the amazing Ubisoft Montreal.
Wipe away those tears and drag yourself out of bed because, after months of searching, you've just landed yourself a new job at a studio working within the animation pipeline.
Oculus has revealed that it's highly anticipated VR headset the Oculus Rift will cost $599 USD and is now available for pre-order.
Tyler De Block is a Senior Texture Artist currently working at Ubisoft Toronto. Since 2004 he's worked as a 3D Environment Artist, Character Artist or Texture Artist for companies like: THQ and Insomniac Games.
The VFX industry continues to grow because we demand it! We force ourselves to achieve something better than before. We not only seek this visual desire in the films that we watch, but also in popular broadcast shows and commercials.
Three weeks ago we launched our free Maya Tiger Animation Rig, a quadruped rig aimed at helping animators take their skills to the next level.
Here at CG Spectrum, our students are lucky enough to be taught by some of the best animators, modelers, concept artist, special effects directors and technical lighting artists in the business.
From Star Trek Beyond to this year's Blade Runner 2049, alumnus Lawrence Zalasky has had an incredible career since graduating from our animation course in 2013.
Are you ready to take your animation skills to the next level? Want to create the most ferocious four-legged beast you can possibly imagine?
Whether you wish to work in film or game CG Spectrum wants to help you achieve your goals and further your career. Learn from our Mentors who work in the industry and want to see you succeed, turning your dreams into a reality!
So you keep hearing about this thing called The Pipeline, but what is it? Well question no more because I'll take you through its workings and shed some light on what the pipeline actually is!
PAX AUS 20015 was an amazing weekend for all involved and the CG Spectrum team hit it hard!
We're a pretty fickle bunch we humans. Always demanding something for nothing and only ever settling for instant entertainment and immediate gratification.
When it comes to working on different kinds of video games, character animator and CG Spectrum alum, Kyle Dahl has done it all.
Motivation. When you’ve got it, look out. Projects fly along, the mundane becomes fun and life is good. But what about the times when motivation eludes you? When work seems to drag, everything becomes a chore and the last thing you want to do is get yourself out of bed and face another day at the office.
We recently caught up with CG Spectrum, Vancouver graduate Sebastien Muller. We spoke about his time with CG Spectrum and how it helped get him started in the video game industry. Sebastien just finished working on the latest release in the Assassin's Creed game series, Assassin's Creed Syndicate for Ubisoft - France.
Online study gets a pretty bad wrap. And in many regards, rightfully so. Many online courses can make students feel isolated and alone and lack the interactivity that you may get from on-campus study.
Have you ever watched a movie or played a game and marveled at the intense character design? How about the environment they were in. Do you have these kinds of creative ideas building inside you, feeling that urge to get them out?
CG Spectrum Mentor of Concept Design Jake Collinge recently shared a brief advice video on YouTube as a way to give back to the artist community online.
"Even more important than learning to draw and paint, is passion. Being passionate about the challenges and the inevitable surprises you’ll face in your career is what will ultimately see you through.”
We just spoke to recent CG Spectrum Vancouver grad Edwin Ho about his experience while he was going to school with us.
Back in 2000 and freshly out of high school, I knew I would eventually make it as an animator, it was just a matter of how.
With so many exciting positions, jobs and styles available to artists in the digital arts world, sometimes making the right decision about which career path to pursue can become extremely difficult.
"In the end, I came out with about three finished pieces which directly led to me being picked up by DeNA Studios Canada as a Junior Concept Artist."
Juani’s passion has always been sport and drawing. When he was younger, if he wasn’t running or playing tennis he was watching cartoons. You name it, Juani has watched it – Looney Toons, Transformers, Thundercats, Disney, anime, and the list goes on!
There’s always a lot of questions when it comes to understanding how to land a job in the game design industry so we’ve summarized it down to the top 5 tips from industry veteran Simon Warwick who’s known for his recent work on Batman Arkham City at Rocksteady Studios.