Nikola is Principal PD/PO based in Toronto, working with multiple teams and projects in Autodesk. He is responsible for Maya Color Management, Hypershade, Render Setup, directly working with Arnold Team and designing Maya future workflows like MaterialX – LookDevX and Procedural world building. He was previously working on various positions with smaller and large studios as Sony Imageworks and Framestore. Nikola will be presenting Maya Modern Rendering Workflows at Computer graphics and art conference and share his knowledge how to advance academic programs at Education in Computer Grapnics panel.
You were working in VFX productions such as Sony Pictures Imageworks and Framestore, and now on development of software that you used as a lighting artist. What is the feeling when you know that some of your solutions will affect the development of the VFX industry? Is there something you are missing about the VFX?
I feel challenged since working on beast as Maya it’s not easy task, it’s kind ‘a nerve-wrecking because you are aware that specific change will affect many users through a whole planet. Additional “good” problem is that Maya is CG industry standard that surrounding large sets of different workflows but in same time it’s used in many other diverse Industries that dictating different requirements. To complicate even more, you can divide CG industry requirements in at least 3 groups that in some cases dictating quite different requirements. Yeah, choosing right path many times would need some brave decisions that are based on many factors.
We could truthfully state that I am in some interesting position where I am affecting industry to lean in to specific direction however, greater truth is that behind every struggle and final success is a group effort and there is nothing different in my case.
Working on shots, struggling trough Pipe and finding solution is something that I miss a lot from industry. I guess biggest difference is that in VFX Industry you would see ramification of your work on daily basic, compering to Software developing where your products are coming out after one or two years and actual feedback is delayed even more.
Vitaly is often a guest in Belgrade.
As a Regional Sales Manager from Foundry, we were, obviously, curious about him. We’ve asked him about his experiences visiting Serbia and the latest Foundry’s developments.
What is Elara?
Elara is a cloud-based service for post production that gives an edge to independent professionals and small to medium-sized studios. Offering a cloud service gives users the freedom to spin up a virtual studio with a global team, central pipeline and resources with just a few clicks, and without having to worry about high capital expenditure and management complexity. You don’t need any expensive infrastructure locally, as even a basic laptop will provide the same experience of using a powerful workstation.
Elara centralises infrastructure, creative tools and pipeline in the cloud, giving users fast and flexible access to Foundry and third-party applications, integrated cloud rendering, scalable storage and compute all in one place.
Main Road|Post is Moscow based a visual effects production studio. Studio produced visual effects for Attraction, Duelist, August. Eighth, Metro, Stalingrad, Wanted, Winter Olympic Sochi 2014 Opening, Ghost. Our interlocutors are: Arman Yahin – CEO, Mikhail Lesin – CTO, Andrey Maximov – Attraction VFX supervisor, Dmitry Kuznetsov – Attraction VFX supervisor.
Can you tell us more about Main Road|Post?
Arman Yahin: Main Road Post began in 2006 as a team of six. Today we have about 60 artists and plan to expand significantly by the end of the year. Our team provides VFX for movies, mostly for the biggest Russian projects. Stalingrad was our breakthrough work, which made us prominent among the global VFX community. This year we have decided to change our management style and turn to Scrum, which made us separate the whole company into small, versatile teams. Continue reading
Creating high-end marketing art for mobile
Truly great marketing art in the mobile games industry is the result of a brilliant narrative complemented by a large dose of technical prowess. Its job is to convey the essence of the game and instantly capture people’s attention, and to do so in such a way that compels them to start playing.
Andrew Lowell is the Effects Technical Director (FX TD) and lead instructor at school of visual effects “Lost Boy Studios”. In his career he has worked in several countries, and major studios such as Rhythm and Hues, CIS Vancouver, Animal Logic, and Digital Domain. He is the author of book Simultaneous Music, Animation and Sound with Houdini and professor at fxphd. The reason for the interview is his upcoming visit to Belgrade in November, where he will lecture intensive course for Houdini.
Tell us about your beginnings? What did you study and how did you get your first assignment? What was instrumental in getting your current skillset and role? (education, interests, jobs…)
I’ve had a variety of roles and careers as well as multiple beginnings. If there was a defining start in my graphics career it would have been the process of, and becoming of an Autodesk Certified Trainer. The process was very rigorous and my evaluator Pia Maffei made it clear to me that I both had the talent to, as well as was expected to produce both top-notch work as well as deliver high quality instruction. From then I gained my first jobs at movie studios like Rhythm and Hues, and other factors propelled me as well such as writing a book on Houdini, and international movie studio work and seminars.
Was there something you were specifically interested to know about the the job / industry before you started working?
I was primarily interested in the possibilities of highly generative design. What this means is designing systems upfront, such as FX rigs, systems to generate natural phenomenon, or highly abstract visuals. Afterwards those systems could give possibilities through simulation that the designer never anticipated or would be too complex for a more traditional artist to accomplish. This interest and mentality naturally drew me to FX related work.
We|me:do is a group of friends from Belgrade, Serbia who had gathered in order to have fun, explore and create amazing things. Until now they have worked on projects: Twitch: Loadout, Y-U-G-O, IFCC 2017 Main Titles, ICONS. Let’s find out more about them…
At the beginning, we want to commend your works that look really impressive. For these works, there is a small but selected team. Tell us more about yourself and how it all got started?
Sava: First off thank you for the kind words! Well for a couple of us it all started way back in school. Nenad, Mihailo and myself studied interior and furniture design at the Faculty of Applied Arts in Belgrade, but we quickly fell in love with 3D. We met Milan, Kristina and IzSvemira (NebojsaJez) later on in our freelancing days. At the start of my career I did a lot of architectural visualization and motion graphics but always wanted to make short films, which we finally got around to doing with our IFCC project.
Milan Nikolic (concept art), Kristina Antic (motion capture,) Nenad Merzel (vehicle artist), Nebojsa Jez/Iz Svemira (music/sound design, graphic design), Marko Bibuljica (motion capture,) Sava Zivkovic (direction/animation), Mihailo Radosevic (character artist)