Interview with Andrew Lowell

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.

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Licorne Ship project WIP – Igor Žanić

Igor’s FX simulation tests are well know in the VFX community and VFXSerbia members are big fans too.

Check his latest WIP test.

“This project was to test Bifrost guide workflow, render with MentalRay.
This is WIP, i wanted to complete first and then go back and fix some stuff.
I was simulating foam for background but use HOT ocean insted of meshed fluid sim, just to see if foam will match ocean geo and how much.”