May 13 saw the rare opportunity to meet the creative leaders from the entertainment industry and learn from their experience. The Masterclass included presentations and demonstrations by highly accomplished designers from Los Angeles based Gnomon School of Visual Effects, who took attendees inside their personal projects and processes. Gnomon was founded as a professional training center for designers looking to advance their studies within the visual effects industry.
These designers have contributed to Academy Award winning film titles and Triple A games, including Tomb Raider, Assassins Creed, The Last of Us, The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, Avatar, Prometheus and Star Trek amongst many others.
Masterclass Guest Lecturers
They shared their techniques, workflows and their experience working in teams of advanced practitioners and award winning directors.
Today’s digital landscapes require immersive environments that incorporate a very high level of detail. In order to facilitate the creation of such believable worlds, several tools exist that allow control over complex elements. In this Masterclass, Alex discussed solutions for digital landscapes and the various assets that populate them including terrain and vegetation. Tools such as Maya, ZBrush, GlobalMapper, World Machine, SpeedTree, Megascans, and Unreal have become critical assets in production. This includes working with real-world satellite data, procedural terrains and erosion, scan data, L-systems and physically based rendering. The end goal a clear overview of how such specialized tools complement each other. No world can be created leaf by leaf or stone by stone. The designer becomes conductor to the random chaos that must imbue anything that will be deemed… ‘natural’.
The evolution of visuals and storytelling for videogame cinematic. The release of Gears of War: “Mad World” marked a significant milestone in videogame cinematic and launch spots. We are now at a turning point where the visual and storytelling sophistication of videogame marketing content is approaching that of television and movies. In this presentation, Digital Domain/Mothership Director Neil Huxley took attendees through the production process of a video game cinematic/tv spot from storyboard to final compositing. From full body-and-facial performance capture to shooting virtual camera, Huxley explored technique and process on video game marketing content for Dead Space 3 and other triple A-level titles.
Madeleine Scott Spencer
From character design to 3D figurines. At Weta workshop detailed sculpting of high end collectable figures is done by the same designers who create the original costumes and characters. 3D Sculptor and creature designer Madeleine Scott Spencer shared insights of the initial design process of a new creature at Weta workshop through to character manufacture and then sculpting and design of the high-end collectibles. She demonstrated basic workflows in zBrush to print ready models.
Surviving as a designer in a constantly evolving entertainment industry requires adaption and the opportunity to work more effectively. This has meant for Aaron Limonick transitioning from a traditional illustrator to using programs like Photoshop and Modo, to build a scene and create high-end concept art. Aaron demonstrated how he draws on his traditional skills and how building the scenes in 3d software creates the level of detail that is expected of him in this ever changing industry.
Realize your own beast. Drawing on his vast experience designing creatures and teaching entertainment design, Neville is documenting his conceptual framework, and processes in a new book ‘Beauty in the Beast’ to be released in 2016. Here Neville gave us an in depth look at what the book will reveal, the exact thinking process behind creating his characters. From pencil sketching to computer sketching, from clay sculpting to digital sculpting he will detail the specific processes in which he achieves the final image. The outcome of the session was similar to his book, realising your own beasts, develop an appreciation for the grotesque, empathy in the unusual, a respect of the terrifying, and a love for all things off putting.
This is a DIA accredited event. It is worth 7 points of CPD.