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AzionA
03-06-2008, 02:14 PM
Say, i have been wondering. how do you become a good VFX artist. i love visual effects like water simulation or fire. but as im still studying now. i hope to get some good advice from professional out there. do i need to know other software other than maya like vue, realflow or houdini. currently im builting my portfolio to showcase for this year graduation show so that i can apply for internship at lucas animation[simulation department].

azshall
03-08-2008, 10:43 PM
Say, i have been wondering. how do you become a good VFX artist. i love visual effects like water simulation or fire. but as im still studying now. i hope to get some good advice from professional out there. do i need to know other software other than maya like vue, realflow or houdini. currently im builting my portfolio to showcase for this year graduation show so that i can apply for internship at lucas animation[simulation department].

Best and seriously, ... only advice.

Practice. Lots of practice. ...Doing the same rudimentary things over-and-over-and-over again. Using ample amounts of reference. Knowledge is power, the more you know and can "use" to your ability, the better off you are.

Pretty cliche response but it really is the truth...

CoolDuck
03-09-2008, 05:01 PM
Hi, I'm in the same position. :) Currently learning dynamics in Maya. And I want to be a VFX artist one day.
I suggest get inspired! And practice practice practice! Visit websites of VFX studios; view their work. Watch Stash... and watch a lot of Gnomon / Digital Tutors dvd's. Good luck!

Btw... I'm also from Singapore. ;)

AzionA
03-10-2008, 02:30 AM
Oh cool! , i never tot someone from Lucas Arts to actually reply me. haha. but what should i really practice on? keep creating VFX till i drop. or make one really good one and then submit it for validation. but nevertheless. thx for the advice man. btw coolduck, u'r in singapore too?

michaelwang
03-13-2008, 08:44 AM
Maybe you could begin your practice by doing the similar effects as others'. Try to get some ideas from people's show reels. And then try to challenge yourself by creating some effects you want to realize. Hope it's helpful. Good Luck.

AzionA
03-14-2008, 07:24 AM
hey! thx man. any other suggestion?

Wixman
03-14-2008, 10:06 AM
I think the exploring particles and particles for visual effects dvds from kolektiv are by far the best learning materials I've had:
http://www.kolektiv.com/products.php?PRODUCT_VIEW=Education

that is a bargain price too, as alias probably sold them for about $60 each back in the day.

xcomb
03-14-2008, 10:26 AM
The way i got to the point that i am capable of doing nice effects is of course different ways, practice on every daily basis, plus not limitted to Maya only.
I use time to time Houdini, 3ds Max, which helps me to achive the realism in both ways.
I've spent years on just getting that knowledge.
So it's not just you can learn something and think you are now capable of doing something good right away, no no.
Working with effects is very tedious procedure and takes up a lot of time and patience, you end up solving lots of issues concerning effects and it's unstable behaviors.
Every effect is acting different, meaning when you need to setup the fire, you have to think of the temperature and how much fuel, how it dessipates and dies off, same goes for smoke and stream.
I would recommend start off by learning expressions, that does have a good point to start with, especially when you deal with particles.
Most of my time, when i deal with dynamics i use MEL and expressions in production pipeline, which saves a lot of time and frustration!
That is my way of digging this industry!

Castius
03-17-2008, 07:45 PM
KISS (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KISS_principle)
Keep it simple stupid

This is the key most production VFX. This comes second to observation. If you understand what makes the effect LOOK real. You can make better judgments of what you need to make the effect work. It doesn't have to be simulated to reality to make it look like reality. Third is don't forget that it doesn't need to be computer generated. Intergreted real effects into your computer work will almost alwasy make your life alot easier.

On the niddy gritty details. Learn how to layer your work.
Start simple cloth meshs and then layer the medium res cloth on top. The simple cloth will give you the freedom to direct your work. Then use the medium to add the fine detail.

Learn how much mesh detail to you need for your collisions to look good. Super low will make your life harder. higher res will make your computer work harder. You need to find the right balance.

Than add a crap load of motion blur. 8)

DigitalBlaspheme
03-17-2008, 08:21 PM
Someone has already mentioned the best advice you can get in this field. You probably don't want to hear it, as your probably getting frustrated with the learning curve of your app, but practice is the only way to get better. There is no magic button to make yoru render awesome. Everything in this field from water sims to still shots can be done multiple ways and faked 3 or 4 other ways. It's all about your eperience, and what you found (thru that experience) to work best for you.

E.G-I can sit here and preach about poly to poly modeling...but if box modeling is better for you....then my breath and the tuts I passed onto you is wasted. You'll try it and get frustrated. If poly to poly was the only modeling advice you got (you musst not have been looking that hard lol), then you'd get frustrated and possibly quit....which would be a big mistake.

Another eg- More realistically though would be my approaches with topology. If people here could see my wires...lol...I'd catch soooo much flak. It's not that I ignore proper topology, I just find that (in most scenerios) it's not really needed all that much. This is where people start blowing arteries and crap, as anyone in the 3d world has been thouroughly (sp?) schooled on the "must have topology flow", especially animators. Well what would you say if I told you those 5 hrs you spent retopolgizing your model was waisted? What if I could tell you I can keep your mesh the way it is with some minor adjusting? Because lets face it...flowing loops ARE needed....they're just not needed every where. You'd probably say iwas a moron. But I've had the experiences thru out my career that tell me otherwise. I've taken models with wires that would make some of you dizzy, and done absolutely flawless animations with them.




PRACTICE...and then practice some more. And then...when your done practicing.....practice again. Especially since yoru talking about VFX. One setting can dramatically change that water sim turning it from gello into the most believeable swirling pool of water. But you wouldn't know that without some experimentation (aka...practice). Think of it this way, every time your adjusting a setting (or modeling something or whatever yoru doing) whether its used in the final shot(s) or not......was practice.

AzionA
03-18-2008, 01:58 AM
haha, kind to think of it, i feel so inspired to really work and work and work. thx guys!

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