Meet the Artist: Colin Strause, [Hydraulx]

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Old 02 February 2006   #46
Hi Colin,


Thanks for all the great info...good reading so far.
I noticed your comment on loyalty, and was curious. I've only been around for about a year, but are the studios or fx houses loyal? It seems like they'll drop you at a moments notice. I am very loyal to those who are loyal to me (if that makes sense), so this would have to be a two-way street right? This is not a comment on your studio, I'm only familiar with your work (love the Perfect Circle Outsider video by the way) and wanted your view in general.

Thanks
 
Old 02 February 2006   #47
Originally Posted by erilaz: Colin, you're known on the forum for having a pull-no-punches opinion in many matters, which is very refreshing. I have a lot of respect not only for your visual prowess but your level-headed industry sense.
  1. What is your opinion of the the level of ability prevalent in the new wave of people looking for work? Is it ample, or is finding strong reliable talent a diamond in the rough?
  2. I recall you mentioning once that finishers are the hardest people to find. How do you handle people that can't push that last 10 percent?
  3. Since you and Greg run/own the company, do you find yourself having to step out of the grunt work to oversee others?
  4. What part of the process do you enjoy the most?
  5. Could you give an example of a common Hydraulix day?
I'll leave it at that for the moment.


1) Not too good. There will always be a few gems out there, but there seems to be a lot of people coming out of school that don't have the "heart" to do this full time.

2) They don't last. Even though we do a lot of work our core team is still small, so if you can't finish your shots you won't stay around. That does make it hard for us to find people, but it also gets rid of lots of internal politics and in-fighting that bigger shops have between artists and mangement once quality problems become obvious.

3) Every day. I have to wait until night fall, or really early in the morning before I can jump on the box.

4) Mental Ray Lighting, and live action directing.

5) For me its work, work, a quick match of America's Army, eat, work, CoffeeBean, work, eat, work, sleep.
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Colin Strause
http://www.hydraulx.com/
 
Old 02 February 2006   #48
Originally Posted by Jackdeth: 1) Very few people that vocalize here seem to have any clue about how this industry really works. I think the fan boys and the assholes scared the "ones that know" away. I don't see any way of fixing that. People always act like jerks on the internet because they think they are safe hidding behind some fake name, so many professionals don't bother any more.


Hit that one right on the head.
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Old 02 February 2006   #49
Hi.
How should I pronounce "hydraulx" exactly?
Hidroulikks?

>>5) For me its work, work, a quick match of America's Army, eat, work, CoffeeBean, work, >>eat, work, sleep.

I often play pipeline, and killed so many noobies

Last edited by appppo : 02 February 2006 at 12:59 AM.
 
Old 02 February 2006   #50
Just to let you know your reel has been an inspiration to me and I always look into your site when Im dire need of some awesomeness.



Just wondering, how do you land the jobs you do? Youve worked on Constantine, The day after Tomorrow, did they look for you? Or did you send in a reel?
What was your favourite VFX job? Do you do any free lance or personal work?


Thank you for your time, and again amazing portfolio and reel. Have enjoyed your works for quite a while now.


Do you play any other games than AA? Whats it like to play a game and know you've worked on TDAT? I know stupid question... lol.

Last edited by hightillidie : 02 February 2006 at 03:27 AM.
 
Old 02 February 2006   #51
Originally Posted by hightillidie:

Just wondering, how do you land the jobs you do? Youve worked on Constantine, The day after Tomorrow, did they look for you? Or did you send in a reel?
What was your favourite VFX job? Do you do any free lance or personal work?



Every job is different. At first you have to fight and beg and fight for every job, and then later on you only have to fight. It has taken years to get the company to the point where people cold call us, but we still hit the pavement everyday trying to find new leads. If you get lazy, or you think too highly of yourself, then you are asking for trouble. We aim at 3 targets; this week, two months from now, and nine months from now. As long as you keep hitting those targets then the cash flow stays stable. Long term jobs pay less but they let you sleep better at night knowing that cash is coming in, where as short term jobs have a huge payout but you have no idea when/if they will ever happen.

As for my favorite jobs, I really liked working on DAT, but I'm really excited about X3 and 300 that we are doing now because of the cg characters.
__________________
Colin Strause
http://www.hydraulx.com/
 
Old 02 February 2006   #52
Cool Hey Colin

Hey Colin!

Long time no speak!


I'm curious what file formats and resoltuions you normally work with, i.e. what kind of data form does the studios give you plates/sequences in, and what format you deliver results.

Also I am curious about how you go about things like matching light responses of cameras/film/etc, if it's through elaborate specs from film manifacturers squeezed through rocket-scientist formulas... or by eye, and tweak in comp?

I also wonder about how often you get a lighting reference, and in what style it is (i.e. hold out of a maquette, gray/chrome ball photo, and if it's HDRI or just "shoot the damned chrome ball lets move on NOW!" )


/Z
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Old 02 February 2006   #53
Hi, Colin, first of all let me tell you that I've always enjoyed reading your posts here on cgtalk and, of course, watching what you've accomplished on DAT and Constantine and the others

On with some questions:

- How many artist work at [Hydraulx] and how are they subdivided between 3d, compositing and editing?

- Do you prefer specialized artists (a modeler, a lighter, an animator and so on) or people that can manage an entire shot?

- What's your position regarding "off the shelf-but customizable" software versus proprietary solutions like the ones from ILM, DD, R+H.... Do you feel somewhat limited or you develop smaller custom cut tools?

thanks for the time you're taking answering all these questions

P.s. - post some pics of your new studio
 
Old 02 February 2006   #54
Question landscape

Wow, man! That's really interesting! What wonderful works...

Ca u write something about landscape creation? How u work to create a landscape, how u work with skyes, horizon...clouds, animations... Can u rite a secret or a help?
Too much? He He... Thanks...
Good art!
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...... O L D F U T U R E d i g i t a l ......
 
Old 02 February 2006   #55
Question

Hi colin~

I just wanted to know your opinion on next gen game art?
or your overall opinion on the difference btw game art and film art?

do you think artist will be easier to trasition from game to film/ or from films to games easier?
or do you still think its 2 different things?

thanks!
young
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Old 02 February 2006   #56
I find it hard to be confident and display confidence about my work when pitching an idea for the exact reason you posted of seeming to have too big of an ego. How do you display confidence, the belief in your own idea and the quality thereof without seeming like a cock-ass. What turns you off to potential working artists? What's good to see?
 
Old 02 February 2006   #57
Originally Posted by Jackdeth: 5) For me its work, work, a quick match of America's Army, eat, work, CoffeeBean, work, eat, work, sleep.


Nice
I worked on America's Army for a little over 2 years. Cool to see the fans are still out there.
 
Old 02 February 2006   #58
First off, amazing work on Day After Tomorrow, I remember when I saw the first 4 min clip of it on TV, I was stunned at the visual effects.

Secondly, your personality is amazing. Not only are you blunt, but you speak straight up. You dont bullshit and I respect that. I know what you mean about the assholes that front themselves on this site, or any art site to bring others down. I commend you on that.

Third, this question is mostly for my friend. He's into CG too, and ill check back on this to see if you responded so I can show him. What do you suggest for him? College? A Degree? Or to jsut work on his reel and show it around? Whatst he best tip to motivate him?

Thanks, and keep up the amazing work
 
Old 02 February 2006   #59
Originally Posted by Master Zap: Hey Colin!

Long time no speak!


I'm curious what file formats and resoltuions you normally work with, i.e. what kind of data form does the studios give you plates/sequences in, and what format you deliver results.

Also I am curious about how you go about things like matching light responses of cameras/film/etc, if it's through elaborate specs from film manifacturers squeezed through rocket-scientist formulas... or by eye, and tweak in comp?

I also wonder about how often you get a lighting reference, and in what style it is (i.e. hold out of a maquette, gray/chrome ball photo, and if it's HDRI or just "shoot the damned chrome ball lets move on NOW!" )


/Z


What's up Zap!

For movie stuff, we usually get the files on DTF2 or LTO in a Cineon or DPX format, which is also how we deliever stuff as well.

We design all of our 3d renders for the comp. Everything is broken into passes, there is almost never a pure beauty pass. Its faster and eaiser to get the 3D looking perfect in 2D.

We just bought one of those Spheron HDRI cameras. Its ****ing amazing. 26 stops of exposure at a 4kx30k resoulution.
__________________
Colin Strause
http://www.hydraulx.com/
 
Old 02 February 2006   #60
Originally Posted by adonihs:
Third, this question is mostly for my friend. He's into CG too, and ill check back on this to see if you responded so I can show him. What do you suggest for him? College? A Degree? Or to jsut work on his reel and show it around? Whatst he best tip to motivate him?

Thanks, and keep up the amazing work



Tell him its all about the reel. It doesn't matter if he is schooled or not, it all comes down to the reel and his personality. As for motivation, all new artists need to understand it takes YEARS AND YEARS to get even slightly good a CG. I've been doing it for over 15 years and I'm still learning new shit every day.
__________________
Colin Strause
http://www.hydraulx.com/
 
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