UK industry VFX or Character animating

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Old 10 October 2011   #1
UK industry VFX or Character animating

I'm at a bit of a crossroads in terms of what course to continue on, I live in the UK and am unsure whether to continue on the BA character animation or swap to the BSc Visual effects and coding.

From what I understand the industry in the UK is more swayed towards VFX thanks to films like Harry potter.
My passion as a whole would be modelling and either way i would incorporate these into my course through the assignments but am wondering as a whole would it be better to know the practical side of this to animate and rig, or the technical side of things like knowing the likes of Mel and Python, with video composition etc?

Thanks
 
Old 10 October 2011   #2
Hi there!

I don't have an answer to your question, however regarding VFX, in case you choose that, what are the available options in UK? At least what school would you choose?

Thanks
 
Old 10 October 2011   #3
I am currently studying at Swansea Metropolitan University, i apologize that i forgot to mention that i am in my second year, as the first year is a generalist skills year.
I have had 3 years experience in 3DsMax before university and am mediocre with that and have a good understanding of how to model, rig and animate within Maya. As explained I'm just a bit confused whether its more beneficial to know MEL, Python and the likes of or continue with character animation.
As a whole I don't want to shoot myself in the foot (so to speak) in terms of getting a job at the end of university
. I understand you are in a similar predicament?
 
Old 10 October 2011   #4
In an ideal world, an artist has a good balance of both creative and technical skills. However, considering trends in the industry at the moment, I'd say you'd have better job opportunities if you cover technical skills like MEL and Python. There are loads of animators and modellers vying for the few vanancies but there are far fewer people in competition over the technical ones. Remember, scripting skills can also help your modelling skillset by enabling you to write scripts that increase your efficiency through automation of tasks and such. Also remember that you could use your technical skills to break into the industry and then work your way towards a more creative role once you're in.
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Old 10 October 2011   #5
Originally Posted by Baystey: I am currently studying at Swansea Metropolitan University, i apologize that i forgot to mention that i am in my second year, as the first year is a generalist skills year.
I have had 3 years experience in 3DsMax before university and am mediocre with that and have a good understanding of how to model, rig and animate within Maya. As explained I'm just a bit confused whether its more beneficial to know MEL, Python and the likes of or continue with character animation.
As a whole I don't want to shoot myself in the foot (so to speak) in terms of getting a job at the end of university
. I understand you are in a similar predicament?


I'm studying computer engineering at the moment and want to get in the VFX industry as soon as I graduate. However I'm confused regarding the route I should follow when I graduate. I could apply for Msc in Bournemouth at the Animation and Visual Effects program, which deals with the technical side of things of VFX, has a lot of programming etc or I could go to a VFX school like VFS and study there.In the second case I would learn about the VFX techniques, but not so much programming and research in VFX.
 
Old 10 October 2011   #6
Thank you very much Leigh that's helped a lot, I was told I could learn the coding the work my way through, as said my mainstay is in modelling but I know there's so little of that available and you have to be the mutts nuts to get them, so I think I'll learn the technical and go from there.

Elendorial, I think either way you'll have to learn the one and take your own time to do the other, as I've said i will be doing, I'm going to learn the languages and perfect my modelling throughout the next two years in my course hopefully incorporating them into my course, this will be a little extra work for me, but I know I'll get what i put!
 
Old 10 October 2011   #7
I will echo what Leigh noted above as a trend in video game development also. I just had a good discussion with a graduate of a 4-year college with a CG-related degree with emphasis on animation. He was able to get an interview with two different video game companies, but he did not have any programming nor scripting background. Both companies told him that they would not hire him unless he knows some scripting (especially for animation rigs, etc.). He is now taking C++ and scripting in MEL and Python. Even a mobile platform game developer in our area requires scripting knowledge for modelers, animators, and even its artists given that they have to have multiple skill sets. Writing game engine shaders, scripting plug-ins for Maya, scripting for rigs, and scripting for particle and fluid effects are desired skills.
 
Old 11 November 2011   #8
What about jobs such as camera tracking? Like you aid everyone wants the glamojobs such as animation, modelling, compositing etc. What about the more tediuos jobs such as camera tracking, is there a demand for them still in VFX, and is it a good way to get a foot in the door?.

thanks
 
Old 11 November 2011   #9
Originally Posted by mitcoz: What about jobs such as camera tracking? Like you aid everyone wants the glamojobs such as animation, modelling, compositing etc. What about the more tediuos jobs such as camera tracking, is there a demand for them still in VFX, and is it a good way to get a foot in the door?.

thanks


All big VFX studios have tracking departments (because all VFX shots require tracking), although tracking is generally used as an entry into the field for many people, especially modellers and animators. Not a lot of people choose to specialise in it and stay in the role.
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leighvanderbyl.com
 
Old 11 November 2011   #10
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