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  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Represented at 2020 Visual Effects Society Awards

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    New York Film Academy (NYFA) was well-represented at this year’s Visual Effects Society Awards, awarded by the Visual Effects Society (VES) entertainment industry’s only organization representing the full breadth of visual effects practitioners including artists, animators, technologists, model makers, educators, studio leaders, supervisors, PR/marketing specialists and producers in all areas of entertainment from film, television and commercials to music videos and games.

    Visual Effects Society Awards

    NYFA MFA Game Design alum Guillermo Quesada worked on the VR technology used for 2019’s The Lion King, which won the evening’s top honor for Outstanding Visual Effects, as well as awards for virtual cinematography and created digital environments.

    NYFA 3D Animation & VFX alum Alexandra LoRusso worked on the Game of Thrones finale “The Iron Throne,” which won Outstanding Created Environment in an Episode, Commercial, or Real-Time Project and did effects animation for nominee Gemini Man.

    NYFA 3D Animation & VFX alum Francesco Panzieri worked as a compositor on two nominees–Spider-Man: Far from Home and Terminator: Dark Fate. Both of these films were also worked on by NYFA 3D Animation & VFX instructor Nate Usiak.

    His colleague, NYFA 3D Animation & VFX instructor Kelley Williams, did tech animation for Frozen 2, which earned multiple nominations and won Outstanding Effects Simulations in an Animated Feature.

    Craig Caton, the NYFA 3D Animation & VFX Chair, worked as an anim servo on nominees Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance and Jurassic World: The Ride; the latter won Outstanding Visual Effects in a Special Venue Project while the former won Outstanding Special (Practical) Effects in a Photoreal or Animated Project.

    Here is a full list of this year’s Visual Effects Society Awards nominees and winners:

    Outstanding Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature

    ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL
    Richard Hollander
    Kevin Sherwood
    Eric Saindon
    Richard Baneham
    Bob Trevino

    AVENGERS: ENDGAME
    Dan DeLeeuw
    Jen Underdahl
    Russell Earl
    Matt Aitken
    Daniel Sudick

    GEMINI MAN
    Bill Westenhofer
    Karen Murphy-Mundell
    Guy Williams
    Sheldon Stopsack
    Mark Hawker

    STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER
    Roger Guyett
    Stacy Bissell
    Patrick Tubach
    Neal Scanlan
    Dominic Tuohy

    WINNER: THE LION KING
    Robert Legato

    Tom Peitzman
    Adam Valdez
    Andrew R. Jones

    Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature

    1917
    Guillaume Rocheron
    Sona Pak
    Greg Butler
    Vijay Selvam
    Dominic Tuohy

    FORD V FERRARI
    Olivier Dumont
    Kathy Siegel
    Dave Morley
    Malte Sarnes
    Mark Byers

    JOKER
    Edwin Rivera
    Brice Parker
    Mathew Giampa
    Bryan Godwin
    Jeff Brink

    THE AERONAUTS
    Louis Morin
    Annie Godin
    Christian Kaestner
    Ara Khanikian
    Mike Dawson

    WINNER: THE IRISHMAN
    Pablo Helman
    Mitchell Ferm
    Jill Brooks
    Leandro Estebecorena
    Jeff Brink

    Outstanding Visual Effects in an Animated Feature

    FROZEN 2
    Steve Goldberg
    Peter Del Vecho
    Mark Hammel
    Michael Giaimo

    KLAUS
    Sergio Pablos
    Matthew Teevan
    Marcin Jakubowski
    Szymon Biernacki

    WINNER: MISSING LINK
    Brad Schiff
    Travis Knight
    Steve Emerson
    Benoit Dubuc

    THE LEGO MOVIE 2: THE SECOND PART
    David Burgess
    Timothy Jason Smith
    Mark Theriault
    John Rix

    TOY STORY 4
    Josh Cooley
    Mark Nielsen
    Bob Moyer
    Gary Bruins

    Outstanding Visual Effects in a Photoreal Episode

    GAME OF THRONES; “The Bells”
    Joe Bauer
    Steve Kullback
    Ted Rae
    Mohsen Mousavi
    Sam Conway

    HIS DARK MATERIALS; “The Fight to the Death”
    Russell Dodgson
    James Whitlam
    Shawn Hillier
    Robert Harrington

    LADY AND THE TRAMP
    Robert Weaver
    Christopher Raimo
    Arslan Elver
    Michael Cozens
    Bruno Van Zeebroeck

    LOST IN SPACE; “Ninety-Seven”
    Jabbar Raisani
    Terron Pratt
    Niklas Jacobson
    Juri Stanossek
    Paul Benjamin

    STRANGER THINGS – “Chapter Six: E Pluribus Unum”
    Paul Graff
    Tom Ford
    Michael Maher Jr.
    Martin Pelletier
    Andy Sowers

    WINNER: THE MANDALORIAN; “The Child”
    Richard Bluff
    Abbigail Keller
    Jason Porter
    Hayden Jones
    Roy K. Cancino

    Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Photoreal Episode

    WINNER: CHERNOBYL; “1:23:45”
    Max Dennison
    Lindsay McFarlane
    Clare Cheetham
    Paul Jones
    Claudius Christian Rauch

    LIVING WITH YOURSELF; “Nice Knowing You”
    Jay Worth
    Jacqueline VandenBussche
    Chris Wright
    Tristan Zerafa

    SEE; “Godflame”
    Adrian de Wet
    Eve Fizzinoglia
    Matthew Welford
    Pedro Sabrosa
    Tom Blacklock

    THE CROWN; “Aberfan”
    Ben Turner
    Reece Ewing
    David Fleet
    Jonathan Wood

    VIKINGS; “What Happens in the Cave”
    Dominic Remane
    Mike Borrett
    Ovidiu Cinazan
    Tom Morrison
    Paul Byrne

    Outstanding Visual Effects in a Real-Time Project

    Call of Duty Modern Warfare
    Charles Chabert
    Chris Parise
    Attila Zalanyi
    Patrick Hagar

    WINNER: Control
    Janne Pulkkinen

    Elmeri Raitanen
    Matti Hämäläinen
    James Tottman

    Gears 5
    Aryan Hanbeck
    Laura Kippax
    Greg Mitchell
    Stu Maxwell

    Myth: A Frozen Tale
    Jeff Gipson
    Nicholas Russell
    Brittney Lee
    Jose Luis Gomez Diaz

    Vader Immortal: Episode I
    Ben Snow
    Mike Doran
    Aaron McBride
    Steve Henricks

    Outstanding Visual Effects in a Commercial

    “Anthem Conviction”
    Viktor Muller
    Lenka Likarova
    Chris Harvey
    Petr Marek

    “BMW Legend”
    Michael Gregory
    Christian Downes
    Tim Kafka
    Toya Drechsler

    WINNER: “Hennessy: The Seven Worlds”
    Carsten Keller
    Selçuk Ergen
    Kiril Mirkov
    William Laban

    “PlayStation: Feel The Power of Pro”
    Sam Driscoll
    Clare Melia
    Gary Driver
    Stefan Susemihl

    “Purdey’s: Hummingbird”
    Jules Janaud
    Emma Cook
    Matthew Thomas
    Philip Child

    Outstanding Visual Effects in a Special Venue Project

    Avengers: Damage Control
    Michael Koperwas
    Sherief Fattouh
    Ian Bowie
    Kishore Vijay
    Curtis Hickman

    Jurassic World: The Ride
    Hayden Landis
    Friend Wells
    Heath Kraynak
    Ellen Coss

    Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
    Asa Kalama
    Rob Huebner
    Khatsho Orfali
    Susan Greenhow

    WINNER: Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
    Jason Bayever

    Patrick Kearney
    Carol Norton
    Bill George

    Universal Sphere
    James Healy
    Morgan MacCuish
    Ben West
    Charlie Bayliss

    Outstanding Animated Character in a Photoreal Feature

    WINNER: ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL; Alita
    Michael Cozens
    Mark Haenga
    Olivier Lesaint
    Dejan Momcilovic

    AVENGERS: ENDGAME; Smart Hulk
    Kevin Martel
    Ebrahim Jahromi
    Sven Jensen
    Robert Allman

    GEMINI MAN; Junior
    Paul Story
    Stuart Adcock
    Emiliano Padovani
    Marco Revelant

    THE LION KING; Scar
    Gabriel Arnold
    James Hood
    Julia Friedl
    Daniel Fotheringham

    Outstanding Animated Character in an Animated Feature

    FROZEN 2; The Water Nøkk
    Svetla Radivoeva
    Marc Bryant
    Richard E. Lehmann
    Cameron Black

    KLAUS; Jesper
    Yoshimichi Tamura
    Alfredo Cassano
    Maxime Delalande
    Jason Schwartzman

    WINNER: MISSING LINK; Susan
    Rachelle Lambden
    Brenda Baumgarten
    Morgan Hay
    Benoit Dubuc

    TOY STORY 4; Bo Peep
    Radford Hurn
    Tanja Krampfert
    George Nguyen
    Becki Rocha Tower

    Outstanding Animated Character in an Episode or Real-Time Project

    LADY AND THE TRAMP; Tramp
    Thiago Martins
    Arslan Elver
    Stanislas Paillereau
    Martine Chartrand

    WINNER: STRANGER THINGS 3; Tom/Bruce Monster
    Joseph Dubé-Arsenault
    Antoine Barthod
    Frederick Gagnon
    Xavier Lafarge

    THE MANDALORIAN; “The Child”; Mudhorn
    Terry Bannon
    Rudy Massar
    Hugo Leygnac

    THE UMBRELLA ACADEMY; “Pilot”; Pogo
    Aidan Martin
    Craig Young
    Olivier Beierlein
    Laurent Herveic

    Outstanding Animated Character in a Commercial

    “Apex Legends”; Meltdown; Mirage
    Chris Bayol
    John Fielding
    Derrick Sesson
    Nole Murphy

    “Churchill”; Churchie
    Martino Madeddu
    Philippe Moine
    Clement Granjon
    Jon Wood

    WINNER: “Cyberpunk 2077”; Dex
    Jonas Ekman
    Jonas Skoog
    Marek Madej
    Grzegorz Chojnacki

    “John Lewis”; Excitable Edgar; Edgar
    Tim van Hussen
    Diarmid Harrison-Murray
    Amir Bazazi
    Michael Diprose

    Outstanding Created Environment in a Photoreal Feature

    ALADDIN; Agrabah
    Daniel Schmid
    Falk Boje
    Stanislaw Marek
    Kevin George

    ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL; Iron City
    John Stevenson-Galvin
    Ryan Arcus
    Mathias Larserud
    Mark Tait

    MOTHERLESS BROOKLYN; Penn Station
    John Bair
    Vance Miller
    Sebastian Romero
    Steve Sullivan

    STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER; Pasaana Desert
    Daniele Bigi
    Steve Hardy
    John Seru
    Steven Denyer

    WINNER: THE LION KING; The Pridelands
    Marco Rolandi
    Luca Bonatti
    Jules Bodenstein
    Filippo Preti

    Outstanding Created Environment in an Animated Feature

    FROZEN 2; Giants’ Gorge
    Samy Segura
    Jay V. Jackson
    Justin Cram
    Scott Townsend

    HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON: THE HIDDEN WORLD; The Hidden World
    Chris Grun
    Ronnie Cleland
    Ariel Chisholm
    Philippe Brochu

    MISSING LINK; Passage to India Jungle
    Oliver Jones
    Phil Brotherton
    Nick Mariana
    Ralph Procida

    WINNER: TOY STORY 4; Antiques Mall
    Hosuk Chang
    Andrew Finley
    Alison Leaf
    Philip Shoebottom

    Outstanding Created Environment in an Episode, Commercial, or Real-Time Project

    WINNER: GAME OF THRONES; The Iron Throne; Red Keep Plaza
    Carlos Patrick DeLeon
    Alonso Bocanegra Martinez
    Marcela Silva
    Benjamin Ross

    LOST IN SPACE; Precipice; The Trench
    Philip Engström
    Benjamin Bernon
    Martin Bergquist
    Xuan Prada

    THE DARK CRYSTAL: AGE OF RESISTANCE; The Endless Forest
    Sulé Bryan
    Charles Chorein
    Christian Waite
    Martyn Hawkins

    THE MANDALORIAN; Nevarro Town
    Alex Murtaza
    Yanick Gaudreau
    Marco Tremblay
    Maryse Bouchard

    Outstanding Virtual Cinematography in a CG Project

    ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL
    Emile Ghorayeb
    Simon Jung
    Nick Epstein
    Mike Perry

    WINNER: THE LION KING
    Robert Legato

    Caleb Deschanel
    Ben Grossmann
    AJ Sciutto

    THE MANDALORIAN; “The Prisoner”; The Roost
    Richard Bluff
    Jason Porter
    Landis Fields IV
    Barry Baz Idoine

    TOY STORY 4
    Jean-Claude Kalache
    Patrick Lin

    Outstanding Model in a Photoreal or Animated Project

    LOST IN SPACE; The Resolute
    Xuan Prada
    Jason Martin
    Jonathan Vårdstedt
    Eric Andersson

    MISSING LINK; The Manchuria
    Todd Alan Harvey
    Dan Casey
    Katy Hughes

    THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE; Rocket Train
    Neil Taylor
    Casi Blume
    Ben McDougal
    Chris Kuhn

    WINNER: THE MANDALORIAN; “The Sin”; The Razorcrest
    Doug Chiang
    Jay Machado
    John Goodson
    Landis Fields IV

    Outstanding Effects Simulations in a Photoreal Feature

    DUMBO; Bubble Elephants
    Sam Hancock
    Victor Glushchenko
    Andrew Savchenko
    Arthur Moody

    SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME; Molten Man
    Adam Gailey
    Jacob Santamaria
    Jacob Clark
    Stephanie Molk

    WINNER: STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER
    Don Wong

    Thibault Gauriau
    Goncalo Cabaca
    François-Maxence Desplanques

    THE LION KING
    David Schneider
    Samantha Hiscock
    Andy Feery
    Kostas Strevlos

    Outstanding Effects Simulations in an Animated Feature

    ABOMINABLE
    Alex Timchenko
    Domin Lee
    Michael Losure
    Eric Warren

    WINNER: FROZEN 2
    Erin V. Ramos

    Scott Townsend
    Thomas Wickes
    Rattanin Sirinaruemarn

    HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON: THE HIDDEN WORLD; Water and Waterfalls
    Derek Cheung
    Baptiste Van Opstal
    Youxi Woo
    Jason Mayer

    TOY STORY 4
    Alexis Angelidis
    Amit Baadkar
    Lyon Liew
    Michael Lorenzen

    Outstanding Effects Simulations in an Episode, Commercial, or Real-Time Project

    GAME OF THRONES; “The Bells”
    Marcel Kern
    Paul Fuller
    Ryo Sakaguchi
    Thomas Hartmann

    “Hennessy: The Seven Worlds”
    Selçuk Ergen
    Radu Ciubotariu
    Andreu Lucio
    Vincent Ullmann

    LOST IN SPACE; “Precipice”; Water Planet
    Juri Bryan
    Hugo Medda
    Kristian Olsson
    John Perrigo

    WINNER: STRANGER THINGS 3; Melting Tom/Bruce
    Nathan Arbuckle
    Christian Gaumond
    James Dong
    Aleksandr Starkov

    THE MANDALORIAN; “The Child”; Mudhorn
    Xavier Martin Ramirez
    Ian Baxter
    Fabio Siino
    Andrea Rosa

    Outstanding Compositing in a Feature

    ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL
    Adam Bradley
    Carlo Scaduto
    Hirofumi Takeda
    Ben Roberts

    AVENGERS: ENDGAME
    Tim Walker
    Blake Winder
    Tobias Wiesner
    Joerg Bruemmer

    CAPTAIN MARVEL; Young Nick Fury
    Trent Claus
    David Moreno Hernandez
    Jeremiah Sweeney
    Yuki Uehara

    STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER
    Jeff Sutherland
    John Galloway
    Sam Bassett
    Charles Lai

    WINNER: THE IRISHMAN
    Nelson Sepulveda

    Vincent Papaix
    Benjamin O’Brien
    Christopher Doerhoff

    Outstanding Compositing in an Episode

    GAME OF THRONES; “The Bells”
    Scott Joseph
    James Elster
    Corinne Teo
    Sean Heuston

    WINNER: GAME OF THRONES; “The Long Night”; Dragon Ground Battle
    Mark Richardson
    Darren Christie
    Nathan Abbot
    Owen Longstaff

    STRANGER THINGS 3; Starcourt Mall Battle
    Simon Lehembre
    Andrew Kowbell
    Karim El-Masry
    Miklos Mesterhazy

    WATCHMEN; “It’s Summer and We’re Running Out of Ice”; Looking Glass
    Nathaniel Larouche
    Iyi Tubi
    Perunika Yorgova
    Mitchell Beaton

    Outstanding Compositing in a Commercial

    “BMW Legend”
    Toya Drechsler
    Vivek Tekale
    Guillaume Weiss
    Alexander Kulikov

    “Feeding America; I Am Hunger in America”
    Dan Giraldo
    Marcelo Pasqualino
    Alexander Koester

    WINNER: “Hennessy; The Seven Worlds”
    Rod Norman
    Guillaume Weiss
    Alexander Kulikov
    Alessandro Granella

    “PlayStation: Feel the Power of Pro”
    Gary Driver
    Stefan Susemihl
    Greg Spencer
    Theajo Dharan

    Outstanding Special (Practical) Effects in a Photoreal or Animated Project

    ALADDIN; Magic Carpet
    Mark Holt
    Jay Mallet
    Will Wyatt
    Dickon Mitchell

    GAME OF THRONES; “The Bells”
    Sam Conway
    Terry Palmer
    Laurence Harvey
    Alastair Vardy

    TERMINATOR: DARK FATE
    Neil Corbould
    David Brighton
    Ray Ferguson
    Keith Dawson

    WINNER: THE DARK CRYSTAL: THE AGE OF RESISTANCE; “She Knows All the Secrets”
    Sean Mathiesen
    Jon Savage
    Toby Froud
    Phil Harvey

    Outstanding Visual Effects in a Student Project

    DOWNFALL
    Matías Heker
    Stephen Moroz
    Bradley Cocksedge

    LOVE AND FIFTY MEGATONS
    Denis Krez
    Josephine Roß
    Paulo Scatena
    Lukas Löffler

    OEIL POUR OEIL
    Alan Guimont
    Thomas Boileau
    Malcolm Hunt
    Robin Courtoise

    WINNER: THE BEAUTY
    Marc Angele
    Aleksandra Todorovic
    Pascal Schelbli
    Noel Winzen

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  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) 3D Animation & VFX Alum Joins Paradox Interactive

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    Hanna Johansson, an alum of the Fall 2016 1-Year 3D Animation & Visual Effects conservatory at New York Film Academy (NYFA), has been hired as a character animator for Paradox Interactive.Hanna Johansson

    Paradox Interactive AB is a video game publisher based out of Stockholm, Sweden, and was founded in 1999. They are best known for their historically-themed strategy games, as well as role-playing games and management simulators.

    They are perhaps best known for their games Prison Architect and Cities: Skylines. The latter was released in 2015 as a competitor to SimCity, and has sold over six million copies.

    At NYFA’s Los Angeles campus, Johansson learned the craft from an award-winning faculty of professional animators and visual effects artists. In addition to working as a Teachers Assistant in NYFA’s Animation department, Johansson has worked as a freelance 3D animator since graduation. She has been working with Paradox Interactive’s Arctic Studio as a character animator since June 2019.

    New York Film Academy congratulates 3D Animation & Visual Effects alum Hanna Johansson on her position and looks forward to her future work as an animator!

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    September 15, 2019 • 3D Animation, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 456

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Hosts Creators Society Panel on Animation Careers

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    Last month, New York Film Academy (NYFA) hosted the Creators Society monthly meeting and panel discussion. The Creators Society is a group of passionate, like-minded members of the animation community who work in the fields of film, TV, commercials, visual effects, VR/AR, and gaming. The topic for August’s panel was “Freelance Vs. Big Studios: Navigating a Career in Animation.”

    Artists, producers, and animators from DreamWorks, Warner Brothers, Disney, and more came to NYFA to mingle and share their advice with Creator Society members and students of the NYFA 3D & Visual Effects Animation department. 

    Creators Society Panel Sept 2019

    The panelists included:

    Melody Severns: Severns started her career interning at Film Roman and moved into the role of layout artist on The Simpsons (both the show and movie). She’s worked in production management on Monster High, Transformers: Robots in Disguise, and DC Superhero Girls. She is also the founder and head of Girls Drawin’ Girls, an art organization dedicated to promoting the work female artists in the animation industry.

    Daniel “Hashi” Hashimoto: Hashi worked for DreamWorks Animation’s visual development team. Since 2014, Hashi has been using his VFX skills to turn the playtime of his young son, James, into the viral webseries Action Movie Kid, which has over a million followers across social media. He’s partnered with Disney, LucasFilm, Warner Brothers, Target, and Toys ‘R’ Us in commercial campaigns, and is now a Senior Content Creator at Red Giant, creating their series Cheap Tricks. Hashi still consults for animation studios on upcoming feature film projects and is developing new and fun ideas with his writing partners.

    Liz Climo: Climo has worked in animation as a writer, storyboard artist, layout artist, and animator on shows like The Simpsons and Harvey Beaks, as well as The Simpsons Movie. She is also the writer and illustrator of the Rory the Dinosaur series of children’s books, as well as You Don’t Want A Unicorn, Lobster is the Best Medicine, and other titles.

    Creators Society Panel Sept 2019

    Students and alumni attending the event had a wonderful time listening to the panelists. Here are just some of the responses from the attendees:

    “My first Creator Society event was an extremely pleasant, eye-opening experience. To have the chance to mingle with artists in the industry, make connections, and listen to their stories and experiences is invaluable.

    “One of the things I took from this event was that as an artist, you don’t have to be good at everything. Most of the people I spoke with—along with the event’s speakers—weren’t jack-of-all-trades types but were instead exceptionally good at something that made them artistically unique, which (along with luck and the right connections) is what helps you get a job in the industry.”

    -Hilmar Loftsson, BFA 3D & VFX Animation Student

    “They talked about how to stand out as a woman in the animation industry—to which they talked about making yourself be seen and occupying space. Like not sitting in a corner where no one sees you, but instead take your space and make yourself be noticed and not be overshadowed by the men. Which, in a way, I think it can be applied to recent hires in the sense of voicing their opinions and not being afraid to give suggestions that might help the overall project.”
    -Juan Gordillo, BFA 3D & VFX Animation Student

    “The event with the Creator Society was the first of its kind for NYFA, and a successful one at it. The panel was divided between professionals who work at bigger companies and ones that are self-employed and work as freelance. It was very interesting and helpful to hear the collected thoughts of these brilliant panelists, on the differences between working at a studio for others and being your own boss. 

    “They talked about what traits artists should have when working at bigger studios, what to expect, and the division between creativity and technicality at these two different settings. The four professional panelists were also very fun to listen to. They were serious with their answers and opinions, yet in a joking and funny way that made the event more casual and fun than a boring Q&A session. Students and visitors responded positively to the event, and many wanted to talk to the panelists afterwards.”
    -Gayatri Ankam, 1-Year 3D & VFX Animation Alumni

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    September 5, 2019 • 3D Animation, Guest Speakers • Views: 757

  • New York Film Academy Partners with Giornate degli Autori at Venice Film Festival

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    New York Film Academy (NYFA) has partnered with Giornate degli Autori at the Venice Film Festival to hold an all-day event on September 4, 2019.

    Giornata degli Autori, a parallel section of the Venice Film Festival, is modeled on “Directors’ Fortnight” at Cannes Film Festival and aims to present high quality cinema that features innovation, research, originality, and independence.

    The event will feature two Master Classes taught by Craig Caton (E.T., Ghostbusters, Jurassic Park), Chair of NYFA’s 3D Animation & Visual Effects department, the first of which will be exclusive to the jurors of Giornate degli Autori while the second will be open to festival-goers and the press. Craig will present the basics of motion capture technology and a real-time interactive facial recognition demonstration with volunteers from the audience. Following the second Master Class, NYFA will screen three selected student shorts: Scout by Alex Cvetkov (Slovenia, Italy), 8 by Gabriele Fabbro (United States, Italy), and Two Weeks in Laredo by Adrianne Lundy (United States).  These films by NYFA’s most recent crop of students are representative of the quality that NYFA students produce throughout the course of their studies:

    Giornate degli Autori logoOf the upcoming event New York Film Academy Florence Director Diana Santi said, “On behalf of NYFA, I can say that we are excited to present our educational method and a selection of student shorts to the audience of Giornata degli Autori at the Venice Film Festival 2019. Our mission has always been to train students to be industry-ready through our hands-on, learn-by-doing philosophy that gives students access to cutting-edge equipment and internationally acclaimed instructors such as Craig Caton. We also offer students the support to take the first steps in the industry as professionals.”

    On partnering with NYFA, Giorgio Gosetti, Giornata degli Autori Director, shared, “Inside the huge Hollywood machine, there are skills that give form to ideas that would otherwise be impossible to portray on screen. We wanted to highlight this aspect of filmmaking to reveal the authorship that goes beyond the script, and the place where inspiration and technique meet, the result being those film classics we all adore. Inviting Craig Caton means creating a space for film education, in the form of an entertaining, dynamic class on spaceships, dinosaurs and imaginary creatures turned real, with Caton as our guide.”

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    August 30, 2019 • 3D Animation, Film Festivals, Film School, Filmmaking • Views: 152

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) 3D Animation & Visual Effects Alumni Bring to Life Superhero Films, ‘Game of Thrones’, ‘Star Trek’ and More

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    Students who graduate from the 3D Animation & Visual Effects programs at New York Film Academy (NYFA) have gone on to work on numerous high-profile, visually stunning films, games, and television series, including Game of Thrones, Shazam!, The Orville, and more.

    It’s no surprise NYFA 3D Animation & VFX alumni have found success after graduation—they learned their craft from a professional faculty of working, award-winning animators and visual artists who shared their own industry secrets and practical knowledge to prepare students for careers in a competitive and rewarding industry. 

    NYFA offers workshops, conservatories, camps, and BFA and MFA in 3D Animation programs where students will use state-of-the-art software and equipment and learn the various skills necessary for successful careers in the industry—including storyboarding, modeling, particle dynamics, advanced rigging, and much, much more.

    Take a closer look at some esteemed alumni of the NYFA 3D Animation & Visual Effects programs and see where their studies have taken them so far. Click each image for a detailed, fullscreen look at these graduates’ achievements!

    You can find more information on the programs offered by the New York Film Academy 3D Animation & Visual Effects department here!

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    July 22, 2019 • 3D Animation, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 1122

  • Meet the Faculty of the New York Film Academy (NYFA) 3D Animation & Visual Effects Department

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    Part of what makes the 3D Animation & Visual Effects department at New York Film Academy (NYFA) one of the best animation schools in the world is its experienced, professional, award-winning faculty. 

    These working animators and visual artists are the perfect instructors to NYFA Animation student, able to share a wealth of industry secrets and practical knowledge to prepare students for professional careers in a competitive industry after graduation. By showing students first-hand how they’ve applied their skills on well-known projects like Star Wars and The Last of Us, these exceptional instructors help embody NYFA’s mission to teach the practical, technical and artistic skills necessary for a career in the visual arts.

    Here is a closer look at some of the esteemed faculty of the NYFA 3D Animation & Visual Effects department. Click each image for a detailed, fullscreen look at each faculty member’s achievements!

    You can find more information on the programs offered by the New York Film Academy 3D Animation & Visual Effects department here!

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    July 9, 2019 • 3D Animation, Faculty Highlights • Views: 963

  • A Peek Behind The VFX of “Avengers: Infinity War” with New York Film Academy Alum Francesco Panzieri

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    Francesco Infinity War

    A shot from The Avengers: Infinity War

    Francesco Panzieri is no stranger to big hits, both in television and film. Panzieri’s name has been included in the credits for Spider-Man: Homecoming, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Mad Men, True Detective, Westworld, and many others.

    Still, the New York Film Academy alum’s most recent work on Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War may be the biggest film he has worked on to date. The superhero blockbuster raked in $630 million on its opening weekend, which is the biggest opening of all time.

    The digital effects compositor sat down with us to discuss Avengers, his upcoming projects, and how his time at NYFA helped prepare him for career.

    NYFA: How did your experience on Infinity War compare to the other Marvel films you’ve worked on?
    Francesco Panzieri: On my first Marvel movie, Spider-Man: Homecoming, I was actually working in-house within Marvel Studios, where I was tasked with 2D live-action visual effects. As such, my work scope was compositing actors from green screen onto photographed backgrounds, monitor insert, wire removal, plate re-timing, re-positioning, scale-up and split-screen.

    On Thor: Ragnarok and eventually Avengers: Infinity War, the team at Digital Domain had to deal with some intricate compositing of CG characters onto live-action plates. I came aboard late in the game on Thor, yet I was still lucky to get some cool looking shots, including the composite of a blue-screen take of Chris Hemsworth over a fully-CG environment in the Sakaar chase sequence, where Thor smashes the engine of a spaceship barehanded.

    On Avengers, stakes got higher. Almost every one of our shots in the sequence featured Thanos versus an Avenger; I was very lucky to get him in each of my five shots and by getting to work on one of the trailer shots released to the public two months before the movie came out. Captain America and Thor were the other two characters in my shots, so I also focused on locking down their hands onto Thanos’ gauntlet and head, to make sure that the audience would really perceive that rock solid hold as the Avengers attempt to save half the universe.

    DD had developed a technique to color-grade Thanos in a photo-realistic yet nonhuman way while adding some splash of purple on selected areas of his face and body. We also made a great use of the subsurface scattering render-layer to fine-tune his color and deep ID’s for his stubble and hair. Thanos was fully rendered in VRay with many proprietary skin shaders that DD has been continually refining for years; all the compositing was done in Nuke.

    NYFA: Was it harder to deal with mo-cap and completely CG characters like Thanos, Groot, and Rocket, or easier to incorporate VFX in their scenes?
    Francesco: The photo-realism that Digital Domain was trying to achieve on this feature definitely pushed the CG characters to be the most-challenging part. The team really cared about giving them a perfect fitting in the scene under every point of view. We made sure that black levels matched accurately to the live-action plate and brainstormed every possible interactive light from the environment onto the characters and vice versa.

    Ultimately, during every session of dailies, the supervisors kept asking, “How can we make the shot look spectacular?” or ‘What is this shot missing from looking memorable?” For Thanos, we had some great rigging work done to enhance all the muscle tension from Josh Brolin’s performance onto his digital character to help perceive the struggle during the fight scenes, as well as the weight he is bringing in the game to fight the Avengers.

    All of the Thanos work you see in the movie, with the exception of the sequence on Titan, belongs to the tireless work of the artists at Digital Domain.

    NYFA: How much direction, or conversely, freedom, are you given by the directors when crafting VFX?
    Francesco: It can vary. As previously mentioned, with Marvel, if you’re tasked with something that has already been done in their previous movies, you can rest assured that they will ask you to stay on that same beaten path. Of course, your work might exceed their expectations in terms of presentation and integration, but they really care about keeping the continuity with their previous movies as the MCU is a big shared playground.

    On another note, if you’re being asked to introduce something new to the visual story, you can really push the limit of your creativity and submit different versions for their review, as long as you also keep in mind what your VFX supervisor asks you to do and that your work must look coherent with the storytelling.

    Infinity War Francesco

    A shot from The Avengers: Infinity War

    NYFA: Was it easier creating VFX taking place in NYC and the real world or easier creating them in the totally made-up space fantasy worlds?
    Francesco: It is always easier to work with a photographed plate as a reference for compositing anything over it. Trying to create a fully CG environment without any real photographic reference can really make things unfriendly, unless you know precisely what you’re aiming at and what you want it to look like. The flexibility that comes with it can very well be a double-edged weapon if you’re on a tight deadline, however it also gives you plenty of creative freedom to fully express the storytelling.

    NYFA: How did NYFA prepare you for this particular job?
    Francesco: NYFA trained me to work very hard and for long hours. I was able to grasp a solid knowledge of 2D and 3D during my time there, thanks to a very organic and inclusive approach to the art of filmmaking and storytelling. I was able to develop technical and artistic skills that could help me find a job once I graduated, and I had a fantastic time during my studies.

    NYFA is excited Francesco’s upcoming work following the tremendous success of Avengers: Infinity War. You can learn more about him and his credits on his website.

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    May 17, 2018 • 3D Animation, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 2377

  • The Simpsons Director Mike Polcino Shares Special Master Class at New York Film Academy

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    The New York Film Academy (NYFA) 3D Animation & VFX and Filmmaking students packed the Riverside Theater at NYFA’s Los Angeles campus for a storyboarding master class from veteran The Simpsons director, Mike Polcino.

    The Simpsons just surpassed Gunsmoke to become the longest-running scripted show in television history, and Mike Polcino has been with the Simpsons from the very beginning, directing 31 episodes in addition to episodes from the first season of Family Guy.

    Polcino started his career in animation doing all of the tedious work that goes into a massive production such as The Simpsons, such as animation timing and quality control.

    “Occasionally, we’d get the final animations back and Bart’s eyes would be looking in two different directions,” Polcino reminisced. “You’d be surprised what people miss.”

    His talent was unmistakable and, after a few short years, he moved up to become a director. Since then, Polcino has been a staple at Fox Television Animation, whose office is next door to the New York Film Academy’s Los Angeles campus in Burbank, California.

    Polcino took the students through his process of breaking down an Emmy-winning script to put it on screen. Episode #593, Fland Canyon featured some of The Simpsons most cinematic sequences, such as great sweeping shots of the Grand Canyon. Polcino took the enraptured audience through a visualization process to find the key shots.

    “Part of the fun,” he said, “is coming up with shots that would be impossible without the animation.”

    He then melded the material for both the Animation and Filmmaking students by sharing his process for storyboarding The Simpsons and how it is more directing than animating. The students loved the class, asking for autographs and even taking selfies with the Homer Simpson drawing Polcino left on the whiteboard.

    The New York Film Academy would like to thank Mike Polcino for taking time out of his busy schedule to speak with our students.

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  • Celebrating Craig Caton-Largent’s 1st Anniversary as Chair of 3D Animation & VFX at New York Film Academy Los Angeles

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    Craig Caton-Largent has just marked his first anniversary as Chair of 3D Animation & VFX at the New York Film Academy (NYFA) Los Angeles Campus. Caton is renowned in the film industry for his groundbreaking VFX work on beloved blockbusters including Jurassic Park, Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles, Big Trouble in Little China, Edward Scissorhands,  Apollo 13, Tangled, and more.

    To celebrate Craig’s anniversary, we’re sharing some highlights from his first year as chair of the Animation School at NYFA Los Angeles. Here’s looking forward to another great year!

    Building Community

    At Home

    This year, the NYFA Los Angeles 3D Animation School created an art wall and added a display cabinet to show off student work. The wall was a wonderful encouragement and inspiration for 3D Animation & VFX students as they worked on their showcase projects, creating a great talking point in the community and sharing their work with others. It was a great to share all their hard work with the rest of the NYFA community!

    Numbers

    It’s been a big year at the NYfA Los Angeles Animation School — this year we’ve seen a 283% increase in student enrollment in our 3D Animation & VFX programs!

    On Social

    The NYFA Los Angeles 3D Animation & VFX School also joined Instagram this year! Follow “nyfa_animation_gaming” and join the conversation!

    Alumni News & Credits

    It’s been a great year for our NYFA Los Angeles 3D Animation &VFX alumni! Here are some inspiring stories:

    • BFA grad Jessica Chung is the Winner of the LA Livescore Film Festival for Best Original Score for her animation short, Sushi Man.
    • 1-Year Conservatory grad Alex LoRusso isurrently working as an FX Artist at Scanline. Her 2017 major film credits Include Justice League, Pirates 5, & Alien Covenant. She also recently worked on Suicide Squad and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
    • 1-Year Conservatory grad Soraia Malaquias is working as a 3D Generalist at TNF Visual Effects. Her impressive list of 2017 film credits Include: American Gods and Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
    • 1-Year Conservatory grad Gabriel Fernandez currently works as a Production Assistant at Eight VFX.
    • 1-Year Conservatory alum Ujala Saini is a VFX/Post Production at Electric Theatre Collective.

    Events

    There have been a lot of special events to celebrate this year!

    Monsterpalooza

    Chair Craig Caton’s new animation software Animservo was announced, and NYFA conducted the test phase. The announcement was broadcast live, then received over 20K views in the first hour.

    Siggraph

    SIGGRAPH is the world’s largest, most influential annual conference and exhibition in computer graphics and interactive techniques. Chair Craig Caton gave demonstrations during the course of the convention at the Faceware Technologies booth.

    Motion capture data from Faceware’s Analyzer and Retargeter software was output to an animatronic goblin using Caton’s new animation software, AnimServo.

    Media Lab

    This year also saw NYFA Los Angeles’ launch of the the Media Lab, to create opportunities for students and instructors to collaborate on research projects.

    The first project was testing Chair Craig Caton’s animation software Animservo. With testing successfully completed, Animservo has now be become available at animservo.com.  

    Matt Sheehan has been given directorship of the Media Lab and there is an exciting list of topics coming up … stay tuned!

    Industry Guests

    The New York Film Academy’s Guest Speaker Series saw a number of incredible animation and visual effects artists visit to share their insights with NYFA Los Angeles Animation School students.

    Amy Lawson Smeed, lead character animator of Disney’s Moana, came for a special screening and talk with Chair Craig Caton. That’s not all — NYFA alum Hanna Johansson then had a chance to meet with Amy personally to discuss her reel!

    Amy Lawson Smeed

    Byron Bashforth, character shading lead of Disney’s Coco, revealed more Disney magic in an intimate Q&A with Chair Craig Caton.

    Byron Bashforth answers questions about Disney's Coco at NYFA LA

    Byron Bashforth

    Head of Research and Development of DreamWorks Animation, Jeff Wike, was another honored guest, who treated Animation School students to a remarkable industry insider perspective on the innovation and inspiration behind much of today’s most cutting-edge animation.

    Jeff Wike atNew York Film Academy Los Angeles

    Chair Craig Caton-Largent and Jeff Wikes at NYFA Los Angeles

    Jason Liles, the Lead Actor in Netflix’s DeathNote, gave Animation School students an inside perspective of what it’s like for the actors working on the other side of motion capture technology.

    There are many exciting projects as we move into Chair Craig Caton’s second year of leadership — stay tuned for more. Congratulations, Craig, on a remarkable 1st anniversary!

     

     

     

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  • NYFA 3D Animation Instructor Craig Caton Creates Animservo for Maya

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    New York Film Academy Instructor Craig Caton has created a new plug-in on Autodesk Maya that may revolutionize the way digital puppetry in both independent productions and major motion pictures.

    The new software is called Animservo. It is non-real time facial recognition software that allows a single puppeteer to craft and save a performance before ever arriving on set. The software records a performer using a go pro. Facial recognition software captures the performance, and it is then uploaded into the puppet. With Animservo, the nuances of facial recognition performance by the puppeteer are recorded and then uploaded to Maya. The performance is refined and then downloaded into the puppet.

    Utilizing a GoPro and marker-less facial recognition software, the puppeteer does not even have to be in the same state as the production. A recent test allowed a puppeteer to give a performance in Texas for a puppet in Los Angeles.

    Usually, crafting a performance with a puppet requires quite a few performers. For example, the T-Rex in “Jurassic Park” utilized five union performers: one controlled the eyebrows, another the mouth, a third the neck, and so on.

    Animservo can save productions a ton of money on performers and allows directors to have a picture-ready performance with less rehearsal time. If a director changes his or her mind about the way a performance looks it will take the puppeteer just a few minutes to make adjustments and the puppet will be ready for the next take.

    As great as this invention is both financially and on a time crunch Caton says he has “something even better on the horizon.” In the mean time, Caton will be previewing Animservo at SIGGRAPH, or the Special Interest Group on Computer GRAPHics and Interactive Techniques in Los Angeles.

    In order to get this new plug-in sign up for the training class here. The software comes free with the class.

     

     

     

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