vfx
Posts

  • One Year Success for NYFA 3-D Animation & VFX Alum Marthinus Philippus (MP) Rabie

    Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    To say 2020 was a difficult year, would be an understatement. However, during these uncertain times, Marthinus Philippus Rabie (MP) was not only able to make the most of his final semester of the 1-Year Conservatory program for Animation, but he also landed his dream job at the previsualization, postvisualization, and virtual reality company, The Third Floor (TTF).

    Originally from South Africa, MP was excited by the idea of studying abroad in America. When asked how he decided on animation, Rabie said, “It’s one of those very scarce skills.” Having already tried getting into 3-D animation for several years, he wasn’t able to get the answers he sought on his own, ultimately holding him back from being able to learn and have the ability to create the images that were stuck in his head. MP admits that, “Sure YouTube is a thing, but that only helps you to a certain extent and you don’t really learn that much. It’s better to be taught by a professional who can answer all those burning questions.” Between conversations amongst friends during lunch breaks at his old film school to the many Instagram posts, NYFA seemed like the right place to go.

    NYFA alum MP Rabie

    Much to MP’s delight, the 3-D Animation & Visual Effect’s 1-Year program at NYFA’s Los Angeles campus had no shortage of professionals to answer those burning questions. “Having actual professionals that work in the industry today as teachers is probably the best thing the school could’ve done. Not only are they very knowledgeable about their crafts, but they also have tons of connections and real experience.” Most notably for Rabie was Animation Supervisor and NYFA instructor, Gael Harlow.

    For MP, “all the staff at NYFA are very helpful but sometimes there’s a teacher that’s just an extra ray of sunshine. Gael Harlow is one of them. She goes above and beyond all her duties. Her patience, care about student growth, and passion for what she does is undeniable.” In fact, it was at Harlow’s suggestion that MP look into working in previsualization.

    Work from MP’s Drawing Class at NYFA

    “At the time I had no idea what it was [however], the more she explained the more I liked it!” When it came to Harlow’s attention that The Third Floor was actively hiring, she informed Rabie who wasted no time getting in touch. “[Following my certificate from the program] I got all my stuff together and made a new reel, cover letter, and resume. I sent my reel to Gael, and she sent it to her friends at TTF. They gave me some suggestions, and I changed my reel accordingly; within less than two weeks I got a booking.” This isn’t to say that the road to getting any 3-D generalist’s dream job as a postvis artist was without its fair share of challenges.

    2020 left and continues to leave a significant impact. For Rabie, it meant not being able to see his family for more than two years as well as making the most of his time while living in isolation. “It’s difficult not being able to visit the ones who you care about most in this world, especially if you’re trapped alone in a room by yourself for such a long time. So, I distracted myself by learning as much as I could to try and make everything worth it.” I think it’s safe to say it was definitely worth it. 

    MP replicating lighting for a NYFA assignment

    When asked what advice he’d give to current students and those interested in pursuing animation, MP relayed the following, “learn with intent, practice doesn’t make perfect, good practice makes perfect. The school will give you everything you’ll need to succeed, all you have to do is your part. Just attending classes and doing your assignments isn’t enough, it’s a very tough industry, one where skills are prioritized over certification. So put in your hours after classes, and apply what you learn on your OWN personal projects. That’s how you will get good, very fast.” 

    He went on to say that, “[animation] seems very intimidating for the first two months… every day you will learn something new about the programs you use no matter how experienced you are. That’s what makes it fun, it’s all just one big sudoku puzzle, the more you fill in the better and faster the process becomes. If you love animation enough and can make it through those first two months without quitting then I can safely say that you should stick with it!”

    Photo courtesy of MP

    As for what’s next, only time will tell, that being said, MP has his sights set on becoming a supervisor. “It’s just such a respectable title to hold, everything about it screams experience. I would love to get to that level and be able to run a team of artists as one big collaborative group to create something amazing.” 

    For more information about MP and his work, check out his website or follow him on Instagram @mp.rabie. To learn more about NYFA’s programs for 3-D Animation & VFX, check out our website for more details on our course offerings.

    Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail
  • Cinematography Instructor Mark Sawicki Featured in ‘Deadline’ and Discusses New Book “Filming the Fantastic with Virtual Technology” Bringing Movie Magic Solutions

    Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    As many TV and film productions are grappling with new social distancing guidelines and reassessing working with extras for crowd scenes, New York Film Academy Cinematography instructor for NYFA’s Los Angeles campus, Mark Sawicki, says VFX is here to help.

    Sawicki is a Clio-winning VFX and opticals artist, who has worked on incredible titles from The Dark Knight Rises and Bullet to the Head, to Tropic Thunder, 3:10 to Yuma and X-Men, among several others. Recently featured in Deadline, Sawicki shared how productions will increasingly begin to look to VFX to solve the challenging situations for making safer productions and creating scenes with crowds where multiple extras on set are typically needed.  

    Courtesy of Mark Sawicki

    Using examples from titles like Casanova, Dracula, Gladiator, Pan Am, the Lord of The Rings trilogy, and more, Sawicki explains different VFX and even practical effects that can make movie magic for keeping sets safer. He also elaborated that background actors are still integral to filmmaking, but safety will need to take precedent. “I think background actors are very important. You know, this is a moving target as we’re adapting.”

    Sawicki is the co-author with Juniko Moody of the recently released book Filming the Fantastic With Virtual Technology: Filmmaking on the Digital Backlot. Like his interview with Deadline explains, Sawicki and Moody outline some of the most ambitious evolutions in digital effects in filmmaking and the new and exciting developments in digital cinematography with their new book, ultimately providing solutions for how VFX can help solve many of the challenges arising as crews look to return to work on COVID-safe sets.

    To read the full article on Deadline, click here. Sawicki’s book has recently been released and is now available on Amazon and Kindle. 

    Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    November 11, 2020 • 3D Animation, Cinematography, Entertainment News, Faculty Highlights • Views: 1406

  • NYFA Alum Francesco Panzieri Works as Compositing Supervisor for Netflix’s ‘Jingle Jangle’

    Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    It’s the most wonderful time of the year…well almost. Netflix has recently announced the upcoming release of the holiday musical feature film Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey (Jingle Jangle), starring Forest Whitaker, Keegan-Michael Key, Phylicia Rashad, Anika Noni Rose, Hugh Bonneville, and more. NYFA’s own Francesco Panzieri served as the compositing supervisor for the upcoming film, set to be released November 13, 2020, on the streaming service platform.

    Forest Whitaker in ‘Jingle Jangle’ (Netflix)

    Panzieri has had an extensive career since attending NYFA’s 3D-Animation & VFX conservatory program and has contributed to over 20 feature films and 50 television series. Some of his titles include Once Upon a Time…In Hollywood, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, The Fate of The Furious, Avengers: Infinity War, Westworld, Spiderman: Homecoming, and so much more.

    The NYFA alum’s latest work will be featured in Jingle Jangle, a holiday musical by David E. Talbert, with songs by EGOT winner and celebrated recording artist John Legend. The story follows a former toymaker (Whitaker), who is rejuvenated in his love of creativity for his craft when his curious granddaughter appears on his doorstep one day.

    Still from Netflix’s ‘Jingle Jangle’ (Netflix)

    Panzieri worked as an in-house compositing supervisor for Jingle Jangle, leading a team of artists who completed over 230 shots of post-visualization, with over 70 production shots that are in the final cut. Panzieri shared that the total VFX shot count was around 550 and is confident that the film will be welcomed warmly for all audiences over the upcoming holidays.

    New York Film Academy would like to congratulate Francesco Panzieri on his involvement on Netflix’s Jingle Jangle and encourages everyone to check out the holiday film on November 13, 2020.

    Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    October 22, 2020 • 3D Animation, Entertainment News, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 1389

  • NYFA Instructor & Alum, Arnold Song, Builds Demo for Houdini Hive Worldwide Presentation

    Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    On Monday, May 18, 2020, SideFX will host their annual Houdini Hive Worldwide presentation that explores the various techniques used by top studios and artists to meet a wide variety of studio production needs. NYFA instructor & alum, Arnold Song, who works at SideFX, is part of the team testing and building the demos for the presentation.

    Houdini, the premiere procedural animation software by SideFX, is a universally adopted software across animation studio giants like Dreamworks, Disney, and Pixar. (In fact, it is one of the few “off the shelf” pieces of software that Pixar uses).

    NYFA instructor and alum Arnold Song

    NYFA had the opportunity to speak to Song about his work for the presentation, the future of Animation and VFX, and any advice he has for students interested in pursuing a path in this industry.

    When asked about his presentation for the event, Song commented that it will be centered on how things can be done in a new system in Houdini (USD Workflow), called Solaris. USD stands for Universal Scene Description and it allows 3D data to be interchanged among different suites of digital creation applications. The Solaris presentation, Song says, will allow animators and VFX artists to learn “how to bring in USD assets, how to select different models from the one asset set, how you can add effects on the USD asset, and, finally, how to use the new render engine, Karma, to render it.”

    Houdini (USD) Workflow

    “For me, everything is new,” says Song. “I didn’t know anything about USD at the beginning, and Solaris is still under development. Putting two completely new things together, and creating a good result [with his team] is the most fun part.”

    Rendered image using Houdini software

    When asked what advice Song has for students who want to get into effects animation, Song shared this response:

    “Effects animation is unlike other departments like modeling, animation, and lighting. Making an effect is slow. You change some values, and you wait anywhere from ten minutes to a few hours,” he begins. “There is no correct way to make something, which means there could be 100+ ways to make a similar effect. This increases the opportunity to make a totally unique effect but, at the same time, it is really hard to get to know how exactly things should work. So, be patient and just keep practicing.”

    USD could become a replacement for the now standard python language. To see Houdini accepting it so enthusiastically means that it is here to stay and will most likely become the standard of the future. It seems that SideFX, and NYFA alum and instructor Arnold Song, are signaling that USD will become the programming language of the future for Animation and VFX.

    New York Film Academy (NYFA) would like to congratulate NYFA alum and instructor Arnold song on his upcoming presentation for Houdini Hive Worldwide and would like to thank him for sharing more about his work on Polaris and his advice to future students.

    For more information on the 3D & VFX Animation School at NYFA, check out our website here. 

    Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    May 15, 2020 • 3D Animation, Alumni Events, Faculty Highlights • Views: 1572

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) 3D Animation & VFX Faculty Matt Galuppo Works on 3 Super Bowl Commercials

    Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    One of the biggest advantages to studying 3D Animation & Visual Effects at New York Film Academy (NYFA) is studying under faculty members who not only have experience in the industry, but also continue to work in it and have the most up-to-date and relevant perspectives from the inside out.

    Matt Galuppo, Associate Chair of the NYFA-LA 3D Animation & VFX school, is one of these experienced faculty members, with credits as a visual effects artist on films including Divergent, Hercules, Warcraft, The Maze Runner, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014). Most recently, he worked on not one but three Super Bowl commercials as part of the pitch and pre-pro team for the production companies behind them:

    Microsoft – Bring it to the Surface
    m:United

    Verizon 5G
    McCann Ericson

    NFL 100 Opening – Take It to the House
    72 and Sunny

    super bowl liv

    In his own words, Galuppo describes what it was like pitching and working on Super Bowl commercials seen by millions of television and streaming viewers:

    Working on the pitch and pre-production for every commercial is different. It can shift between visual research and script breakdowns to taking passes on the actual script itself. You have to have a great sense of collaboration, client sensibilities, visual storytelling, as well as copywriting. It is doing a little bit of everything over a very short period of time.

    Whatever the individual asks for, most agency and production company pitches usually culminate in some sort of treatment or deck. The purpose of these is to take the agency and brand step by step through the spot, covering everything from pacing, tone, story arc, etc.

    For the Microsoft spot centering on the first female coach in the Super Bowl, it included watching and reading hours of interviews of the coach, Katie Sower, to better get to know her. What came out of that research was that she was an avid journaler, and we were able to use her reading from her old journals as a narrative frame for the longer spot itself.

    The Verizon 5G spot did a great job of doing what no one else was doing. While everyone else was talking about smartphones and emerging technologies, Verizon reframed the conversation around those how jobs could work with or without the technology. It refocused the conversation on the bravery and humanity of first responders and their organic relationship to technology.

    The trick of the NFL 100 opening is a giant montage across America where every shot had to include references to both past and present NFL players, coaches, and commentators, while also referencing the city themselves. The agency was very open to hearing additional gag pitches for the teams and cities involved.

    New York Film Academy thanks Associate Chair of NYFA-LA 3D Animation & VFX Matt Galuppo for describing what it was like behind the scenes working on these Super Bowl ads!

    Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    March 26, 2020 • 3D Animation, Faculty Highlights • Views: 2026

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) 3D Animation & VFX Alum Daniela Lobo Dias Works on ‘Sonic the Hedgehog’

    Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    New York Film Academy (NYFA) 3D Animation & VFX alum Daniela Lobo Dias has been doing animation work on some of Hollywood’s biggest movies since graduating NYFA in 2015 , including the hotly-anticipated Sonic the Hedgehog movie.

    Lobo Dias first attended New York Film Academy in 2014, enrolling in the 4-Week 3D Animation & VFX workshop at our New York campus. She later advanced her studies later that fall in NYFA’s 1-Year 3D Animation & VFX conservatory.

    “Daniela was a spectacular student whilst enrolled in NYFA,” says NYFA Animation and VFX faculty Robert Appleton, “where she—along with three other outstanding female students—created an incredible final project.”

    After graduating, Lobo Dias interned at a top animation company in New York before relocating to the West Coast and then Canada. She has worked on special effects-heavy films such as Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, Venom, Ad Astra, Bumblebee, Pokémon: Detective Pikachu, and recently, Cats.

    Her latest film is Sonic the Hedgehog, a mix of live-action and animation that adapts the wildly popular Sega video game franchise about a snarky blue hedgehog that outruns the bad guys at lightning speed. The film stars Jim Carrey as Sonic’s live action nemesis Dr. Robotnik, with Ben Schwartz voicing a completely animated Sonic. Sonic the Hedgehog is directed by Jeff Fowler and co-stars James Marsden, Adam Pally, and Tika Sumpter.

    Lobo Dias worked as a layout artist on the film, with her primary tasks being blocking out CG elements (such as characters and environment assets) over the live action plate, creating projection camera setups to integrate live action plates into CG environments, and creating final camera animation with character blocking for full CG shots.

    With Sonic coming out on Valentine’s Day, the animation had to be completed well before its theatrical release. In the interim, Lobo Dias worked on the upcoming Disney film Jungle Cruise, starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Emily Blunt. She is currently working on the upcoming sequel Ghostbusters: Afterlife. Her hard work at NYFA has certainly paid off.

    “You get out of NYFA what you put in,” says Lobo Dias. “When you show up each day with enthusiasm and a readiness to listen and learn, you’re planting seeds with your teachers and classmates that blossom into a professional network.”

    Daniela Lobo Dias Sonic the Hedgehog

    Lobo Dias is quick to express her gratitude for those who helped her along the way, however. “I am very grateful for my teachers at NYFA who not only taught me the skills I needed,” she adds, “but also nurtured my potential, and then gave me my first industry opportunities. A special shoutout to Rob, Boaz, Gavin, Tim, and Phoebe!”

    New York Film Academy congratulates 3D Animation & VFX alum Daniela Lobo Dias on the release of Sonic the Hedgehog and looks forward to seeing the blockbusters she’ll be working on in the future!

    Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    February 13, 2020 • 3D Animation, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 1789

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

    Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    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!

    Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    September 15, 2019 • 3D Animation, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 1732

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

    Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    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

    Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    September 5, 2019 • 3D Animation, Guest Speakers • Views: 1958

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

    Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    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!

    Learn the principles of animation through the Oscar-winning visual effects software Maya with our 3-week intensive animation program. Visit our 3D Animation Program page to start your journey with NYFA.

    Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    July 22, 2019 • 3D Animation, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 2763

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) BFA 3D Animation & Visual Effects Student Chris Su Wins Pixar Storyboard Contest

    Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    Xingyu “Chris” Su, a BFA in 3D Animation & Visual Effects student at New York Film Academy-Los Angeles (NYFA-LA), recently won a storyboard contest held by Campus Movie Fest and Pixar Animation Studios.

    Su submitted his work to the contest, which was judged by representatives from Campus Movie Fest and Pixar, the studio behind animation blockbusters Toy Story, Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, WALL-E, Up, and Ratatouille.

    Chris Su

    NYFA 3D Animation & VFX Student Chris Su

    As part of his prize, Su was able to work with Pixar executives and artists in Atlanta, Georgia for four days at the end of June. Su and other contest winners visited the CMF Terminus at the Hilton in Atlanta, where he was able to participate in creative workshops and attend a Pixar SparkShort screening. There was also a mixer where Su was able to network with other artists and experienced members of the industry. The weekend concluded with the Golden Tripod Award ceremony.

    Perhaps most importantly, Su was able to work with these established animators, including producers and directors from Pixar and Disney, who shared their experiences and passed some of their knowledge along to the contest winners.

    “It was a fun weekend and I received so much good experience,” Su tells NYFA. “It was such a good opportunity. And I encourage NYFA students to submit their films to the contest next year.”

    Su is currently working on his thesis project. He plans to work as a storyboard artist after graduating NYFA’s BFA in 3D Animation & Visual Effects program, ideally for Pixar or Disney. His favorite recent Pixar film is Coco. “It’s such a touching story,” says Su, “and I want to tell a story like that some day.”

    New York Film Academy congratulates BFA in 3D Animation & Visual Effects student Chris Su on his win and looks forward to his future career in animation!

    See the award-winning work Chris Su submitted to Pixar below:

    Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    July 18, 2019 • 3D Animation, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 2313