David Vidal, Senior Hardsurface Modeller at Sony Pictures Imageworks

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Escape Studios was a great starting place for my career as they gave me the necessary skills to enter the VFX industry

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How did studying at Escape Studios help you get into your industry?

My time at Escape Studios was amazing: I made really good friends and learnt a lot. Escape Studios was a great starting place for my career as they gave me the necessary skills to enter the VFX industry - from modelling to shot tracking to final comping in nuke, the course covered really well all aspects of the VFX pipeline.  

Where have you gone on to work and what is your role?

I began my career at MPC London where I worked for about a year and then jumped to Framestore London and stayed there for about a year. I then moved to Canada and worked at Digital Domain, and finally my last 4 years were at Sony Pictures Imageworks, which I will be joining again early 2021, I’m a Senior Modeler and specialise in hard surface modelling.  

What are you working on at the moment?

I have been away from the VFX industry all of 2020, I wanted to take a break for a year so I’ve been working on personal projects, but before I left I worked on Spiderman: into the Spiderverse; Spider-Man: Far from Home; the latest Men in Black movie; and Jumanji: The next level. Pretty awesome projects. I will be starting at Sony Pictures Imageworks early 2021 so we will see what cool projects I get to work on.  

What do you enjoy most about working in the VFX industry?

Working in the VFX industry is amazing because of the talented people you get to interact and learn from, and just working on movies is amazing; the creative process behind each movie is unique and you as an artist learn so much every day. 

What lessons have you learnt during your time studying and your time working in business / your industry?

I learnt that making connections are so important in this industry, it opens up doors for you if you know the right people. Overall, working in this industry everyday will be a learning curve for you - learning to communicate with people and asking questions if you don’t understand the assignment is crucial and saves you lots of time.  

What was your favourite part of studying at Escape Studios?

My favorite part about studying at Escape Studios was just the whole environment, being around other individuals who have the same passion as you do, and learning from each other, the mentors were amazing and gave me all the necessary skills to enter the VFX industry.  

If you had to sum up your time at Escape Studios in one word, what would it be and why?

I would describe Escape Studios as a creative friendly and education powerhouse. I found the course I took very useful and very complete, the workstations were really nice and comfy, and the teachers were really good at explaining everything very well.  

What advice would you give to students looking to start a career within the business industry / your industry?

My number one advice would be work on your demo reel and make sure it is at a very high standard. Make sure you demonstrate your chosen path really well: if you want to be a modeler, then make sure all your topology is perfect and UV’s are perfect. I would also advise to add recruiters on LinkedIn, this way you will always know when companies are looking for an artist, and finally never give up.  

What's your favourite brand and why?

My favorite brand is Marvel of course because of how creative they are, and overall, I love comics and superheroes.  

What course did you study?

I studied Visual Effects for Production at Escape Studios in 2013.