Sophie Robinson, Double Negative
For the last four years, Sophie has worked in the VFX industry, as a Generalist Technical Director (TD) in the 3D department at Double Negative.
Advanced 3D for Visual Effects (18 weeks). This 18 week course offered hands-on practical training in key VFX techniques such as camera tracking, particle effects, texturing, lighting, rendering and compositing to seamlessly blend 3D elements into a live-action sequence.
The course was so intense and I’m sure most students have said this, but you really have to want to become a VFX artist. It’s a pretty hard-core course and there is so much to take on board. Not only are you getting to grips with new software but you have to think technically and creatively at the same time. The tutors’ knowledge is really helpful though – it wasn’t just theoretical, but practical hands-on advice with tricks on how to do stuff’.
What are you working on at the moment?
Combining both creative and technical skill, I am responsible for more technical aspects in film production, turning my hand to creature development, secondary animation such as muscle animation to bring characters to life, modelling, vast digital environments and complex simulation set ups – on projects such as Man of Steel and Thor 2.
If you had to sum up your time at Escape Studios in one word what would it be and why?
Insight - My time at Escape really have me an insight into what to expect from the industry. From the computers and layouts of the classroom to the type of work, deadlines and standard of delivery. Also having a debrief almost like a dailies session in front of the class once the project was due, all valuable experience and an insight to future working life in the industry.
How did studying at Escape Studios help you into the world of VFX?
For me I had a background in art but lacked the digital experience and knowledge. Escape really accelerated that for me. I was also tremendously lucky as I had an agreed placement which Escape had set up for me at Double Negative at the end of my course.
I was inspired by the endless creative possibilities available in 3D computer graphics, I changed career path from traditional sculpting and modelling to join the VFX industry. What I love most about VFX is how there's so much to learn and do. You could specialise in a particular area or keep things open and become a generalist. The opportunities are huge and the projects are really exciting.
What lessons have you learnt during your time studying and your time working in VFX?
I think not taking things personally is a huge lesson. Briefs, projects, budgets and minds change all the time. One week your work might be liked and fit the bill, next week it's cut out the film as the story has changed. All part of the process and nothing foreseeable or personal to the artist!
What is your advice for those considering entering the industry?
Research. Look into all the difference types of roles and see what roles you are suited to or ones you want to work towards and try and group things together that compliment each other. For example texturing & modelling...or Layout, Lighting and Rendering. Also there are many other roles than just working as 2D of 3D artists. You can work with tech or pipe and create amazing tools for the artists to use. There's so many options so I'd say really research roles.