Here is the winning photo!
Evren is continuing his studies towards a BFA at Ryerson University starting in January, and we wish him all the best!
SIGGRAPH, the world's largest computer graphics conference, is coming to Vancouver in August 2011, and our local chapter has posted a series of exciting video trailers that highlight our beautiful city and CG community. VanArts is looking forward to being a part of this event and proud to play a part in providing fresh talent for our animation, games and effects industry.
More videos at these links:
Petra Richli came to VanArts from Switzerland in 2005 and graduated from our Game Art Diploma Program in 2006. Upon graduation, she was hired at Digital Extremes in London, Ontario, where she worked as a 3D artist for 2 years, working on Dark Sector and other game projects.
After receiving her permanent resident status, Petra applied to game studios in Vancouver. This led to 1 year as a 3D artist at Nexon Publishing, followed by her current position as a World Artist at United Front Games, one of many game studios in our busy city.
Petra shares with us, "VanArts was a great choice for me: the right length, the right information, and great teachers, all located in my favorite city. The program was up to date, taught me an excellent foundation for general 3D, and then allowed me to specialize in modeling. It certainly helped me prepare for getting a job in this industry, and taught me you're as good as the amount of work you put into it. Work hard and never stop asking questions!"
Petra's Website: petrarichli.com
Our senior Acting students have been fortunate to work with professional actor Dylan Neal this week, through direct teaching and mentoring for their scene studies. Dylan also showed them examples of reknowned actors' audition tapes and offered advice on how to approach an audition.
Dylan Neal is one of Canada's busiest working actors, with regular roles on 8 American series (Dawson's Creek, Smallville, Wild Roses, etc) and well over 60 recurring, guest star and leading roles in MOW's. His 20 years of experience in film & television bring a wealth of knowledge to his teaching. With the majority of his career spent in Los Angeles, Dylan has had the good fortune to study with some of the profession's biggest names, including Ivana Chubbuck and Lewis Smith.
Nik Brownlee, Visual Effects graduate from 2005, is currently a compositor at Double Negative in the UK, has worked on 25 feature films since graduating from VanArts. He recently shared his story with us about how he broke into the industry after completing our program, and it's great to read about how hard work and dedication to the craft has paid off for his career.
Nik says, "After graduation I moved to London, UK, as it seemed many of the biggest companies were there and I was able to get an ancestry visa. I had no experience and no job lined up, but I took a chance. After the first week taking my demo reel around to all the companies, I found that most of them were full on positions and wouldn't be hiring for at least 3 months. Realizing how expensive rent was in London, I decided I would need some kind of minimum wage job until a junior VFX position opened up. I spoke to a few companies about this and managed to get an agreement with Double Negative to hire me as a runner, with the deal that I would get moved up to a junior position when it came available.
My first week on the job, I asked one of the 2D supervisors on Harry Potter: Goblet of Fire if I could work on anything during the evening. I was eager to learn and didn't want to waste too many months making coffee, so the supervisor gave me a job doing 'spot removal' (digital zit removal on the film's teen actors), which was essentially junior compositing work. Everyone was happy with what I turned out and I managed to get moved up to a junior artist position within a few months.
My next big break as a junior artist came from working on United 93, when the same supervisor asked me to finish comping backgrounds (for blue-screen outside the plane windows) into the first shot I was doing roto on. What I didn't know at the time was that we received nearly double the amount of shots we originally bid on, and had no extra time to do it. Upon turning in the shot, my supervisor told me I was becoming a compositer for the rest of the show, as he needed all the people he could get. I ended up comping about 25 shots, and since that big break have moved from junior to senior compositor, most recently working on films like IronMan 2 and Inception.
5 years working at Double Negative has been some great times, running down the hall wearing Batman's cape and IronMan's mask, meeting some celebrities and attending cast & crew screenings for films I've worked on. The screening of The Dark Knight, before anyone knew how good it would be, was insane with the buzz of my co-workers coming out of the theatre!"
Nik Brownlee credits at IMDB
Come hear what she has to say about the great features available in Lightroom and bring your questions about digital workflow and programs at VanArts!
The club meets at Port Moody Secondary School, 300 Albert St. in Port Moody BC, at 7:30pm.
Read more at the PDPC's Calendar of Events.
Our senior Digital Photography class was recently given an assignment to recreate some iconic portraits, which meant reverse-engineering some tricky lighting scenarios.
Student Sarah Wirachowsky was challenged to update a 2003 Rolling Stone cover with Johnny Cash originally shot by Mark Seliger. Our model, Ross Birman, helped out by duplicating the look of the "Man in Black" himself and Sarah did a great job analyzing the original photo to nail the lighting set-up for a terrific portrait.
For more information on the Digital Photography program, click here.
VanArts Animation graduate Stephanie Mahoney, seen here at her desk at Big Bad Boo Studios, has been steadily continuing her career in our local Vancouver animation industry since graduting in 2004. Here is her story about how she discovered VanArts and how her animation career has unfolded since then...
Stephanie says, "I found out about VanArts through my high school art teacher, who had taken a summer intensive at VanArts and then started his own animation class. His class introduced me to animation and made me realize this was something I could do for a living. I looked into VanArts after graduation, found out they offered a part-time stop-motion animation course, and jumped at the opportunity. The course was loads of fun and I took away more understanding of animation, so soon I decided to take the full-time 1-year program in 2D Animation.
After I graduated in 2004, I got hired 2 weeks later for my first job at Atomic Cartoons, doing post-production on Atomic Betty and a few episodes of Captain Flamingo. I worked there for 9 months, and after my contract was up, moved on to Mercury Filmworks in 2006. I was there for about 2 years animating on Ruby Gloom, until the studio packed up and moved their operations back east. Soon afterwards in 2008, I was hired at Studio B Productions, where I animated on Kid vs. Kat and then on the second season of Martha Speaks. As Martha was wrapping up, I heard that Big Bad Boo would be needing animators, so I hopped over there for 9 months to work on 1001 Nights. When that contract ended, I bounced back to Studio B, where I am currently animating on My Little Pony, and recently did some weekend freelance work for Monster High.
VanArts has always been there for me when I needed a reference, or even a job. I was lucky enough to assist a flash animation class once with my former instructor Paul Johnson, who I am also currently working with at Studio B. VanArts gave me the tools I needed to be successful in the animation industry, and the life lessons passed down to me from the instructors turned out to be the most important things I took away upon graduated."