VFX Online Townhall Meeting

Posted on March 18th, 2010 in CG Community, Working in CG by Marc Bourbonnais

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An interesting happening will take place on March 29th; the VFX Online Townhall Meeting where an “open discussion of a visual effects industry in transition” will take place online as a free, virtual meeting. Already the interest is very high in the community, and signups are happening at a rapid pace.

This panel is set up by Lee Stranahan, a former visual effects artist and writer for The Huffington Post who posted a hugely popular article a while back: Open Letter To James Cameron: Fairness For Visual Effects Artists. His views on how the VFX industry is working hard to attain proper recognition and acceptable working conditions in a world where digital effects movies top the box-office stirred many conversations. The recent abrupt closing of two highly respectable digital studios, Image Movers Digital in San Rafael and C.O.R.E. Digital in Toronto has kept this topic a hot subject.

The panel will feature Chris deFaria -Vice President, Warner Bros. Pictures, Jefferey A. Okun – Visual Effects Society Chair and visual effects supervisor and Scott Ross – Co-Founder of Digital Domain & former CEO of Industrial, Light and Magic.

I have already signed up.



Profile of the month at the NAD Center

Posted on January 14th, 2010 in Entrepreneurship, CG Community, Blogging by Marc Bourbonnais

Every month the NAD Center interviews on their blog one of their former students to get some insights of their careers and views about the digital effects and games industry. They have been kind enough to have me as their profile of the month. I hope some of my advice can be good for the students; you can never have enough pointers on VFX careering.
You can have a peek at my short interview here.



Montreal Offers Expert Work in Digital Effects for Movie Production - Variety

Posted on November 2nd, 2009 in CG Community, Movies by Marc Bourbonnais

An interesting poll was published in Variety last week. Film industry insiders rated their favorite filming location using different criteria related to movie production. Montreal did not make the high list, but a very special honor was given to our VFX community… Read more below;
Here is the North American filming locations top 5 :

  1. California - Los Angeles and environs, San Diego, San Francisco and spots throughout the state
  2. New York - Manhattan, the rest of New York City plus upstate locations
  3. New Mexico - Albuquerque, other cities and remote areas
  4. Chicago - Prototypical urban America
  5. Louisiana - New Orleans, other cities and parishes

And the international locations top 5 :

  1. Morocco - Cities and landscapes
  2. France - Paris, Provence and the Dordogne region
  3. Prague - Center of Central European filmmaking
  4.  Spain - Madrid, Barcelona and the Canary Islands
  5. U.K. - London, Edinburgh and elsewhere

In the honorable mentions, Sydney, Montreal and Toronto are featured for Best Production Resources. Here is what the poll had to say about Montreal :

“Montreal offers expert vfx work, spurred by tax breaks. High-profile films including The Golden Compass and Indiana Jones 4 might shoot elsewhere but still use Montreal’s talent pool for effects.”

Kudos to our good friends from Rodeo FX, who participated on both features! I can only agree when it come to foreign film shootings having its VFX produced in Montreal; it certainly represents the vast majority of our projects here at Modus.

You can read the full article here.



Modus FX is hiring…

Posted on October 21st, 2009 in CG Community, The Company, Working in CG by Marc Bourbonnais

Modus is growing… We have a lot of open positions, for example : VFX producer.

Key duties :
- Bidding projects and script breakdowns
- Manage clients and their expectations
- Attend client and production meetings
- Work closely with the VFX, CG and Comp Supervisors
- Work closely with the coordination and project management staff
- Monitor project status and budget

Please send your resume to jobs@modusfx.com

Thanks and good luck!



THE VES Production Summit and how Visual Effects Artists are Disregarded

Posted on July 26th, 2009 in CG Community, Working in CG, Movies by Marc Bourbonnais

Digital effects artists and technicians are still struggling to find their rightful place in the motion picture industry. VFX are perhaps still not fully understood by our colleagues in the other trades of cinema. Probably a subject to address in more details later; for the moment, some interesting comments from Visual Effects Society Chairman Jeffery Okun in today’s San Francisco Chronicle:

“Visual-effects artists in general are treated like interchangeable parts,” Okun says, “and are not regarded as an equal to the cinematographer, the editor, the writer or the production designer.”

…and farther down :

“The perception is that visual effects are driven by really smart computers with cool buttons that make things go faster or look better,” Okun says. “There’s a lack of understanding that the process is driven by artists.” The film industry’s faster-cheaper mantra has caused “tremendous stress and strain”

You can read the full article here.

Also mentioned in the short article, the Visual Effects Society is preparing this year’s Production Summit in Los Angeles where all areas of the industry can convene to discuss the challenges they face in an effort to open communication and move the industry forward.

The VES Production Summit will take place on October 24.



New VES members in Montreal

Posted on May 19th, 2009 in CG Community, Working in CG by Marc Bourbonnais

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A fine bunch of VFX professionals in Montreal just joined the ranks of the Visual Effects Society :

  • Eric Clement, CG Supervisor at Modus FX;
  • Luc Julien, Owner and Freelance Digital Compositor at Synthesimage;
  • Ara Khanikian, Compositor at Rodeo FX;
  • Richard Martin, VFX Supervisor at Hybride;
  • Annie Normandin, Producer at Frame Studio;
  • Benoit Pelchat, Art Director at Ubisoft Digital Arts;
  • Martin Pelletier, Look and Artistic Director and at Modus FX;
  • Philippe Roberge, Compositor at Vision Globale.

Congrats and welcome to all!

The next VES membership application deadline is October 1st.



Modus FX at fmx/09

Posted on April 10th, 2009 in CG Community, The Company, Technical by Marc Bourbonnais

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FMX is an annual community-based conference where talents of the VFX industry converge in Stuttgart, Germany for a few days of talks, panels and networking. The event has grown substantially since its debut in 1994, attracting professionals from all over the world. The fmx/09 line-up is no exception, with top names appearing such as:

  • Chris Defaria, Executive Vice President Digital Production, Animation and Visual Effects at Warner Bros.;
  • Eric Roth, Director of the Visual Effects Society (VES);
  • Chris Williams, director of Disney’s Bolt;
  • Danielle Feinberg, Director of Photography for Lighting Wall-E;
  • Michael Faust, CG artist from the Oscar-nominated animated documentary Waltz with Bashir;
  • Steve Preeg and Jonathan Litt from Digital Domain on The Curious Case of Benjamin Button;
  • Jeff Okun, Visual Effects Supervisor on The Day the Earth Stood Still, Blood Diamond and The Last Samurai.


Modus FX - Autodesk Softimage Masterclass

We are proud to be part of the Autodesk Masterclass line-up at fmx/09, with a presentation on Softimage. Our own Mostafa Badran, 3D department Lead Technical Director will present some of our work on the French series Les Corbeaux, with a demonstration of Softimage best rigging principles on our fully operational crow used extensively in the series. See one of our 349 shots below, with live and CG crows sharing a car rooftop. You can check out more shots on our demo reel.

The session will explore a way of rigging a multi-purpose CG bird character and creating a specific toolset for the animation challenges that present themselves during the production for a multi-use digital crow to be used for close-ups, medium shots and long shots, as an individual, in small groups or crowds.

See you in Stuttgart, from May 05 to May 09 !

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The New NAD Center

Posted on October 29th, 2008 in CG Community by Marc Bourbonnais

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A few weeks ago I had the honor of being the first guest speaker at the new location of the NAD Center, one of Montreal’s original schools of digital arts and visual effects… for over 15 years! I still remember when I was myself a student at the NAD, in a tiny portion of the 2nd floor of the Softimage building on St-Laurent Street. Today just the administration offices use more space…

 

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The NAD Center now offers a University program, and has considerably grown its training services and research in 3D animation, visual effects and digital arts. High-tech classes and labs stand alongside training studios and traditional art classes.

I was invited to give a speech on the industry, careering and my own experiences in the world of digital effects. The place looks empty, because the kids were busy learning!

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