What education did you have before you took the Visual Effects for Film and Television course?
After finishing high school in Mexico I took a very basic introductory course to Maya back in 2002 in Toronto, then another similar course in Monterrey, Mexico. I couldn't find a career near my hometown about CG or VFX so I got into Computer Science and got my bachelors in the University of Texas at Brownsville close to my city. Since I knew I wanted to later get into CG/VFX I did my minor in Fine Arts so I could improve my visual skills by taking drawing, photography, 2D/3D design classes among others. I also did graphic design since really young so I knew Adobe's Creative Suite programs.
Tell us a bit about your experience at the college.
It was a wonderful experience from start to finish. Right from the first day I was learning so much. I've always been a self-taught person and was not really confident about studying abroad when I could just learn on my own but quickly I knew I had made the right decision. The amount of stuff I learned in that period of time was huge. Everything I previously knew about Maya was covered in the first few days and everything I was learning was new to me. We were also given the amazing opportunity of participating in a feature film and it was exciting.
Also as an international student the experience was incredible, being in a different college seeing and meeting people from around the world was really exciting. Professors and classmates alike were awesome.
How do you use the education you got at Seneca in your job today?
I am a digital compositor now and the program at Seneca was very compositing oriented. Even though compositing is more of a 2D process we learned how to really use the 3D side of it in Nuke and that's what really helps me at work by using the 3d workflow and being able to achieve faster and more precise results much easier. Since the 3D department does camera tracking for most of the shots I get exported cameras and I use them all the time. This also helps me a lot in our stereoscopic pipeline.
What advice would you give potential students who are thinking of taking the course?
I would advise them to decide early on to what they want to focus the most on. Be it compositing, modeling, dynamics, motion graphics, etc, so during the program they know what to focus their assignments on instead of doing many things in a single shot. I'd tell to make use of the 24/7 access to the classroom so they can use the equipment and software at anytime, also the green screen room, cameras and more.
(Written in 2012)