What education did you have before you took the Visual Effects for Film and Television course?
Before I studied the Visual Effects Program, I took the Arts Fundamental program for 8 months to learn the basics of the different art styles that are offered in the industry. I later on went to study the Animation program where for the first 2 years are in traditional 2D art and for the final year I chose the option to take the Gaming Program out of the 3D Animation course where I learn how to model game assets out of 3D Studio Max and other programs that were offered there.
Tell us a bit about your experience at the college.
Going in to the VFX program, I really didn’t have any idea of what I was getting in to, just that I felt that I should learn more after graduating from the Gaming Program. Seeing it how it is an 8 month program, a lot of content is brought in everyday. It was challenging and fun learning what the software can do once you get accustomed to them. The instructors are super friendly and down to earth yet at the same time are professionals who have worked in the industry helping us whenever we have trouble understand things that need clarification. The studio is open almost all the time and you can come in anytime after hours to work on your projects with the latest software that the industry uses which is awesome. The classroom atmosphere is great. Our class got along well and helped each other whenever we could and we had a lot of one on one with the instructors since the class was not insanely large. In the end, with all the knowledge and advice taken it was very rewarding when you incorporate everything you learned to make an awesome piece of work for your demo reel.
How do you use the education you got at Seneca in your job today?
The knowledge and advice of the instructors helped give the students with a good general idea of what one could expect in the industry and the problems you could encounter. The projects assigned with strict deadlines helped me stay organized and helped me prioritized what needs to get done on time. I believe the wide variety of software package learnt has really helped and prepared me with the work I do now, such as 3D tracking in PFTrack, integrating CG elements from Maya to match with the shots, and using Nuke to composite a rough sequence of how the shot should look.
What advice would you give potential students who are thinking of taking the course?
Always stay positive and focus in continue to strive towards your goal. Even when you are working on a project, try to give it your all even though it might not be the best but at least you would learn from your mistakes and do better the next time. Make a lot mistakes and try to figure out what can be fixed and ask the instructors for help and advice. The teachers are there to help you, so take full advantage of that as well as the software Seneca has to offer. Try to learn as much as possible even though some software may be too overwhelming at times, but sometimes you may not get what you want to do in the future so keep your options open.
(Written in 2013)