What education did you have before you took the Visual Effects for Film and Television course?
Prior to enrolling in the VFX program at Seneca, I did an advanced diploma in 3D animation Arts at Durham College.
Tell us a bit about your experience at the college.
At first, I was a bit apprehensive about joining the program, as this for me meant going back to school and quitting my full time job in order to fully dedicate myself for the next 8 months. Having now graduated, I can say that this was one of the best decision I’ve made. It enabled me to pursue the career that I wanted, and has also given me lifelong friends with whom I share common interest with.
In terms of my experience in the program, I want to start off by pointing out that it was intensive and went by very quickly. It is also worth mentioning that when you are in a setting with other like-minded people striving towards the same goal, it gives you motivation to give it your very best. It was always satisfying seeing your visions come to life after having completed one of your VFX shots. The teachers are all active members in the industry, so their knowledge, insight and connections were invaluable.
This is to give you an overall idea of how the semesters are structured:
The first semester is focuses about learning all the different software, and you get assignments along the way. This is great because you get to dip your feet in every aspect of visual effects. Even if you are unsure of what you want to focus on, it gives you time to find out where your strengths are and what you enjoy doing most.
For the second semester, you get to really dive in as you use the remaining months to create multiple VFX shots for your demo reel. You have a timeline to complete each of them and the teachers will guide you and give you feedback along the way. There is time at the end to polish your work and string it all together.
How do you use the education you got at Seneca in your job today?
I currently work as a CG Artist/ Generalist, where I get to create everything from A-Z. For instance, some of my duties include modelling/texturing/lighting a scene in Maya, and rendering out all the passes and put it together in compositing software. I would say that the main takeaway for me having taken the program is having a broad knowledge of many of the main software’s used in the industry.
I can recommend the VFX program at Seneca because my classmates and I have all gotten jobs shortly after graduating.
What advice would you give potential students who are thinking of taking the course?
In a program like this, it isn’t really all about the grades, but rather about the quality of your work and the difficulty level that you challenge yourself with for each of the shots. What I mean by that is that you should strive to push yourself fully, because you will realize that it isn’t worth spending the little time that you have on not using all of the resources to get the job done. So be prepared to do countless all-nighters if you have to, ask questions if you need help, and give it your very best. In the end, your hard work, determination and perseverance is sure to pay off as you propel yourself into an exciting career!
(Written in 2016)