What education did you have before you took the Visual Effects for Film and Television course?
Before taking the Visual Effect course, I did a program at Seneca called Digital Media Technical Production. The program covered a wide range of different types of media, like website design, desktop publishing, graphic design, video editing, stuff like that.
Tell us a bit about your experience at the college.
My experiences at the college were pretty good. When I was there we learned to composite on Eyeon's Fusion, and a bit on Combustion. Even though both those programs aren't really used today in the industry the theory of compositing stays the same. Luckily I was able to learn those fundamentals at Seneca and apply it to which ever software I'm using.
How do you use the education you got at Seneca in your job today?
I've always said that you learn a lot more the first week on the job than you do at school, but with the education I got at Seneca, it wasn't like I was learning something new, more like I was adding to the knowledge I already had. Three weeks after graduated I got hired as a roto artist, at Rainmaker in Vancouver. For that job I was using Shake, a program I never used before. Since Seneca teaches the theory and basics behind compositing, it was really easy to pick up a new software and start working on my first shot. Seneca also got me use to a dynamic work schedule. Before I was very much use to the 9-5 work life, but because Visual Effects is an high pace industry, 9-5 doesn't always apply. With Seneca you have access to the facilities 24/7, and for me the last 4 months, I was always at school working on my reel. Thanks to that it got me use to "crunch time", which is the time when a project is about to end and there are a few months of longer than usual hours at work.
What advice would you give potential students who are thinking of taking the course
The first thing I'd say is try and figure out what displine you want to work in, if it's VFX, if it's composting, lighting, modeling and once you know, focus on that part. Also don't be afried to ask questions, the profs really know what they are doing and are happy to help when they can. I think the number one thing is you have to have a passion for it. VFX isn't for everyone. The course is amazing, they teach you a lot of stuff, but if you don't have a passion for any of it, then you might be wasting your time.
(Written in 2012)