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VFX For Directors
Read the review at VisualFXTuts.com
Well, it took me about a week, but I finally finished watching the over ten hours of material included with Hollywood Camera Work’s new release: Visual Effects For Directors. This release is years in the making, and it couldn’t be more polished off in my opinion. From the script to all of the models, screen captures and finished shots, it is really one of the most professional training DVDs I have ever watched.
Visual Effects For Directors is geared towards the average user or student that knows a little bit about the world of matchmoving and compositing, or someone who is very good with basic camera work, and exposes that viewer to the huge realm of which is a visual effects supervisor’s playground. The title has a large focus on matchmoving and setting up shots for easy compositing, because that is a massive amount of what a VFX supervisor’s job is.
If you are looking for specific tutorials that are step by step how to import matchmove data into Maya or tutorials such as that, this is not that kind of DVD. This set is mostly theory based, in which, they will teach you what and what not to do on set. Per Holmes has a great way of teaching as well. He speaks very clear, and takes pauses in which you can process the information and move on. Not once, did I ever get lost and have to go back and re-watch a section because he was moving too fast, or I didn’t have enough time to work through what he was talking about. Also, the amount of material that are in the DVDs is phenomonal. Especially in the 3D and compositing sections. Per has rendered out all the different passes for you to see, and done very specific screen captures that help convey the message to make it easier for you to learn.
One thing I was kind of iffy about on this set, was the fact that After Effects wasn’t used barely at all, but there was a ton of node-based compositing workflows, which kind of scared me at first, because I am an After Effects guy through and through. But Per gives you such a gentle introduction and eases you into the basics of node-based compositing, that by the end of the last DVD, you can actually comprehend how the different nodes work while he walks you through the final shot breakdowns in Fusion for all the different scenes used throughout the DVD.
Another thing worth noting, is that the assets used to teach the material to you, are pretty freakin sweet. They got a chick in an embassy (which is a virtual set), in a Matrix style shooting scene, a T-Rex chasing a kid through a forest destroying logs and trees as he goes, and tons of mini robotic terminator style shots to demonstrate matchmoving and motion capture. Personally I have to think that the stuff that the demonstrator is producing is pretty cool, or I will lose interest, especially after about the first 3-4 hours.
Basically if you want something that will give you a first hand look at becoming a VFX supervisor, or you want to work in visual effects at a studio or soundstage… this is a must have. This is a great set to have as a student, even as a hobbyist that might want to transition this into a career. After Effects artists, compositors and general filmmakers will find every one of the DVDs in this set jam packed with tips and techniques to make your productions look bigger, better, and like a large scale studio shot them, and they teach you how to do it in a relatively low budget way. Five stars and two thumbs up from me.
Review By Topher Welsh