In 2D / 3D Animation and Videogames higher studies at L’Idem, our students know all the disciplines of the Animation industry. This offers them an overview and in depth about the different professional opportunities that a booming sector offers them. For the visual effects course (VFX) and during the third trimester, they carried out a simulation work on volumetric effects: incense smoke and a candle flame. We have spoken with Alejandro López, our visual effects teacher, about this exercise.
What have you worked on during this course at VFX?
During this quarter we have made an introduction to the world of visual effects through different tools that you will see in greater depth next year. On the one hand, nCloth for dynamic simulations, both of fabric and rigid bodies. On the other hand, Fluids for volumetric simulations of fire or smoke, among others. Finally, xGen. A tool to generate hair, both for people and animals.
Why is VFX work in a scene important?
VFX’s work is very important within production at different levels. On the one hand, a correctly performed effect brings naturalness and realism to a scene. This is the case of the exercise we have worked on in this case. On the other hand, VFXs are usually a narratively interesting tool to generate spectacularity within movies. The great technological development that has taken place in this field in recent years – both in the tools for artists and in the demand for processing that computers themselves are capable of meeting – means that more powerful effects can be carried out every time. and demanding.
What learning have you wanted to transmit throughout this course?
In the second year, an overview of the VFX world is given. It is the first time that our students work in this area, so what we have done has been a general introduction to some tools offered by Autodesk Maya software. The objective of this course has been to become familiar with the VFX environment.
And what will you do next year?
We will continue to work on the areas described above, as well as new ones like nParticles and Bifrost. These tools allow liquid simulations. What has this work consisted of? Students had to simulate two effects: incense smoke and a candle flame. Both have been executed with Maya Fluids, a volumetric effects simulator tool. Specifically, in this project they have worked with 2D containers. And what specification has this project had? Being an effect in which the camera is fixed, 2D fluid containers can give a good result with less demand in terms of computer resources. Students have had to develop the effects paying special attention to both technical (correct handling of the tool) and artistic aspects. The effects obtained had to be realistic and visually interesting.
What did you want our students to learn with this exercise?
This exercise has had a double objective. On the one hand, that students learn to use the fluid generator tool that includes Autodesk Maya. And, on the other hand, that they perform an artistically interesting good finish. The good result of an exercise does not depend so much on the tool itself, as on the effort and attention to detail that the student puts into it.
Student work: Òscar Bartra
Today we share the project of our 2nd year 2D / 3D Animation and Video Games student Òscar Bartra. According to VFX professor at L’Idem Alejandro López, his proposal “has a very good finish”. “Both smoke and incense smoke are plausible,” he said. “They have a dynamic behavior that corresponds to the actual references.” In this exercise, our student has demonstrated exigency and attention to detail.
Would you like to become a professional in Animation or Visual Effects?
L’Idem is an international school for new creative talents. For more than 24 years, he has trained the best professionals in the Animation, Videogames and Visual Effects (VFX) sectors.
For the 2020-2021 academic year, it offers 2D / 3D Animation and Videogames programs, as well as international Master’s degrees in Game Art and Visual Effects (VFX). Training whose main objective is to facilitate the integration of students in the world of work.
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