Sunday, 6 May 2012

Industry Visit - Jon Rennie

So this week we were fortunate to have Jon Rennie talk to us about the industry and about his latest production, Ha Ha Hairies. Jon Rennie was previously the Head of Visual Effects at Dinamo Production and is now the owner and director of Red Wire Media.

We got to hear from Jon what goes on behind the scenes at a VFX company like Red Wire. He told us how he created all the work Red Wire did for Ha Ha Hairies which relied heavily on the Shave and a Haircut and 3Delight software. I have done many tests using Maya Hair and Maya Fur but have never been fully satisfied with the results so I did wonder "how they hell do they do this in industry??" Obviously the use of external programmes are used more and more these days due to them being a lot more reliable and sometimes cheaper on render time. I heard Shave and a Haircut was a very easy plug-in to use and it works great with 3Delight which Jon believes is a much smoother, faster rendering plug-in comapared to Mental Ray which I am currently using. The reason I can't use Shave and a Haircut and 3Delight for my current project is because I will be rendering from the 32 node renderfarm in the University which won't support the external plug-ins. I will, however, give both of these a go over the summer and hopefully get some good results which could prep me for my MA.

Jon also spoke to us about employment in VFX companies and said that unless you aim to work in a big VFX  company then you don't want to be spending your time building the flashiest truck or a night in shining armour (or a 90 second cinematic on soldiers and barbarians =]) instead you shoud make sure you are at a good standard with the technical aspects such as lighting. Admitedly lighting isn't my strong point mainly because I simply havn't done enough of it. I have started getting into it on Night of Fire (mainly through MentalRay rendering settings and not physically setting up the lighting) but along with the other stuff, I will focus on lighting over the summer and get that nailed so I can put it into practice for my MA next year. Time to get reading .....

Finally Jon sat down with myself, Matt and Sam to discuss the Night of Fire project and give us some advice to help us along. Hopefully we can impress him at the Glammies this year!

Links ... (Shave and a Haircut)

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