Thursday, 15 March 2012

Suitable places to work

As part of this unit, I am going to need to research into various places where I would be best suited to work and possibly those where I may not be as suited.  This part of Professional Skills very much reminds me of IPP from the first two years in which I needed to identify my strengths (both within my artwork and as a professional), as well as identifying the sort of jobs and places that I would want to aim for.

I am still keen to work as a Character Animator when I graduate from university, but lately, I have also started to develop an enthusiasm for motion capture and I would be keen to work with motion capture in some capacity when I enter the industry.  Although I am not entirely going to write off London as a place for work, seen as there are an array of post-production houses that are hired to do VFX for major Hollywood films, I really want to move out of London and experience life elsewhere, given that I am desperate for a change of scenery.

Places and jobs that may suit me

Rockstar North

Even though I am keen to work in films, I have not written of working in gaming in the slightest.  Rockstar North are based in Edinburgh and are currently offering Junior Character Animator roles.  The responsibilities of the job include editing recorded motion capture data to a high quality as determined by the Lead Animator, as well as creating animations consistent to a character's personality and movement.  The job also requires applicants to produce animation work to tight deadlines, without compromising artistic integrity.

Working as a Junior Animator at Rockstar North may be suitable to consider as this involves working in another city, which appeals to me.  The job requires an understanding of the basic principles of animation, as well as a strong background in animation and art; which I feel that I have seen as I have mainly done animation and general art courses, all of which I have passed with the highest possible grade, to get to this point.  I do have a keen interest in video gaming, I am not sure if it is strong enough to work in the industry.

I could improve my prospects for this job, by trying to learn Motionbuilder; something which they state is desirable.  Although I am fluent in Maya, as the job description specifies experience in at least one major CG software package, I will make myself more suitable for the job by learning another piece of relevant software.

Although I recently redid my showreel to become more up to date, there is a profound lack of recent work in it and I need to build it up, something that I will most definitely have a chance to do over the Easter and into the third term as this is when we are due to begin animation.  The job description also requires understanding of human movement and form, which I possess, but I have not looked into for a while and therefore need to start sketching again.

The Imaginarium

Andy Serkis' new motion capture studio, based in London.  As I said, my desire to work outside London (and possibly the UK, itself) does not mean that I have written off working in London altogether.  This studio is very new, having only been established in 2011, meaning that they are fairly small and I could have a chance of finding work here.  The Imaginarium appeals to me as I have developed a keen interest in motion capture, since trying it out as part of my dissertation research.  Furthermore, they intend to do work for a broad range of productions including film, television and gaming

One job which appeals to me is Motion Editor as, much like Character Animators at Rockstar North, this requires taking live action motion and then manipulating it to increase the emotionality and believability of the characters.  However, I know that I am not ready to undertake a job like this as this requires previous experience in feature films, broadcast and gaming, which I do not possess.  In addition, it requires understanding of scripting (Python, MEL and Blade), experience in MotionBuilder and Nuance as well as experience of setting up and calibrating Optical motion capture.  Although I have experience of setting up motion capture with depth perception cameras, I have not used Optical Motion Capture, which is fast becoming industry standard.

Thankfully, The Imaginarium do have a one month internship, which is recommended for anyone that has aspirations to work in film, television or gaming (which I have).  The internship says very little about the responsibilities that will be undertaken, but I imagine it will not be that different from the job of runner, which involves doing various odds and ends within the studio.  This job involves working more in the office and not the studio but it should help me to get the relevant experience that I need to be able to do higher jobs.

Places that may not suit me


A post production house based in London, which came to talk at Ravensbourne a few weeks back.  There were a few things that appealed to me about this studio, such as it being in a smaller environment, as I find that I work better in a smaller team when accomplishing projects. However, this studio, fairly unusually, seems to desire generalists as opposed to specialists.  This is problematic as everyone on our course has been encouraged to specialise in a specific area or set of areas.  I, personally, am very much into Character Animation as well as Rigging and Design and this is how I have developed since I have been on my degree,  ENVY is perhaps somewhere that I may not fit in as I have very specialist skills, which I do well and I would want my skills to be valued.

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