We talked about the wealth of CG characters Hickel has overseen which began with live action and motion captured performances, including Davy Jones from the Pirates of the Caribbean films, the Orcs in Warcraft, and Tarkin and K-2SO in Rogue One (in which the original actor playing Tarkin, Peter Cushing, had in fact passed away).
With before and after images from those films, here’s some of Hickel’s main takes on how he and his team tend to tackle a character where actor and animator need to combine to craft the final result.
I go to a few different VFX and animation industry events each year, but here’s a little secret about Trojan Horse was a Unicorn that I found out on the first day of the first year I went there: It is one of the only events designed to help artists find their place in the world.
What does that mean? Well, I think a lot of artists – young and old – are drawn to the industry (the industry being the areas of design, concept art, CG, visual effects or animation), but it’s one that can be hard to break into, and even stay in. A lot of the artists I met at that first Trojan Horse said they were ready to quit the industry, but after going to THU they found a new wave of inspiration, or a new side of their craft they hadn’t found before.
Perhaps you’re a VFX artist who feels the same way? Well, I would totally recommend considering going to Trojan Horse this year – September 24-29 – as a way of meeting new people, meeting experienced professionals and finding a way to find out more about yourself and your craft. What’s more, this year is – I think – super-heavy on the VFX side in terms of talks, masterclasses and recruiters (yes, a bunch of CG/VFX/animation studios will be there to talk jobs with attendees).
Oh, and this year it’s at a pretty incredible location: Valletta in Malta.
Just a few of the big VFX speakers at Trojan Horse in September are:
Dylan Cole, production designer on the Avatar sequels
Virginie Bourdin, concept artist
Geoffrey Baumann, visual effects supervisor for Black Panther
Hal Hickel, animation supervisor at ILM
Kelly Port, visual effects supervisor at Digital Domain
Matthew E. Butler, visual effects supervisor at Digital Domain
At Trojan Horse you get to hear from these speakers – called Knights – and you get to meet them face to face. Also, they don’t tend to present traditional talks about films and projects they’ve worked, but instead they often discuss their own journey in the industry. You might even find out they’ve also had a challenging time in VFX too, and how they got through it.
That’s what makes Trojan Horse the place for VFX inspiration.
I’ve been a regular attendee at Trojan Horse Was a Unicorn for a few years now. Formerly in Portugal, THU is landing in Malta this year, and the location looks stunning.
What’s exciting is, you can enter the Golden Ticket Challenge art competition to get there yourself. There are two categories – student and professional – and winners will receive a ticket to THU, flights to Malta and 5-star accommodation. The first placed student also receives a Wacom mobile pro and a Lenovo mobile workstation.
So, what do you have to do?
To enter, you need to create a piece of artwork on a set theme, ‘Land of Wonder’, which is inspired by the new Malta location.
Submissions opened on May 14th and run until July 9th. Winners are announced on ArtStation – which is partnering with THU on the Golden Ticket Challenge – July 16th.
Oh, and how good does THU look already? On the VFX front, some of the speakers include ILM’s Hal Hickel, Black Panther vfx supe Geoffrey Baumann, DD’s Matthew Butler, vfx Leslie Ekker and more. And then there’s production designer Alex McDowell, director Jorge Gutierrez, and concept designer Ian McCaig. Seriously, amazing people.
THU takes place September 24-29, 2018 in Valletta, Malta.
I spend a lot of my working life looking for great visual effects, animation and CG content. There’s a lot out there. I’m of course drawn to making ofs and studio and film profiles, particularly about visual effects, but it wasn’t until last year that I discovered a new kind of VFX content.
That’s when I got to attend Trojan Horse was a Unicorn (full disclosure: they paid). It was a stunning event held in Troia, Portugal at a summer resort that mixed art, design, visual effects, 3D and filmmaking. Both professionals from the industry and artists at all levels attended. But what’s presented at Trojan Horse was not ‘making ofs’ or studio profiles. As good as those can be, Trojan Horse, or THU, is about a lot more. Continue reading When you crave creative content