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Academic information

Senior Lecturer: 

 

I'm currently a Senior lecturer in Compositing at Bournemouth University. I lecture on the MA and BA courses.

I have also lectured and given Master Classes in VFX compositing at Middlesex University, University of West London, University of the Arts London and Chichester University.

A joy to pass on skills, techniques and theories to the next generation of talented artists.  Being able to draw upon my nearly three decades of being a commercial artist, working on moving and still images.

I have a 100% success with my graduates obtaining careers in creative industries.

 

ACADEMIC Course designer:

I was commissioned by The University for the Creative Arts to design, write and deliver to validation process, the BA (Hons) and MA Visual Effects courses.

 

Students Experience:

 

Highly rewarding seeing the students progress into industry. I currently have a one hundred percent success rate of VFX graduates progressing to creative careers. Pleasing that I can use my industry links and connections to help students on their career pathway.  I enjoy developing material and content to improve the student experience and relevance for their career journey in my role as a senior Lecturer. 

 

Using my industry knowledge to improve the students creative best practice and working environment.
During my time at the University I have introduced several items that have significantly enhanced the students experience and creative output and content.  A Render Farm which dramatically improves working
efficiency.  When joining the University I noticed that working practices could be significantly improved, for example they did not have a render farm. I liaised with the IT department to make them aware the advantages of using a render farm which efficiently takes uses the computer network in the University. In my opinion it was  paramount that we obtained a render farm as everyone would benefit. I can teach more content and students can achieve more iterations of work. During my time at DNEG we used a render farm called Tractor which is developed by Pixar. Tractor is free to non-commercial enterprises which the University fits that criteria. I have worked closely with the IT department to ensure the Render Farm is producing professional studio quality work. To highlight the efficiency of the render farm, material that I use to teach in one of my modules, will  completely the render task locally on a University machine in two and a half hours. When rendering locally, this also means the students cannot carry on with work as the machine is locked to the task. The same material on the render farm takes six minutes to complete. This does not inhibit the students from using their local machines. With this efficiency, students can be more experimental and discover their potential at a rapid pace compared with previous working methods.

I also have introduced remote access software to the University (HP Z Central). This completely revolutionised the way creative students can work on computers. Obtaining HP Z Central meant that we we are totally pandemic proof for the VFX students. Students have access to the University's servers, software and render farm from the comfort of their own home. This access is 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.  From a very modest computer set-up and internet connection.  HP Z Central is industry approved and used. With the current situation and change of working hybrid, it's paramount that the students have this facility to make them industry ready when they graduate. HP Z Central software is free when using HP computers.

I use my previous industry experience to ensure the students are using industry relevant software. I have obtained free software or that has been heavily discounted.

It is important to myself that students view themselves as commercial artists. They are provided with the tools, techniques, theories and the mindset to give them every opportunity to reach their potential and achieve their goals and send them successfully on their career pathway.

Research and development:

I am keen to keep my skill sets current. I enjoy and adapt to change. Using the copy cat node in Nuke X, I experimented with the possibilities of machine learning. The Ai task I chose was the rotoscope/preparation of the foreground matte of the gun and character. Quite a tricky shot due to a pull focus and and heavily motion blur. The results were successful. The efficiency of the Ai was great. I also have been using a virtual production hybrid green screen set-up using OBS. I'm currently testing the Unreal engine to NukeX workflow. Testing the unreal reader and how it can provide creative and efficiency progression for students and their creations.

Industry experience:

During my time at DNEG, I was asked to contribute to a project commissioned by Skillset our Sector Skills Council for VFX in education, aimed at University and College students. The brief was recommendations for teaching Compositing.
The 2D element of VFX.  The delivered item was a free resource for lecturers and students to use.  

                   

                   1: A module covering areas of General  VFX:

 

                    Foundation Knowledge:

 

                    - Basic Maths  - Photography  - Computer Graphics Basics  - Art Skills, (perspective, proportion, colour theory)                      -                             Film Theory

 

                   

                    Overview:

 

                    - An understanding of where VFX sits within the Production of a film

 

                    - An understanding of where the compositor sits within the VFX pipeline

                    Compositing Techniques - An Overview of the Following:

 

                    - Workflow, I/O.  - Roto.  - Clean-up/Prep.  - Keying (and treating despill)  - Tracking, including 3d tracking                                                         solutions

 

                    - Colour correction, and how to marry different elements together   - Premultiplication/ Comping CG

 

                    - Quality Control/Image processing, (eg understanding why not to stabilise the plate and then reapply the track)

                    2: In-depth 2d specialist course (1 or 2 yrs Masters)

 

 

                    Foundation Knowledge:

 

                    - Basic Maths  - Basic Physics, including light.  - Traditional Art Skills/Art History. - Film Theory

 

                    - Understanding of film and video, ie colour theory for each.  - Working with different files/film formats

 

                    - Computer Graphics Basics (how 3d images are created, ie geo, camera, lighting, etc)   - Python, scripting

 

                    General:

 

                    - Creative problem solving/lateral thinking   - Team playing   - Working to a brief   - Learning the process of                                                         approval and revision

 

                    - Flexibility within your comp work, to allow for changes   - Delivering to a deadline/Time management

 

                    - An understanding of where VFX sits within the Production of a film

 

                    - An understanding of where the compositor sits within the VFX pipeline

 

                    Compositing Techniques - in Depth:

 

                    NB: It's important to understand the theory behind these techniques, rather than simply learning how to use one specific                                           application

 

                    - Workflow, I/O.   - Working with different files/film formats   - Roto   - Clean-up/Prep.  - Keying (and treating despill)

 

                    - Tracking, including 3d tracking solutions.  - Colour correction, and how to marry different elements together

 

                    - Premultiplication/ Comping CG.  - Multi-layer compositing/how to put the CG passes together

 

                    - Using practical elements, eg understanding scale & speed

 

                    - Quality Control, eg understanding why not to stabilise the plate and then reapply the track

 

                    - Warping/Morphing  - Stereo (3D)

 

                    Practical Experience:

 

                    - Photography   - Film and/or video production, from start to finish, including vfx, DI, and edit   - Work placement

 

                    - On-set visit

The latest iteration of VFX Core Skills Handbook be found below at the link below

Render Farm explained.

Why do we need and use them.

Remote access explained.

Why do we need and use them.

RENDER FARM
Render Farm

Render Farm

REMOTE ACCESS