Saturday, August 21, 2010

Thursday's Studio Tours and Alumni Dinner

We began our day with breakfast. We had three different studios we we’re going to visit that day, Motion Theory, Rhythm & Hues, and Method. This would also follow an awesome dinner with both Scad alumni and industry professionals.
Upon our visit to Motion Theory, I noticed a similar work environment to Psyop. They are both smaller companies that specialize in commercials and other projects like music videos. One popular music video that they created was Katy Perry’s California Girls. Having two hundred CG shots the company had a time crunch to complete this video. It’s now up for a few nominations.
The space for the artists for the most part was open which allowed for communication between the employees. There was also a basket ball court.

As soon as we approached the doors to Rhythm and Hues you notice a door for both pet and owner. I thought how awesome. It makes since to have your pet when you work long hours and have to deal with stressful situations at times. We walked to the building for the screening room. There we came across a few Scad Alumni, which apparently there are quite a few working at Rhythm. Close to 200 Scad Alumni work at Rhythm and Hues to be exact. They told us the best way to get our foot in the door is to get into the apprenticeship program there. After we talked with the alumnus and viewing some audio for their latest film we made it to the screening room. Rhythm definitely has an impressive demo reel. Effects and animation for a number of big films some of which the Incredible Hulk and Superman Returns. Right now they are work on two films which I can’t mention here. I promised not to. Both have CG characters in live action environments. Rhythm uses Maya for modeling. We were able to talk with one of the modelers and get to see some of the models they have made. High polygon models for film that is are to be close to photorealistic as possible. All the detailing is done in Z-brush and a high poly obj was outputted from that. Rhythm does not use displacements since their system doesn’t like it. Though having such a heavy model one would think it would crash the system. Most of the companies that we visited run Lenox since it’s a more stable operating system.
We would later end our tours with Method Studio. This studio struck me as more business corporate than anything else. The environment was very organized and clean. Most of the offices were in rooms rather than in open space. They seemed very serious about what they do. They had a Flames workstation. This workstation to purchase is a million dollars. This studio also produces commercials and music videos, but the environment seemed very different from Motion Theory or Psyope. After reviewing their demo reel and getting a copy of it, we left Method to get ready for our Alumnus/Industry dinner.
After walking around the open mall and doing a little break dancing with the street performers, we walked over to the restaurant. We had a reservation at a really nice Asian restaurant. We ate dinner with some professionals from Disney, Dreamworks, and Sony Pictures. We weren’t allowed to sit next to any fellow Scad trip attendees but next to the invited guests. I sat next to a guy by the name of Al who works at Sony Pictures. I asked him a few questions about how they did Alice and Wonderland. Another guy who sat across from us that worked at Disney also worked on Avatar and is now working on Tangled. I later decided to move around the table and talk with a few other people at the end of the table. One guy gave me a word of advice, “get the job first, then the t-shirt.” It was an awesome way to end the night. I feel more confident in talking with professionals now. I hope to continue to build upon this for the future when I’m out looking for a job.

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