InFocus Film School Blog

 

SEE WHY HOUDINI, A STATE OF THE ART ANIMATION AND VFX PIPELINE TOOL IS CHANGING THE GAME. 

Why is Houdini the Future of 3D and VFX

Written by Rachel Kim

 

Explosions, earth-shattering destruction, glittering swirls of magic—these are the unavoidable spices of film and television. Today, much of these effects are created by a single tool—Houdini. But Houdini’s influence stretches even further. Though traditionally favoured by the effects departments, Houdini is a 3D and visual effects package that handles everything from modeling, animation, effects, character effects, lighting, and compositing. It has been embraced for its versatility and powerful capabilities.  

“Houdini is very much designed and conceived as an end-to-end pipeline tool,” says Luca Pataracchia, Senior Production Specialist at SideFX and an industry-experienced Houdini artist. SideFX is Houdini’s software developer.

Houdini had an ethos of embracing procedural generation since its inception in 1996. The software has firmly established itself as a powerhouse in the industry.

Houdini FX for Film + Games | InFocus Film School

Click here to learn more about InFocus Film School’s Houdini FX for Film + Games Program

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THIS STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE WILL TELL YOU EVERYTHING YOU SHOULD KNOW AND EXPECT WHEN BECOMING A WRITER FOR A TELEVISION SERIES!

What Happens in a T.V. Writer's Room? | InFocus Film School

Written by Johnny Papan

 

Characters, storylines and the direction of a series evolves with the team who writes it. Though the seed of a series may often come from the mind of one individual, it takes a team to plant, water and blossom a television show into what we see on screen. A show’s direction can completely change based on a number of factors. Characters originally intended to last through the finale are killed off two seasons early because an actor decides to move on, or two protagonists will develop an unplanned romance because it’s what the audience wants. 

In the hit mockumentary series The Office (U.S.) the show’s main couple Jim and Pam were written to break up in it’s final season. However, after audience backlash, the entire production backpedaled, quickly rewriting, reshooting and re-cutting episodes to mend the fictitious couple’s breaking bond as the season was already on-air, making sure to get the couple back together for a happy series finale. 

Although the screenwriter’s journey is a long and winding road, it’s never too late to start. Diving into the world of film and television later in life, InFocus Screenwriting Instructor Roslyn Muir bloomed into an actively working screenwriter who has penned feature films, television movies and, most recently, was part of the writer’s room for the CBS television series Ransom

Originally working for the series as an intern after being accepted into the Corus Writer’s Apprentice Program, Muir used the time to learn, network and push for a greater opportunity. 

After meticulously studying the show, rewatching old episodes and reading past scripts, Roslyn became a story editor for Ransom Season 3 and penned the ninth episode, “Broken Record”.

Now, Roslyn shares her experience of how a television show breaks down inside a writer’s room. 

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WANT TO WORK IN A VFX OR ANIMATION STUDIO BUT DON’T KNOW WHERE TO START? SOME OF THE WORLD’S BEST STUDIOS ARE LOCATED IN VANCOUVER. CHECK OUT THE LIST BELOW!

Top 10 Animation and VFX Studios in Vancouver | InFocus Film School

 

Vancouver’s animation and visual effects market is a growing industry. Year after year you will see more films being produced in Hollywood North, many of which feature VFX or digital animation. Vancouver is already home to some of the biggest animation studios in the film industry today and smaller ones continue popping up as demand increases, making career opportunities plentiful.

If you want to begin a career in Animation, 3D Animation, or Visual Effects, here are some Vancouver based companies you should look into.

Learn more about InFocus Film School's 3D Animation and Visual Effects Program

Click here to learn more about InFocus Film School’s 3D Animation and Visual Effects Program

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THE 3D ANIMATION INDUSTRY IS AT AN ALL-TIME HIGH. MORE CONTENT, MORE JOBS, MORE OPPORTUNITIES. ANIMATE YOUR FUTURE BY READING THIS LIST.

5 Tips to Break Into the 3D Animation Industry | InFocus Film School

Art by Adam Dean

Written by Rachel Kim

From bio-diverse animals to alien robots to resurrections of people long past, 3D animators have brought to life our wildest imaginations of this world and beyond. 

Since Pixar’s breakthrough with Toy Story in 1995, 3D animation has quickly dominated our media. Just a cursory glance at the latest Hollywood blockbusters shows how much we depend on 3D animators to breathe life into these imagined worlds. As the industry’s growth skyrockets, the demand for 3D animators has never been greater.  

InFocus animation mentor Selman Kantarci has worked on several large-scale productions including Detective Pikachu, Sonic the Hedgehog, Maleficent 2, Cats and more. He draws from his well of industry experience working at companies like MPC, Bardel Entertainment, and (currently) Method Studios to offer practical advice and encouragement to anyone hoping to build a career in 3D animation. 

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In this drone beginner’s guide we cover everything from choosing which drone to buy, to figuring out relevant laws and regulations. You’ll also learn about keeping your drone in good condition and traveling with your drone.

How to Use Drones: A Beginner's Guide | InFocus Film School

Written by Jenny Brown

This is a guest post from HobbyHelp.com. Click here for the original post. 

 

Drone for Beginners

I bought my first drone several years ago with the goal of trying out aerial photography and videography. I’m lucky to live in an area with striking natural landscapes and many areas that permit drone flights, so I was curious to see how everything would look from above. Over time, I’ve also come to love the challenge of learning new skills and increasing my control as I maneuver my drone with pinpoint precision.

If you’re also hoping to dive into this fun hobby, this guide is for you. It covers the fundamentals, from choosing which drone to buy, to figuring out relevant laws and regulations, to keeping your drone in good condition, to traveling with your drone.

drone-for-beginners

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THE BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO BECOMING A GREAT VIDEO EDITOR FOR FILM, TELEVISION AND ONLINE CONTENT.

The 6 Keys to Being A Great Video Editor | InFocus Film School

Written by Rachel Kim

What makes good video editing?

This question is more pertinent than ever for everyone. Video-based social media platforms like Tik Tok and Byte, along with a host of mobile video editing apps, are encouraging an entire generation to become editors. As video content continues to reign supreme, the need for professional video and film editors is rising as well, with companies big and small trying to stand out from the crowd of user-generated content. 

So what is a video editor, exactly? A video or film editor is like a souped-up collage artist whose raw material (instead of magazines, photographs, and newspaper clippings) is footage.

The primary role of a video editor is to take all the footage that’s been recorded on set and assemble it in a way that best tells the story. An editor uses the properties of time, sound, and a variety of manipulation techniques to convey the narrative as seamlessly and accurately as possible.

 

https://vimeo.com/247242689

 

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USING CLICHES WILL DISRUPT THE PUBLIC’S VIEW OF YOU AS AN ORIGINAL OR UNIQUE FILMMAKER. WE LIST 7 OF THE MOST COMMONLY USED FILM CLICHES AND GIVE YOU ALTERNATIVES TO AVOID USING THEM YOURSELF.

7 Short Film Cliches | InFocus Film School

Written by Johnny Papan

 

Short films are as old as cinema itself. The Lumiere Brothers launched the motion picture phenomenon when they, for the first time in history, screened 10 of their short films to the public in 1895. At first short films were the only form of cinema being made. Most films didn’t exceed 10 minutes in length until the 1900s. The world’s first feature film, The Story of Kelly Gang, was released in 1906, 11 years after the Lumiere Brothers unveiled this groundbreaking new art form to the masses.

Today, short films are as prominent as ever. They’re a go-to launching pad for filmmakers and can be utilized as a proof of concept for longer films or to showcase an artist’s prowess in a quick and compact way. Thousands of short films are produced every year and production values can vary from cinematically exquisite to D.I.Y. home movies. That being said, regardless of production budget, a strong, well-told story is what truly matters. 

With so many films being made every year, you’re bound to see similarities. However, some tropes cross the line of comparability and have become outright cliches over time. If you are a new filmmaker or film school student who wants to stand-out amidst the sea of film festival submissions, here is our list of 7 cliches to avoid if you’re making a short film.

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Want to become a graphic and digital designer? Here are some tips to help you get started! 

How to Become a Graphic and Digital Designer - InFocus Film School

By Rachel Kim 

Graphic and digital design built the world we live in today. From the movie posters and advertising you see on the streets, to the cartons of milk you pick up at the grocery store, to the very structure of the social media platforms you scroll through in bed. Every day, you interact with something shaped by the mind and hands of a graphic designer.  

It’s no wonder that the demand for graphic and digital designers is so high. InFocus’ lead Graphic Design instructor Jaime Sandoval can’t keep up with the amount of work and offers that come in.

“I’m always saying ‘no, no, no,’ because there’s so much work. So, so, so much work.” 

Conan O'Brien no gif

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FOLLOW OUR IN-DEPTH ARNOLD RENDERING TUTORIAL STEP BY STEP.

The Ultimate Rendering Guide - InFocus Film School

Written by Miguel Rodriguez

 

3D animation has evolved the landscape of visual media forever. It gives us the opportunity to experience landscapes, structures and beings beyond our wildest imagination. Contemporary cinema uses 3D animation and visual effects in various ways, ranging from heavy-duty to so subtle you cannot even notice it. 

That being said, every monster, alien spacecraft and most building demolitions seen on film, television and video games are made with 3D graphics. All graphics must turn into images that can be edited, seen and shown. In order to achieve that, we rely on a process called rendering.

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AN IN-DEPTH ANALYSIS OF THE ARTISTIC APPROACH TO USING CAMERA LENSES AS A FILMMAKER.

Video Camera | How to Use Camera Lenses in Film - InFocus Film School

By Piper Courtenay 

If cinematography is the art of storytelling in film, then lenses are the tools. Lenses can affect the way a story is told. For budding filmmakers, understanding how to choose the right lens is imperative to building a relationship with the audience.  

For John Pozer, senior film production instructor and curriculum advisor at InFocus Film School, cinematography pivots around creating a flow between images. He asserts both camera placement and lens choices are paramount to that seamless consistency.  

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