Anyone hoping for a career in Visual Effects in the U.S. will have to wait a generation or so. The audiences are happy, for the moment, with the dirivative visual effects you can get from 3rd world countries. Until breaking new ground routinely is appreciated again, the U.S. won't innovate. People backing these projects will go cheap, they are just interested in making money. As long as that condition exists, they will keep doing what works for them. They will have to fail a few times and waste a lot of money, before they come around.
Our best minds should gravitate toward fields where innovation is recognized as a way to stay ahead. I am afraid Visual Effects isn't one of them right now.
It is also the Visual Effects industry's fault in taking low bid work. Small companies take work that they really can't afford if they intend to survive. The streets are littered with failed companies that took low bid work. Budget types take short term tax incentives or offshore the work to keep costs down. They aren't concerned with standards. The only ones concerned with standards are audiences & Visual Effects companies. That is why having a credit is important, so the audience knows that at least the visual effects work is supervised by people who innovate.By:G. Duerr. (not verified)
If I were a young person in the U.S. today, I wouldn't go into the Visual Effects industry. People with budgets chase the cheapest way to accomplish anything, which breeds mediocrity. If you want to work in a low paid sweat shop, move to a 3rd world country there you can find plenty of work.
When labor ceases to be a problem, it will be something else. You will get something akin to pre-vis graphics in films (or should I say videos). Then people with budgets will innovate.
Don't look for innovation for a generation. That's what happened in the 60's & 70's. What makes us think anything will be different now? People with money won't make any progress on their watch until the audience cares about the quality of the graphics presented to them.
Anything that has happened time after time in this industry shouldn't surprise anybody.By:G. Duerr (not verified)
Wizards was one of those films that inspired me to get into the comics field. And I look forward to your current endeavers!By:The Ripper (not verified)
What a couple of cantankerous old farts you two are. Love it! Keep up the good work Ralph.By:Squid Turbo (not verified)
It works with the new point cloud engine in AutoCAD 2011, but releis on the TIN surface engine in Civil3D. If you don't want to create the TIN surface, the plug-in can be used on other AutoCAD vertical products.By:Matia (not verified)
EXCELLENT INTERVIEW! I enjoyed a lot!By:PAUL BADILLA (not verified)
Very interesting interview, Dan and Ralph! Perhaps computer drawing tools (FLASH being the first) are a big factor the return to reiterating (regurgitating?) the flat, limited UPA style so many studios are following today? Also, other than the studios Ralph ran, there have been few places artists can be truly "honest". John Kricfalusi recently said Animation's highly inbred and recycled - I hope Ralph will once again show it doesn't have to be that way.By:kurt w (not verified)
well this film was far better than brave and far more beautiful to look at!!By:RICHARD UK (not verified)
absolutely brilliant work..i love this filim as same as much i love my favourite "titanic and avatar".. and the music is kissig my mind..GREAT DIRECTION..GREAT FILIM..By:rishin ragunath (not verified)
Great article. I agree with much of it. I've often seen the Simpsons format of being closer to a live action sitcom like married with children or even cheers. It has that same sense of permanence in the presentation of its characters and plot outlines.By:Gregor Louden (not verified)
All. The birds. What channel though?By:AngryBirdsClubLeader (not verified)
As was mentioned vfx is subcontracted. As an effects house you are only viable on a per project basis and have to outbid others if possible based on your resources. You will be at the mercy of outsourcing which seems to be drifting overseas. The cost of operation in areas like California is becoming prohibited.
Follow the money. Who is doing well while the effects companies struggle to break even? Content ownership is they key to survival these days. Having a slice of creative ownership will be the defining factor. If you are not actively creating content and merely doing effects for a project you will always be at the mercy of the market.
Create the content, keep it in-house and cost effective. If there is a demand for it you will be OK. Pixar and Lucas (prior to the sale) were doing just fine.By:Anonymous (not verified)
Thanks for reading. And glad it motivated you!By:Pamela Thompson (not verified)
Which birds are going to be in angry birds toons?By:Anonymous (not verified)
VFX companies are usually subcontracted to perform the work (they are independent of the actual production company). Isn't the problem with how they bid on the projects? For instance, R&H filed for bankruptcy. It wasn't because their work wasn't up to par. I mean, afterall, they did the lion's share of VFX on Life of Pi. But, maybe they weren't realistic on how much they bid. Couldn't that be the problem?By:Anonymous (not verified)
Yes, it's starting. The Visual Effects Society is petitioning the state of California to up the subsidies here. (sorry, not allowed to post the link here)By:Marc Weigert (not verified)
If you know your history, The Academy was first set up to bust up the union movement in Hollywood.By:Anonymous (not verified)
d@mn! i just saw the vid of what happened @ the stinkin Oscars for the guys with that incident on stage. THAT WAS THE POOREST DISPLAY OF PROFESSIONALISM & LACK OF HONOR FOR HOLLYWOOD OSCAR PRODUCERS & DIRECTORS I HAVE EVER SEEN!!! that was completely horrible & shows the mindset of money-bagging, numbers-only, Good-Ol'-Boy mentality that operates among Corporate Hollywood!! take away their money & you'll have disgusting, blabbering, non-creative blanks sheets of flesh quivering in fear because of not knowing how to successfully cope w/REAL LIFE!! how very, very RUDE & disappointing!
so sad for my fellow 3D Artists, Imaginative Giants & Creative Poets in Film!! we are always persecuted for our genius minds & visionary hearts in a world of detached Admins that can't recognize their butts from their heads...!By:Anonymous (not verified)
I agree, #1 is a bad idea right now, #3 is pointless if you don't have jobs. My personal area of interest right now is stopping (or at least matching) foreign VFX subsidies. While the overseas companies would still have an edge when it comes to worker salaries, we have an edge when it comes to talent, experience, and the ability to work with us face-to-face rather than crafting an entire film via Cinesync.
I like the perspective of rent vs own, and I think the VFX community would do well to invest more heavily in cloud/remote rendering infrastructure. If Netflix can serve 30% of the total video traffic on the web using Amazon's S3 servers, I think we can figure out how to effectively render some frames on it.
-AndyBy:Andy Cochrane (not verified)