maths physics and science in vfx

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maths physics and science in vfx

Post by crism on Fri Feb 07, 2014 10:49 pm

Hey guys
It's been bugging me for a while. There is a lot of banging these days about such called STEM skills (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) and their application in VFX production.. If you have a good understanding of maths and physics then its no doubt very useful in day to day work at VFX houses, especially at FX or lighters... But I wonder to what extent does this apply in any other departments? Does this apply to dmp/digital environments at all? I guess there may be different requirement in different departments but could any of you specify what knowledge exactly is needed and where?

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Re: maths physics and science in vfx

Post by Nick on Tue Feb 18, 2014 6:23 am

Hi Skowiak,
So, I think in general, as you said, having solid understanding of these fundemental principles is always pretty useful. Exactly how useful in production is open to debate.
The main problem is that when you are decision making in production, you have to make 100 or 1000 minute decisions every minute. It's very hard to say whether you specifically reference all those fundamental skills when you are making all those decisions. But certainly having them in your mind will help when figuring out how things should look and work. We've had some great training recently (through work) on light, matter and the phyics of materials, and it does have some impact on how you think about the way things should be when aiming for a physically plausable workflow and result.
That's fine, except that physically plausable has never on any show i've ever worked on, been goeed enough for the client. It's certainly a great starting point, but inevitably they will then want to start tweaking and changing things because at the end of the day we are telling their story, and as storytellers sometimes we have to tweak reality to keep the pace / flow / ark of the story. So taking 3 times as long to get physical plausability when you could have something that works fine for 98% of the audience who see the shot and actually tells the story better, seems to not make much sense any more...
I think that the most important thing for me was my artistic skills, and learning about cameras. Being able to sit and look at a shot that may not be physically plausable, and still being able to know what is needed to make it believeable is more valuable in my opinion.
Now like I said, that is totally open to debate, and as far as I can I always like to keep things physically correct, but don't stress about it too much.

Good topic though, might be worth a podcast at some point!

N

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