Ariel Levental’s mentoring session for Advanced Compositing students.

post by: Allar Kaasik

Ariel Levental, a senior compositor at Framestore, came to Escape Studios on Friday to have a look at our Advanced Compositing short course students’ work. Since all the short course students in this current intake are also staying on to do an MA, then the shots that they were showing will also form part of their formal assessment in addition to becoming showreel pieces. For this module, they will have to complete a green-screen keying shot and an advanced projections shot, both of which have to be completed to an industry standard.

To help the students reach that standard Ariel gave detailed critique of each of the shots, but he also had some general comments and tips that would be helpful for any aspiring artist.

  • He said that you should always do your own QC (quality checking). Every supervisor is going to wipe between the original greenscreen footage and your composite to check that you have not lost any hair details and edges remain where they originally were. So, check your results against the original footage yourself first to save yourself embarrassing surprises in the dailies session.
  • Supervisors like artists who can think with their own heads and do more than simply addressing notes. Yes, you are always meant to address all the notes before the next time you submit for dailies, but it helps if you also occasionally submit an additional version where you may have tried something that the supervisor maybe hadn’t thought of. Of course, check it with your supervisor before a client session, lest you be showing some cool idea that you had for an amazing explosion that no-one asked for but that the client ends up liking and then wanting it in every other shot as well, even the ones that were already approved.
  • Don’t argue in the dailies. Even if you’re right. If you disagree, first try what the supervisor suggested because they might end up being right too and if what they suggested doesn’t work, then… well, then you’ll probably just have to make it work anyway…

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