We’re lifting the lid on what it’s like to work Inside Technicolor by shining the torch on our fascinating team. Discover more from Julius Burton, Key Artist at MPC in London as he talks us through his role, how he got into the industry, and the next big thing for VFX.
How would you describe what you do to someone who has never heard of your role?
I’m a texture lookdev artist, what that means is basically coloring in. I take a 3D model, add colors and describe the properties of the material and the way it interacts with light. Things like, how shiny or rough is the surface. Is it bumpy? What kind of bumps? Does the light penetrate the surface? How much does this bend the light? How much does it scatter the light? What color is it when it comes out the other side? This allows us to render the model in any lighting condition and it should always look realistic. Whether it is in the day or at night or in motion, moving through different lighting conditions.
How did I get into the visual effects industry?
As a child I loved magic tricks and illusions. I started trying to do simple magic tricks with video. When I was about 12 I got a laptop and started to learn more advanced techniques on YouTube. I kept making stuff for fun while I was at school and by the time I finished school I decided it was what I wanted to do for my career.
Talk us through an example day for you at MPC
In the morning I come in and check my renders that have come off the render farm from the previous night. I then comp them together and make dailies to share with the character team. I catch up with my texture lead and character supervisor about the work I did the previous day and talk about any challenges I may be facing. They give me feedback and together we make a game plan for that day. I then spend most of the rest of the day texturing in Mari and testing stuff in Katana. Throughout the day I will share screenshots with my lead or the artists for that character.
What would you say is the next upcoming thing in VFX?
The next big thing not just in texture lookdev but all of VFX, I think will be the use of AI to generate and or process VFX data for more production tasks. There are a lot of amazing technologies already out there they just need to be implemented in to artist friendly tools, to become useful in production.
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