Tue, 23 Aug 2022 11:28:45 GMT
Maria Carriedo is CG lead at Freefolk Studios. Maria has built up an impressive body of work from her start at Digital Domain in LA to CG lead at The Mill for high-profile brands including Smart Energy ( AMV), Direct Line (Saatchi & Saatchi) and the multi-award-winning Heathrow Bears Campaign (Havas).
Maria> I think this spectrum is what makes VFX so great. For instance, invisible VFX can be incredibly challenging because it has to be undetectable, meaning that if the audience can spot that we have added something in the shot, it breaks the illusion and ruins the magic. Hence, we have to carefully find a balance where anything that we add makes the story better and the shot believable, sometimes details so small and so subtle they can be imperceptible on their own, but when you put everything together it really makes a huge difference.
On the other hand, those big glossy VFX shots, can sometimes be a case where ‘more is more’. You want to bring all the big guns out and make something that, while still balanced, is as big and as crazy as the story allows you to be. These types of shots can be really fun to work on, they really push the creative side of artists and add some really interesting challenges along the way.
Maria> That we are there to help them bring their vision to life, and that in the end it's all about teamwork. Sometimes in shoots, everyone is so laser focused on their task that VFX is a bit forgotten about, but we have to remember that we need each other to bring out the best in the final shot.
Maria> I studied VFX in Gnomon School of Visual FX in Los Angeles, California, and I did my BA in design in IBERO university in Mexico city.
Maria> We usually get a script, or sometimes just a few pages with the general vibe, story and visual language from a potential client. Our job at the start of the project is to help materialise some of the most abstract concepts and make an estimate on how long things will take and what resources we will need.
Maria> This one is a tricky one! As an artist I think I struggle with detaching myself from the piece and calling it done. There’s always something that could be better or that I wish I could go back and fix. It’s that unquenchable thirst for perfection that is so hard to resist when you are so passionate about a project.
Maria> I’m really looking forward to seeing where Unreal Engine goes, especially with virtual production since I think it opens up a whole new world and makes collaboration between Pre and post production a lot easier. Sometimes it's hard to imagine what the VFX will look like but this would really help bridge that gap.
And of course I can’t not mention Houdini from Side FX. I think it’s the most exciting software and I can’t wait for it to become the standard in a lot of post houses…. Also, Houdini + Unreal = Powerhouse!
Maria> To be fair, I think VFX is one of those professions where we are lucky we can do almost everything remotely. I don’t think productivity was affected by that shift and in a way it has proven that it works and it’s a possibility to have a hybrid workflow. I do think it can make things difficult for new starters and recent graduates since you sometimes need a bit more hand holding at the start of a new studio to get a grip on the inhouse tools and getting to know everyone.
Maria> Like I said before, that we can do it! But also that as a team we need to stay in touch and make an effort to hang out and touch base with everyone. Even though I love my days working from home, the team needs to get together at some point and really build that camaraderie and rapport that in the end is only going to help the project. The last thing you would want is to feel like a cog in the machine, and sometimes being isolated from workmates and the office can feel a bit like that.
Maria> I was fortunate enough to be taught by active professionals at Gnomon, which meant that when I graduated I got my first internship at Psyop in LA, thanks to my teacher Stephen Dellala, and my first official job at Digital Domain, also thanks to my teacher Matt Rosenfeld.
Biggest lesson from this is that VFX, as an industry, is pretty small. People will notice if you are a hard worker, if you are willing to learn, and unsurprisingly, if you are nice to work with. You can be super talented, but if nobody likes you, you are not going to get the job.
Maria> I love game cinematics, so working on ‘Varus’ for League of Legends was so much fun. We really tried to push the creative and I think we succeeded in getting some really beautiful shots in the end. My most recent milestone project would be the one for Smart Energy Einstein, which went to win a VES for best character animation!
Maria> Skoda - Freefolk: A simple concept done so well, beautiful lighting and animation and bringing some much needed storytelling to car adverts.
Anchor - Butter The Food Butter The Mood - Freefolk: Just a bit of crazy camera work and some CG trickery to get a really fun result.
Rocky Balboa - Ladbrokes - Selected Works: Bringing back to life a classic in such an elegant way. Really love how the guys at SW integrated original footage with a very complex shoot so seamlessly.
Burberry - Mill/MPC: I think we are sensing a common theme here for my love for storytelling through camera work. Mill/MPC advertising did an outstanding job delivering this beautiful film, with invisible VFX that really took it up a notch and pushed the boundaries of what’s possible with a good rig and a talented team.
Pharrell feat 21 savage - Cash in Cash out - ETC: Not exactly advertising, but some of the most creative use of CG I’ve seen in a while! The artists at ETC really delivered into making such a creative piece that I’m sure we’ll see it referenced again and again in the future.
Frito, Lay Push it - Untold: Untold has been really ‘pushing it’ when it comes to creature work in advertising, just some beautiful work and really setting the standard for this type of work. Goes to show that when an artist knows their stuff they can break the rules of reality and still make the audience believe it.view more - PeopleFreefolk, Tue, 23 Aug 2022 11:28:45 GMT