Gavin Thin VFX Artist & Rebelway Alumni

How did you start in 3D and how did you discover Houdini?

 My first experience with 3D was during my college years. I was taught using Maya as my main 3D tool. The first time I heard the word “Houdini” was from my wife who used to work with Rhythm & Hues. After a couple of attempts of giving up and getting back, I realized that Houdini is a tool that is actually giving a lot of freedom to the artist. Its learning curve is also sort of linear compared to other packages where having some sort of coding background is important , especially doing FX back then with limited resources.

Where do you currently work?

Currently I am working as a freelancer and/or short-term contract artist.


What drives you to learn the craft of 3D & VFX?

 I’ve had a passion for drawing from a very young age, which I believe was influenced at the time when comic and Japanese manga were blooming. I didn’t really understand 3D until I got hands-on and played around with the Viewport. 3D was like a combination of doing art and learning technology content at the same time, so it caught my interest. Learning 3D and VFX, helped me visualize my imagination, and share the story I wanted to tell.


There are many VFX schools & tutorial websites. In your opinion how does Rebelway compare?

 I’ve found that Rebelway’s workshops offer a complete content. They offer workshops and tutorials that cover the entire learning path, and across multiple levels of difficulties from beginner to intermediate. Also, in a all materials, skills and knowledge are taught in a way that helps understand not only the surface but in-depth details that make the outcome outstanding.

 In terms of accessibility, it’s easy to get involved and engaged no matter where you are in the world as long as you have access to the Internet. Rebelway really helped me create better visuals and learn trouble shooting, and difficult technical tasks. Instructors are very keen to help out and share their industry experiences and advise on career paths.


What did Rebelway help you achieve?

 The knowledge I gained from Rebelway’s workshops really helped me create better visuals. I am also now able to achieve higher difficulty levels of tasks.

 What makes Rebelway’s instructors special, is the fact that they are very keen to help out and share their industrial experiences, and provide advice on career paths.


Tell us about your favorite project accomplished in Houdini

 At the moment my favorite personal project will the “Street Invasion”. I love this piece because I put in quite a number of elements and it challenged me to come up with  technical solutions. In the meanwhile I wanted to stick to my original idea without changing due to technical difficulties. The biggest challenger here is to complete the sequences of 4 shots and make them look presentable. So to take care the overall visual for example gathering some close references, assemble the background environment, animating the camera, iterations on versions and making decision throughout this project.


Who inspires you as an artist? Who do you look up to and why?

 I’ve looked up to different role models throughout different stages of my life. When I started drawing, I mimicked the characters I liked in a comic I read. I then followed other artwork and stories of the same author. 

 As for FX artists, I do follow a few like :- Joe Scarr, Allan Mckay, Kei Yoneoka, Jacys Lin, Saber Jlassi, Igor Zanic, Fabian Nowak, Hristo Velev and many more. Their professional work, RnDs, articles of sharing, and some of their online interviews inspire me to keep on creating and producing art. Also my ex-employer who guided me through my career path. Earning the experience, and pushing myself to be as good as them in the industry has given me a passion for the industry.


What podcasts or youtube channels keep you motivated to grow as an artist?

 In the earlier stages where I started to draw, I visited places like deviantart. Then later on, during my college time, I often visited CGSociety. When I stepped deeper into creating FX, vimeo was always the place I would look at. Channels like CGrecords did often post interesting and inspiring clips from awesome artists all over the world. Also not to be missed out many studios’ official pages like ILM, Weta, Framestore, Dneg, LumaPictures.

What’s next for you on your artistic journey?

 I would say to keep on producing more artwork, and to carry on RND-ing and learning new interesting topics.
 Meanwhile I do hope to get myself involved as part of a team to
create stunning VFX in blockbuster movies like Avatar, Terminator, etc .

More about Gavin:


Gavin Thin VFX Artist & Rebelway Alumni

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