Sim West

Interview By Rebelway

Step into the world of VFX with an interview with Sim West who reveals his transformative experience at Rebelway's Fantasy FX course. Here's an exploration of his insights, challenges, and triumphs.

1-Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your background in VFX?

I have amassed over 15 years of experience working in 3D. My journey commenced in the realms of architectural and product visualization. As time passed, I found myself seeking new challenges and ventured into various domains. This exploration led to the integration of animation and video into my projects, and it was this experience that ignited my passion for working with films. Over the recent years, I’ve had the opportunity to contribute as a 3D artist and compositor in several feature films, which, in turn, sparked my keen interest in the field of VFX.

2-What inspired you to enroll in the Fantasy FX course at Rebelway?

The world of VFX is like a captivating rabbit hole, offering an array of aspects to explore and a wealth of knowledge to absorb. I’ve always been a self-taught and learn-as-you-go kind of individual, but tackling Houdini has been an occasionally overwhelming experience. Recognizing that if I wanted to master the software within a reasonable timeframe, it would be prudent to learn from an industry professional. Given my familiarity with Houdini, I opted for Rebelway’s Fantasy FX course, as it doesn’t start from the absolute beginning. In addition to Houdini, the course also covers compositing in Nuke, which was on my to-learn list as well.


3-How did you find the learning experience at Rebelway, and what sets it apart from other educational platforms?

Upon completing the course, I’m delighted that I enrolled and persevered. It required more hours each week than I initially anticipated, but it was an enjoyable and engaging experience. The ability to reach out to the instructor for assistance and feedback is a valuable opportunity. This not only aids in resolving technical issues but also offers guidance and motivation to go the extra mile. Witnessing the work of your coursemates is equally inspiring and occasionally motivates you to invest a few more hours in perfecting your own work.

4-What kind of feedback and guidance did you receive from your instructor, Guy Tourgeman, during your time at Rebelway, and how did it help you improve your skills and your final project?

Our instructor, Guy Tourgeman, undoubtedly brings a wealth of experience to the table. I particularly appreciated his approach of encouraging individuals to explore their own interpretations of the effects. People tend to grasp concepts better when they experiment and learn from their own mistakes. The key, I believe, is not to lose heart when things don’t unfold as expected. Guy adeptly guided everyone back on track if they stumbled or veered off course. A valuable lesson I took away from the course was the importance of maintaining consistency in the appearance of different shots with various effects to ensure the clip forms a cohesive whole.

5-Your reel is truly impressive. Can you describe the process of creating it and how the course contributed to your skills?

I decided to make a breakdown of the shots after finishing the final clip. It’s not always apparent how much effort goes into the making of visual effects. A breakdown is an excellent way of lifting the lid for clients, co-workers, friends, or family.

6-What advice would you give to aspiring VFX artists looking to join Rebelway or start a similar journey?

I’m sure anyone who has an interest in VFX and is considering a Rebelway course shouldn’t hesitate. It’s well worth the time and tickling of your gray cells, in my experience. I learned a lot and now have a far better understanding of the techniques and correct workflows. I have a few more Rebelway courses on my radar. These will greatly benefit me in my future work and personal projects, I have no doubt.

Explore the course: Fantasy FX In Houdini

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