A Day in the Life of a Creature Effects (CFX) Artist @ Framestore

By Beck Selmes | 21st September 2018

9:00: As a Creature Effects artist (I'll explain what that involves in a minute!) I start the day looking through all of the images and movie files of my creature/character that I put on to render the night before. Sometimes they turn out perfect, other times there are some really interesting and not always so pleasing results! After having a good chuckle over the outcome I check my emails and schedule for the day ahead.

10:00: I start to get my work ready for review. Review is where the directors and producers give me feedback on the work I have done. All the creatures and characters that look good get flagged for the producers to get ready for the review. The ones that need slight tweaks are fixed and then flagged too.

11:30: Next stop review. I am able to get valuable feedback on the things I need to work on. Some of the things that receive feedback are how the hair/fur looks and moves, if the hair has the right shape and position and if the clothes move like clothes. If my work is looking good and doesn’t need any more adjustments, it is sent through to an artist in the next department to work on other elements of the image/creature.

12:30: I go and get something delicious for lunch. If the weather is good I make sure I go out for some fresh air and make the most of it.

1:30: Now the fun begins! Time to get my hands dirty, as they say, and dive into the digital world of CFX. Here is where I begin to work on the groom (digital hairdressing), hair simulation (making the hair move) and cloth simulation (making the clothes move). Having received a lot of great feedback on my work in review, I start to improve the hair and cloth on the creature/character.

3:30: Using video and image reference (extremely important) I work on matching the virtual character/creature to the real life references. This makes the creature far more believable. I use my traditional art background and eye for detail to get a realistic result.

5:00: A quick break and a stretch of the legs, then ready to finish off the day by getting all the work ready to render over night once again. Fingers crossed that all my movies and images work tonight!

6:00: The end of the day and time to go home. I am ready to do it all again tomorrow!