Why becoming a 2D VFX artist is one hell of a career choice
People get really confused when they hear about the profession of a 2D VFX artist. The common question arises is that which part of a VFX film requires 2D visual effects and what exactly is the role of a 2D VFX artist in a film? A 2D department in a VFX company does not actually have too many specialties. There are people who work doing “preperation”, people doing “compositing” and people doing a matte painting. 2D VFX artists basically merge the 3D characters made by the 3D artists, with the rest of the footage.
The “roto/prep” is often considered to be the entry level job, where Why would anyone need this? Well… imagine a knight on a horse… riding really fast… fighting a flying dragon in the woods… We can film the knight in the woods and make a dragon in 3D, but to composite the two together we need to tell the computer where the knight ends and the background begins.
The role of prep is considered to be an entry-level job for any VFX artist. The art of rotoscoping involves manually tracing people to separate them from the background. A 3D artist can create a dragon or an ogre in 3D but, it is the job of a roto artist or 2D VFX artist to blend together the 3D characters and the background of the scene. The compositor can then take this traced roto information (often called a “mask”) and make sure that he puts the ogre only over the background and not over the dragon. Using a green screen to separate two or more elements is a great technique that is very-very helpful when used appropriately, but in some scenarios it’s might also be inappropriate. In this case, we would need a green-screen for the whole length of shot where the ogre and the dragon are present(and potentially big enough for the dragon as well). Sometimes, it’s just easier to get a dedicated roto-artist.
Tracing out such vast and complicated scenes is quite a hell of a task and it is the responsibility of the roto artist to do before handing the footage over to the compositor. On the other hand, a matte-painter creates realistic images of places that have never existed like an unrealistic castle on top of a waterfall or a statue of a bird midst the fauna. Although these images can be created by 3D department most studios involve matte painters in their 2D department to do these kinds of work and they create a single painting that is so well drawn that you can’t tell that it’s not a photo.
Now imagine a fight scene between the ogre and the dragon in which the ogre falls on the ground. The actor who is in the ogre suit will definitely no be thrown on the ground unguarded. He will be wearing pads and will be falling on a soft mattress. This is again where the prep team steps in because clean-up of unwanted elements on screen is a very challenging task since the art of removing objects from a shot mainly consists of recreating what was originally meant to be behind them in a way that ends up (you guessed it) looking real! So the compositor is like the maestro of the VFX team being a part of the 2D VFX team he gathers elements and footage from both the 3D and 2D departments and finally merges them to form a whole scene or a film which is seamless of its visual effects and added aura. The entire responsibility is on the compositor’s head if he/she is unable to make a scene look real be it due to the roto artist or the matte painter the compositor will only be questioned. Thus it is evident that the 2D VFX team has a very vital role in the making of a VFX movie.
So don’t shy away from exploring the various fields of VFX cause every field has a wide variety of career opportunities in todays time. Join Rotomaker Academy and get proper and professional training in whichever field of VFX you choose to learn. Perform well and you can even land an internship in your choice of career or even better a secured job with our 100% placement assistance program.