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New Talent: Andrew Roberts

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MPC VFX artist on Assassin's Creed, Transforming & Youview

New Talent: Andrew Roberts

From swashbuckling pirates to iconic nude ladies, the last year has been nothing but interesting for Andrew Robots. MPC’s young VFX artist first honed his craft as a hobby whilst at university and soon found his craft turn into his bread and butter. LBB’s Addison Capper caught up with Andrew to find out more.

LBB> Where did you grow up and what kind of child were you?


AR> I grew up in London and I was a normal child I guess. I dreamt of being a professional footballer of course - although that dream hasn't exactly gone away...


LBB> You studied Digital Film and Video at university - what drew you to the craft?


AR> I’ve always loved film, and how it’s such a great collaboration of all the arts. While I was at school I created some matte paintings and some pretty ropey visual effects as a hobby. University was really the chance to meet people who also loved film, find out what interested them, and to collaborate and make some films that were actually good! 


LBB> Recently you worked on the epic Assassins Creed 'Defy' spot with director Adam Berg - what was it like working on a spot of that magnitude? What was your involvement in the project? 


AR> It was great working on a project of that scale. I worked on the underwater scene, building the transition into the hull of the boat. Adam shot this scene in camera, which is what made it work so well. It was shot in a huge water tank with lots of lights animating above the surface; onto the stuntmen who were sinking from the shipwreck. I helped to extend the action and make the scene feel as big, epic and oceanic as possible. The main plate Adam had shot had such great atmosphere and drama already, so my job was to build out from there using additional plates, integrating the 3D renders and some environment work in Nuke.


LBB> You've also just finished a series of digital art paintings with artists Rob and Nick Carter that are to be shown at the Fine Art Society, London. Can you tell us a bit more about the project and what it involved? Had you ever worked on a project like this before? How did it differ from other projects and what challenges did it throw up?



AR> My main involvement was with Transforming Nude Painting, which is a digital recreation of Giorgione’s Sleeping Venus masterpiece from 1510. Recreating a masterpiece sounds like a daunting task but I had worked with Rob and Nick on the first in the series, Transforming Still Life, which was very well received. I knew that with the artist’s vision and with Jake Mengers supervising, this would be a great project to work on. The painting features a woman in the foreground against a background that was to be animated over the cycle of a day. A model was shot against green screen on a pillow and silk sheets matching the painting. My job was to warp her body to match the proportions of the woman in the original painting, to blend her into the environment, and to give the background, which was created in 3D, a look and texture like the painting. The main difference working on this job was that the take (of the model sleeping) was extremely long in comparison to what we usually work with. 


LBB> Which other projects that you've worked on recently have really resonated with you and why?


AR> I’ve just finished work on a great new project for a big global brand. I’m sworn to secrecy on specifics though! 


Another project that springs to mind is a spot I worked on for Youview. Christian Bevilacqua directed, and we were tasked with projecting TV footage onto some lovely plates of Manchester at night. The post was led by Chris Aldred and Tim Civil. The collaboration between the whole team was great as we worked on achieving the final look. It was about finding the balance between keeping the textures we wanted from the footage, whilst revealing the textures from the buildings and the effect of the light on the environment. Being able to share techniques between the teams was great fun and really helped us keep consistency; to quickly achieve a look we were happy with. 


LBB> What do you get up to outside of work?


AR> Seeing my friends. I play in a couple of football teams and I play piano when I get a chance.


LBB> What do the next 12 months hold for you?


AR> I’m in Amsterdam at the moment, working at our newly opened VFX studio. I’ll be staying here for a month before heading back to London and hopefully will carry on working on more awesome projects. 

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Genres: People

Categories: Recruitment, Business Services

Mill London, Wed, 09 Oct 2013 15:23:24 GMT