VFX Bootcamp Ideas

Hi folks,

During the roundtables at GDC we asked if people had ideas for talks they’d like to see at the next VFX Bootcamp. I thought it might inspire some new speakers if they saw a suggested topic that matched their current project or previous experience.

I would love to see a talk on how to incorporate hand drawn vfx into games. How do we blend the traditional with the technical and what are the challenges associated with it.

Below are the topics people wrote down during the roundtables. If you have more ideas please share them.

  • Making realistic sprite sheets.
  • How to develop a unique/distinct VFX style, either personally or for a game.
  • Texture creation and manipulation for VFX
  • Best tricks in the book: a collection of rapid fire talks on tips and tricks in realtime VFX.
  • Tear it to pieces: reel/fx submissions that get pro feedback/review on common mistakes and ways to improve/challenge yourself.
  • Destruction/RBD’s - please, anything on this would be good - it’s one of my specialties so sad to see it left out for laser focus on particle FX.
  • Any talk on a VFX post-mortem, what went right, what went wrong and any takeaways for the future.
  • A talk on overdraw and other performance related concerns or design related (visual noise)

This would probably be best for the general day, but VFX Horror stories. That something something that just wouldn’t work right, and seemed to spite you at (hopefully almost) every attempt. Bonus points if someone brings a flashlight for effect. :stuck_out_tongue:

Hey Mike,

I’m super interested in Destruction and RBD. We used Houdini extensively on Shadow of the Colossus. I wish we could have prepared a talk for this past GDC but the crunch of production didn’t allow space for that. By next year, the tricks I used on Shadow may be old news but as an educator, I am preparing a lesson in destruction so I hope to keep it fresh moving forward. If you’d like to collaborate on a talk or help me prepare some lessons for my class that’d be sweet!

Another topic that came up at a round-table was preproduction or concept art for VFX. Jason asked me to start a thread on that…coming up!

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Overcoming your own fears.

This has been discussed a bit during the first day at the roundtables. The range of skillset that can be required during your career can be impressive, if not overwhelming. How do you overcome your own anxieties when faced with a new subject or tool you don’t know how to approach?
I don’t see this only as a student issue, during your career, sometimes you can be confronted to new ways of working that may make you uncomfortable.

This would probably more suited for a panel discussion I guess, and hopefully could help some of us be more relaxed about the challenges ahead.

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It may looks a bit too general as a talk, but recent events made realized how important it is to establish, strong and effective ways to work between VFX artists. We all have our strenghts and flaws, but realtime effects requires all the best from the technical to the artistic side. So we’d better be good at sharing and seeing past by our own toes.

I’m not talking about party and boose (although it has is impact on team spirit :))

Wath is a good VFX team?

How your team approach dayly tasks a team?

How your team approach RND as a team? (is RND suitable for everyone… how everyone can help developed new features)

How your team deals with crazy deadlines and S*** work?

How to get the most out of everyone on a VFX team?

Salut @LJ_FX

Have you watched @Christina’s talk from last year?
It deals with a similar subject, it’s about cooperation between team members

This is not making your suggestion less relevant but I guess you should find it interesting if you haven’t watched it yet.

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@mkalt0235 @Christina No… Thanks both of you :slight_smile:

@LJ_FX No problem! Hope it helps and I’m happy to elaborate if you end up having any questions


It’s a great talk and I wish I would have listen to it way before. What is described there is so common in the industry in general and it’s rarely adressed and taking cared of. So often it’s just avoided and it results in bad games, people quitting and in a bad reputation for the studio. I admire the courage and determination you had to do that. It was a releif for me just to know that “it’s possible to do something about it”. :pray:

I whish there were a part two… where we could talk/hear about (once the climate is good) how does it transpose in your team?

What are the tricks and tips of different studios?

Naming conventions / data organisation.
Since textures and materials can be used in a very versatile way, content can end up being a mess. I’d love to hear from someone who found a solid system.