O2, Be More Dog
MPC and VCCP create a hybrid cat-dog for O2 TV campaign and online game assets
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What is MPC Academy?
MPC Academy is our in house finishing school - a ‘work intro’ programme for junior candidates who are ready to step up into a career at one of the world’s leading VFX Studios.
Our Academy runs in our Vancouver, Montréal and Bangalore studios and is an extended (fully paid) training period for up to 12 weeks to get you up to the standard required to deliver first class visual effects for our clients.
After successfully completing training you will move on to a full-time, paid position at MPC for up to 12 months. Academy students receive dedicated mentoring from a senior team members and intensive schooling on our proprietary software and general industry tools.
We run Academies in the following disciplines:
Roto / Prep
Who is MPC Academy For?
: Graduates or junior candidates looking for their first break in VFX.
: Candidates ready to cross the bridge from learning into a professional career.
: Artists with a drive, passion and commitment to deliver first class VFX.
For more information on roles available in the MPC Bangalore Academy and to apply click here
Watch the MPC Academy Webinar
How do I apply?
You can now apply for upcoming MPC Academy roles in Montréal.
MPC Academy is a rolling programme and, as such, we consider applications and allocate places on an ongoing basis. Don’t delay in applying.
Our next Academy intake is Autumn 2016 due to start in September. We will be running compositing, FX and lighting academies in Montreal only.
Simply click on the link below to apply to the discipline you are interested in. Make sure you highlight in your covering letter or application that you are applying for an Academy role and which department you would like to join.
For more information on roles available in the MPC Bangalore Academy click here
You need a demo reel that demonstrates your skill in a focused area. For the MPC Academy, that should be in one of the following areas: compositing, FX, 3D digital matte painting, or lighting.
Click here to view example reels.
What do you look for in a Compositing reel?
MPC Compositing Academy applicants need to show us their potential for creating good, photorealistic images in a showreel made up of composited shots. Try to show us shots that are at least made in part from live action source material, rather than from material that is entirely CGI. Aim to show us realism and 'invisible' compositing.
You may have created CGI objects or used green screen clips, worked with Photoshop manipulated images or taken clips from old films to work with. All are possible sources of material. Your reel will probably last between 1 and 2 minutes and should show only your best work.
Use our list below as a guide, but don't forget that we are looking for some underlying attributes to show that you have a high level of attention to detail, that you are discerning about your own work and you are motivated to get things right. If you've worked on group projects – make sure to show us your contribution to the project as a compositor.
* Breakdowns: show off your skills in invisible compositing. Show us your final shot, break it down, then show us the final shot again. Use simple wipes, freezes or scale ups to show us the work that you put into creating some of your invisible shots.
* Horizon line height, the effect of two point perspective and the relative scale of objects should make sense between elements in the composite shot you are building.
* Keying: we look for hair detail and subtle spill suppression.
* Accurate roto work, without wobbly or extended edges.
* Tracking: we look to see objects not slipping and sliding.
* Colour and tonal manipulation, so that your elements/objects look like they belong in the shot in terms of colour and light interaction.
* As well as adding elements, show us that you can take them out too. Removing people or objects and filling the gap they leave, invisibly and believably goes a long way to showing us that you have the right blend of skills to begin with.
* Keep it simple and don’t overdo the CGI passes. A shot with the main render pass graded to sit into the background with the edge quality matched to the plate can have greater success in showing us what we are looking for than just wiping or cutting on umpteen cgi passes.
* We expect applicants to have proficiency in using Nuke.
What do you look for in an FX reel?
Scale, timing, attention to detail and realism are key to make an FX element look good. FX Academy applicants should have a reel demonstrating these qualities. Show us a simple render on a black background of an incredibly realistic simulation or, some technical playblasts of great research and development work. Keep the reel short but sweet, and put only what you deem the best of your work. It’s better to have a very short impressive reel rather than a long reel that starts strongly but has a poor end.
Here are things we're on the lookout in an FX reel:
- Strong understanding of the laws of physics - correct scale, correct gravity. However, make sure that things still feel right. Don’t rely on the default values that the software gives you. Those things are very dependent on your world scale and camera.
- FX composition & design. Make the FX look good. This could mean adding a nice looking magic effect, or some cleverly placed trails in an explosion or even just adding layers of FX to add in complexity.
- FX timing. The FX needs to be able to tell a story. When does the effect start, when does it finish, how quickly does it dissipate, does everything happen all in one go or are there steps to the effect? For example, a multiple stage explosion would start off with an initial small bang, then pause, then the big explosion taken over by a shockwave. Consider what you are trying to achieve overall before you begin.
- FX variety. It’s always good to show as much variety as possible in a reel. Viewing 20 shots of explosions will not tell us what else you can do. Can you do liquid simulations or rigid body dynamics? Try and show us the tools you have in your ‘kit’.
- FX rendering. It's always good to render your simulations. The render doesn't have to be too fancy, it can even be on a black screen, although, it would be better to show it in a comp, if the comp looks good. If not, keep it on black.
- Finally, scripting in any language is a very good bonus, even more so if it's MEL, VEX or Python. This can be demonstrated either through a little screen capture of the script in action or the rendered result of the what the script helped you accomplish. FX is a technical discipline and scripting will most certainly help you.
What do you look for in a Lighting reel?
A good lighting reel should primarily show CG elements integrated into live-action environments with matching lighting, shadows and reflections.
Stills are acceptable to include, but consider adding a subtle camera pan/zoom. Including moving objects like curtains, tree branches, or moving clock can bring a shot to life.
Demonstration of an ability to light and render a variety of surfaces including hard surface, organic, fur, FX, particles, volumetrics, etc.
Some of our software is not easily accessible to the average user (Katana) but, when possible, we would like to see that a candidate has some understanding of a software that is available such as Maya, Renderman, V-Ray, Nuke.
Keep your reel short and simple. It's better to have a good reel that is shorter rather than contains work that does not reflect your best ability.
Create a breakdown showing a good understanding of rendering in passes and how they can be used in the compositing process.
Include a build-up of your lighting during a breakdown. For example: you could show off your dome light, then add the key, then add the fill, and so on. This allows whoever is watching your reel to better understand your lighting setup and choices.
Having any of the following skills is also very beneficial: photography, drawing, painting, or scripting (python).
Often in VFX artists are presented with technical challenges. Although your shot may seem simple on the surface, it's best to show a quick breakdown or include a caption describing what you overcame and how.
It’s important that we know exactly what you, as the artist, did on a shot. This information should be easily accessible and preferably able to be viewed while watching the reel.
What do I need to apply?
You need a demo reel that demonstrates your skill in a focused area. For the MPC Academy, that should be in one of the following areas: compositing, FX, 3D digital matte painting or lighting.
Is there a way to track application status?
Once you have submitted for an Academy position the relevant recruiter will review your application. An MPC hiring manager will assess your showreel / samples and related background. If successful, an interview request will be sent. We endeavour to respond back to you as soon as possible. Feel free to email the recruiter for a quick status update.
How much does it cost?
It costs you nothing. In fact, you’ll be paid a salary from the moment your training begins.
Is it a paid program?
Yes, you are a paid as an employee starting with your first day of training.
How do I graduate from the Academy?
Firstly, dedication to learn, a strong work ethic and enthusiasm will take you a long way towards graduation. We look for those who are achieving goals and deadlines throughout the weeks but we also watch how you conduct yourself in a professional work environment. All of these things will inform us about how you will be as an artist if you graduate. Also, during the 12 weeks of the Academy you will be involved in Trainer and self assessment feedback sessions. These sessions will keep you updated on how you are performing, your strengths and weaknesses and what we need you to do in order to succeed and graduate to being a Junior artist.
What happens after the first 12 months of my contract with MPC?
If you’ve performed to the expected standards in production and we have positions available you’ll be offered a new contract.
What is the best way to apply?
Go to this link and follow the instructions.
How do I stand out from others?
The most important thing is the quality of your demo reel. It should focus on the area you are applying for and show an understanding of the work we do in that department.
If you are offered an interview, you’ll want to show professionalism and be articulate. Be prepared to answer why you chose to do the pieces you did and how you did it in detail. We will want to understand your thought process and hear about your problem solving skills.
Can I apply to more than one Academy?
Yes, though you need to have work on your reel that is targeted toward each Academy you apply for. One of the qualities we’re looking for in applicants is knowing what department you want to get into and can show that you’ve been working toward that goal.