In association with Escape Studios Lee Danskin conducted Renderman training at Maximus which was founded on the philosophy that full-time dedicated animation and visual effects training produces, Maximus has the Asiaís first Pixar certified tutor and it holds the largest number of Autodesk certified instructors in India with maximum technical guidance & library facility. Hence an obvious choice for the training.
Lee has had an amazing 18 year career, and was honoured with the title of Maya Master in 2007.Lee first worked at Alias Research all those years ago. He was on the development team for Maya 1.0 and supported Maya customers before getting to work on ĎLost in Spaceí at The Film Factory at VTR. In 1995 Lee co-founded Smoke and Mirrors 3D, working on high-profile advertising campaigns and the James Bond title sequence for ĎThe World Is Not Enoughí. Next Lee moved on to become Deputy Head of 3D at The Moving Picture Company which had recently completed ĎX-Men:The Last Standí and ĎThe Da Vinci Codeí. Lee got busy on an assortment of award-winning commercials for clients like Volkswagen, BMW, Shell Oil, and Guinness, and films like ĎTomb Raiderí.Lee finally joined us at Escape in early 2006, getting to work designing and teaching our Visual Effects courses.
We caught up with him to talk about the Renderman training session.
Hi Lee, Thanks for talking to us, please tell us something about yourself.
Hi, I am Lee Danskin, i have been in this industry for 18 years, worked for Alias in the late 80s early 90s, then went in to production for 10 years. Then I went into teaching, giving it back to the guys. Its good also since I could see my family at the weekend. Most cg guys know we have to work 24/7 to get their job done, 24/7 and wives donít go very well.
How has your teaching experience in India been?
My teaching experience in India has been absolutely fantastic. they are very well informed, they are all part of the community, and once you are part of the CG community we all go through strides, we check out the same stuff. And that makes us all fairly standing on a common ground. Itís easy to start talking technically to the guys we start bouncing off each other and then it really multiplies so over all itís really been fantastic, so I really enjoyed training them as much as they have hopefully trained being trained.
How do you feel has the response been from them?
Totally, they are very technically aware, not at all different from any other CG artists any where else in the world. They display the same sort of abilities. Itís wonderful.
When working on a project, there are these instances when for a creative possibility or requirement the technical availability is not supportive enough, how are the decisions taken in such a scenario?
That is the hardest part is walking the thin line there. Its business verses Art. I have to get it done by next week but I have to get it rendered in this amount of time, so its always difficult to decide.
What are your opinions on the CG industry in India? Where do you see it heading?
For a bloke who is settled in London that is a hard one how ever the CG industry in India can only get better and better isnít it. The only limitation really is that we need to make sure that the CG guys are artistic enough; the studio has an infrastructure to support the technical requirement. Itís pretty much the same every where, these requisites donít change.
With your extensive experience with this Industry what message do you have for the CGTantra community?
Oh! That is a difficult one now. Itís not about a button; the button will only get u a little far, if you donít have the artistic eye. Knowing only the technical details doesnít make you a CG artist that just says that you know where the buttons are. You should make sure that your traditional art skills are really out there. Also for the professional guys try and keep up with the latest and the greatest. Every day there is a new product or a new technique that you need to be in touch with. You always keep learning, and everyday you should learn something new. You will never be too old or too proud to learn anything from anyone, thatís my favourate line. Everyone has some to teach you and the learning can come from the most unexpected places. I have visited the CGTantra website, it is a good thing going on, and the fact that where ever you are when you have that CG geek in you can always click. There is so much to talk about.