Flashback Friday: First Teaching Gig (2012)

General / 29 March 2019

I thought to share a flashback to one of my first teaching gigs. Back in 2012.

It was the first time teaching Maya and I was responsible for teaching Certificate 2 in Creative industries at Lake Tuggeranong. Every Wednesday for 10 weeks for a duration of 3 hours, I would travel down to their school and teach them the basics of 3d Modelling and animation.

The last week of the course, instead of me traveling to their school. They would come to the AIE campus for a full week (10am-4pm) and develop their final production. Which they ended creating a cyberpunk car chase set in a not so distant dystopian future all within a week!

From memory, I think it was rendered in with Maya Software or Mental Ray.  But they had a blast. and we had a lot of fun together over the 10 weeks. Especially as none of them at the time have touched a 3d application before in the past. And the assessment requirements and qualification didn't demand a whole lot. But they went far and beyond with this animation and made something great.

It was also a great learning experience for me as well, my first real teaching gig besides doing mini-workshops during odd parts of the year when school holidays are on.

What I find interesting reflecting about it now, is that about ½ of the students continued studying. Completed their advance diploma, formed or joined existing mini indie studios and now have shipped games under their belts. While the other half have moved onto other industries doing things not related to 3d or games etc. (From what I am currently aware of)

Although I have lost contact over the years with the students in this class. If you are reading this. I would love to know how you are doing, and what you are up to regardless of the situation you are in now. Love to catch up!

Student Credits:

  • Nick Williams
  • Jordan Prasomsouk
  • Banjo Ward
  • Miles Sale
  • Kyle Nash
  • Nick Silec
  • Caitlin Davis
  • Cody Brook
  • Partick Collins

Music Credit: Power Glove - Streets of 2043

That's, all for today.

Catch you all next week. 


Digital Commercial - Soul Cartel (Mentoring)

General / 22 February 2019

As some of you might already know,
I have been working at the Academy of Interactive Entertainment for a few years now.
And from time to time I will share some of their work they have been working on.

In 2018, I had the pleasure of mentoring a new batch of first years, through the ropes. :)

These students were new to 3D. Learning Maya, Renderman, Substance suite and Nuke for the first time.

A portion of VFX students within class had to group up and work on a client project to put their knowledge to the test. Soul Cartel were kind enough to work along side, the teachers, and students and give them a chance to create a short advertisement for their business.
The brief was that they were to complete a 15 second advertisement for soul cartel, which is a southern themed burger restaurant that has multiple locations around Canberra, Australia. They created storyboards and concepts/documentation and pitched them to Soul Cartel which they green-lit two concepts. (Below is their final advertisements back to back of what they completed under 2 months working 2.5 days a week on it).

Should also mention that, along side teaching them I had the support of Dan Miller, Thomas Magill, Ryan Ware.

Artists Responsible (Check out their Artstations!): 

Overall, for the first time working with each other, and using source control to manage a mini production. They did really well.
I was fun to see them work together as a team and overcome hiccups throughout production. Great to see they all evolved together as a team and learn't a lot of lessons with this production that they can take onto the next.

I look forward seeing what they end up creating in their second year of study when they specialize in a specific skill or trade they end up choosing within the Visual effects industry. 

Thanks for reading,


Personal Development Diary 001 - Nuke

General / 18 July 2018

I wanted to get the Artstation blog up and running with a consistent flow of regular updates.
It seems silly to have a Artstation pro account and not use its features as intended.

So the objective is to post updates on projects that I am currently working on, while also on the side documenting additional learning tips and tricks I learn along the way that might seem useful. (as well as sharing existing knowledge that I am passionate about).

I will still be posting the usual portfolio updates and work in progress shots here n there.

but today's post is going to be briefly about NUKE.

Notes that I have been taking of the fundamental hotkeys/functions of Nuke

Nuke is a node-based digital composting application developed by The Foundary, and is used for television and film post production.

With my background in independent games development and studying media back in my college days I only really came into contact with After Effects by Adobe Systems. After effects has been an effective means to creating compelling game user interfaces, effects and explosions with its powerful robust compositing workflow. 

Back in 2007 I remember watching video copilot tutorials and discovering new ways to improve the films we had to shoot for media class. It was pretty straight forward to add blood/explosion effects on our footage and exposed us to this weird a wacky universe untouched to our eyes. But it did spark that interest within this industry and a passion to pursue it so I am pretty grateful for the opportunities I have been given and where I have ended up in my career so far. 

So it brings me back to Nuke, and why I am re-learning from scratch. and blogging about it. 

Nuke basically at the moment is a section of a road that I want to upgrade as its gotten a little dusty and worn since I last drove over it. I have a clear understanding for rendering within Maya and composting in After Effects, just not as much with the pipelines incorporating nuke. And my main objective is that I want to diversify my knowledge within various software packages to stay ahead of the curve. Nuke just so happens to be the next thing I want to tackle.

I have quite a few things lined up that I want to pursue but that will have to be another post for the future.

Having a blast at the moment, got much ground to cover, Nuke is pretty straightforward so far.