David Luong has been working in VFX industry for over 8 years, currently working as a Senior Cinematic Artist at Blizzard Entertainment, wh...
You are a CGWorkshop instructor, Can you brief us about the course and how it might benefit general artists as well as architectural visualizers? Can you show some of your best student works?
David Luong: Sure, the range of teaching I do is from beginning to a more advanced level, but I cater to each student's needs. The first part of the workshop deals with just the foundations of matte painting, the 2D side of it, and mostly just working in Photoshop. Before doing any fancy animations or camera projections, students learn how to get an excellent looking image first for their portfolio. Then the second part of the course, coming later in the year, will deal with animating the matte paintings, using 3D, and compositing to make the matte painting come to life. Students who have an architectural visualizing background can benefit from this as they need to adjust their backgrounds to make it integrate better for the client and the newly added architectural element. You can really get the realism from the 3D side, to look as if it were part of the original environment through matte painting such as the weathering, the grittiness, the colors, and exposure. Below are some of CGWorkshop Student's work
What is your biggest ambition in your career? how do you suggest artists to set goals for their future?
David Luong: My biggest ambition is to have my own studio some day, and see through my creative vision throughout a project. For anyone who wants to get into a similar career, setting short term goals that chip away at your big goal is best. You can't skip the foundations to get to a big goal without growing and practicing at your craft first.
What is your main area of inspiration? Name Five of the best Artists you have been inspired by. Five of the best movies you have watched. The project that you would have loved to work on, but you missed?
David Luong: My main inspiration is just observing nature and photography. From there, I use it as reference for my own realistic work and have a base for what is real and how we can achieve the filmic look. Here are my top five movies in no order: The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, The Matrix, Jurassic Park, The Neverending Story, and The Lion King. My top 5 artists that inspire me are: Dylan Cole, Albert Bierstadt, Rembrandt, Michael Pangrazio, and Frederic E. Church.
From all the wide range of tools and softwares that is being released everyday, how one can stay updated? what do you see in it as a threat or as an opportunity?
David Luong: The project I would have loved to work on but missed, is The Hobbit so far, since it is the closest to what I feel about The Lord of the Rings. I'm in too great of a position right now at Blizzard to work anywhere else, so I don't regret it. But if I could clone myself...!
Regarding your pipeline, what softwares do you use daily? Can you categorize your work in stages? and which one do you like the most? and can you tell us
David Luong: About software, I can't comment on this sorry! But I can tell you which project I liked the most that I worked on, that was Wrath of the Lich King. I poured much of my soul into it, as it was my first World of Warcraft cinematic, and I love WoW!
The first thing you do when you start a new project?
David Luong: The first thing I do when I start on a new project is to usually absorb everything I could about it first, the story, the characters, the environment, the concept art, the way the art director or director is thinking of for the cinematic, and to get to know everyone I can in the team to work better.
Your favorite project? Can you show us a before and after image which is particularly your favorite?
David Luong: Answered favorite project previously, and can't show any before and after images sorry!
What was the last CG event you have been to?
David Luong: The last CG event I was at is currently still in progress, SIGGRAPH 2013 in Anaheim!
What is the next CG event you plan to go to?
David Luong: The next CG event I plan on going to is probably SIGGRAPH 2014.
What is your advise to talented young CGArtists who would like to join big production companies? how to make a killer resume? how to approach the companies? and what do you not like to see in a resume.
David Luong: I don't really do the hiring, so I can't say what I like and what I don't like. But I can tell you what's good or what's bad. It also depends on the company. A regular old company might want to stick with a normal resume and have a list of their skills, objectives, and what their experience is. Try to stick it all on one page. Then you have an online demo reel, don't do DVD's or Blu Rays or any physical demo reel, it's all digital these days only. Make a nice website, have your reel on there hosted by YouTube or Vimeo, your breakdown page, and your resume. You will also need a cover letter which is customized per the job you're applying for. Write a nice and passionate cover letter explaining why you want to have that job, what makes you good at it, and what makes you stand out among the rest of the crowd. If you don't hear a response from a company, even one that you would really love to work for, don't get depressed, just move on to the next company and apply there. Apply everywhere you're qualified for! One will notice your passion and skills and take you in.
Can you show us a picture of your work area? It doesn't have to be neat! :-)
David Luong: Sure Below is Picture of my work place
Thank you David for your time
David Luong: Thanks CG Record!