Welsh Broadcasting Trust

Houdini Course, Escape Studios

Rhys Williams’ report

Due to Covid pandemic this course ran online instead of from Escape Studios London classroom. I joined the other 4 students every Monday and Wednesday night from 7pm to 10pm over the 20 weeks.

I had used Houdini before but without any formal training.

We started from basics of application. An introduction to interface and a simple modelling via Houdini during first lessons. We then moved onto Houdini’s programming language, VEH.

Houdini is used in Film and TV for visual effects and its main strength is in FX simulations. We built destruction examples, pyro: fire and smoke; explosions and cloth simulations. We also looked into volumes for creating clouds and the impressive terrain tools within Houdini.

The tutor, Mark Spevick has over 20yrs knowledge of using Houdini and has worked on films such as s Casino Royale, Angels and Demons and 2012. His insights and real life experience was a big benefit to the students.

We were also show how to create Houdini Digital Assets (HDA) that can modularise content creation. These HDA assets can then and these can then be used with game engines like Unreal Engine.

Shading and texturing was covered before we finished on rendering content via Mantra and new Karma render via Solaris.

We also had evenings where we focused on individual projects and due to low numbers on course this let to good 1-2-1 one time with the tutor. I focused on procedural buildings and recreating a rugby stadium.

I will continue working on these examples for a showreel. The course offers access to video recordings and Discord service 12 months after course completion.

I would recommend the course to anyone that needs to study Houdini remotely and can’t attend other courses due to location and working pattern. The course didn’t cover all aspects of Houdini but as a student it was possible to ask for a quick run through of any functionality not covered in syllabus.

https://www.pearsoncollegelondon.ac.uk/escape-studios.html

Cwrs Houdini, Escape Studios

Adroddiad Rhys Williams

Oherwydd pandemig Covid, cynhaliwyd y cwrs hwn ar-lein yn hytrach nag o ystafell ddosbarth Llundain. Ymunais â’r 4 myfyriwr arall bob nos Lun a nos Fercher rhwng 7pm a 10pm dros yr 20 wythnos.

Roeddwn wedi defnyddio Houdini o’r blaen ond heb unrhyw hyfforddiant ffurfiol.

Dechreuon ni gyda hanfodion y meddalwedd ac yna VEX,  iaith raglenni Houdini.

Yn Houdini gellir creu cynnwys drwy nodau a’i gysylltu â’i gilydd yn graffiau nodau felly mae’n haws i’r defnyddiwr ddychmygu llif y data o’i gymharu â meddalwedd arall.

Defnyddir Houdini mewn Ffilm a Theledu ar gyfer effeithiau gweledol ac mae ei brif gryfder mewn efelychiadau FX. Adeiladwyd enghreifftiau o ddinistrio, pyro: tân a mwg; ffrwydradau a gwead brethyn. Buom hefyd yn edrych ar greu cymylau a thirwedd trawiadol.

Mae gan y tiwtor, Mark Spevick dros 20 mlynedd o wybodaeth am ddefnyddio Houdini ac mae wedi gweithio ar ffilmiau fel Casino Royale, Angels a Demons a 2012. Roedd ei fewnwelediad a’i brofiad bywyd go iawn o fudd mawr i’r myfyrwyr.

Dangoswyd hefyd sut i greu Asedau Digidol Houdini (HDA) sy’n gallu modiwleiddio creu cynnwys. Yna gall yr asedau HDA hyn gael eu defnyddio gyda pheiriannau gemau fel Unreal Engine.

Weithion ni ar dechnegau cysgod gwead cyn mynd ati i ddysgu am rendro drwy Mantra a rendr newydd Karma drwy Solaris.

Cawsom nosweithiau hefyd lle’r oeddem yn canolbwyntio ar brosiectau unigol ac oherwydd niferoedd isel y cwrs, roedd hyn yn gyfle am 1- wrth-1 gyda’r tiwtor. Canolbwyntiais ar adeiladau gweithdrefnol ac ail-greu stadiwm rygbi.

Byddaf yn parhau i weithio ar yr enghreifftiau hyn ar gyfer fy ‘showreel’. Mae modd cael mynediad i recordiadau fideo a gwasanaeth ‘Discord’ am 12 mis ar ôl cwblhau’r cwrs, fydd yn ddefnyddiol iawn imi.

Fydden i’n argymell y cwrs i unrhyw un sydd angen astudio Houdini o bell ac yn methu mynychu cyrsiau eraill oherwydd lleoliad a phatrwm gwaith. Nid oedd y cwrs yn ymdrin â phob agwedd ar Houdini ond roedd yn bosibl gofyn am esboniad cyflym o unrhyw agweddau nad oedd wedi eu cynnwys.

https://www.pearsoncollegelondon.ac.uk/escape-studios.html

 

 

Margred Pryce – Editing MA at the National Film and Television School.

At the end of 2017, I was offered a place on the prestigious two-year Editing MA at the National Film and Television School. Despite my lucky break, it was the scholarship from Ymddiried that in reality empowered me, a single mother-of-two, to commit to the MA. I am grateful to Ymddiried for the generous award they gave me towards my school fees. This scholarship took a huge financial pressure off my shoulders and allowed me to fully focus on getting the best from the course. For this, I am thankful.

Since then, I have been one of 8 editors at NFTS developing our technical and storytelling skills alongside other student directors, composers, sound designers, screenwriters, producers, colourists and VFX artists. We have learned through doing, through making films together, making mistakes together and learned to create films in effective collaborations. I have learned so much through watching other people’s film rushes and edits, through sitting in weekly review sessions with other students and tutors, offering and accepting constructive criticism. These are invaluable opportunities and all with the guidance of exceptional NFTS editing tutors such as Richard Cox (Gentleman Jack), Clare Ferguson (Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer), guest tutors such as Will Oswald (Good Omens) and Lucien Clayton (Derry Girls), and masterclasses with film editors such as Mick Audsley (The Personal History of David Copperfield) and Jon Gregory (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri).

Apart from the various learning exercises, over the two years I’ve edited six short fiction films (one of them, Room for Two, will be screened as part of the BFI Flare later this month), two observational documentary shorts, a 40 minute science & natural history film, a 10 minute animation and a series of commercials. I was also the Edit Assistant on November 1st, a short fiction that won Bronze at the Student Oscars in 2019 and which was long-listed for a BAFTA.

But if I’ve learned anything at NFTS, it’s that the process of collaboration is the most important thing to get right. I’ve learned to work closely and productively with many wonderful filmmakers and made some strong working partnerships and friendships.

Last week, we presented our grad fiction, documentary and animation films to an invited audience at Picturehouse Central and graduated at the Empire Leicester Square. It’s been an extraordinary and rewarding two years, and in the process I’ve learned a lot about myself as an editor – that I’m drawn to stories with emotional heart and that I can bring sensitivity and curiosity to the material through my work. I’m so thrilled to have done it and would recommend the experience to anyone.

They say that everything is impossible until it happens and a few years ago my dream of working as an editor in film and tv seemed pretty remote and unattainable. Now, with Ymddiried’s support, I am a bilingual editor with a wealth of experience, ready to join the Welsh filmmaking community. Thank you very much.

Margred – front right

Al Sharab Tree

Room for Two

 

Margred Pryce – Editing MA at the National Film and Television School.

At the end of 2017, I was offered a place on the prestigious two-year Editing MA at the National Film and Television School. Despite my lucky break, it was the scholarship from Ymddiried that in reality empowered me, a single mother-of-two, to commit to the MA. I am grateful to Ymddiried for the generous  award they gave me towards my school fees. This scholarship took a huge financial pressure off my shoulders and allowed me to fully focus on getting the best from the course. For this, I am thankful.

Since then, I have been one of 8 editors at NFTS developing our technical and storytelling skills alongside other student directors, composers, sound designers, screenwriters, producers, colourists and VFX artists. We have learned through doing, through making films together, making mistakes together and learned to create films in effective collaborations. I have learned so much through watching other people’s film rushes and edits, through sitting in weekly review sessions with other students and tutors, offering and accepting constructive criticism. These are invaluable opportunities and all with the guidance of exceptional NFTS editing tutors such as Richard Cox (Gentleman Jack), Clare Ferguson (Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer), guest tutors such as Will Oswald (Good Omens) and Lucien Clayton (Derry Girls), and masterclasses with film editors such as Mick Audsley (The Personal History of David Copperfield) and Jon Gregory (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri).

Apart from the various learning exercises, over the two years I’ve edited six short fiction films (one of them, Room for Two, will be screened as part of the BFI Flare later this month), two observational documentary shorts, a 40 minute science & natural history film, a 10 minute animation and a series of commercials. I was also the Edit Assistant on November 1st, a short fiction that won Bronze at the Student Oscars in 2019 and which was long-listed for a BAFTA.

But if I’ve learned anything at NFTS, it’s that the process of collaboration is the most important thing to get right. I’ve learned to work closely and productively with many wonderful filmmakers and made some strong working partnerships and friendships.

Last week, we presented our grad fiction, documentary and animation films to an invited audience at Picturehouse Central and graduated at the Empire Leicester Square. It’s been an extraordinary and rewarding two years, and in the process I’ve learned a lot about myself as an editor – that I’m drawn to stories with emotional heart and that I can bring sensitivity and curiosity to the material through my work. I’m so thrilled to have done it and would recommend the experience to anyone.

They say that everything is impossible until it happens and a few years ago my dream of working as an editor in film and tv seemed pretty remote and unattainable. Now, with Ymddiried’s support, I am a bilingual editor with a wealth of experience, ready to join the Welsh filmmaking community. Thank you very much.

Margred – front on the right

Al Shab Tree

 

 

 

 

 

 

Room For Two

 

 

It’s My Shout – Clare C Potter’s story

The Welsh Broadcasting Trust  gave me funding four years ago to study screenwriting  (my goodness time flies!) Since then, and directly because of that, I wanted to make a documentary. Well, I’m excited to say that I pitched an idea to the BBC and It’s My Shout and I made the film! It’s the first time I have directed anything.

The documentary is about Shirley Walker, the barber in my village. She has cut hair for almost 70 years (and her father in the same room for years before her). The wall is adorned with the generations of men whose hair she has cut. It’s a special place, and I’m fortunate that I got to make the film.

I’m so grateful to you for the opportunity you gave me.

This is the film!:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0002y3t