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Amatures discuss tactics.

Professionals discus logistics


These are the Rules of Thumb that guide my work. Where possible I've included the name of the first person I heard it from.  

Deliver or Communicate.

Nicholas Boujeron, CG masters. 

While it is never great to be late, giving people a heads up makes all the difference in how we deal with it.

No Pronouns.

I don't want to hear "she" or "it"

I don't want to hear " they will have it for you next week ".  

I want to hear " Kushal will deliver 105_024_137 on Monday for your input.

Organize the shit out of it at the beginning so there is room for the confusion at the end

Bruce Turner

To create good visual effects, time is more valuable than money.

Tom Turnbull

Perfect is the enemy of Done

Anthony Gore

I probably say this to myself every day as I work on a shot or a memo or wash my car.  I'd noodle it forever, but it will never get done

Everyone in the chain looks at the ridiculous deadline, and then adds an extra day to cover their ass. Before you know it VFX ends up with 3 days to do the shots.


Oscar Dominguez -  Hell on Wheels

There are not a lot of ways to make VFX cheaper, but there are a million ways to go over budget

Badly shot VFX go over budget logarythmitly   John G

You are feeling chaos because you've created chaos  Stef G

We can outsource some of the work, some of the rendering, but yo can't outsource responbsibiity

There is no upside to giving smart people fake deadlines

The sooner you answer their question the fewer questions you will have.

David Yrassari's dad

Truth is like Poetry, and most people fucking hate poeytry

Did you do it the hard way or the easy way ?

Everyone always says " Keep it simple. stupid " and when we are planning that's the best advice.  But after something is shot and it's lying there on your desktop, taking shortcuts to getting the work done is normally the worst possible thing you can do.  It is no longer the time for simple, or quick or easy.  It is time to do the work

CG vs. Models

Build a big model and take it outside, it will look real right away, but it is hard to match the plates camera moves

Build a CG model and you can match the plate's camera moves, but it is hard to make it look real...

It's not my fault but it's my problem. Disney motto

VFX are like French Cooking.  If you get good ingredients ( shoot good plates ) everything is going to work out.

Everything before the word "but" is horeshit

Perfection is in the Imperfections

Do I get the DP coffee or do they get me coffee ? Ben FUnk

One part up, Two parts down.

Claude Theriault

When animating just ab out any kind of beam of death or electrocution, it should fade out in twice as many frames as it came up

when you are looking for a colour to make smome kind of effect, the answer is always in the plate.  Look at what was shot - there is your answer.

Halves and Doubles

When I am initially working on a shot I like to see versions, and I don't initially want a few percent - make it twice as bright, or half as big, whatever.  I want to see several versions and I want to see it broken.  That's how I know how much is too much.

Say what I mean

Mean what I say

Dont say it mean


Cheryl Beyer - SIGAPH

If you have a busy foreground keep the sky simple,

If you have a simple foreground get a busy sky

Robert Stromberg

VFX is like a Basketball Game - it's won in the last 5 minutes

Adam Etsy

I know all the technical terms too.

Yes, but you don't use them  !  Kelly Smith

We have to decide, is VFX doing comes for the camera dept, or does camear shoot elements for VFX. It can only be one way and it determines the way the show will look and how much it will cost.

What's my favorite VFX ? The one I am going to do tomorrow

data is the reduction of risk

I am a big fan of analytics in budgeting, it's seeing the big picture without looking at any pictues at all

Less is More.


  I hated sitting in a meeting about a complex shot and someone says " all we have tio do is cut to a close up of their eyes - you know - Less is More.

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