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Mentor of the Day: Frederic Durand

Frederic_harrypotterWe’re very pleased and fortunate to invite Frederic Durand back as a mentor this spring.  Frederic Durand is a well accomplished lighter in the animation industry with a wealth of experience under his belt.  Frederic would be the ideal mentor for anyone interested in learning CG lighting.

Eric Pagtaconan, Frederic’s Fall 2015 mentee, applied to Frederic hoping to improve his 3d lighting and rendering. “I enjoyed being able to learn lighting. Lighting is a subject that is usually not taught at most universities. It’s one of those skills that fall to the wayside of 3d, such as modeling and textures. Personally, I was not taught lighting during university and I had to learn once I started working at my current employment, Buck Design. There were gaps with my knowledge and confidence when it came to lighting, but being able to be open about the things I lacked with CG lighting without the pressure of a studio deadline was very comforting.”

“The most important thing I learned was the roots of lighting as a storytelling element. Going through the history of how early movies were influenced by old painting masters, the theater, and the circus, it helped me understand what can be achieved in today’s industry. Another facet of going back to the painting roots is that cinematic lighting is supposed to “feel” better than real life. It is not just enough to emulate the real world lighting, but as artist we must add care into how we compose with lights.”

In terms of projects, Eric worked on various daily and weekly projects to hone his skills. Though he did not have a completed “project,” Eric did feel that the studies offered more to his learning than just a project might.  Check out what he accomplished below:

Advice for any future mentees?

“I would recommend that anyone who is not afraid to humble themselves in regards to their work. Huge egos would not prevail, but rather a person with the desire and commitment to their craft would be excellent for this mentorship…Be prepared to be humbled, because Frederic has a well of knowledge and experience that he wants to share for those with open minds. He is one of the most wisest and thoughtful teachers I’ve had, so do not be afraid to be forward with questions/comments with the intricacies of the cg pipeline and how it can apply to your discipline.”

Thanks for all the words of wisdom Eric!

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