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Storytelling in Virtual Production with VFX Concept Artist Aaron Sims

1 minute read

08/10/2022

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This week, Justin sits down with film industry legend Aaron Sims, VFX Concept Artist and Founder/CEO of Aaron Sims Creative, to talk about the industry’s evolution from practical effects to visual effects, Aaron’s latest venture into virtual production, and helpful tips for succeeding in the industry. 

Episode Breakdown

00:00 Intro
01:18 Aaron’s start as a makeup FX artist in the 80s
03:04 Practical vs. visual effects
5:42 Working with Bruce Campbell and Sam Raimi
7:20 How the visual effects industry has evolved
10:10 What made Aaron get into VFX
13:14 Why certain movies effects hold up better than others
17:10 Inspiration from Jurassic Park, Planet of the Apes, Star Wars
19:12 Developing Stan Winston Digital
21:18 Designing robots for Steven Spielberg’s A.I.
24:53 Experimentation, innovation, and transitioning to Unreal Engine
28:57 Learning Unreal Engine and its applications for virtual production
30:25 Aaron’s short The Eye Calanthek
36:45 Metahumans and RealityCapture
42:22 Creature work on Gremlins 2 and Men in Black 
44:45 Aaron’s favorite creatures he’s worked on
47:11 Practical tips for getting into the industry
53:49 Is new software and technology helpful or hurtful?

About Aaron Sims

Aaron has over 30 years of experience as an artist and storyteller, starting as a special effects makeup artist in the eighties before working as a practical creature artist on iconic films like Gremlins 2, Batman Forever, Evil Dead, and Men In Black. Sims was one of the first designers to make the leap into the digital world, adapting traditional techniques with modern-day technologies. Credits include Artificial Intelligence: A.I., Stranger Things, Wonder Woman, and the Planet of the Apes trilogy. Aaron is now breaking boundaries by embracing Unreal Engine as the next great innovation in storytelling.

Aaron Sims Creative (ASC) is an award-winning design, VFX, and game studio founded in 2005, working in collaboration with award-winning filmmakers, designers, and brands across the globe. 

 

AaronSims-Gremlins-2-creature-design

Aaron working on practical creature design for Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990).

Real-time RnD test for the Demogorgon from Netflix's Stranger Things. Made in Unreal Engine by Aaron Sims Creative.

ASC 2022 showreel — content made for both film and video games

To find out more about Aaron, visit his website and ArtStation, and follow Aaron Sims Creative on Instagram.


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Meet the hosts

Meet Maxine Schnepf and Justin Mohlman, hosts of the CG Spectrum Podcast!

MAXINE SCHNEPF: From Producing to HR, Maxine's worked on 40+ blockbuster films at studios like Mr X, Deluxe Animation and Technicolor VFX. Now as CG Spectrum's Career Development Manager, Maxine helps students get industry-ready. Her credits include: Blade Runner 2049, War for the Planet of the Apes, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Doctor Strange, Star Trek Beyond and three Star Wars films.

JUSTIN MOHLMAN: Justin is a CG Spectrum mentor, Game Development Producer and Author at Epic Games, and active Creative Director for The Rookies. Over the past 2 decades, Justin has helped bring dozens of games to life while at studios like Disney Interactive, Robomondo, Midway Games, and Phosphor Studios. Credits include franchises like Tony Hawk, Kingdom Hearts and Mortal Kombat.

Justine and Maxine