Kate Xagoraris, Mid-level Effects Artist at SPIN VFX and CG Spectrum Mentor, joins Maxine to discuss her popular Houdini tutorials blog, her work on medical and scientific visualization tools, dealing with impostor syndrome, being pigeonholed at work and how to break out of that pattern, as well as embracing the fear that comes with working in FX. As always, we dive into plenty of practical and actionable tips for advancing in your career.
01:50 Kate’s background in animation and first steps in Houdini
06:30 Introducing science into FX work
07:30 How Kate’s blog started and her most popular articles
12:30 Inside the studio: “Communication with Production”
14:52 Tips for people who want to move up in their career
18:15 Navigating growth in a studio environment
22:22 How to deal with getting typecast or pigeonholed for one skill
25:51 Challenging yourself versus working in your comfort zone
28:48 The story behind Kate’s first Houdini shot on The Boys
35:06 The pressure of being the first woman on her FX team
42:30 How Kate writes her blog posts knowing her colleagues might see them
45:10 Dealing with impostor syndrome
47:55 The importance of taking time off to process experiences and information
52:12 Using Houdini for NASA and Hubble
59:26 Where to find Kate
About Kate Xagoraris
Kate Xagoraris is an FX artist working for a visual effects company in Canada called SPIN VFX. She's worked on projects including Nightmare Alley, The Witcher, Raised by Wolves, Vikings: Valhalla, and The Boys. She also runs a popular science and visual effects site called More VFX Help, where she collects information on marine biology and astrophysics, using Houdini, and talks about recently published scientific works. In her spare time, Kate does freelance FX work and teaches for various online schools, including at CG Spectrum, where she mentors the Houdini FX courses.
Kate's impressive FX showreel.
Houdini tutorial by Kate: Cloud interaction with Houdini 19.
Another great Houdini tutorial by Kate, Character effects: Guided RBDs and emit from RBD (Part 1).
To learn more about Kate, visit her ArtStation and her website, and follow her on LinkedIn and YouTube.
Additional resources about this career: