We are proud to share with you this interview with Sylvain Nouveau, a french FX Supervisor at nWave Digital, the company in charge of Sammy 2.

Could you describe your background in few words ?

After finishing high school in France, I chose to develop my artistic and technical skills at ESMA (a french CG school, Ipax certified by Sony animation) during 3 years.
In 2006, during my third year, I co-directed my student short movie called HUGH.

After that, I joined in 2007 the Allegorithmic’s team. And finally, in 2009, I moved to Belgium to work on a 3D feature movie at nWave digital.

You mentionned you studied at ESMA. Do you think it helps you a lot to get your actual position as FX Supervisor?

I think that ESMA, like many other school, offers the opportunity to discover a lot of people acting in the CG industry like Sony animation, Dreamworks, Buf, but also smaller great companies. It’s more complicated to get in touch with people when you’re behind your screen at home.
For example, my first interview allowed me to get my first job after finishing ESMA. It was an interview about our student short movie, published in a french CG website (www.3dvf). We’ve got this publication thanks to the school.

I know from some sources that ESMA doesn’t provide some much learnings about FX ( Fluids, Particles, Smokes ) When you started into the CG industry, did you feel a lack of this trainings ?

This is not exactly right, we learn some technical stuff  (rigging, particles, dynamics) but, indeed, we didn’t push the technical part as much as I expected. This school provide a generalist training.
Actually, I felt a lack during my first job in CG, but like after any trainings. You just learn basics. When you got to be involved in some works in a big companies, you have to choose  specialize yourself and learn anything you can from this.

In 2009, at nWave Digital, the FX supervisor, Jerome Escobar learnt me a lot of thing about FX and he gave me the chance to use and improve my skills on main shots with a lot of complex FX.

Does this school should includes those kinds of studies ?

I don’t think so, this school allows you to develop your artistic feelings. Some others schools are specialized in visual effects like ArtFX.
In my mind, the complex technical part have to be learned into production

Do you think today with website like the Gnomon, Fxphd, cmivfx, people can learn on their own as well as they could learn in private school ?

Some people can learn by themselves, but this is not the case for everyone. Gnomon, Fxphd etc.. are very good to learn specific things but I don’t thing you can develop your artistic feeling with online videos. At school you have the chance to learn to draw, analyze the lights, participate to a nude drawing session etc … There is a kind of communication between you, the model, your friends and your teachers; something human. That ‘s obviously  not the case in a web training. For me, this kind of website is are very useful tools for professionals or people willing to improve their skills.

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