Men In Black 3 opens in theatres tomorrow, giving us all a chance to catch up with Agents J and K after 10 long years. It’s a tentpole summer flick, so you know what that means – a big group of VFS 3D Animation & Visual Effects grads worked behind the scenes, including Lighting and Compositing Technical Director John Iskandar, Compositors Juan Carlos Mendoza and Corey Coates, Roto Artist Raphael Santos, and CG Artist Ricardo Gomez.
We managed to catch up with grad Ricardo, who worked on the film out of Prime Focus’s Vancouver studio, to find out more about his career and work on MIB3.
Hi, Ricardo! Tell us a little about your background. Before coming to VFS, you were already in 3D, as the head of the rendering department for a furniture company, right? What prompted you to make the move to Vancouver and VFS?
Ricardo: During my bachelor’s degree in industrial design, I was able to gain my first approach into 3D using NURMS. After graduating, I had the opportunity to work in architectural previz, where I was the head of the rendering department. This allowed me to get my hands on the CG world and activated my interest in the integration between CG and live action. This, combined with my childhood dream of being able to work in the film industry, led me to pursue my desire for working on films.
After doing my research, I discovered that Vancouver was the perfect place since it offered both the schools and the industries.
Can you take us through your first few months after graduation?
Ricardo: I must say, I was very lucky – the day after I got my work permit, I was working for Goldtooth on Mortal Kombat Legacy, a live-action project, doing compositing, lighting, and matte painting. I also had the great opportunity to participate in the development of Prototype 2 by helping with concept development for environments and lighting. Hopefully one day I can show some breakdowns.
What sorts of things did your role as CG Artist entail at Prime Focus and on MIB3?
Ricardo: I have a big problem – I love to do everything! Fortunately, on MIB3 I was able to help by doing different tasks. At the beginning, I helped with the concept development for the 1969 elevator, lighting, and tracking and made some practical references. It has been almost a year with Prime Focus, and I must say I have learned so much! I have been able to gain so much technical knowledge.
How does it feel to know your work will be on the big screen?
Ricardo: Although I know what I did was a small part of the entire team’s efforts, I feel very proud of being part of this project. It was an amazing experience! I find myself amazed by the amount of detail involved in each shot. In fact, people won’t be able to notice any of the CG used to elevate the look of the film.