The World of VFX

Outside of what we learned in class about starting our logo animation and using Adobe Illustrator, we also learned a few other interesting facts about the VFX pipeline and some interesting figures who are successful in the industry.

Saul Bass

It was suggested we look at the work and designs of Saul Bass, who began his career in Hollywood in the 1940s. Since then, it seems like he’s been a part of countless projects in all different kinds of mediums.

I find it fantastic he co-directed the opening credits to Spartacus and worked with many famous directors, including Alfred Hitchcock and Martin Scorsese. In terms of an idol to look up to in the VFX world, he is certainly the cream of the crop.

The web link we were given is filled with information about Bass, but also some key points when thinking about design, brand development, and key knowledge from the industry.

I like the information they’ve given on the different kinds of forms used in brand logos, of which there are three on this site:

  1. Monochromatic, where it’s quick, simple, and easy. However, it requires the consumer to know what the letters stand for or can become like “alphabet soup” unless it’s actually an extremely well-known company (like IBM).
  2. Logotype, where it’s the name of the company as the trademark. It’s quite and memorable, but can get lost in translation or lose its uniqueness against other trademarks.
  3. Symbol Logotype, which seems to be the most popular form when I think about brand logos. Not only will they be unique, it can also be used for company paraphernalia and becomes synonymous with the company name.

I never knew Saul Bass was so ingrained in VFX and design, where I’ve seen his work all over the place throughout my life. Some of the logos he has done are:


These can be great ideas for a student just starting out, trying to design a corporate brand or logo that is simple, yet understandable or noticeable.

Table for TV commercial

We were also introduced to a typical table to go over the storyboard for something like a TV commercial (in the case of the example, it was Pepsi). The one thing to come out of this was a lesson Peter tried to convey: you never talk about money. You can talk about cost in terms of man hours or render hours, but your producer is the one who should deal with money talks. Always.



The image on the left is how I tried to recreate the table. On the right-hand side is your core group who are the core of the SFX people.

The client’s side is to the left, from the producer they hire to their account handler (who is the go between for the client and the people the client hired).



Rich Wake

I was asked in class what I hoped to achieve by being on this course, which is a very pertinent question. I’m more here for the background coding and creating of games, however in the last couple of weeks I’ve found myself enjoying 2D animation and vector drawing.

Upon mentioning this, Peter had a recommendation for me: look into the work of a guy who was at Cartoon Network with him, Rich Wake.

He is a fantastic animator and just looking at his intro for “Randy Cunningham 9th Grade Ninja” it’s no wonder he won an award for it. I liked looking through his artwork and the style he uses, which reminds me a lot of the older Cartoon Network shows I used to watch in the ’90s, like Powerpuff Girls or Dexter’s Lab.





Wake’s¬†original character of Cap’n Claw reminds me of HIM from Powerpuff Girls.







I’m glad to have had the suggestion to look into Wake’s work, which has reminded me about other animation styles from television and movies. I’ll have to revisit some more artists to get more inspiration and ideas for our own logos we’ve been asked to create.


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