Paul Butterworth

VFX Supervisor/Director/Designer, Animal Logic

Recent Work

Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol 2 and Alien: Covenant; Insurgent, Avengers: Age of Ultron and The Divergent Series: Allegiant.

BIGGEST CHALLENGES?

Even though visual effects laden films are achieving huge box office results, the budgets to produce the visual effects work are shrinking. While the budgets are shrinking the scale of work required in both the number of shots and the level of creativity and quality have grown astronomically. So our biggest challenge is to provide high-quality work, as efficiently as we can, that looks amazing… challenging!

Another challenge is ensuring the visual effects industry is better recognised for the creative contribution we make to a film. I know we’re the new kid on the block but I would like to see our artists given the same recognition as cinematographers, directors, writers, production designers and actors.

TRENDS?

In the last few years, we’ve seen exciting development in how we capture an image, from high-quality 4K digital cameras, stereo 3D and light field capture. An area I’m most excited about is high dynamic range capture & projection. I’m personally not interested in more resolution, I just want to see greater quality in the colours we see.

In rendering, we’re seeing developments in unbiased rendering which gives you unparalleled photo-real quality. At Animal Logic we have our own unbiased renderer called Glimpse, which is simply amazing!   You’ll see this software in our work for the upcoming LEGO®  films, and our work on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Alien: Covenant.

Real-time rendering is becoming a useful toolset. We can now block out a scene, capture the results and cut these ‘moments’ together like live action. This gives us greater freedom to tell a story.

WHAT MAKES AUSTRALIA UNIQUE?

A real healthy attitude to project challenges. I’ve always found Australian film crew, and I’m speaking from an outsider’s perspective (from the UK), to be some of the hardest working people around. I’ve always liked how the crew here speak their mind, I think this is unique. I like to know if there’s a better way to do something and that the crew will jump in and mention it with that unique Aussie charm. I’ve also found that film crews like to help. You won’t see one department watch from the sidelines as another part of the crew is struggling. We’re all in this together.

WHAT INSPIRES YOU WHEN WORKING WITH CLIENTS?

I love to develop ideas with clients. To me, this is the best and hardest part of my job. I like figuring out exactly what’s in their heads, and if they don’t have an idea, I love collaborating to find the idea and going on the journey to create it. It’s immensely rewarding.

I love coming up with things we haven’t seen
before and encouraging clients to be brave.

OBSESSIONS [OUTSIDE FILM]?

When I’m not at work or doing my part in my crazy fun family, I have a tonne of hobbies. These range from practicing my portrait work. I have a huge interest in constructing things with electronics, software, and 3D printed parts I’ve designed. I still have hopes of this being another career!

I also like to be outside a lot as my job is inside… a lot. Often I’m on and under the water as Sydney has some of the most amazing coastline just down the road with plenty of good scuba diving spots.


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