Artist Spotlight

Kosuke Iwasaki

Compositor | Lost Boys Alumni 2019

Demo Reel

Credited on:

and many more...

To me, VFX is my work and my hobby. I am truly grateful that I am living off what I love.

- Kosuke Iwasaki

What inspired you to pursue VFX/Compositing?

I actually don’t have specific films that motivated me. I was inspired by some indie fan films of blockbuster movies on YouTube when I was just entering high school. For me, Hollywood blockbusters were so overwhelming that I never imagined myself working for that industry. However, when I watched those random people making cool videos, I was shocked that you can in fact make awesome shots with consumer software. It made me believe that I can do it too. Then, as all those kids out there did, I started copying all of the VFX tutorials on YouTube, which is too horrible to look back on, but after all, I enjoyed doing it. When I reached a point where I could start making a little cash with it, then I started dreaming about learning and working at the best place in the world. Vancouver is one of the best places to pursue a VFX career, with a lot of talented people from across the globe. So I would say my motivation has been gradually elevated over the years.

What is something you wish people knew more about VFX/VFX Artists or Compositors/Compositing?

It’s already been said many times but I would like to emphasize that there is an insane amount of work put into every VFX shot before it is delivered and you cannot even see it. But that’s normal. I believe really well-done VFX should not be distracting, but support the storytelling. You would be surprised how many shots are actually not filmed on the location but shot on green screen or in completely different locations, or it was not even filmed at all. Also, it’s absolutely just a common scene to, in post, zoom in as much as you can to fix any mistakes pixel by pixel and frame by frame. Those are usually the last 20% of the entire work process but that in fact takes the longest amount of time. People find it cumbersome and tend to neglect it. But that’s what differentiates the great from the rest, and that’s why we are here to support the filmmakers.

What do you enjoy most about working in visual effects?

VFX is so deep when it comes to trying to master every aspect of it, in other words, there is so
much to learn! The more I know the more I realize how illiterate I am, but that is what drives me to go forward. I am so grateful that I am surrounded by a lot of inspiring artists and friends that I can learn from. At the end of the day, I am still a guy who dreamed about making an awesome shot. It is such a joy to discover more knowledge and apply that to your own work.

What was unique about your experience with Lost Boys in comparison to your previous education?

The program that I participated in at Lost Boys was the most practical and production-ready education for such a short amount of time. Learning at Lost Boys does not make you feel that you are at a school, but rather at an actual studio. Nowadays, you can access VFX educational resources anywhere online. However, they don’t teach you the same things as Lost Boys or have the pressure of presenting your work in front of supervisors or everybody on a huge screen every week. I had the opportunity to collaborate with other departments and senior artists to deliver a shot on time and even learned how to communicate with Leads and Supervisors. By attending Lost Boys, you will dip your toe in the industry and by the time you graduate, you are more than ready to start working without even worrying about anything. And remember, when in doubt, _________! (You have to find out about the next part by yourself!)

If there is one piece of advice you can give to people who want to pursue a career in visual effects, what would it be?

These days, technological advancement has become exponentially crazier with A.I., Machine Learning, Deep Fakes, Real-time Rendering, LED Screens, just to name a few. I used to fear being replaced by new technology. You should not be afraid and fight with new technology. Because they are just the tools to help you with your job.

For example, let’s say I just want to make a cool shot. So cutting down the time for rendering and rotoscoping or painting out allows me to focus more on art directing. Even if your job is submitting the roto, then A.I. rotobot or advanced tracking technology is awesome in that it gives you 80% of roto completed. So you, as a roto artist with eyes for fine details, can focus on finessing the consistency of edges or hair details, and submit work faster and take on more work. Tesla’s AI driving technology will eventually replace the need of driving on a daily basis because you don’t always want to drive: you simply want to go from place A to B. But I don’t think we are going to watch AI-driven Autopilot Formula 1 racing unless we prefer it. Keep in mind, in order to take advantage of the technology, it is always important to not neglect the foundations. I believe studying those “cumbersome” processes will train your eyes to notice details, which is essential to be professional. I still have a lot to learn as well.

Thank you, Kosuke! Check out his demo reel.

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