Artist Spotlight

Andri Valdez

Compositor | Lost Boys Alumni 2018

Demo Reel

What inspired you to pursue VFX/Compositing?

I fell in love with compositing when I was around 10 years old without knowing it. Like other people, I picked up this interest from watching films but unlike most, it wasn’t by watching epic VFX films like Terminator, Jurassic Park, Matrix, or Lord of the Rings. Watching Scooby Doo: the Movie was what inspired me. I used to watch this film several times times a day because I couldn’t figure out how it was made; it looked so real to me.

After many years of watching movies I knew I wanted to work on them but I had no idea how that could be accomplished. I started watching some tutorials on After Effects and Premier Pro but that didn’t work out so well. However, it was the start and that got me into a school where I learned about Nuke, from that point on I knew that would be the program for me. 

What was the scariest or most challenging part of learning Compositing?

My biggest fear pursuing this path was that I wasn’t an artist at all, so applying to an art school was something I never expected to do. Once accepted, I started to get imposter syndrome, I was sure I would be surrounded by these fancy, mature artists and I would stand out like a sore thumb. Luckily my classmates were the nicest (all in their own unique way) and most welcoming group of people I have met (guess it’s the Canadian way). It didn’t hurt that they were also great artists who helped me along the way the whole time! 

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

My previous education was more general, so I learned some things about video game development, 3D workflows, and VFX. It was a great way for me to experience a little of everything and then choose a path. Studying at Lost Boys was a whole different experience. I could finally dive deep into the field I wanted to with no other distracting classes. The class size was smaller so we got more attention from the teachers who seemed to know everything about everything! (A lot of philosophical quotes about Nuke and Life were said during lectures).

What do you enjoy most about working in visual effects?

For me, it’s like a digital puzzle. I have all these nodes in front of me, I just have to figure out where they all fit to make the image look good. It can be a long and tedious process but it can be so rewarding when you finally place the last node down and get the final approval for the shot.

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?

You don’t have to be the best artist in the world to get a job, there is no need for that talent if it is impossible to work with you. Stay dedicated, humble, and always be ready to learn new things because there is always something new to learn.

Thank you, Andri! Connect with him now!

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