Rhea Lonsdale

2019 Greenlight Alumni

How would you describe the DNEG Greenlight program in three words?

Super rewarding challenge!

What courses did you study and how do you think that contributed to your success?

I didn’t go to school specifically for VFX, I have a traditional art degree and am self taught in CG. I think that having experience as a serious learner is valuable for Greenlight, whether that’s through the rigors of school or having pushed yourself to learn independently.

Can you tell us about the project you worked on during your Greenlight program and what you’ve learned from it?

After five weeks of learning art fundamentals, digital matte painting and CG, we were tasked to make a shot from scratch, taking it from concept to a shot with a moving camera — all in four days! All of the tasks until then had built on one another, but a lot of the content of those six weeks was new to us and putting it all together was a big challenge. Coming from a 2D and 3D background, learning how to composite and project a 2.5 environment was huge.

What did you enjoy most about the work you were tasked with during Greenlight?

I liked that I could apply a lot of my previous skills to a workflow I never had experience in. I didn’t think I’d ever be working as a generalist for VFX, I didn’t even know it was a thing, so it was really amazing to go through the process and see how generalists create a shot from start to finish.

What was the most difficult challenge you faced in the program and how did you tackle it?

The most difficult challenge was the speed at which we had to pick up information. DNEG has incredible and supportive trainers and we had access to them every day, but we’d also have 4 to 5 hours of courses per day. I would go home with my head spinning trying to digest new concepts and workflows in software I’d never used before. I think the best decision I made was to simplify my life outside of Greenlight as much as possible for those six weeks. I tried to eat well, sleep enough, not take on work outside of the program, and tried to take it easy on myself when I was feeling overwhelmed.

How did your Greenlight trainers and mentors support your learning and growth?

There were four of us students in the EnvGen Greenlight program, and two dedicated VFX instructors who took time with the head of EnvGen to teach us nearly every day so we had the resources and time to ask for in-depth help. We also had a welcoming and supportive department in EnvGen and there were many experienced artists who were happy to act as mentors through the program.

Why would you recommend the Greenlight Program?

It’s not an overstatement to say that Greenlight changed the trajectory of my life. It was incredible to have DNEG throw so much time and resources into training us, it’s a rare opportunity to grow as an artist and as a professional.

What would be your advice to future Greenlighters? 

Be patient with yourself! You’re not expected to know everything so ask questions and don’t beat yourself up if you don’t absorb absolutely everything in six weeks. Also, support your fellow Greenlighters; demonstrate that you can be patient with yourself and supportive of others and you’ll go far.

What are your future ambitions for your VFX career?

I want to keep growing as a generalist and keep working on cool projects with more challenging work. I’d also like to pass on the mentorship that I received and help support others on their journey into the industry.

 

Meet our other 2019 Greenlight Alumni

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London

Vancouver

Mumbai

Los Angeles

Chennai

Montréal

Chandigarh