ABOUT THE SESSION:
The feature film Adrift presented a challenging scope of water simulation work, with a short time frame, to test the agility of Milk Visual Effects.
Join James Reid, Milk Visual Effect’s CG Supervisor on Adrift, and Benoit Leveau, Head of Pipeline at Milk, to learn more about both the artistic and technical challenges they solved during production - from creating massive ocean and storm simulations and bespoke waves, to scaling up their rendering pipeline in the cloud.
ABOUT THE SPEAKERS
James Reid, Head of FX, Milk Visual Effects and CG Supervisor on Adrift;
James is Head of Effects and a CG Supervisor at Academy and BAFTA award-winning visual effects company Milk Visual Effects.
James’ feature film and high-end television credits at Milk include feature films Adrift, Alex Garland’s Annihilation, Kingsman: The Golden Circle, Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them (Warner Bros.), and Altered Carbon (Netflix) and Sherlock (BBC/Hartswood) for television. James was part of Milk’s BAFTA-winning VFX teams for both BBC drama series Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell and Doctor Who.
Most recently James was CG supervisor on STXfilm’s Adrift for which Milk created complex, large-scale ocean and storm simulations.
Whilst at school James developed an interest in maths and science, also enjoying the creative freedom of drawing and painting. He gained a Masters degree in Engineering Science from Oxford University - which provided him with a strong technical foundation but lacked the artistic component that he also wanted in his career. It was at this point that James discovered visual effects, with a Masters in Computer Animation at Bournemouth University leading to his first role on Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. James enjoyed working as an animator and effects artist on a variety of feature films and TV series at Double Negative and The Mill before joining the Milk team when the company opened for business in June 2013.
Benoit Leveau, Head of Pipeline, Milk Visual Effects
Benoit Leveau is Head of Pipeline at Academy and BAFTA award winning visual effects company Milk. Benoit joined Milk in August 2013 and oversees all aspects of Milk’s pipelines across its London and Cardiff studios, which create visual effects for both TV and feature films such as Adrift, Annihilation, Kingsman: The Golden Circle, Altered Carbon (Netflix), Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them (Warner Bros.) and Sherlock (BBC/Hartswood).
Benoit was instrumental in creating a groundbreaking Cloud rendering solution to process almost 80 million frames in just 10 weeks. This enabled Milk to create large-scale CG dinosaurs and their environment for UK special venue theatrical project ‘Dinosaurs In the Wild’, which is currently showing in London. Since then he has overseen the upgrade of Milk’s pipeline to a completely cloud-based rendering solution.
Benoit’s work was recognised at Autodesk’s Shotgun Pipeline Awards, held at Siggraph in 2015 for the creation of a ‘Smart publishing tool’ for Shotgun.
Before joining Milk, Benoit was 3D Pipeline Lead Developer at Prime Focus for three years. He worked on the launch of Prime Focus Film London, helping to design and build the VFX pipeline from scratch as well as the 3D tools and libraries required by productions including Dredd 3D, Mirror, Mirror, Total Recall, The Great Gatsby, and White House Down. During his time at Prime Focus Benoit also set up the company’s VFX pipelines, in both Vancouver, Canada and Mumbai, India
Prior to this Benoit spent a year as Software Engineer at MPC, London where he coordinated the migration of the entire MPC software stack (300+ projects) to a new linux architecture/Maya version/Python version. Following an internship at Sony’s R&D facility in Tokyo, Benoit began his visual effects career as a C++ Developer at Paris-based software company e-on software, where he spent five years overseeing their Vue xStream product - an integration plugin for 3ds Max, Cinema4D, LightWave, Maya and XSI.
Benoit hails from the Champagne region of France and is a graduate of Télécom ParisTech, one of France’s leading engineering schools, where he specialised in Image Synthesis, Digital Television and Image Processing.