On my 9th semester of Medialogy I did an internship with Ghost VFX as a Roto/Paint artist on a feature film project.
As a Roto/Paint artist I had the responsibility of ensuring optimum conditions for chroma-keying (green/blue screen removal) by creating masks around characters (roto) and objects and removing tracking markers (paint). Even though my work will never be seen (unless I did a poor job) it was of great importance to the rest of the VFX pipeline:
- The importance of roto is that if you do not have these masks around characters and objects when you are keying you might accidentally remove some of the color in those, making them slightly transparent, thus when you insert a new background to the image it becomes slightly visible through the characters and objects in the scene.
- The importance of paint is that if the tracking markers (used for match moving the new background) they become visible over the new background due to them having a different color than the green/blue screen (and they have this different color (usually a contrast color) so they are easily tracked).
My internship lasted 3.5 months, from September 2012 thru December 2012, and was a very giving experience in terms of 1) experiencing the real life working environment in the VFX industry, the crunch time, the organization, etc., 2) learning to do the work like a pro, 3) making connections in an industry that relies very much on these, and of course 4) having worked on a feature film project and being able to, at some point, use that in my portfolio.