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Featured Student: Yuansi Ivy Mai, USA

 
Interview to
Yuansi Ivy Mai, FX Artist follows . . .

Yuansi ‘Ivy’ Mai is a FX artist graduated from Gnomon School of Visual Effects in Los Angeles. Her artwork was recognized with Best of Term prize and collected to school reel of 2024. She is a talented and detail-oriented artist coming from a 2D illustration and media background.

YOUR BACKGROUND - FACTORS & INSPIRATION TO BECOME AN ARTIST.

 

My art journey began in Guangzhou, a bustling metropolis in South China known for its prosperous trading environment. Growing up in a hardworking family that owned a business, art was initially considered more of a hobby than a viable career path. Despite this, I spent several years exploring and practicing art in my spare time. During my first degree in communication studies, I immersed myself in watching countless movies and writing scripts, seeing movies as beautiful art galleries in their own right. Drawing from this passion for storytelling and visual aesthetics, I realized that nothing excited me more than becoming a CG artist, where art and movies seamlessly blend. 

Yuansi Mai FX artist_edited.jpg

YOUR START 

 

In 2020, amid the pandemic, I took the leap into the world of CG art and later made a brave decision to move to Los Angeles. Enrolling at Gnomon School of Visual Effects was a pivotal moment. It wasn't just about overcoming language barriers; it was also about embracing the diversity of cultures and perspectives around me, which added adventure and excitement to my life. Studying at Gnomon was both competitive and challenging, pushing me physically and mentally as everyone strived to create their best artwork and carve out their path in the industry. After more than a year of dedication and hard work, I began to see my skills improve significantly. My efforts paid off when two of my artworks were recognized with Best of Term prizes in dynamic effects categories.

 

Graduating in December 2023 was a proud moment, and seeing my works featured in the school's 2024 reel was a testament to my growth and commitment. 

Since graduation, I've remained steadfast in my pursuit of opportunities in the industry, constantly pushing myself to improve and refine my skills. My journey so far has been a testament to resilience, determination, and the transformative power of pursuing one's passion against all odds.

 

WHICH TOOLS DID YOU USE?

 

  • Houdini 

  • Unreal Engine

  • Nuke

  • Maya

  • After Effects

 

WHO HAS INSPIRED YOU?

 

My inspiration is cinematographer Roger Deakins for his unparalleled creativity to craft visually stunning narratives that deeply resonate. His mastery of light, composition, and storytelling techniques continues to guide and inspire my own approach to visual effects. 

DarkHours_002.jpg

 

WHAT DID YOU RENDER/SIMULATE?

 

In my piece 'Dark Hour,' depicting a post-apocalyptic car crash into a junkyard, I relied on GridMarkets for simulating a complex rigid-body simulation with over 20,000 pieces of geometry in Houdini. The entire project was rendered using Renderman & Solaris USD, facilitated seamlessly by GridMarkets. In my latest work 'Blazing Rail,' featuring an explosive train tanker scene, achieving ultra high-resolution volume effects was crucial for realism in Unreal Engine with VDB. GridMarkets helps simulating exceptionally detailed pyro volume in Houdini.

Dark Hours
DarkHours_spreadsheet.png

 

SOMETHING ELSE?

 

 In my latest work 'Blazing Rail,' featuring an explosive train tanker scene, achieving ultra high-resolution volume effects was crucial for realism in Unreal Engine with VDB. GridMarkets helps simulating exceptionally detailed pyro volume in Houdini.

Blazing Rail - explosive train tanker

GridMarkets provides with fast and efficient access to high-performance computing power, enabling us to tackle projects that would be otherwise impossible on personal computers. With GridMarkets, I can focus on my creativity without concerns about hardware limitations, as it consistently offers top-tier computational resources. 

 

EXPLAIN SOME AMAZING EXPERIENCE AND A FLOP THAT HELPED YOU TO BECOME BETTER?

 

One particular flop that stands out for me occurred during the final term of my school year last year. Under pressure and time constraints, I neglected crucial steps like discussing and conducting simple pre-visualization for an idea I was passionate about. This oversight led to critical limitations in the project's execution and a visual composition that didn't meet expectations. This experience humbled me and underscored the importance of refining concepts through thorough testing and quality assurance before fully committing to them. It made me more cautious and detail-oriented, ensuring that I always prioritize planning and reliability in my projects.

 

THE END

Thanks for your time Yuansi. 

You can find Yuansi works under following links:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/_y24i_/ 

Artistation: https://www.artstation.com/ivymai 

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/y24i/ 

FX Demo Reel: https://vimeo.com/934562026

 

By: GridMarkets marketing

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