Being a Studio Assistant: “2D, or not 2D? That is the question"

Updated: Dec 3, 2020

Whether 'tis nobler in Nuke to suffer


The slings and arrows of an outrageous key


Or to take arms against a sea of roto,


And, by opposing, end the comp?” -


Am I trying to compare the work of our Compositing students to the unmatched talents of William Shakespeare? Sure… either that or I came up with a cracking and am trying to crowbar some meaning into it.


My name is Jack Neale and I am the 2D Compositing Studio Assistant. I have the pleasure of assisting the third year undergraduates through the trials and tribulations of their final projects, a task close to my heart as I studied the same course from 2016 to 2019.


As a Studio Assistant, I see myself as an intermediate between the students and the lecturers. I have the knowledge to further their student experience but I do not have the training or authority to lecture and grade - we’re sort of like a cool “uncle” who buys you treats and doesn't tell you off when you step out of line.


My main role is to pass on the skills and techniques needed to complete their specialism and studio projects. In their third year, they are expected to create a body of work to be compiled into a showreel which will hopefully get them industry employment once graduated. As junior artists, their showreels should consist of both advanced rotoscoping and cleanup techniques, an area in which I excel as a studio assistant; I’ve been in their shoes, I’ve made a student showreel which earned me employment in the industry to rotoscope, cleanup, and comp on several adverts and films. I was thrown into the deep end without armbands on my first job and do not wish for any other student to experience that so I try to pass on as much knowledge as possible to prepare them for the realities of being a working VFX artist.


“Self-love, my liege, is not so vile a sin, as self-neglecting.” - I thought I’d try to bring the Shakespeare motif full circle with a quote that I wish had reflected my mindset more as a student.


Oh, I also take the register each day

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