One reason that I am drawn to work in visual effects is that it is a perfect blend of my background and interest in visual arts and the sciences. Making the fantastic plausible and embellishments unnoticed requires an attention to detail. The properties of the natural world are deconstructed so that they may be efficiently simulated and creatively assembled in order to produce a convincing illusion of reality on the screen.
My first video camera, a Fisher Price PXL-2000 that recorded low-resolution grayscale images onto audio tape, opened up a new creative world to me. I would build sets out of poster board and recruit friends and family to appear in a newscast or game show. Later video cameras led to more elaborate productions for school projects and personal pastimes. In high school, I was responsible for the school's television studio where I began to experiment with more elaborate effects techniques.
During a 1996 ABC election broadcast, I found myself intrigued by an election graphic virtual set that allowed free camera movement. Virtual sets were fairly new at the time. I began drawing sets in the computer with rudimentary graphics software and developed a technique for using them in conjunction with a chroma key in the school television studio. Also, around this time, I watched a Discovery Channel series entitled Movie Magic which further inspired me to pursue a career in visual effects.
During my time at the University of Arizona, I had opportunities to further my knowledge of visual effects and compositing with access to more elaborate software and equipment. My work has consequently evolved quite a bit from the days of multiple-generation analog chroma key effects. While the integration of live action and CG elements continues to be my primary focus, I often have occasion to work in closely related production roles such as motion graphics, cinematography, and editing.
backgroundCopyright ©2004–2005 Peter Torpey.