Role: Lead CFX TD at Goodbye Kansas Studios
I'm Ludvig Eliasson, Lead CFX TD at Goodbye Kansas Studios, and an LTU alumni.
At Goodbye Kansas Studios, my responsibility is to create believable technical animations, which can include simulating cloth, hair and other tissues, as well as finaling shots through anatomical sculpts, technical cleanup and other final touches.
Growing up, my educational path took a lot of turns back and forth between art and engineering, with the driving factor being a passion for video games and movies in my personal life. I was set on pursuing an artistic career until I actually had to apply to high school, where I made a left turn for a technological degree. In high school it was time for another turn, where I decided to dedicate myself to computer engineering and games programming.
When it came time to apply for university, I turned yet again and decided to try my artistic wings again and apply for the LTU program of digital arts. My application was up to par, and half a year later I found myself in Skellefteå, 800-ish kilometers from home.
At LTU, I studied a very generalist approach to digital arts, ranging between anything from traditional sculpting to 3D character rigging. I found an interest in the latter, and through specializing on more technical VFX tasks, I got the opportunity to spend a summer interning at MPC, a leading VFX company based in London. This ended up shaping my final year at LTU, which in turn would lead me to writing my bachelor thesis during an internship at former "Fido film" which evolved into a permanent position and what would become Goodbye Kansas Studios.
Throughout my four years at Goodbye Kansas, I have helped to build a CFX workflow from scratch, and have had the pleasure of working with some great teams on some really awesome cinematics and movies, including trailers for Cyberpunk 2077, Assassin's Creed Valhalla and Hellboy. Working with CFX presents a lot of challenges. The most obvious part of the role is to produce realistic looking cloth and tissue simulations using software like SideFX Houdini. We are also the bridge between the animators and the lighters of the VFX pipeline, meaning that we get to place that extra level of polish on the 3D material before it gets lit and rendered. The generalist approach that LTU taught really helps me in my current day to day work, as an understanding of the entire VFX process is vital to be able to fulfill the role of a lead CFX TD. For this role specifically, the nature of the work can switch between technical problem solving and artistic finesse on a daily basis, which suits me perfectly!
If you are interested in the VFX and games industries, I think university studies can be a very good way to get there. At LTU, I feel like I got the resources to learn how anything works from scratch, but most importantly, it gave me the space to evolve my own skills and develop creatively, which I think is ultimately the most important piece of advice I could give to anyone interested: The more effort and passion you put into your studies, the more you're gonna get out of them. While guided tutoring was an extremely valuable resource, the best part of studying for VFX at a university was the time and space to be able to produce high quality content with other like minded people. VFX and games work is collaborative by nature, and university is an excellent taste for what's to come.