Senior VFX Artist Steve Wright to Advise Grads at The Art Institute of Colorado

By: Rachel Handel Filed under: Gaming & Technology

June 19, 2015

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“The chance to express your personal artistic creativity to enhance a visual effects shotalong with the intellectual challenge that is inherent in the highly technical nature of visual effectsmakes for a powerful combination of personal rewards.”

The Art Institute of Colorado will welcome Steve Wright, a senior visual effects artist with over 20 years of production experience, to address its graduating class of 2015 this Saturday, June 20. Steve is a well-known expert in the industry—he’s created digital effects for over 70 television commercials and 70 feature films including “Night at the Museum 2.” Steve is also a VFX compositing trainer who has conducted sessions for Disney Feature Animation, Prime Focus, Reliance MediaWorks, and Pixar Animation.

Steve’s work has inspired many aspiring VFX artists who grew up playing the Atari games that Steve helped to create. He later joined 3D animation company Robert Abel & Associates and produced CGI commercials for television. Later, Steve and a partner opened Sidley-Wright and Associates, a VFX studio in Hollywood. There, he purchased the Pixar P2 compositing computer system and mastered the art of digital compositing. During this time, Steve began producing high-end VFX compositing first for commercials, then feature films.

He continued making his mark in the industry by developed a cel animation digital ink and paint system utilized in 12 television commercials—as well as the special effects shots for five animated feature films. Based on these experiences, Steve was invited to join Cinesite, Kodak's premier digital effects facility, as a senior compositor. He quickly rose into the role of 2D Technical Director, becoming the digital imaging go-to guy for the company’s Digital Intermediate operation.

Steve explains that in today’s visual effects industry, the trend is moving toward more mobility and project employment. “The visual effects studios now keep only a small cadre of senior artists as permanent staff while the bulk of the staff (as much as 80%) are project hires for the duration of the movie or TV show,” he says.

Steve brings a combination of artistry and technical knowledge to his job as a senior digital compositing artist and 2D technical director. He adds that grads hoping to break into the industry need to focus on education and creativity. “The creative careers are always crowded with aspirants trying to break in. What each aspirant needs to succeed is both an excellent education and a discriminator—something that sets them apart from the rest.”

In addition to his VFX work, he is a published author, writer, and public speaker. His books on compositing, Compositing Visual Effects as well as Digital Compositing for Film and Video, are available on and he’s produced Nuke tutorials that have won two Telly awards. Steve is a member of the Visual Effects Society (VES), Digital Cinema Society (DCS), and is one of the first Certified Nuke™Trainers by The Foundry®.

His extensive film credits include Night at the Museum 2, Shutter Island, Ray, Ali, Traffic, Air Force One, and Batman & Robin.

Excited about your upcoming Graduation ceremony? So are we! Join the celebration with #AiGrad today, or see what other graduation news we’ve been covering on the blog!

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By: Rachel Handel Filed under: Gaming & Technology

June 19, 2015

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