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Recognition Grows for Visual Effects Student Sergio Rincón

Like many moviegoers in 2010, Sergio Rincón saw Christopher Nolan’s mind-bending thriller Inception. Not only did the special visual effects astound him, the experience also paved the way for his new career path.

“When I was young, I loved movies like Star Wars and The Matrix,” says Rincón. “When I saw Inception, it blew my mind.” It also jumpstarted his passion forvisual effects, a craft he’s now pursuing and succeeding in at the Academy.

Rincón, from Bucaramanga, Colombia, is earning his master’s degree at Academy of Art University’s School of Animation & Visual Effects. In spring of 2019, Rincón’s first semester, his work already stood out: At the university’s annual Spring Show, he earned a second-place award in the category of special effects for a compositing project.

A still from the project for which Sergio Rincón was awarded in the annual Spring Show.

Impressing the Teachers with Rapid Progress

Catherine Tate, director of Animation & Visual Effects, says that in her 15 years at the Academy, she has never seen a student excel so quickly. “He has a very good eye for design and picks things up quickly,” Tate adds. “He is easy to work with and communicates well with his instructors and other students.”

Rincón’s award-winning project was for Tate’s class ANM 342, VFX 3: Node-Based Compositing 1. Beginning with shot footage as a foundation, students were tasked with making the footage more cinematic, like something you’d see in an ad, a television show or a film, Tate says.

Rincón superimposed graffiti art by Australian artist Bradley Eastman on a block of buildings in Bogotá, Colombia.

国产偷拍视频Using footage Rincón shot in the La Preservancia neighborhood of Bogotá, Colombia, he by Australian artist Bradley Eastman onto a shot of plain buildings. His goal was to make a run-down part of the city look vibrant and beautiful.

国产偷拍视频Tate supervised Rincón throughout the process. “He took aboring environment and turned it into something magical with color, sheexplains. She says he made good choices in the elements he added and integratedthem seamlessly. “He didn’t overcomplicate what he was trying to achieve withunnecessary additions.”

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This 3D image shows how Rincón layered art on footage of buildings.

Taking the Path to VFX

国产偷拍视频Rincón’s route to studying visual effects wasn’t straightforward. He worked in advertising for four years after earning a degree in graphic design in Colombia. Most of his work was television commercials and internal videos for global companies like Coca-Cola and Mercedes.

Oneproject, in particular, became a lightbulb moment for why he needed to learnmore about visual effects. It was for a comical Dunkin’ Donuts ad that ended upbeing very popular in Colombia. “In that TV spot, I made an effect in which a manwas inflating and then exploding,” Rincón says.

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From a Dunkin’ Donuts commercial for which Sergio Rincón contributed effects.

Priority Pitstop: Academy of Art

But in Colombia there wasn’t a direct way for him to develop a visual effects career, he explains. He discovered Academy of Art through research and earned a scholarship from the Colombian arts education organization COLFUTURO. With scholarship in hand, Rincón was able to attend the Academy.

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Rincón was awarded a scholarship by Colombian arts education COLFUTURA, which helped him attend the Academy.

国产偷拍视频It was a leap to leave his home nation—no one in hisfamily had a similar artistic career path, Rincón says. “I left everything inmy country to follow my art degree. At this moment, I think they are knowingabout the field and feeling like I am doing a good job,” he says, referring tohis family.

Rincón is enjoying being able to focus on specificelements of his craft through Academy courses. He says he’s learning new skillswhile building upon old ones. “I think my background in graphic design helps mea lot, because I learned about basic concepts like color theory, lighting,contrast, photographic composition and the fundamentals of 2D and 3D design.”

Working Where He Learned

He’s now working as a compositor in the Animation & Visual Effects School’s Studio X initiative. One project he’s contributing to is a narrative feature film called All of the Old Bells, directed by Brent Green. Another is a science fiction short film called Mass Teleportation Authority, directed by Geoffrey Smeltzer.

As the year presses on, Rincón says he’s excited forwhat’s next. “The Academy gave me the opportunity to grow in the field.… Forme, it’s a dream come true being here, because it’s like being in the rightplace at the right time.”


Original article by Cristina Schreil of
Images courtesy of Sergio Rincón

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