The Sculptors Showdown

By VFS Web Team, on September 16, 2016

It’s no secret that our students have access to some pretty amazing guest speakers and events throughout their year at Vancouver Film School. Last Wednesday, Animation students were treated to The Sculptor’s Showdown, an incredible evening headlined by two of the industry’s most talented ZBrush artists, Ryon Yambe (Z-Brush Master) and Jesse Irvin (VFS Sculpting Instructor). For two hours, Jesse and Ryo tackled on-the-spot art challenges and engaged with students in a lively Q&A . It was definitely the place to be for any art and/or technology lover!

3D Animation + Visual Effects student Mateus Kurzhal gives us the inside scoop, which includes the winner of the showdown. Any guesses?  

Guest post by: Mateus Kurzhal 

The Sculptors Showdown was a great excuse to take a break from class. We watched Jesse Irvin sculpt a mixture of a turtle and Clint Eastwood -- something Sergio Leone would have been proud of. It definitely made us forget about our own work for a while.

At first glance, it was clear that Jesse and Ryo had different personalities. Not just because of their different hobbies like juggling and yoyo, but also in the way they presented themselves. This became even more evident when the showdown started.

Jesse started his sculpture in a familiar way, caring about the anatomy from his first brush stroke. On the other hand, Ryo showed his design background by exploring the silhouette of his character. Despite their expertise and sculpting speed, it took some time to visualize what they were trying to create. Western sci-fi is a very broad theme, and even though the cowboy hat is necessary, the character can go in many different directions.

At the event, we were encouraged to interact with Ryo and Jesse throughout the sculpting process. Casey broke the silence by asking Jesse and Ryo where they were trying to go with their characters. Jesse was aiming for a humanoid turtle while Ryo was attempting to create a cowboy praying mantis.

While answering questions from the students, their designs transformed. Jesse’s became anatomically correct and Ryo displayed hard surface techniques.  

What could have been a stressful environment for the artist, considering the fact that they were sculpting in front of an audience with a limited amount of time, ended up being friendly and even funny.

The showdown ended in ambiguity. Both artists did a great job showing off their styles. It required three rounds of voting to reach a decision. Ryo ended up winning by a small difference in votes, but the ones who got the best prize were the students. We had the opportunity to watch and learn from two great professionals.

Thanks, Mateus!

And for those of you who missed out, here’s a link to our livestream: