Hawkeye Studio & Big Picture Lab / CEOs Wangu Lee and Jaeho Kim

지윤석 기자l승인2024.04.22l수정2024.04.22 10:32

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Hawkeye Studio & Big Picture Lab (CEOs Wangu Lee and Jaeho Kim) opened its doors last month, signaling its official start. Hawkeye Studio has been involved in various film CG projects in Korea and abroad, including OTT, and has been in charge of music video CG for major entertainment companies such as JYP and Hive. While Hawkeye Studio is more of a hands-on project, Big Picture Lab is more of an educational endeavor. As an education business, Big Picture Lab focuses on fostering talent in the field through practical VFX lectures, and in the first half of this year, students participated in the Starbucks Blooming Bearista AR event project, demonstrating their competitiveness. Lee and Kim say ※Hawkeye Studio & Big Picture Lab has gotten off to a great start with the support and interest of many in the industry. We will do our best to contribute to the development of industry talent as well as practical skills.§

 

Over 15 years of hands-on experience.

Breaking down the CG core you need most.

Hawkeye Studio was founded by Kim in 2017. As head of the department at the time, Lee participated in YouTube, Netflix, and film projects, and launched the Big Picture Factory online lecture site. This year marks the beginning of a more thorough division of labor between Hawkeye Studio for CG projects and Big Picture Factory for education. Big Picture Factory has changed its name to Big Picture Lab and is ready to become a full-fledged remote school. They are veteran artists who have been working in the CG industry for a long time. Kim has lectured on NUKE at Megastudy, and Lee has lectured on Maya and Unreal Engine at Megastudy, Sungkyul University’s College of Convergence, and Inha University’s Department of Design Technology. Kim’s course has had more than 200 students, and more than 80 of them have been hired by most CG companies in Korea. Lee has also launched a 3D general class aimed at getting a job and has been teaching online since then. In particular, CG Station, which has been operating as a point of contact for CG online education, has most of the lectures uploaded, and you can find lectures on Nuke, Maya, and Unreal Engine. In other words, based on more than 15 years of practical experience, Big Picture Lab is characterized by providing promising CG industry artist-oriented students with the opportunity to experience the working field directly along with portfolio work. The CG station has been praised for providing students with the core education they need most, while also providing a shortcut to job success through in-depth study of the parts when deciding on technical parts.

 

The YouTube channel “CG-Man” for making the connection.

Kim says “What brought us together was the YouTube channel ‘CGman’. It’s no exaggeration to say that it’s the Spring and Fall of YouTube. There are a lot of channels on YouTube, ranging from professionals such as lawyers and doctors to channels launched by companies and organizations. However, strangely, there was no casual channel for CG. I am very happy that through Channel CG Man, we can openly discuss our values with like-minded people and contribute to creating a good CG culture.” CG Man is popular as a channel where students who want to learn CG can get CG information in a light and fun way, providing not only domestic and foreign industry interviews but also technical know-how. Kim says “CG itself is a difficult field, and it’s often stereotyped as a 3D industry. For those of us who have been in the field for a long time, it’s a bitter pill to swallow. To a certain extent, I agree, but the profession is too fascinating to be dismissed as such. Korean CG technology has come a long way in the past few years. Even if you look globally, Korean CG engineers are doing well and are recognized as having skills that are comparable to Hollywood. I think our seniors have done a good job. However, there’s no microphone for the industry. I thought that if we introduce the CG industry, which has many great people with great minds, we can foster more talented people with the right code. The channel CG man is the starting point. I feel a lot of responsibility.”

 

A rare opportunity to experience the field firsthand and participate in CG seminars abroad.

Lee has strengths in hardware elements, such as launching and operating a homepage, and looking at long-term aspects based on ideas. Kim excels at understanding algorithms and capturing psycho-emotional elements based on system analysis. This combination has also been a strength in their CG training. In the past, when two people were learning CG from the ground up, there was no specific guide to what to experience and dig into. There were no educators with practical skills, no collaboration, and only one-time field trips. Of course, there were government projects, but they were short-lived. Perhaps it was in the absence of a healthy CG-based education that Big Picture Lab started to set more examples. Lee says “Big Picture Lab’s classes are geared toward practical education. It helps students absorb as much practical experience as possible even before they get a job. We regularly conduct special activities such as filming at actual filming sites, visiting related companies in person to meet practitioners and experts, and participating in online seminars with overseas CG artists. I think it is important to allow students to do whatever they want with CG as much as possible, regardless of whether the form is direct or indirect. What is rewarding is that the students who went through Big Picture Lab and entered related CG companies adapted very well, and company representatives contacted us directly and preferred the talents we produced. Communication through which students who have already established themselves as practitioners convey their practical experiences to their juniors is also a characteristic of Big Picture Lab.” 

 

CG artists from Big Picture Labs welcomed in the corporate world.

Lee says “It’s very important to know how to deal with different situations. The process requires patience and there are many variables. We regularly remind students about what mindset they need to approach the process with, how to be less stressed, and how to self-care while working.” Kim says “The intangible value of working at a CG company is immense. As a newcomer, it’s hard to be skilled, and companies invest in potential. If you’re just an office worker, you might not be interested in being a CG artist. It’s a job that requires a lot of know-how. I want you to value the intangible values that you can feel in the field, be patient, and keep learning, and share them. I would like to see more healthy CG artists who can share and pass on good know-how or new techniques to their colleagues and juniors.”

 

The goal is to have global CG talent.

Korea’s CG technology is considered to be on par with Hollywood, and the skills of Korean CG artists at Disney, Sony Pictures, and other companies are considered to be at the global level, including 3D modeling and photorealistic compositing. Lee says “My advice to students is always to ‘aim high’. I emphasize that they should aim high and always think they can do well, and work hard in the field to increase their value to the company. He often talks about sharing his knowledge with other students. Overseas, the CG community is very well-developed, and information sharing is very active.  They should learn from each other and discuss so that Korean CG can develop and more and more CG artists can be active on the global stage.”

 

Elite CG Academy.

Kim says “I worked on Witch 2 CG with Megastudy students. It was their first real-world experience, and they all got jobs. I couldn’t have been more proud to see their names in the end credits. There’s something rewarding about bonding with each other, working together, and sharing education. That’s why we continue to organize various activities with a sense of mission.” Lee says “When I was teaching at the university, I had a student who was taking an Unreal Engine class. He was very enthusiastic, and I was able to work with him on a recent commercial for Company A, and he was given another hands-on opportunity. As an educator, it’s very gratifying to know that students who are good at what they do and work hard are getting good opportunities. I hope that aspiring CG artists will have the opportunity to work on high-profile projects and build a meaningful portfolio at Big Picture Lab.” Kim says “Our long-term goal is to create an elite CG academy. We want to train more and more talented CGers. In the age of YouTube, even quantum mechanics, which used to be difficult, has become easy to understand. Hawkeye Studio, Big Picture Lab, and CG Man will play a role in contributing to making and understanding CG easy and fun.”


지윤석 기자  jsong_ps13@naver.com
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