Dan Andersen

Senior TD, Copenhagen

May 10, 2021


Ghost VFX is an award-winning visual effects house with innovative talent and technology that bring creative visions to life. Our dedicated teams around the globe make the impossible possible, fulfilling the demands of studios and independent creators alike. In our “Ghost VFX Spotlight” series, we showcase the team members behind the projects to find out what they’re passionate about, how they see the industry evolving, and their creative insights into the art and craft of visual effects.

Tell me a little about your background in VFX?

Watching Terminator 2: Judgment Day and Jurassic Park as a kid had me hooked on VFX. I got my first PC in 1997 and immediately started dabbling in 3d. A few years later I landed a job in arch-vis before moving to commercials, and then TV & Film. A generalist for many years, I’ve been involved with most disciplines in 3d, from modeling over FX to shading and lighting.

In your own words how would you describe what you do at Ghost VFX?

My main focus is look development and lighting with a generous sprinkle of scripting/tool building to help move everything along and ease repetitive tasks. In recent years however, I’ve gravitated towards rendering and the pipeline that facilitates it – optimizing storage, organization and transfer of 3d data to most efficiently turn it into final, rendered images. It’s an area with plenty of problems to solve and a constant need of advancement to keep up with ever-increasing demands on quality and throughput.

What part of the job are you most passionate about?

I love coming up with creative technical solutions to help solve particularly difficult sequences or shots. And I really enjoy picking apart real-world materials and lighting phenomena – to try and recreate them in 3d in a way that’s feasible for production rendering.

How have you adapted how you work during the pandemic?

I was skeptical at first about being moved out of the office to work from home, but it’s worked out well. And the lack of commute and increased flexibility has allowed me to spend more time with my kids during the day, which has been amazing. To make up for the extra family time I’ve been putting in more work in the evenings but that’s a trade-off I don’t mind. I feel very fortunate.

Any advice to others looking to break into VFX?

Keep advancing your skills and stay open minded; even if you know where you want to end up, there’s likely many ways of getting there. Be curious and learn from anyone you can along the way.

Where do you see the VFX industry headed in the next 5 years? What excites you about the future?

There are so many interesting developments going on that affect how we work and what is possible, like Pixar’s Universal Scene Description, advances in offline and real-time rendering, more accessible machine learning etc. It’s all quite exciting.