I am old school in my train of thought, and still believe that the best way to learn flame is to be mentored by someone experienced. Often, this means starting out as an assist at a facility. The cost out of pocket is far too expensive to be using it just to learn. If/when you get a job, you get paid and get to learn at the same time.
Yes, Shed and Rodeo are great places for you to start out if you are in Montreal. I am sure there are some more options around there… although I am not familiar. You may want to get in touch with Autodesk and/or Cinesys (authorized seller) and ask them what local clients they service in Montreal to help you build on your list of companies to contact.
In my humble opinion…being a “flame” artist is a lot more than just being a capable compositor. You need to be a great communicator with your colleagues as well as clients, and know how to take charge. If you can harness this skill and are confident… you should be able to contact some of these places directly and have these conversations with them. Be honest, tell them what skills you already have and what you are looking for. Once you find your in/start… it will get easier from there.
Hard to answer this accurately. I know artists who get a LOT of calls, and some that don’t get enough. The work is out there, but the onus is on you to put you and your work out there. Do not be afraid to contact companies directly and find out.
Lastly, there are many resources if you think outside the box to finding companies that do this sort of thing. I’ll give you a big hint. Every Advertising industry hands out awards. When they do, the credits are often, if not always listed. You can get names of companies that way, google them… and the rest is up to you.
Good Luck on your journey
PS… if you choose to go the assistant route. Be prepared to earn a little le$$ starting out, unfortunately this is how it works. They will value your nuke experience… yet it may or may not tran$late to the Flame online world as much as you think.
I am not referring to compositing skills when I speak translation from Nuke to Flame.
Also, I didn’t spell it Tran$late by accident, the $ is there for a purpose.
Of course your technical knowledge and experience will translate, just using different tools… but if you don’t know the tools, it’s very difficult to pick up coming from nuke and the same going the other way (totally do-able, but hard and usually need guidance).
Seriously, Cedric, you should discuss with the various VFX studios in Montréal who provide Flame services. Your Nuke experience will be taken into account for sure.
We sadly do not have resource in our Montréal office for training. But if you have a mac, you could start by downloading the free 30 day trial and visit the Flame Learning Channel on your tube to see the various capabilities.