Producing special effects is a process that strives to make a fantasy world look real.

Dave Fogler '90, a model builder and special effects artist, spoke Monday about his work at Industrial Light & Magic, the visual effects company founded by George Lucas and ownded by Lucasfilm. During the lecture, Fogler illustrated the tedious, yet captivating, process of special effects.

"I was interested in working collaboratively and I was attracted to film," said Fogler. "I began interning and then chanced into a stop-motion animation project, which I adored."

Fogler, who has worked on "Avatar" and "Transformers," explained how the creation of special effects requires a team of people. Since every aspect of special effects creation is fake, everything such as the rustling of leaves and the texture of clothing must be taken into account.

When Fogler came to Bowdoin he thought he was going to major in music, but ended up majoring in art and art history. He later attended the University of California-Berkely and received a masters degree in fine arts.

Later, Fogler moved to San Francisco upon receiving an animation job. Unfortunately, the project was canceled, but he was asked to work a weekend at Industrial Light & Magic.

"I worked some off hours for a weekend and never left," said Fogler.

Fogler, who has worked at Ithe company for 15 years, started out at as a model maker and sculptor. He transitioned to working as a primarily digitally-based special effects artist as the industry became more reliant upon and engaged with digital processes.

"Slowly there came a time where I felt like I could design on the computer and apply all the creative processes I learned throughout school to the computer," said Fogler.

It took Fogler about a year to wholly grasp this new "language."

When asked if he missed working with his hands, Fogler said, "I really do miss it, but after I learned the tools [for working on the computer] the craft felt exactly the same."

Fogler's last solo project was six years ago; the project consisted of using clay. He is going to start another project in the near future but is unsure how he will produce it.

"This is where this debate is starting with me," said Fogler. "Do I set myself up with the context of using these high-end tools to build this thing, or might it be more meaningful for me to step back and go into a room somewhere and make stuff out of clay?"

Before the lecture, Fogler spoke to Associate Professor of Art Michael Kolster's senior studio course.

"I didn't realize how detailed and observant you had to be because you have to look at the real world and translate it," said Loretta Park '11, a student in Kolster's course. "You have to look at the texture of things such as hair or how light bounces off a surface."

When talking to the class, Fogler spoke about the route he took as a student.

"I was mostly engaged with the making of [the object]. I always had a hard time grasping what life the object was going to have. Everything I made in graduate school and Bowdoin is all gone," said Fogler. "As objects they did not have much life beyond the life they had with me in learning what I learned about the process of making them."

Furthermore, Fogler advised students to have courage.

"Allow yourself to be really fearless," said Fogler. "Safety in the creation of things doesn't lead to much."

One of the students asked Fogler what aspects of his personality have been most useful in his career and success.

"Fearlessness is a piece of it," he responded. "The evident part is the willingness to work really hard."

"I've always thought that doing things and dedicating myself to things [that] I was not sure I liked or things I found difficult would present me to something else," added Fogler. "Willingness to put work into something is going to take you somewhere."

Although Fogler initially did not think he would end up working in the film industry, he finds his craft satisfying due to the problem solving and creativity it involves.

"It is interesting to see where people from Bowdoin end up," said Simon Bordwin '13, who attended the lecture. "It is especially interesting when it is a field that is not taught here."