2012 VFX reel breakdown »

The purplish blue imagery under the title cards at the head and tale of this reel are elements I shot/generated for live VJ performances projected thru a wide range of projectors on a variety of surfaces.

Last Space Man is a short i wrote and directed for a compositing class. It is nearly completed and will be online before mid 2012. These were composited using ‘Shake’ as a challenge to my many years using After Effects and to get me into node based compositing.

The Netflix commercial are shots that my roommate and I took of our actor pretending to ‘float’. I composited him into a shot of the airlock from the James Cameron film ‘Aliens’. I modeled,textured lit this airlock as apart of a Maya modeling/lighting class. That shot of the airlock was done completely with Maya software render. As a challenge, we were unable to use AO or GI in Mental Ray or Pixar’s Renderman Studio. This forced me to learn far more about CG lighting than any exercise I had done before. I was glad to use this Airlock in a short piece even if we were faking it’s location to be on the space shuttle in the ‘story’ of the commercial.

The Vizio spots are two spots I made with more help from my old roommate. He has a Sony F3 and a set of great lenses so we were able to shoot it with great quality and then degrade it greatly in post. In those spots I used the city generator by Greyscale Gorilla and altered pre-made models in essence of time. I rigged all the cargo planes propellers to be controlled by a single slider within Cinema 4D. Using Mogrph in C4D, I was able to quickly and simply achieve a halfway decent flying pattern within a very short time and without needing to program something in MEL or Python!! Wahoo. That commercial competition was an invite only competition and Vizio sent us the new tablet before it was released. Sadly, it’s nowhere near as powerful as the iPad 2.

For the ~$4M Indie feature ‘Freerunner’ I used the help of Google Earth and Sketch-Up to quickly build a CG version of Cleveland, Ohio. I sent all the .objs to Maya where I did further enhancements and rendered different passes, including the AO pass you see in the reel. I worked remotely on this film while in school here at SCAD. Although the film was not at all high profile, I was able to work with some visual effects guys that worked on the Matrix trilogy. They shared many great time saving and knowledgable tricks of the trade with me that have helped me on my recent projects. In this reel, you see a small selection of the CG city shots I rendered. I tracked/match moved over 100 shots for the compositor who then took my CG elements and comped them into many screens that were in the shots.

I was fortunate enough to work with French Director, Yvan Gauthier on his indie feature ‘L.A., I Hate You’. It’s like Crash meets Pulp Fiction, but twisted. I was the only visual effects guy on the film. I did the opening credits, the compositing, sign replacements, the brains on the wall for the suicide shot. . . Whatever was needed, I was there do do it to the best of my ability at the time. Since completing those shots, my skills have improved greatly and I know I can do even better with each new project I work on.

The Sky Viking project is a project that I’ve been doing for a Massive/Motion Capture class taught by Deborah Fowler who was a TD/lighter at Pixar for 10 years. She is a crazy awesome genius and loves to kick me to the curb when it comes to my CG lighting abilities. Her doing this only makes me think of how to be better/faster. The Viking is a pre-rigged character model we have available and the movements he is doing are mine. Wearing the MoCap suit is great fun! I’m still working out ways to use my Kinect to capture the movements of a wake boarder. . . I don’t want to have to animate it like they did in the old school on ‘Heavy Metal”. I rendered this project with Renderman to help further my knowledge of that tool. I’m learning more about the environment light and how to gain processor efficiency per frame for simple lighting setups.

Headshot! more L.A., I Hate You. When I was compositing this shot, I was living on Venice beach. Try staring at blood and guts hitting a wall for 8 hours then go outside for a bike ride up to the Santa Monica Pier. Yeesh!

Bunker is a short film done by a fellow Australian Director's guild member and close friend of mine, the Iranian born Aussie director, Joey Hitten. He sent me the shots, I did the composites and before I knew it his short was playing festivals all over Austrilasia. Beautiful modern communication age. His shots were fun for me to work on because instead of being purely CG elements, he did some practical explosions and fired real blanks.

The one shot from Cover Me is included because it features two of my friends and if you watch it frame by frame you can see me dressed as a gangster hiding behind the cargo van. Cover Me was a great shoot I helped out on for the sketch comedy group ‘MagicHugs’. I did the composites of the heads exploding. If I had more time, money and resources I would have gone back to do much more complex head shots. . . but hey, lets be honest, it was a high class web video.

William Forsythe in a car is more compositing shots from L.A., I Hate You. When I was doing these shots, I only had an old laptop. So I’d build the project files on my laptop and then send it to my friends with unoccupied desktops to help render all the 2K files needed for the film.

Dali MEL is a MEL(Maya Enabled Language) script I programed that makes it easy for you to create CG versions of your own photos based on Dali’s famous ‘Spheres’ painting.The NBC History Piece was created for a motion media elective I took recently that drove home the fact that Cinema 4D it much more of a rapid fire tool than Maya.
The Discover logo animation was done for an old client of mine from my motion graphics days. Jump thru the window. Thats actually me jumping onto a green mattress in my living room. I then comped in the window and animated the frame breaking. Some random elements I created for Freerunner, the old DrewNews logo and a shot from my short film Kill Your Television finish up this 2012 VFX reel of mine. I hope you enjoyed watching it and hopefully you watched it big and loud.

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