Updated 5/29/2013 to include Lone Ranger trailer and Alive music video shots! Will add the rest when the movie comes out, as well as shots from the as yet unreleased Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters.
Here it is, my demo reel showing off my best VFX work to date up to and including Rise of the Guardians.
1) The Lone Ranger Trailer Shots
I'll add the rest once the film comes out, but for now here are some of the shots that were featured in the recent trailers. I used the RayFire plugin in 3ds Max 2013 to create and simulate shattered glass and splintering wood effects. Instanced geometry on Particle Flow particles were used to make the scenes even more chaotic, and FumeFX smoke was used to add a bit more detail to some of the bursts.
2) Nixon Concrete Bust Destruction Demo
Ravenous alien robots swarm in and harvest a concrete statue of President Nixon for resources! I modeled the head in Maya 2011 first, and brought it into Houdini effectively as a subdivision surface. Areas of attraction on the surface bring in particles that represent position and orientation of the invading robot swarm.
Upon contact with the head, 1) a randomized chunk is carved out and converted to a native Houdini RBD, 2) Several more pieces are also broken off out of the gap, 3) The path back out is projected and pieces are preemptively broken off and glued on to be pushed off as the main piece egresses 4) The robot particle is bary-bound (my own custom OTL) to the surface of the new main RBD. In parallel simulation, smoke is emitted from newly created surfaces, particles are emitted, and small Bullet RBD objects are procedurally generated and emitted.
Pieces of the head that are determined to not have surface connectivity with the bottom-most polygons are deemed to have broken off, and are converted into RBD's as well. Any falling RBD's described so far may cluster-voronoi fracture depending on their speed and size, and will also contribute to the parallel smoke and particle sims. New (exposed) surfaces record high frequency displacement for render time. Volumes are used to determine where on the original surfaces to generate displacements for the initial robot crashdowns as well as vein-fracture lines leading out of the the edges of the holes.
Rendered with Mantra PBR (Physically Based Rendering) with custom shaders written to incorporate the displacement trickery and concrete look.
3) Empire of the Sun - "Alive" music video
Developed Houdini system to generate procedural LSystem based upside-down lightnings that have custom (and wedgeable) tip thickness and traveling internal pulses. Thickness, age, length, worldspace, and internal pulse info are all embedded into the output .exr frames for use by the compositor to achieve the final rendered effect.
Created smoke, flame, and temperature elements with FumeFX's FusionWorks renderer in 3ds Max. Utilizes multiple emission points, particle based emission, and wavelet turbulence. Houdini RBD used for flying debris and disturbed rubble on ground. Re-colored and re-lit these elements in Nuke 6.
5) Various Character FX work
A small sampling of shots on the previous two productions (Rise of the Guardians and Madagascar 3) in which I was a Character FX artist. All feathers, fur, hair, and cloth simulations and geometry finalling were done by me.
6) Various Lighting/Compositing
Sampling of some of the shots I lit and composited as a Lighting TD on How to Train Your Dragon.
7) Magic Sword
Environment and sword were modeled in Maya, and imported into Houdini. Particle system was set up to generate the curve paths that the glowing symbols would follow, paths that could be user modified later. The flying symbols themselves emitted points that were used to build a trailing surface, while emitting even more points to trace the arc lightning through (but only when the symbols were moving quickly). Particles were emitted from the surface of the sword to generate the tendrils.
8) Six Million Particles
Mass particle sim, containing 6 million particles per frame for most of it. A parent nucleus with orbiting electron spheres are passed through a 3D Perlin noise, and emit particles based on the Perlin value. These particles gain part of the sphere velocity and are advected through a Pyro fluid container containing vorticles and random heat sourcing along the bottom. Rendered with a tri-directional RGB lighting setup in Mantra as individual points, and then colorized and relit in Nuke.
9) Breaking Bulb
Modeled an incandescent bulb in Houdini, and gave the glass part suggested fracture seams. Used Houdini 11's RBD solver to break the glass into the biggest pieces, wire solver to simulate the broken filament attached to the metal bottom, and used constrains to ensure that the filament and parts of the broken glass would stay stuck on. Houdini's ODE solver was used for medium sized pieces, and particles were used for the many tiny pieces.