Archive for the 'VFX' Category


3D Compositing Test

Some test animation and compositing practice from some footage I took outside my apartment. Started off tracking in PFTrack but eventually just used 2D tracker in AE since there’s no real rotation/perspective change. Will take this and try and do something more elaborate.

View animation here.




digup tv

In need of some inspiration? Check no further than digup tv. Digup tv is a “video documented review on digital design.” I personally loved the interviews of Mate Steinforth (Psyop), Rob Chiu & Chris Hewitt, and Pierre Magnol (Gkaster). All the interviews are well shot, edited and put together to really tell a fantastic story and keep you totally engaged for the full ~10 minutes.

On a side note, I contacted Pierre a few months ago with some questions about two of his projects. He was very friendly and helpful and it’s nice to watch his interview in retrospect.  Just goes to show that if you have questions, JUST ASK! I still think his reel is one of the 3 best I’ve ever seen.



Random Projects…

Currently experimenting with type, live-action integration, rotoscoping and high dynamic range images. Roto is easily the least fun out of the 4. I’m now very tempted to paint one of the walls in my living room green. 






The genius of Nando Costa

There are some very, very talented people out there in the creative world. But then there are those few people that are just at another level. It’s both inspirational and humbling at the same time. Nando Costa of was here last night in NYC. Himself, along with some reps from Red Giant Software, flew all the way from Portland, OR to give some insight into his genius mind. It wasn’t the typical lecture of “we green screened this, added some particles and finished it with a logo animation”. It was more on the level of “the birds are animated using processing technology with full control over behaviors like collision, gravity, force all while maintaining a fluid connection with each line.” That’s about the part our jaws dropped to the floor. If you are wondering, I’m specifically talking about this TV spot for Fox Movies:

No, that’s not live footage. A PNG sequence of a 3D modeled bird was brought into a processing application. From there, Nando and his team were able to fully control their movement and flow that provided a real-time, natural, organic animation that would’ve taken 10x as long to replicate using a 3D app for instance. The show package consisted of 15+ spots so make sure you watch all of them. This was one of about five projects he talked about in depth and with some great behind the scenes info. His Timex spot was another favorite of mine. A workflow of XSI and After Effects with 500+ layers and expression powered animation comprised that spot. Phew. It’s also all about multi-pass(!), something I’m learning is a time saver and very important in having a polished look.

I should also mention that he doesn’t do this entirely on his own. His small team (7 people?) also deserve the proper respect as well. Can’t wait to see the future work that comes out of that studio.


Pictoplasma 2008 Conference

This past weekend, myself along with a couple other designers from Last Exit, attended Pictoplasma 2008 which was being held for the first time in New York City. It is a 3-day festival celebrating character design and animation and attracts some pretty big names in the animation world.

Speakers included:
• Sam Lanyon Jones – Tokyo Plastic
• Philip Hunt – Studio AKA
• Sam Borkson & Arturo Sandoval – Friends With You
• Gangpol & Mit
• Akinori Oishi
• Aaron Stewart
• Motomichi Nakamura
• Tim Biskup
• David Oreilly
• Fons Schiedon

My favorite presentation was Sam’s of Tokyo Plastic. Not only is he brilliant at what he does, he is also a very humble, funny, eloquent speaker. I especially loved the story when he spoke of his time over in Thailand. Him and his partner would party until 6am, go to sleep, wake up in the afternoon, work until night, start rendering files and then go out and do it all over again. Now that’s a rockstar designer’s life if I ever knew one! The conference was small and intimate which was perfect for Q&A. I got the chance to ask Sam if he was ever going to do another project using Flash after the successful Drum Machine he did years ago in Flash 6. That was really the first project that catapulted Tokyo Plastic to fame and I found it interesting that they haven’t done many more projects with flash. He said he would love to go back to flash animation and hopefully he will in the near future.

Studio AKA was also magnificent. Their new short film ‘Varmints’ is visually breath taking. I firmly believe that they could be close to ‘Pixar’ level if they solely concentrated on film production.

David Oreilly’s presentation was also very entertaining. Everyone should check out OCTOCAT. I’m sure you can find out about the back story if you do a quick search. Absolutely hilarious.

Each speaker was brilliant in their own right and this weekend was just the sort of inspirational boost I needed. I came home flooded with ideas in mind and techniques I wanted to try but most importantly, it gave me the urge to start drawing again. Yes, drawing – the thing you do with pencil and paper. I just want to ride this wave of inspiration/creativity for as long as I can.


World of Warcraft Trailer

I never really got into the World of Warcraft series but the cinematic trailer for the newest edition, “Wrath of the Lich King” is insane. I tried to find out who created the trailer but no luck so far. Anyone know who created it?

Check it out here!


Visual Effects Compositing

A couple weeks ago, I attended an After Effects meeting organized by some of the wonderful people over at the Creative Cow. One of the speakers that really struck a chord with me was Pete O’Connell, a feature film compositor and VFX guy who has done work for major motion pictures such as Transporter 2 and Across the Universe. The tips and techniques he showed us for rotoscoping was very insightful. He showed us how tracking footage can save loads of time and even came up with a useful expression for guiding the position of the mask which I regret not writing down! In any case, he showed us an example of a scene from “Stranger Than Fiction” starring Will Ferrell that he worked on. Now this movie isn’t exactly “The Matrix” so it goes to show you how big of a role VFX plays in today’s movies. ONE scene that he showed us was literally 5 seconds but it took weeks and weeks to rotoscope and “extend” the scene. It was absolutely amazing and I have a so much respect for the amount of work that goes into each movie. He is a very knowledgeable instructor and you can purchase his instructional DVD here.


June 2019
« Jun    

Top Posts