I started doing fx work early in my career after finishing the vfx course at Vancouver Film School. I landed a job as an fx artist at Rainmaker before I graduated, and it's still one of my favourite roles to date. I loved it because I had a lot of freedom to design and develop my fx without being restricted too much by a pipeline, and being able to integrate the look dev and finished fx into semi-final comps.
Over the years my jobs doing motion, body/facial animation, crowd simulation, creature fx and 2d has each helped my fx work in developing a good eye for motion, weight, timing and physics. In the beginning I was using a combination of Maya and XSI, which has sadly disappeared but is quite similar to Houdini which I've now switched to - and Maya when I have to!
My experience in simulating hair and cloth for crowd was the basis for my segue into creature fx. Hair, cloth and muscle simulations. Maya + Houdini
Most of my games work consists of cut scene fx, comps, body and facial animation but is also complementary to the VR projects I've contributed to. I've gained familiarity with Unity and Unreal Engine
Greenscreen, mattes, comps, roto, stereo
In 2016 I caught the VR bug and began learning how to develop within game engines, both in a personal and professional capacity. My first project - a learning exercise called Trumpinata - I did everything for (except model a head - thanking Silvia Bartoli for this!) and released on Steam. The most interesting of these projects was one I helped out on at Framestore called Hyper-Reality Test Drive, where I produced dynamic FX simulations in Houdini and exported them to Unreal, working with the dev team to integrate it all into a realtime environment.
During some travels I also decided to try to capture a Unesco World Heritage site called Petra. I photographed several locations, and recreated them in 3d with photogrammetry, then used the assets to build VR scenes in Unity. It's still a work in progress, but you can get an idea of what I've done here
Motion capture was the first discipline I worked in professionally. There was a studio near my university where I had the opportunity to get my foot in the door, starting out with mocap cleanup but eventually training up to run the stage. The skills I gained included calibrating the stage, suiting up, marker placement, processing, cleaning, retargeting and editing the data, and directing shoots, which I did once remotely. I also got acquainted with many other areas of vfx in a production environment as it was a small crew and there was a lot of crossover in responsibilities.
Eventually I joined the motion team at Weta Digital where I really honed my eye for world-class animation and vfx.
From motion, my career naturally transitioned into crowd simulation, adding a new level of complexity to clip blending and behaviours. Having done crowds manually before - placing and editing each individual character by hand (see: Avatar) - the next step was to learn how to do this procedurally. I jumped into Massive for the first time at Framestore, and I was almost entirely responsible for the crowd work on Kingsman: The Golden Circle, with some help from my Head of Department. In addition to building fuzzy logic networks and activating ragdoll to simulate behaviours, I also added dynamic hair and cloth to my crowds; in one shot, it was nearly 30,000 characters! Later on, at Moving Picture Company I migrated to doing crowd work in Houdini.
Here you'll find a variety of work that I've done over the years