Creative Work

Misc Shots

I haven’t edited an “official” demo reel in a very long time. People know who I am, and hire me for projects based on peer testimonial and having seen past work directly. A reel just hasn’t been needed, since I’m fortunate enough to be a freelancer who gets approached regularly. So when I started teaching students who knew nothing about me I had the challenge of presenting myself to an entirely new audience who were eager to see some work I’ve done in films. I really haven’t had time to edit much, so instead I spent an evening grabbing various shots from films and the like. Stuff I’ve either worked on directly, supervised, or had some hand in.

I have only grabbed a portion of the films I’ve worked on, plus some TV and game stuff, pretty much in the order they were stacked on my desk. The choices are fairly miscellaneous – at the moment I just don’t have time to go through film after film and say “oh yeah, I did that,” then tighten it all down into an edit with music and polish. I know, this breaks all the rules where I’m supposed to present only the very very best, nothing less. But the policy that seems to work best for me is to just be open, good or bad just get it out there and get back to making the next thing. I will never be a charismatic showman or clever self-promoter. I’m a creative geek and frankly I like showing failures, too. It’s part of the process, and that’s what really motivates me.

So all of that said, here’s about 6 minutes of footage and, well, stuff. I basically play it in the background when I introduce myself to students, so it is what it is. Enjoy!

Article on 80 Level

https://80.lv/articles/using-hooke-s-law-to-create-vfx-effects/

I wrote an article for the game-and-vfx website 80 Level a while back, and it’s gone live. The topic is Hooke’s law as implemented in Popcorn FX (and Unity’s VFX graph.) It’s brief but has been well received, I appreciate the feedback I’ve gotten. A second article for 80.lv centered around Newton’s universal gravitation as implemented in PopcornFX (and Houdini this time) is in the works.

Glassworking and Kilnforming, Music, Photography

I was recently asked if my work was all computer graphics. No, not at all. I think it’s important for all artists to experiment with various media. I dabble in photography and writing music, for instance.

Here is an audio sample:  

Other World Jazz

 

And here are a few photography samples . . . 

And not long ago I spent a few years exclusively exploring fine art glassworking, specifically “kilnforming.” I continue to create glass to this day.

This isn’t glass blowing, which takes a fair amount of infrastructure, constant energy demands, and teams of people… kilnforming instead is a more individual approach to fine art glass where glass is heated in kilns and the artist uses a variety of techniques to shape the glass over time.

I have and regularly use a personal glassmaking studio in my home. It took a long time to build and wasn’t cheap, with two professional glass kilns and a host of tools and workspace. But there is something about having a physical studio space in which one can create things of beauty out of nothing which is magical, and it was worth all the effort, time away from the VFX world, and cost. I have yet to regret any choice I’ve made where I make personal growth as an artist my priority.

While I will never get famous as a glass artist, that’s also not the point… I find glassworking to be very rewarding and completely different from the other creative avenues I explore.

Glass is magic. It can cut you, burn you, shatter and explode. While working glass it moves and changes, grudgingly allowing you to shape it. And then there it is, static and frozen and… hopefully… beautiful.

So far I’ve made textures, gifts, signs, wall art, tableware, jewelry, vases and bowls, and rewarding odd shapes. I’ve also accrued a few scars and a very healthy respect for how dangerous something can be when it’s heated several thousand degrees. As an art form glassworking is completely different from any other artistic pursuit I’ve explored, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Cloudscapes via Volume Vops

It’s an understatement to say that Houdini volumes have a lot of depth, there are just so many possibilities and fun things to explore. After making a few requisite pyroclastic clouds I decided to see what can be done without DOPs. In other words, what kinds of effects can you get without simulation or just converting input geometry? Here’s the first part of an answer – you can use VOPs to create animated volumes and cloudscapes that are surprisingly fast. In these I first filled a volume with a sin wave and then introduced alligator and perlin noises at different frequencies following the sinusoidal surface.