Portfolio / Commercial Work /
" In 2100, when humanity has abandoned the earth, a colony of extravagant creatures still thrives in the deepest abyss of the ocean. Deep, an adventurous octopus and the last one of his kind lives there with his two unconditional friends: Evo, a nerdy and clumsy angler fish, and Alice, a neurotic deep-sea shrimp. When an accident destroys their home, Deep and his friends are send on a journey to find a new home. "
Deep was my first full time production working as FX Artist. Because I joined the production early on and FX was still in the RnD phase, I got the opportunity to help developing a variety of setups build for this feature. Additionally I initiated the development of our Houdini pipeline tools.
Director: Julio Soto
Company: Grid VFX
Role: FX Artist
Houdini FX, Maya, Arnold, Nuke, Python, Shotgun Toolkit API
After joining the production, I got to test and continue development of a bubbles system, setup up in Maya by my FX supervisor Roel Herrebrugh. The system used a nParticle system that was emitting based on the body motion of the characters. This was accomplished by having another particle system emitting from the surface of the character models. The inherited velocities of these particles were fed into the bubble system, through a dynamic expression, and used to determine the emission rates for the bubbles.
For the bigger and more complex effects, we moved from Maya to Houdini. This allowed me to apply the knowledge gained during my graduation. My first task was to simulate a hanging balcony that breaks down and falls through the wooden floor underneath. Although the storyboard suggested faster timing, I decided to add some drag to the pieces to help sell the effect of it all being underwater.
One of the biggest tasks was creating the FX for the maelstrom sequence, which was about 0.5 km in diameter. The surface of the maelstrom was created with an combination of ocean, bend and twist deformers. Initially we approached the maelstrom as an ocean surface with foam and spray particles on top. However, after a meeting with the director we concluded that it should look more like the inside of a tornado, sucking up loads of dust and dirt. Therefore I added big volumetric columns on the inside which were being dragged with the motion of the surface. I added a rapid flow of bubbles through the center to put extra emphasis to the suction force.
For Maya, the TD department had been working on various tools and integration of Shotgun. This ensured the data we all created was stored in a structural maner. Asset tracking was automated and centralized in Shotgun. However, the TD department was not able to support Houdini because they had their hands full supporting Maya, which was used by almost all departments. I thought that having that kind of integration available in Houdini would help us work more efficiently. At the same time it would make sending our data to other departments easier. I started to learn the Shotgun Toolkit API and developed of a tool that allowed us to manage our files better. My supervisor was surprised and excited when I showed him my first progress and therefore gave me some space to continue the development.