Category Archives: Artwork

VFX Work featured in Times Square

Extinction in Times Square - Photo Credit: Alek Rost

Last September I acted as visual effects supervisor for the local indie film “Extinction“. The film, which includes about 30 green screen composites, day for night shots and miniature smoke composites, was just featured in the NYC International Film Fest outdoors at Times Square. Here’s one of the shots, a greenscreen day-for-night.

And here’s the full visual effects breakdown video:



Pretty cool!

With Strings Attached Breakdown

With Strings Attached is a 3D animated short film by graduating senior Jerika Melgar in which I was tasked with rendering, editing and final exporting. Upon reviewing the set and shots, my head was flooded with ideas for cool lighting. Consequently I proposed to relight the project in addition to my other tasks. This was my first foray into lighting for animation and presented a number of challenges.

For better or for worse, I decided to take charge of the visual look of the project upon receiving the first round of animation. Jerika had no plan for lighting, other than the established set lighting that was done by another student previously, which I personally found flat, boring and impractical to render for animation. Having done a significant amount of lighting design for film productions in the quarters before, I felt I could do better.


Previous established lighting. Original modeling, texturing and lighting by Michael Devore.

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Taking Pictures of my Cat is More Fun than Working

Salem-Sept09-01

Window Chillin'

Making a limited effort to become more proficient on Brian’s Canon 40D before I’m required to use it for a film class I’m taking. Now, back to mel. Man, I hate how the elements on this wordpress theme don’t recognize the height of an image in a post when deciding how to relatively space themselves. Henceforth, I need to have enough text so that inline pictures are entirely surrounded. Lalalalala…

Dutch Still Life Rendering

Dutch Still Life

Dutch Still Life

Along with the car, this is one of the projects I had been working on last quarter. I guess everyone has to do a still life at some point – I think I’ve done three or four – this one presented some interesting challenges. Although it was a simple project, it gave an excuse to play around with mental ray materials and some techniques I had never really had a chance to touch before, such as subsurface scattering.The cloth was particularly fun; it’s a bunch of flat planes with curled edges, turned into nCloth objects and dropped from above onto a collision plane which included a bunch of primitive geometry to break up the shapes a bit. I found the trick was to use several smaller nCloth objects rather than trying to achieve the shape I was after with one giant cloth. The other objects are all fairly straightforward primitive shapes. I scanned a lot of texture material for the roses, leaves, bread and fruit, the rest is from online sources.

Honda Element out of NURBS

Honda Element Nurbs Model

Honda Element Nurbs Model

Building anything useful out of NURBS curves in maya is like gouging your eyes out very slowly while doing mathematical calculations. Yes, they’re great to mock up a car very quickly, but you should leave it at that and convert to polys/sub’ds as soon as possible. For one of the projects this quarter, I had to model a medium-res car ENTIRELY out of NURBS surfaces. It was one of the most frustrating things I’ve experienced, and wasn’t helped by the fact that my car isn’t very curvy to begin with. I wasn’t going to post it anywhere because, frankly, it’s not very good, but perhaps there’s some maya users out there who understand.