6 Mile Development Part 1

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As I continue to look for new ways to tell the story of large scale development projects at Focus360, I found myself challenged to visually convey this unique 6 mile long development in a fun but informative way. In the end I chose to tell the “macro” story in the style of a series of toy like sets. I felt like the simplistic sets would help convey the points made in the narration of the animation project clearly. Using the experience of a young boy seeing the project for the first time and taking photos as his parents drove along the length of the project gave us the vehicle to explore different amenities. Artie Tan and Brent Chase created the treatment and script for this project.

I created all of the storyboards and preliminary animatic blockout scenes for the 60 some shots in this 4 plus minute video. I edited the video from animatic to completion and completed several shots as well.

With the help of Mike Gentile’s technical direction, I was able to lead Jeff Cole’s video production team in capturing the practical footage of our stories live action characters. I also directed all of the CG shots to completion. Project artists included Austin Hernandez, Mike Gentile and Chris Moran. This was a huge undertaking for me but in the end I was very pleased with all the hard work the team put in.

As usual, Vray was the render engine of choice. Thank you Vlado and the Chaosgroup team for creating such a great render engine. (And all of the free drinks at your events)  I love being able to iterate quickly with a dirty brute force preset to get shots on the timeline and see if it’s all working together.  No other render engine I’ve used comes close to getting physically acurate photorealistic shaders to render in production appropriate render times. Above are some frames from the animation.

Project Team: Brent Chase-Project Direction, James Atilano – Art Direction+Animation+Modeling+Lighting+Compositing+Editing, Arty Tan – Treatment/Script, Mike Gentile – Technical Direction+Tracking+Roto+Keying +Compositing, Chris Moran – Animation+Modeling+Lighting, Austin Hernandez – Animation+Modeling+Lighting, Keith Morrison – Scripting,

Programs Used: Vray+3DS Max+Photoshop+After Effects+Premiere+Gen Arts Saphire +Frishluft Lens Care…


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Art Direction, Modeling, Materials, Lighting, and Compositing

This is a project I completed in April 2010 at Focus360.  These renderings were created as marketing collateral for a project in Cabo San Lucas Mexico. These images were rendered in Vray with very little post applied. All landscape and lens effects were rendered in camera. Creating detailed high resolution stills on a production budget is always a challenge, but I was pleased with the result.

Project Team: Brent Chase-Project/Creative Direction, James Atilano – Art Direction+Modeling+Lighting+Materials+Compositing

Ten By Ten Video

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When Gabe asked if I wanted to help out with his latest music video for the song “Ten by Ten” by Blue Brain I jumped on the opportunity. My favorite task was handling the cuckoo bird scene. I modeled, shaded and rigged the cuckoo bird and clock for the shot. There’s just something about the chaotic motion of that scene that appealed to me. Gabe’s got some sick ideas and it was fun implementing them. Modeling the giant clock was also really fun for me although as you can see by some of the earlier test renders, I put a bit more detail into then we see in the video. We had a good time working on this video. Gabe, Austin and I have been knocking out projects for years, but I’m glad we finally get to see what crazy things he’s got in his head.

For the track “Ten by Ten” by Bluebrain off of the album Soft Power.

Directed and animated by Gabe Askew.

Additional modeling, shading, and rigging by:
Austin Hernandez (austin3d.wordpress.com/)
James Atilano (www.jamesatilano.com/)

Bluebrain is Ryan Holladay and Hays Holladay.


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Materials, Lighting and Compositing

This is a project I completed in May 2009 at Focus360. I was brought on to this project to solve the night lighting for 3 shots. Chris Moran animated the cameras and directed the modeling effort. Gabe Askew was responsible for all of the snow particle effects as well as snow mounds, snowy landscape and the snow covered street lamp in the foreground. I worked on scene materials as well as the geometry and materials for the building interiors. I also composited these shots and added lens effects. There were several more shots in this animation, but these were the shots I was most heavily involved with.

Night lighting is challenging because there is a balance between a good looking render and high render times that must be struck to meet project deadlines. I used Vray to light and render these shots and depth of field pro, a little bit of ReelSmart motion blur and combustion for compositing.


Art Direction, Animation, Materials, Lighting, and Compositing

This is a project I completed in July 2009 at Focus360. I was responsible for designing the “building blocks”, studio stage set and lighting for the project. I created concept renderings to get in-house and client approval. I also created the rough sketches for the storyboard, and worked with the team in testing the new tools created for animating the blocks. I did all of the compositing, lighting and materials for the “non-photo real” shots.

I was also responsible for animating several shots. This project was a collaborative effort and several shots were executed by my team mates. It was a fun one because we were able to explore a non typical solution for an architectural visualization project. I also had fun digging into Gabes rigged crane and adding a suction cup to it while he was on vacation!!

Project Team: Brent Chase-Project/Creative Direction, James Atilano – Art Direction+Modeling+Lighting+Animation+Compositing, Gabe Askew-Modeling+Animation+Compositing, Chris Moran-Modeling+Animation, Miguel Ortiz-Editing+Post, Artie – Script/Concept, Keith Morrison-Tool Set Creation+Scripting





Project Direction, Art Direction, Materials, Lighting, Composition and Post

These renderings were completed in January 2008 at Softmirage. The project consisted of 40 interior renderings, 18 exterior renderings and an animation showcasing the Hyland Village project in Westminster, CO. I was the project/art director. I led a team of senior artist and modelers to the projects completion. These were my favorite images. I was responsible for lighting, materials, composition and post on these images.





Materials, Lighting, Composition and Post

Here is a rendering I completed in January 2009 at Focus360. I was pleasantly surprised with how close my lighting and post editing matched with a photo taken from the site. Although, I did cheat the angle of the sun to come in from the right side of the image, the overall color temperature and bleach effect was pretty close. I flew to San Francisco to meet with BAMO the interior designer and collected project criteria. A team of artists created the furniture models and textures in this rendering. I was responsible for lighting, composition, and post.

Project Team: Wendy Burke-Project Direction, James Atilano-Art Direction+Lighting+Post, Chris Muran-Modeling+Materials, Gabe Askew-Modeling+Materials, Holly Alvarado-Texture Creation




Animation, Materials, Lighting, and Compositing

This is a frame from an animation I worked on at focus360. It was the first frame of a rack focus shot. I used Depth of Field Pro to achieve the effect in post rather than in camera motion blur in Vray. I was responsible for the animation, lighting and composition of this shot. Gabe Askew created the water and particle effects. Eric Boer provided the martini glass and oranges. This shot can be seen on my demo reel at www.vimeo.com/7138682



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Art/Technical Direction, Lighting, Composition and Post

These are some renderings of unit tour interiors I worked on at Focus360. I was brought on to the project to revisit the approach to lighting, rendering settings, composition and animation. The goal was to achieve a look for the product that was not only more “photo real” but showed each room in their best lighting scenario. I started with a typical unit consisting of the usual rooms; living, dining, kitchen, breakfast nook, master bedroom and master bath and populated them with furniture schemes that were provided for me. Then I setup animation and still cameras and created a lighting rig and render settings that could be duplicated in any interior. I also used combustion to create a composite setup that would automatically use various vray elements to achieve a consistent look.

Once the first Unit Tour was done, Scott Schroeder was able to recreate a consistent look across multiple units using the lighting rig, render presets and combustion space. I was really happy with the result.

Project Team: Geoff Preston-Project Direction, James Atilano – Art/Technical Direction+Lighting+Animation+Compositing, Scott Schroeder – Modeling+Materials


Focus 360 – Hawadi Revealed! from Focus 360 on Vimeo.

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Lighting and Post

Here are some early versions of some stills I worked on at Focus360 for a project called Hawadi. The modeling, materials and composition for the fountain shots was done by Chris Moran. The modeling, materials and composition for the aerial view was done by Austin Hernandez. I was the lighting lead for the project and was only responsible for the lighting and post. This was a large project consisting of an animation and 30 exterior renderings. I’m sure I’ll talk about the animation in a future entry.

Project Team: Brent Chase-Project/Creative Direction, James Atilano-Lighting +Post, Chris Moran-Composition+Modeling+Materials, Austin Hernandez- Composition+Modeling+Materials