Technical Art for Animation and VFX

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Lookslikematt 2010!

January 11th, 2010

Happy New Year! Hope you all had a wonderful holiday!

You might have noticed that my posts have been fairly sparse over 2009. I had a lot of opportunities that I jumped headfirst into and sadly, had to neglect the website. I know… excuses, excuses. Right?

Here’s what was keeping me busy:

  • The Produced By Conference… to see the talks by the MCS panel, VES previs panel, the Stereoscopic 3D panel, James Cameron, Pixar producers and the PGA/ASC Camera Assestment Series.
  • CG CON…  checked out many of the animation classes from the Animation Mentor guys.
  • FXPHD… took classes for crowd work in Massive, scripting with Python, Maya and match-moving in PFtrack.
  • Beta Testing… software and what looks to be an excellent online school for rigging.
  • Some much needed traveling… trips to Pittsburgh, Vancouver, Wellington and Sydney.
  • and of course LOTS of mocap time with the great crew at ImageMovers Digital. :D

I’ve been very blessed to meet and work with some incredibly talented people over the last year. I hope you all had a chance to see Up, A Christmas Carol, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and Avatar (all in 3D of course). Many of the people I met have put forth amazing effort to polishing those films and have been part of an incredible push on technology and artistry to make them a reality. 2009 really was an incredible year and I’m very proud of everything that was accomplished within the medium.

As far as animation goes, the plan for my 2010 is a few more classes with FXPHD, lots more python scripting and a welcome return to rigging and animating – for me it’s still all about the performance. I’ve had a lot of requests to update the The Mocaptionator’s Handbook to include some more detailed thoughts on facial mocap, props and tools. I’m not promising anything on that front this year, but we’ll see how it goes. ;)

Here’s to another great year!

- Matthew


Mars Needs Moms Wraps!

May 25th, 2009

The Mars Needs Moms shoot wrapped last Monday – ahead of schedule.

This was my first feature shoot and by far the longest and most engaging. I don’t think that many cg artists realize exactly what kind of an effort it takes to capture an entire movie’s worth of performances. I want to thank the entire cast and crew for their dedication, patience and overall incredible attitude during all the moments of what were sometimes very, very long days.

The more I get to work with everyone at IMD, the more I realize exactly how special this studio really is.  They’re a very passionate group and it shows every day.

Z(ed) Brush Gallery-ing

November 15th, 2008

Congrats to my buddy, Nick Miller, for having his work selected to be in the new Pixologic Turntable Gallery.

You can see that piece here. Click to page six and look at the first one on the bottom row. You can see Nick’s other work at artofnickmiller.com.

The Art Institutes’ Pear Pirate Commercial

November 2nd, 2008

This was one of the more interesting gigs I was part of at Cinemanix. Always nice to work with the guys at Animalspots. Their second shoot with us, this  experience was MUCH more streamlined and less stressful as a direct result of the pipeline improvements and training we had worked on throughout that year.* Having a short motions list is always nice, too. ;)

My contributions included shoot coordination, mocap tech (ran the system + set up the mocap suit), tracking/solving and some minimal pipeline consulting for the MotionBuilder <> Max Biped workflow.

The final spot: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zeakJnzP7iI

The behind the scenes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UXxIZVAz-U0

* Many, many thanks to all the former mocaptionators at Cinemanix that were on-board for that ‘adventure’.

Champions Online: Meet the Team – Carlos Montero

September 7th, 2008

One of my good friends from Ai Pittsburgh was featured on the Champions Online blog. Congrats to Carlos and his crew on all the great work they’ve done.

http://www.champions-online.com/articles/meet_carlos_lead_environment_artist_for_champions_online