Thanks to LAIKA for a great night of Houdini magic!


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centerJust wanted to take the time out to thank Rob Stauffer and Franco Pietrantonio from Side Effects for flying up and showing us a great demo of all the new features and tricks coming online with Houdini 14.  It was fantastic to get such an in depth look at the new toys.

A big thanks to LAIKA for lending us Peter Stuart and a batch of Boxtroll shots, each with their own unique VFX story.crowd

And an extra special thanks to David Horsley, who demonstrated why he’s one of the most in-demand water FX TD’s in the biz.  Years of hard work and the constant reinvention show through in a presentation like that, and it made for a fun trip down memory lane.  Life of Pi really showcased how far we’ve come since the days of Titanic and some of the early digital water heavyweights.

I thank horsleyeveryone for coming out and trekking to Multnomah Village to make it easier on the LAIKA folks to come out after the workday.  Looking forward to seeing Houdini continue to make headway here in Portland, and we’ll keep you posted about the forthcoming class in development at CCC.

Next VFX/PDX Meeting: Side Effects Houdini w/ LAIKA!


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It’s no secret these days – within the realm of VFX and 3D, FX Artists are having all the fun!  Who else walks into work and proceeds to light things on fire?  Blast them with water?  Freeze them with ice?  Blow them away with a whirl of a tornado?  Dust, debris, smoke, fluids…  plus character FX like cloth, hair, and fur – all fall under the FX Artist’s domain.

Despite the technical challenges and sheer amount of physics inherent to any FX task, it’s still necessary to keep one toe grounded in the artistic side.  It takes a unique set of skills to unearth the path of least resistance and create convincing FX simulations/animation that feel real.

We’ll have 3 such individuals presenting at the next VFX/PDX meeting, which will heavily feature their weapon of choice:  Side Effects Houdini.  Portland, it’s time for a night we’re calling FIRE & ICE!  Woo ha!

David Horsley is a recent arrival at LAIKA and the Lead FX Artist on the upcoming film Kubo and the Two Strings. As that is still in production and shrouded in secrecy, David will be showing work from his past projects, including Life of Pi, Enders Game, and the most recent installation of the Spiderman franchise.

Also joining us from the ranks of LAIKA is long time Technical Director Peter Stuart, who has been part of many a successful sequence within LAIKA films, dating back to Coraline.  Peter speaks fluent “computer” and is usually tasked with special ops that showcase his uncanny ability to code his way out of a jam when something seems impossible using traditional means.  Peter will be showing breakdowns from LAIKA’s most recent film, The Boxtrolls.

Up from LA is Side Effect’s Senior Product Specialist Rob Stauffer, a former FX Supervisor who will be showing off all of the new toys in Houdini 14.  A very special thanks to Side Effects for sending Rob, helping to put this night together, and making it a rare can’t-miss event.

All of this takes place Monday, June 22nd, from 6:30-8:30pm at the Multnomah Arts Center auditorium, in the Multnomah Village neighborhood.

Multnomah Arts Center
7688 SW Capitol Hwy
Portland, OR 97219

Get your free tickets now – seating is limited:

Refreshments provided and there will be some fabulous door prizes (including a license of Houdini from Side Effects), so make it a point to step out for this one!

Animation for Designers AE Workshop


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Learn how to bring your illustrations to life with local animator Jesse Jones! Jesse has worked on lots of projects with companies like Bent Image Lab, as well as the television show Grimm, here in Portland.  He animates his own cartoons and comics and will be demoing in After Effects for this workshop through PSU.
Instructions on how to create your own character and a free trial of After Effects can be found on the event’s Tumblr page. Please have After Effects downloaded and our characters ready to go when you arrive at the workshop.
May 28, 2015 5:30pm

Animation for Designers: After Effects Workshop with Jesse Jones
2000 SW 5th Avenue, Portland OR  97201
Art Building Room 320

Sign up at:

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