Sept 6 – Massive VFX Supervisor Roundtable @ PFF!


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Blame it on global warming, but there’s no denying the temperature is rising here in Portland, and I think we finally found out the reason.  Calling this event “red hot” almost doesn’t do it justice, as it’s shaping up to be one of the landmark VFX events that stays with us for years.  Special thanks to organizer Dawn Macleod and the Portland Film Festival for bringing some serious talent to the table.

Jim Rygiel is a three time VFX Oscar winner as a member of the seminal Weta Digital Lord of the Rings crew; most recently Jim was supervising the Godzilla reboot.  Sue Rowe comes down from Vancouver BC, where she has been helming such blockbusters as The Maze Runner, Ender’s Game, and John Carter.  As if that wasn’t enough firepower for one afternoon, it just wouldn’t be complete without some Portland representation, and Ed Irastorza is taking time out from a busy shooting schedule on Grimm to join in on the fun.

Moderated by LAIKA and VFX/PDX (with a healthy amount of audience Q&A planned), it probably goes without saying that you need to cancel whatever Labor Day weekend plans that were taking you out of town and stay close for this one!

Seating is limited and you’ve been warned that this will hit capacity quickly, so act now.

Direct link to tickets for this event.

Or have a look at the festival pass offerings here.

Your handy VFX/PDX discount code is: “VFXDISCOUNT” – good for 10% off the industry pass or festival pass.

Thanks to 3DV, LAIKA, and the Portland Film Festival for sponsoring.  Giveaways will include, among other things, a copy of Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve Studio and Blackmagic Fusion Studio.  See you all there!

VFX Roundtable Panel
Sunday, Sept. 6th 1:30pm-3:00pm
5th Avenue Cinema (@PSU)
510 SW Hall St
Portland, OR 97201

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!

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