Welcome!

Welcome to my portfolio and blog! I’m currently deep in the trenches working on a feature film for Sony here at Pinewood Studios in Atlanta, GA. It’s been a busy 5 months and I can’t say I’ll be sad to be headed home to L.A. soon but I’ve had a thrilling time getting to work on new ways of using the Unity gaming platform to program various interactive and triggerable displays. I’m looking forward to discussing a bit of that as well as sharing some of the other knowledge, tips, and cool tech I have come across / developed in the entertainment industry.

In my 15+ years of on-set interactive computer graphics, I have had to come up with creative solutions to last minute changes and/or requests – sometimes in as little as 15 minutes before a shot.  If anything I’ve learned over the years or any of my whacky outside-the-box ideas that I post here in the coming months helps anyone even a little, then this website was all worth it. 

 

Posted on December 22, 2015 .

Man of Steel

In the Daily Planet set for Man of Steel, it needed to look and feel like a lived in functional newspaper office.  We needed an easy way for our guys on set in Chicago to build multiple desktop computer screens for all the monitors on set.

Because of clearance issues, we couldn't use any actual existing operating system.  Chris Kieffer designed a custom UI for our fake OS.  I built a custom application for the film that allowed create multiple desktop layouts.  Using sets of PNG files we could now just select a background, icon set and add and position windows and save a different layout on each on set computer.

I was also on the production in the California unit as a playback operator for the green screen in the tibetan tent scene.  Since it was an old CRT Tube TV, I needed to synchronized it's refresh rate to the 24 frame film camera or there would be a rolling bar in the shot making it harder for the VFX guys to composite in post.

Because of the enormous amount of post production VFX that needed to happen on Man of Steel, I was asked to help out on the monitor replacement in the Daily Planet scenes.  

Move mouse to see before & after (touch on left & right of image on a touch screen device)

I used Nuke for the tracking and composites, and color matched in DaVinci Resolve for editorial screenings.

Move mouse to see before & after (touch on left & right of image on a touch screen device)

Posted on October 1, 2015 and filed under Visual FX, Video Playback, Film.

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone

On The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, I got involved in post production as a compositor for the TV screen replacement shots.

Move mouse to see before & after (touch on left & right of image on a touch screen device)

Using Nuke to do the composites, on some of the shots I needed to also replace the channel number so it could change in the shot.

I also needed to rebuild the news content for 4:3 aspect since the original content was in wide screen 16:9 aspect.

Move mouse to see before & after (touch on left & right of image on a touch screen device)

In the smoke covered stage shots I ended up using Mocha Pro to track the shots.  It gave me better results using it's planer tracker.  I then brought the tracking information into Nuke for the final composites.

Posted on May 10, 2015 and filed under Film, Visual FX.

Alex Cross

In the film Alex Cross, most of the playback on set was green screen to be replaced in post production. I designed and animated the graphics for the interactive mobile device where Alex Cross disables the Police Dept. Security System.

I was also brought on to do the VFX replacement composites of the green screen computer monitors in post production.

Using tracking markers in the green screen playback files on set made tracking the shots easier.

Move mouse to see before & after (touch on left & right of image on a touch screen device)

I moved to Nuke for compositing the screens on this film because of it's speed and powerful compositing tools. 

and DaVinci Resolve for color matching the outputs for editorial's screenings.

Move mouse to see before & after (touch on left & right of image on a touch screen device)

Posted on February 27, 2015 and filed under Film, Video Playback, Visual FX.

The Avengers

Because of the scale of The Avengers, Rick Whitfield, Jim Sevin, Tim Gregoire, and I were brought on to engineer the hundreds of playback screens.  Cantina Creative created the animated computer graphics that we needed to playback on the various set throughout the film.

The bridge set alone had 130 monitors.  We needed to develop a way to be able route any of the 30 computer feeds out to the monitors on set.  

Using 4 Blackmagic Design 40x40 3G videohubs we could organize and control what was on any given monitor in the shot.

 Our video playback booth built under the carrier bridge set

Our video playback booth built under the carrier bridge set

In order to speed up our ability to manipulate the layout of the graphics on set as well as being able to put green screens on any monitor quickly for post VFX, it was clear I needed to write custom software to control the videohub routers.  

Since the routers could accept Telnet commands over a wired network, I developed a router controlling application in Xojo (formerly Real Studio), that we could setup layouts of all the monitors on set at once and save it to a preset.  This allowed us to switch to saved preset for a given scene with a single button click.

As well as routing the computer screens, we also need to control the timing of the playback graphics for some scenes.  For example, in the scene where the mind controlled Hawkeye shoots the computer virus arrow into the bridge computer, I built a timed delay into our quicktime playback software to create a computer outage ripple effect.

Since the helmsman and map controls at the front of the Bridge set were shapes that could not be actual live playback screens.  It was decided that instead of using green on those surfaces that they should be designed as a static backlit display.  I was approached by the art department about designing the graphics for practical on set pieces.  I goal was to make it blend in and fit with the graphics designed by Cantina Creative that we would be playing back on set.

On the helm display I used Adobe After Effects for the final print image.  I ended up having better control over the shape and curvature.  

As well as making it easier for the animators in post to make the final replaced shot in the film from the composition I created for print.

We also helped out at the Comic-Con Avengers booth.

Setting up a sample of the bridge control screens from the set on the Avengers stage.

Posted on November 12, 2014 and filed under Film, Video Playback, Development.