Tag Archives: Cardboard Castle

‘Round Here Roundup – April 2015


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Just dropped by HouseSpecial – your jaw!

The Alchemist’s Letter from HouseSpecial

Some very good looking work involving a lot of talented artists that will no doubt make the film fest circuit.  Excellent to see HouseSpecial come out guns blazing and continue the rich animation tradition forged by Vinton and LAIKA /house.

Cardboard Castle has been keeping busy, and have a new reel and fresh batch of VFX heavy spots.  Check out the environment work on these spots for East Boston Bank:

EBSB – Manufacturing from Cardboard Castle on Vimeo.

And the breakdown:

EBSB – Manufacturing – VFX Breakdown from Cardboard Castle on Vimeo.

Check out the latest reel and freshened website:

Cardboard Castle 2015 Reel from Cardboard Castle on Vimeo.

Taking the bus from CBC’s Boise ‘hood down to the heart of Division at Bent Image Lab, the team there had an animated piece catch my eye lately – this bit for the recent Nirvana documentary has a nice feel to it:

“Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck” (animated sequences by Stefan Nadelman) from Bent Image Lab

Kudos to animator/director Stefan Nadelman on that one.  Unknown if any of those were inspired or directly lifted from actual Cobain artwork.  The reviews of the film have been stellar.

Making our way up north to lovely St. Johns, we have the boys at Refuge VFX showing off some work outside of their typical bread and butter Grimm fare.  This BTS details some of their work on the film Last Knights.

Related, here’s an extended look into the mind of Refuge owner Fred Ruff over on Allan McKay’s VFX podcast.

Here’s an in-depth BTS from Hinge Digital showing some architectural renderings of the Portland Center Stage Armory, using the real-time tech from Nvidia’s Iray render engine.  Not hard to see how this arch viz exercise could be applied to all sorts of environments and VFX situations, as we move into more virtual and augmented reality scenarios.

NVIDIA “Photo vs CG using Iray & VCA” – Behind the Scenes from Hinge Digital on Vimeo.

On a lighter note, here’s some chuckle worthy fare from Hinge of the 2D animated variety.  Snow knows nothing!

Last but not least, we head across the river to HiveFX, who are busy finishing up another season of Grimm but promise a fresh website and updated reel coming soon.  In the meantime, have a look at this fun spot that company heads Jim Clark and Gretchen Miller put together a while back for Columbia Bank:

Columbia Bank – HIVEFX from GreenRubino on Vimeo.

Obviously the style had to be a bit safer than the average after-hours Grimm gore gracing the airwaves these days.  Any chance to have some fun while doing what we love is a chance taken!   And helping out a local business that has obviously helped them in the past was a nice touch.  Grimm continues to be the gift to Portland that keeps on giving, and HiveFX has the skills to deliver top notch shots on each show they’re awarded.  We’ll all be looking forward to that new site and reel!

Keep those gears turning, Portland!

Cheers to an Epic OMSI Science Pub w/Cardboard Castle and CCC!


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T pose

Everyone warm up with a T pose!

Just wanted to take a moment out to raise a glass to Cooper Johnson and the crew at Cardboard Castle, as well as Damon Redmond/Andy Mingo and the Motion Capture crew at Clackamas Community College’s DMC program.   Lots of pics below, all courtesy of Kurt @ 3DV.

The presentations made for a scintillating OMSI Science Pub – a fun tribute to technology like motion capture, and the role that tech plays in the creative process as a whole, at a scorching shop like Cardboard Castle.

CBC presentation

Cardboard Castle presentation

MoCap demo

The MoCap demo

Damon Redmond

Damon Redmond of CCC/SuperGenius

The pixels, literally, danced.  And if your interest was piqued by the MoCap demo, let me just remind everyone that this was only the tip of a Day After Tomorrow sized iceberg!  The class at CCC offers 10+ weeks of hands on MoCap action under the tutelage of Damon Redmond, and is a key part of CCC’s joint “SuperGenius Academy” program – professional level training for the community college friendly price of $543 (that’s a 4 hr lab/lecture, w/fees).  A huge score for local area VFX’ers.

Andy Mingo

Andy Mingo of CCC

Cardboard Castle gave us an unprecedented look inside closed doors at what makes them tick.  No cardboard stone left unturned.


Cooper Johnson and Cardboard Castle

Cooper spoke about his career, early days of the studio, the thought behind the environment design and studio space as they transitioned into owning their own building last year…  and then came the spots.  The spots!  Cooper meticulously went over several commercials and promos in the Cardboard Castle canon.  What was most interesting to me (IMO) was the attention given to the process, and how much amazing work ends up on the cutting room floor or goes no further than an R&D test as they blaze to the finish line.

CBC crew

Cardboard Castle crew watches their pixels fly

Looking at the breadth of work presented, it’s easy to see that Cardboard Castle is primed for big ideas that are just begging to be unleashed.  It was fantastic to have the entire company on stage for the final Q&A.

I need to stress that preparation was especially difficult for this event for the presenters, as whenever there is an expected crowd of 400 (and lots of “civilians” at that), it ups the ante and the “Pressure Drops,” as the Maytals song puts so well.  Cooper & Co, Andy and Damon (and the CCC crew) all rose the occasion, put in the necessary time, and made this a huge success.  I hope I speak for everyone when I offer up a huge thanks for taking the time out and helping to inspire and educate as we push the VFX envelope forward here in the Portland area.

Until next time!

Crowd pano

Thanks for coming out!

Major VFX/PDX Meeting – Cardboard Castle + CCC Mocap @ the Crystal Ballroom Aug 19th w/OMSI


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This one is so packed, I may have just set a record for the longest event title ever!  I apologize in advance if I break the internet.  🙂

For a night dedicated to all things imagination, I am very happy to announce that we have *finally* pinned down the busy Cooper Johnson and his team at Cardboard Castle for a look into their process and techniques!  With heads down and tablets blazing, they have plenty to show and have been silently turning out world class, design heavy motion graphics & CG work with the killer combo of C4D+AE.  And as if that wasn’t enough, instructor Damon Redmond (of SuperGenius fame) and Clackamas Community College DMC program Director Andy Mingo are packing up that fancy new motion capture system and giving it the Portland debut it deserves.  A live MoCap demo will kick off the night.

These presenters are long-awaited and they combine to make this a can’t miss “show & tell” of epic proportions.  An epic night deserves an epic title.

VFX/PDX Presents…  Creating Digital Worlds: The Tech Behind the Pixels.

vfxpdx crystal

In true rock star fashion, the presenters will take the stage at the Crystal Ballroom in conjunction with OMSI’s Science Pub series.  Which, if you’ve not been to a Science Pub, well – first of all you call yourself a Portlander?  And second, it’s a fine use of a Tuesday night that never fails to impress and educate.  I call it “consistently clever social science,” complete with beer.  Come early, hang out, and stay for the show!  Don’t miss this one – I have all indications that this will be the biggest/best VFX/PDX meeting ever.  Make plans to attend now!

Tuesday, August 19th
Doors 5pm, Presentation 7-9pm
McMenamins Crystal Ballroom
1332 W Burnside, Portland
Age 21+, minor with adult
OMSI suggested donation:  $5

More info and an extended blurb over at the OMSI website.