Tag Archives: HiveFX

‘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!

ILM + LAIKA = Incredible!

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Jeff White's ties are stong - despite the CA license, a Portland address!

Jeff White’s ties are strong – a CA license, but a Portland address!

Another big thank you to all who came out for “Avenge of the Zombies” on a near perfect Saturday down on the park blocks at the NW Film Center. It was a testament to the old phrase “if you build it, they will come,” and I’m happy to report over 300 Portlanders helped make a mind blowing memory!  Courtesy of Jeff White and the crew at ILM + Andrew Nawrot and company out at LAIKA, who deserve the biggest thanks of all.

A great turn out!

A great turn out!

Any Oscar nominated VFX film is wrought with challenges, and it’s easy to see why Jeff is an undeniable, major heavyweight talent in our industry.  The Avengers represents the collective strength and VFX execution that ILM brings to the table, well placed in the context of a story we can all get behind.  It was one of the most entertaining films in recent memory, vetted with a box office of over $1.5 billion;  the kind of movie that stands up to multiple viewings.  I was happy to take it in again a couple days before the presentation.  And that said, it was fresh in my mind and I can safely say that no stone went unturned – we were given a full tour of every major effect and character in the film, laced with some razor sharp wit and genuinely hearty laughs in there (Green Steve…  need I say more?).  Jeff knows this film like the back of his hand and has honed his presentation, no doubt, through Siggraphs and Oscar bake-offs and who knows what else.  It’s clear he brought his best to Portland!

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Andrew Nawrot, LAIKA’s secret weapon

And speaking of P-town, it was fantastic to celebrate LAIKA’s work on ParaNorman from a VFX standpoint with the prodigious Andrew Nawrot as our guide.  So much goes into crafting a LAIKA movie and creating those worlds within the realm of stop motion, and VFX continues to play an increasing (dare I say major?) supporting role.  The army of “Laikans” out there in Hillsboro are doing world class work, and I hope we can make this a regular thing to take the time out after each feature cycle is complete and do up a proper show & tell for the home crowd.  If Andrew’s ParaNorman presentation was any indication, there will be some amazing (and beautiful…  and unique!) war stories to tell.  I was very happy to see ParaNorman Writer/Director Chris Butler in attendance for this trip down memory lane.  Hats off to all of the LAIKA crew.

Despite some early technical issues that gave me some unplanned (complete with jitters!) mic time in the opening minutes and made us run long, the event was otherwise a huge success.  I can only speak for myself, but wow – I was loving every minute and it immediately had me getting nostalgic about “landmark” events of past.  Time will tell, but it may even have topped my previous fave – the animation festival at OMSI in 2006 when I saw Moongirl (along with several other Portland based shorts) and decided then and there that I wanted to move here and set up shop in this beautiful town.  Again, thanks to Jeff and Andrew for a hefty supply of inspiration and a boost of motivation to power us all through a rainy spring.

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To round things out – another quick shout out to our openers, Aidan Fraser with his short film “Space Out,” Carl & Felipe from Delerium showing off the “Fear Agent” trailer, and James & Karim from HIVE-FX with an updated reel of their work on Grimm.  Fantastic images from around town – and made for a good opening Q&A with the filmmakers to get us primed for ILM & LAIKA.

Last but not least – our sponsors deserve a drop for supporting an event of this size and helping to keep it free (which was a big priority).  Thanks again to 3DV, 52ltd, Autodesk, the Oregon Film Commission, Red Giant Software, the Art Institute of Portland, Imagineer Software, Artbeats, Make Magazine and the NW Film Center.  Whew!  A mouthful.

I think it’s safe to say – “let’s do it again sometime!”  And in fact big plans are in the works for our Summer meeting.  Loosely on the calendar for late July.  Until then!

Thanks to Jalal Jemison (Bent) and James Chick (HiveFX)

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James Chick/HiveFX

Another giant thank you to James Chick from HiveFX and Jalal Jemison from Bent Image Lab for putting together a great night of VFX from around PDX.  I was impressed with the refined approach that HiveFX takes with Grimm and their commercial work – they are clearly a force to be reckoned with and wise beyond their years and James is a great example of the young talent that is booming over there.  Jalal gave us an interesting look into the mind of a colorist and a taste of that world.  I think we’re all envious of the power and control that he wields with that sweet DaVinci Resolve setup.

Everything was recorded and I hope to get clearance to post a highlight video soon – watch this space!  Bits of the Silhouette demo will be included as well.

The raffle was a big success and thank you all for contributing!  We were able to raise about $100 to help defray the costs to import next meeting’s headliner, and that should knock the dollar amount down to a reasonable level that a sponsor can help cover.

Congrats to our raffle winners Chris Greene, Matt Keyes, Steve Molin, and Justin Nichols.  Another huge round of thanks for our meeting sponsors 3DPDX and Autodesk, and our raffle sponsors Silhouette, Blackmagic Design, Artbeats and O’Reilly Media.

The Spring meeting is shaping up to be the biggest yet, stay tuned for more info!

 

Jalal Jemison/Bent Image Lab

Grimm Future Looks Bright

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Fxguide has a nice rundown of some of our local VFX work for Grimm, featuring Hive-FX and Bent Image Lab.  Much of the Bent breakdowns you see in the article were the basis of Fred Ruff’s VFX/PDX presentation last year, which also made the rounds both internationally and at Siggraph.  Check out the fxguide article here.

Definitely worth a look – this is the sort of bread & butter work that’s keeping the Portland VFX machine humming!  Be sure to check out the respective Grimm reels for both Bent and Hive-FX, and the Oregon film intern promo piece that featured both companies.


Grimm Behind the Scenes from Bent Image Lab on Vimeo.

Looking towards the future, it will be interesting to see what the Portland studios are able to do with the creature pipelines refined through this constant flow of Grimm work.  There are already rumblings of some indy films and other projects in the works, no doubt in part being leveraged against the flashy Grimm CG.

Speaking of some leveraging – it was sad to hear the last episode of Leverage Season 5 is indeed the series finale and there will be no 6th season in the works.  But cheers to Dean Devlin and crew on that all-important 5th season and syndication!  Hopefully Devlin can roll the momentum into possibly finding Leverage a new network home for a 6th season in the future (before being fully immersed in Roland Emmerich’s Independence Day 2 and other pilot projects).  There are certainly enough rabid fans out there chomping at the bit for more.  Petitions, even!

Either way, Leverage had a good run and is definitely a source of Portland pride!  Next time, in addition to our fantastic production crews – hopefully future Leverage work can employ some of our top tier VFX talent as well.  Best of luck to them as they rally behind the battle cry:  “Let’s go steal a season 6!