Tag Archives: OMSI

Thanks to Fon Davis and OMSI!

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20160412_224610000_iOSBig thanks to Fon Davis for making the trip up from LA to wow us with tales of Star Wars past.  And a big thanks to OMSI for the support, not to mention the 40 ft Empirical Theater screen (the Empirical Strikes Back!).  And last but not least, thanks to you, Portland, for coming out in droves.  Not a single seat was left open and the sellout crowd helped to set a tremendous precendent as we try to bring more events and speakers like this to the area.

IMG_5391Generally speaking, the Reverse Angle series is an attempt to bring events that appeal more to senior artists.  There was a sentiment that we were in a rut there for a while with events that were geared more towards students and up-and-comers.  Hopefully you all agree with me and this is a great start to some events in that vein – it was great to see all of you put down your Wacom pens and step out!

It was also great to see this one have significant crossover appeal to the general public – not since Jeff White’s Avengers presentation have we had a sellout crowd like this.  We had several members of the 501st Legion in attendance, and many of them stuck around for this photo at the end, where anyone wearing a Star Wars t-shirt or costume was able to jump in on a photo with Fon.  Click the image below to get access to the full size original if you were in this photo!

photo

I think I speak for everyone when I say “let’s do it again sometime.”  Until then!

Coming 4/9 – The Secret Models of Star Wars

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fon_davis_VFXPDX

What better way to kick off our new Reverse Angle series, highlighting heroes working behind the lens, than a screening of Star Wars: The Force Awakens followed by long time model shop guru Fon Davis joining us from LA to present “The Secret Models of Star Wars.”  This is a can’t miss event giving us one last chance to catch Star Wars on OMSI’s four story Empirical Theater screen, and simultaneously getting us primed for Design Week with some serious shop talk.

And no one, NO ONE, can talk shop like Fon Davis.  When it comes time to roll up one’s sleeves to create some movie magic back in the model shop, there are few who can top Fon’s travels.  A long time ILM’er who since struck out on his own with his company – Fonco Creative – Fon is entrenched in a world of models and miniatures that are again in demand thanks to films like Star Wars making a responsible choice to return to more physical methods of filmmaking.  Under Fon’s watchful eye, model shop artists deliver incredible visuals, inspring awe and appreciation with real-world detail you can reach out and touch, while seamlessly allowing room for “new school” digital enhancement.  This is an evening you won’t want to miss.

Get your advance tickets here.  Act now, seating is limited and likely to sell out.

VFX/PDX Presents – Reverse Angle w/Fon Davis: The Secret Models of Star Wars
Saturday April 9th
Doors 7pm, Film 7:30pm, Presentation 10pm
OMSI Empirical Theater
1945 SE Water Ave
$10

Next VFX/PDX Meeting – Short Film Saturday (Nov 15) w/Lessons Learned, Proximity & More!

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FlyerA special program for the next VFX/PDX meeting – your short films!  It’s no secret that many of us visual effects and animation artist types are also filmmakers, and when a good idea presents itself we jump behind it full force.  We burn the midnight oil, sometimes outside of our day jobs, and do whatever we can to make it happen.  We roll up our sleeves and get it to the screen!

It’s with that mindset that I present to you our first ever “Short Film Saturday.”  A heavy dose of inspiration that should give us all that Vitamin D like boost we sorely need this time of year.  We’ll screen the films and then break out the microscope and find out what makes them tick.  Be ready for behind the scenes you’ll never see on any DVD-extras, and feel free to fire away once we get to the Q&A.

On the docket as this year’s headliners are Toby Froud’s Lesson’s Learned and Joshua Cox’s Proximity.

Lesson’s Learned is a practical puppet short about a young boy who receives an intriguing birthday gift from his father; a gift that will stay with him for the rest of his life.  After the screening, Director Toby Froud (with puppets!), VFX Supervisor Adam Sager, and Layout/Matte Painter David Manuel will present the visual effects from the film.  Adam and David are tremendously talented, and Toby steps into the spotlight with literally a lifetime of training – a family history of filmmaking that’s both rich and unique.  Watch the trailer here.

Proximity is Director Joshua Cox‘s tribute to a collection of his grandmother’s that inspired him to craft a story that is a “suspenseful romantic crime drama involving ceramic statues.”  Joshua is a talented filmmaker, and that all-encompassing title may be the one that best captures the many hats he’s able to wear:  Animator, Technical Director, Graphic Designer, Producer, on and on.  His skills will be on full display with this film, and I’m sure we’ll never look at grandma’s shelf quite as innocently again.  🙂  Full VFX breakown after the film.  Watch the trailer here.

Rounding out the program will be shorts from
Kameron Gates/House Special, A Tale of Momentum and Inertia
Paul DeSilva, A Spark at Darkest Night
James Chick, Legend of Baby Chick
Jacob Miller‘s Conception Trailer
and more films TBA.  If you were recently involved with or know of a locally crafted film that has a VFX component and you’d like to submit, please get in touch with J immediately.

All of this and more will be shown on the legendary OMSI Empirical Theater screen, what with it’s 4 stories of 4k projection + Dolby Atmos sound system bliss.  Worth noting that all of the films are safe for a younger audience, and that OMSI is graciously offering a $2 discount on admission to the museum and current Animation exhibit after the show – so feel free to bring any young, budding vfx artists in your clan and make a day of it!

Tickets are free and you can (and should!) reserve your spot over at Eventbrite now:
http://shortfilmsaturday.eventbrite.com

VFX/PDX Meeting:  Short Film Saturday!
Saturday, November 15th, 10am-12pm
OMSI Empirical Theater
1945 SE Water Ave, Portland, OR 97214

See you all there!

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

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cheers

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

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!

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