Tag Archives: OMSI

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.

OMSI: After Dark


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This month’s OMSI: After Dark is all about Hollywood Tech!



Just in time for the Oscars, OMSI brings us the science at work both behind and in front of (and INSIDE of) the camera.  Anyone who’s ever been to an After Dark session knows that it’s always a guaranteed good time, with lots of “21 and over” treats and a lineup and experiments that never fail to impress.

This one has the makings of a special night.  While working with them on putting things together, I’ve heard so many names dropped and a whirlwind of attendees that I’m a little overwhelmed and not sure who is official or unofficial at this point, so I should probably just defer you over to the OMSI page for the latest details.  I believe Portlandia will be well represented, and Fred Ruff will be presenting Grimm, and rounding things out – I (J Bills) will be digging into my archives and fishing out some feature film tech and behind the scenes you’ll never see on any DVD extra!  Rounding out the list, we have word that Christina from Ravenous Studios will be showing off makeup & prosthetic skills that constantly elevate the horror movies and TV shows she works on to another level.  And like I said, that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Be sure to check out OMSI’s new theater screen while you’re there.  The Empirical screen is 4 stories, dual 4k 3D projectors…  I’m drooling at the stats.  VFX Oscar-lock Gravity will be on the big screen – feel free to take it in one last time before it rolls off into the Blu-Ray sunset (it releases this week).

Come on out – everyone loves a sure thing!

Date: Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Cost: After Dark $13 Non-Members, $7 Members, FREE OAD Members
Time: 6-10pm
Access: 21+ Only, ID Required
1945 SE Water Ave

more info: https://www.omsi.edu/afterdark

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