Tag Archives: PDXclusive

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!

An Evening with Orland Nutt


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The Inimatable Orland Nutt

The Inimatable Orland Nutt

Be prepared for a wild ride as NW Film Center takes us on a journey through the mind of local compositor & filmmaker Orland Nutt, long time Bent Image Lab collaborator.  Orland will be showing a dense collection from over a decade of work, and premiering his latest work, Bear of Heaven.

Orland’s style is in a category of it’s own and he is undeniably one of Portland’s gems.  This is a rare event and a night not to be missed.  I can imagine it would be a daunting task to tease a 90 minute program devoted to his work, but here’s a trailer that offers up a glimpse nonetheless:

Orland Nutt 2014 Retrospective Trailer


Among the older highlights are: Escalator Meditation, an early abstract work; video letter movies from his Dear Peter series, which intimately share his worldview; and selections from his visually ornate poetry series including I Am Into Your Fire (which draws inspiration from, among other things, a classic scene from the original Star Trek TV series), where odd characters perform poems in fantastical settings.

Orland will be on hand to introduce the films.  Step out for this one!

Thursday, July 10, 2014 – 7:00pm
NW Film Center at the Portland Art Museum
Whitsell Auditorium
1219 SW Park Avenue
$9, $8 students

For more info or to purchase tickets, head on over to the NW Film Center page.

Next VFX/PDX Meeting: ILM & LAIKA – May 25th


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It doesn’t get any better than this.

In this industry, some names almost need no introduction.  Jeff White, Industrial Light and Magic Visual Effects Supervisor (and former Portlander), comes “home” to show us the Oscar nominated VFX work and behind the scenes from The Avengers.

And as if that wasn’t enough, from Portland’s own LAIKA hails Visual Effects Supervisor Andrew Nawrot, kicking off the afternoon with a look at the VFX work from ParaNorman.

Many of you know that sometimes my meeting descriptions can get a little wordy –  I’m happy to say this one pretty much speaks for itself.  I’m as excited as you are.  This is a one time only event, and I can guarantee it’s the juicy VFX before & afters you will never see as DVD extras or anywhere else.  Register now (seating is limited), mark your calendars, and I’ll see you at the show!

Thanks to our amazing sponsors, this is a free event.

Avenge of the Zombies!
Saturday, May 25th
Doors at 1:30, Presentation 2pm-4pm
The NW Film Center’s Whitsell Auditorium @ the Portland Art Museum
1219 SW Park Ave, Portland OR

Register for free and get your ticket at:

Big thanks to our sponsors 3DV, 52 Ltd, Autodesk, Red Giant Software, the Oregon Film Commission, the Art Institute of Portland, and the NW Film Center for helping make this happen.

Spread the word and let’s make this our biggest & best meeting yet.

Office Space: Chel White’s Forest


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Chel White, in his natural habitat

Chel White’s “natural habitat”

On anyone’s first day on the job at Bent Image Lab, there’s this inevitable neck snap of a double take that happens as they are shown around and walk by Chel White’s office for the first time.  Sometimes there’s a sound that accompanies this action – but this is no kung-fu  soundtrack…  this is the much more low key true-to-life sound you hear when you see something unexpectedly awe inspiring.  Sometimes the whoosh has a “wha?” attached.  Sometimes it’s more of a “gah.”  Other times it’s merely the sound of the lower lip separating from the upper as the jaw drops wide open.

Welcome to Chel White’s forest – an office honed to Pacific Northwest perfection over many years spent directing and supervising independent features, commercials, music videos and other creative endeavors at Bent.

I like a good challenge as much as the next guy, but I’ll admit trying to put what Chel has created here into words will be a tall order.  Let’s try this – it’s a bit voyeuristic but here’s a panorama I snapped and stitched that puts you in the center of the room.  Click & drag below, have a look around!

Can you feel it?  It’s a kind of calming effect.  That same feeling you get when you’re fully enclosed in Forest Park and see the buildings of the city melt away as you ascend up into the redwoods, sequoias and pines.  It took me a while to catch myself doing it, but each time I walk into Chel’s office I almost subconsciously take a deep breath as if there was fresh forest air waiting for me inside.  Yes, I’m being completely serious – this scene he’s created…  it gets me every time.

mirrorI guess it’s no different from a breath you might take when you’re about to tee off at the first hole of the frisbee golf course at Pier Park amongst the trees, or when you take that first step onto, say, one of the more manicured college campuses around here – maybe Reed College down in Woodstock, NoPo’s U of Portland, or Pacific out in Forest Grove.  Or maybe you’re hiking up that trail to the top of Multnomah Falls.  Depending on how long you’ve lived here, you may not quite have put your finger on it yet, but you most definitely know it;  it’s that impossible to define “forest feeling.”  For some of us it’s half the reason we live in the NW in the first place.

But let’s not kid ourselves, this is an office space that lies within the heart of Bent Image Lab.  There’s work to be done — a mountain of it!

And make no mistake – lots of intense, amazing work does flow through this office in particular.  But thankfully (for our sake), the calming effect makes it a much-needed eye of the hurricane.  You step out of Chel’s door and it’s chaos at 24 frames per second (ok, sometimes 30).  But step inside and close the door, and you might be safe if not just for a moment.

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