Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Space Milkshake wraps up!

Space Milkshake wrapped up about 3 weeks ago here in Regina but the work is far from over.  The opportunity to create and design space ships from the concept stage all the way to actually modeling it is a very rare opportunity.

I was able to come up with several concepts for various ships and design the main ship of the feature, which to me is a huge dream come true.

Currently we are working on the anamatics for all VFX shots and laying out tons of UVs to get texturing in the new year.


Pics from the wrap party! With Kristen Kreuk and amanda Tapping - And with Billy Boyd.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Wreck them Decks Girl - more WIP

Small update.  Changed the pose drastically and the horrendous face, colors also adjusted.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Wreck them Decks Girl - WIP

A bit of time tonight to work on some personal work.  Here is an update to "Wreck them Decks Girl".  Started modelling the turntables in Maya, figuring out what to do with her hair and text.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Little Miss Higgins "Bargain Shop Panties" Music Video Shoot

About a month and some ago we embarked on a journey about 2hrs away from Regina to the middle of no where.  It was here that the music video to "Bargain Shop Panties" was shot.  Tons of fun and it turned out quite nicely. Check it out, and a few stills from me wondering around the location from my iPhone.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Tweaking and drawing a bit.

Been a long while since I've posted anything so here are is a quick sketch of an idea I had to blow up and print to hang in the studio.  The other is a finish piece from months ago but never really liked the final outcome.  It's better I think now.. but if I could go back I would have done it a bit differently. 

Got really busy with work and such as we've gotten on good grounds with a few advertising agencies so we're pushing out a bunch of ads and commercial stuff. 

Some big news though which I am very, very excited for.  While I've now worked on a couple features that aren't really big name / big budget (Tall Man, Faces in the Crowd),  nothing really that has stood out - and both of them I haven't been on since the start of production.  But we (Red Hat) just got the green light last week on an upcoming feature and let me tell you, I'm giddy.  Can't really say what it is yet, but I love the series (even though the last one was mediocre IMO).  But it's exciting to be working with 6 other VFX houses which I heard are all Canadian based.  And this one should be a theatrical release ;)

Anyways - pix:

Friday, May 27, 2011

Matte Painting - A bit of my current process on the Armory

Hey guys - I just wanted to show a quick and dirty version of how I'm using Maya and C4D to create my 3D models what I do exactly to put them where I need them.

I model everything in Maya since it's what I first learned and have been keeping up with it as it evolves.  I haven't found anything else really that makes modelling easy so I just stick with it.  As you can see here I have my cargo train model that I'm going to put into the matte.  Everything is named properly and cleaned up - history has been deleted and everything has been centred since it's not going to be animated.

Here I have my UVs layed out and ready to be textured.  Not the best job, but depending on how close we are going to see the model or what it's going to be doing depends on how much effort I put into the UVs.  since this train will be static and you'll only see one side, it's a very quick UV job.

I have now imported my model into C4D.  Like all CG programs, some have their pros and some have their cons. I like C4D's easy texture building aspect and it's a nice program of keeping everything simple.   Now that I have my model, I duplicated it as needed.  I did a dirty job of texturing using my prior cargo textures (will be changed later) just to get a nice visual of what to expect. 

Finally, putting it together in photoshop. This is an actual 10 second shot but for now I'm building the still as a reference guide for when the footage is good to go.  Placed the train in its proper position and bam, just like that.  I removed the straps from the train as they were way too white.. and after seeing a few trains go by at yesterdays music video shoot, I didn't see too many trains with straps.

Here is the progress so far:

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Matte Painting - Progress on the Armory today!

Here's a bit more progress done for the day.  Finished texturing the cargo containers, rendered out some temp stills of the cargo and banners just to see what it would look like.  Next up is to model the train.  I'm thinking about whether or not I should model the blimp. Might be a bit much - we'll see.

Here is the before and after pics (so far) - still a WIP.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Matte Painting - Dystopian Armory Matte Painting - Banner Simulation

A bit of cloth simulation testing today.  Trying out a few variations to see which I like and would fit in the matte.  I also included a rough textured quick rendered Cargo box.

Dystopian Armoury Matte Painting - Banner simulation tests from Jimmy Kounios on Vimeo.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Matte Painting - Dystopian Armory Progress

A bit more into the concept of the Dystopian Armory.  Plan is to remove the fence by placing 'cargo', a train and possibly rebuilding the building in 3D to cover it up.  Due to the perspective, painting it out wasn't going to happen - for me at least.   I got rid of the idea of having a giant ship up there, but possibly adding a blimp instead. 

Here are some progression shots of the 'concept'.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Matte Painting - Dystopian Armory

Since I'm on some down time while waiting for approvals and more shots to come in for Tall Man, Richard and I decided to use the new Sony F3 to film some stuff and just have something to do while we wait.  We both started off doing some face replacement work on each other but I have gone a separate route into something I enjoy quite a bit, matte painting.

other than a few idea kicking around this is something bigger than my last completed matte - the post apocalyptic down town Regina.  That was just a pure still image turned into a matte.  This time I'm working with a 7-10 second clip.  The difference is pretty clear so far. 

I'll be doing some 3D tracking and from there will be painting out a ton of stuff, adding CG elements, and looking into sky replacement with Vue/Ozone.  The shot is hand held, and Rich walks through it.  Should be pretty fun to work on in my down time!

Here is the very first rough idea I mapped out.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Random - Cats

Been very busy lately unfortunately.. but in a good way I guess.  Work, more work, doing work around the condo to get it ready to sell is kicking my ass.  However I'm pretty happy with myself as I have begun to actually cook food for dinner's and now that work is closer to my pad - I walk to work and back now.  A good 20-25 minute jaunt, but it's nice.

Been working hard on these set extensions for the movie Tall Man, and now we got to a couple of the more important structures to build.  I chose to take on the mine building... No reference other than screen shots from the movie. So lining it up has been a bit of a challenge but other than that - shes looking pretty beast.  Can't show anything really yet - but here's a teaser!

Unfortunately since I've been busy with work, setting up Fatal Seduction project, amongst other things - I havent had time to really get back into drawing.  while waiting for a render today I did a couple thumbnails I'll try and get too down the road...

And one last bit - My cats. Love them.  

So here we have Humphrey on the left - age 1 and some.  He was adopted about a year ago after a friend moved to Toronto and couldn't take him with her.  He's all about licking the face early in the morning...

Titus - age 2 and some, which if I had favourites - he would be mine. He is a little trooper. When we picked him out from the humane society he was fairly skinny and concave.  Needless to say he's filled out and then some.  He's had a few problems along the way that required a $3000 surgery on his tummy and has some bad gingivitis which will surely cause problems in the future.  But hey - he purrs no matter what!

And then Zeus on the far right - age 3 and some.  Our first cat, and is definitely my wife's favourite.  He plays fetch and enjoys a good play fight once in a while.  He sleeps like humans (on his back) and meows at you if you say his name.. I think he's advancing quite nicely.. 

Monday, May 2, 2011

Random - RED Epic 'Tattoo' short

check out the new short released by RED called 'Tattoo'.
Very very nice.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

3D - Tall Man Extension

This is another building for the set extension in Tall Man.  This building will be closest to the camera so it's a bit more high poly than the previous one (Still not a ton of polys honestly - just under 5k).  Using a 2k texture where the UV's were layed out in Maya (Trying to lay UV's out in C4D is...*blows head off*). From there my co-worker Richard set up the street that needs the set extension in C4D so I import the model there and texture it using Photoshop.  From there the lights are set up, a GI is added, tick off the ambient occlusion pass, sprinkle some DOF and badda bing badda boom a set extension is born.  Then tracking, masking, etc as needed to composite of course.

*this render does not have a diffuse added - totally forgot to add it as I turned off my system for the day :(

I also included a screen shot of the 2k texture and the reference used.

Monday, April 11, 2011

3D - Tall Man set extension WIP

Started texturing the 3rd building I modeled last week for a set extension on the movie Tall Man.  Still needs a few more tweaks but nothing too much more since this building will be in the distance and blurred due to some depth of field.  Don't mind the blurred sign - didn't get a chance to change the projection just yet.  Reference included!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

3D - Buildings WIP

Modeling for the day.  Some set extension buildings for the film Tall Man.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Random - New Diggz - Red Hat Studios

Not much of an update but just wanted to show the new digs at Red Hat Studios (previously 2pop) where I will be working at for RHS and SLS work.  Super slick and the desks... man... the desks are to die for.  Made for this line of work and one of the beautiful points to them (which is not seen in the photos) is the bay underneath.  Massive power bar in a bay to tuck the cords inside and have only ONE cord pop out the side.  Clean and slick.  Lovin it!  Excited to be working with Colin and Richard.  Hopefully more photos of the full studio to come!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

3D - Wine Table scene

Got around to playing around with this scene a bit today.  threw on a quick bread and cheese texture to get a sense of color / look.  Updated the wine labels and created a new one.  And to top it off real quick I just threw a random background from Google in there to see what it looks like with footage in the back.

Still needs a ton of work. The grapes texture needs to be worked on more,  the wine bottles look very plastic as of right now which is not what I want.  The bowl and bread board just has a flat shader for now which will be changed.  The wine glasses need to have their UVs layed out and textured.  And my wife Amy says the bread looks like 'bread lips'... so I'll see if I can fix that... ?? Quite a bit still to be done!

Monday, March 28, 2011

3D - Wine Table II

A little more progress on the Wine table scene.  Not much more.  A little bit of texturing and setting up textures as you can see with one of the wine bottles.  Not the final product but more so to get a sense of the colors. and what the label could look like.

Added a few leaves in the grape bowl and 2 wine glasses for now.  I did a quick playblast of a pan test just to play around with how I want the final pan to look. Still needs work.

Wine Table Camera Pan - Test from Jimmy Kounios on Vimeo.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

3d - Wine Table

3D modeling for the day.  Had done a first version of grapes last week but redid them today. Modeled and layed out the UVs for everything else most of this morning and worked on it a bit more in the afternoon.  Version of the first set of grapes included.  The render of the table shows the UVs spread out and checked with the checker texture of course.  Still a few fixes to be made to minimize stretching but it's getting there.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Concept Art - Zombie Girl + Speedy

Zombie Girl has been sitting in my 'WIP' folder for a while and I thought it was time to finish it.  The speedy was done before I worked on the zombie as a warm up - just a 10 minute paint.  Process of zombie girl included.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Random - Make Mine Marvel!

About 2-3 years ago I took a job in Saskatoon to work on the kids show  "Wapos Bay" .  While there I made some really great new friends and contacts  - and more specifically it was there that I met Andrew Forbes who shared the same love for comics  as I have .  We talked about everything and anything comic book related  and even spent almost a full day laughing at the 40 worst Rob Liefeld drawings. (Link:  Anyways, I told him about my 'letter' and he wanted to see it so eventually  I managed to dig it up from the depths of my storage facility to show to him.

Fast forward to the present day.

Currently I'm working on a comic book  of my own.  It just so happened that Andrew was in town for  "The First Days" plate shoot and we were reminiscing about Wapos Bay....and comics came up again.  That night I couldn't sleep and stayed up until 3am looking for the letter that I  had once again misplaced.   After a good two or three days it was  located in one of my  many  boxes I had left at my parent's home.   Don't worry - I  am now  framing it so I never lose it again.  This letter represents everything that has inspired all that I have done, I will do, and will never stop doing.

The story goes like this (from what I can remember):

16 years ago. September, 1995.

I get this awesome idea for a character called 'Acid Man'  - very original, I know.  I don't have the drawings anymore and I know I had drawn several villains to go with the set but those have been lost forever.  Acid Man looked very similar to Captain America but in yellow and red, and had a giant 'A' on the forehead of his mask.  He also had a cape - something Capt. America did not so you know... that made mine original.   Anyway,  I remember what the drawing looked like - just a simple line drawing, no shading, on a white piece of printer paper.  I had notes all around the sides and possibly a mock up of his vehicle. It was pretty bad ass,  in my humble opinion.

I don't remember where I got the envelope from, but I remember getting the address to the Marvel Comics studio from one of my issues of Spider-Man - I believe from the Maximum Carnage series.  My parents worked beside a Bi-Rite Drugs (now a Shoppers Drug Mart) and  I got my  Dad to send the letter out for me.

My wife,  Amy, brought up an interesting point the other night  -  what if my Dad had told me it was stupid and didn't send the letter out? What if he told me not to bother?  I'm a firm believer in things happen for a reason .   So at that point when I was about 13 years old I would have easily been convinced to do something else and everything would have been different.  This letter plays a huge part in my life's journey.

So the letter is sent and a month later I receive a response's a rejection letter enclosed with my returned drawings.  I don't remember why I kept it or where I hid it to keep it in as good condition as it is today but I am very glad I did.  I know I was disappointed and felt defeated but that never stopped me and I'm very glad to be where I am now with my beautiful wife Amy, my 3 lovely boys.. err cats   and on my way to having my own studio.

And so here it is ... the letter:

Monday, February 28, 2011

VFX - The First Days Plate shoot

Andrew Forbes has returned to the Queen City.  Teaming up with Mauricio to move the stylish short film starring Grace Park (Battlestar Galactica, Hawaii Five O) First Days forward.  We will be rocking this one out in the next few days - hopefully it doesn't turn into another marathon like the actual shoot did.

On another note - very pumped that my studio Steam Lab will be teaming up with 2pop to create some bad ass VFX for the film. Check out 2 panoramic photos taken with my iPhone.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Concept Art - Space...

Production of an upcoming sci fi/comedy film starts in April.  I (Steam Lab Studio) will be teaming up with Colin Hubick (2pop) to dish out some bad ass VFX for it.  Since it's a sci-fi flick, it needs ships.  There is no real direction as of yet on what the look of the ships will be,  but I got the go ahead to rough up a few sketches for the director.  Each one didn't take longer than 10minutes.  The ships will eventually be physically modelled on a 1:1 scale and modelled in 3d.  The interior of the ships will be arriving in the next month or so.

Feels good to finally be moving on from Faces in the Crowd soon, and to something fresh with a kick ass team.

Check out 2pop.

Check out the rough thumbs.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Random - NABshow

I'll be making my first trip to Vegas ever in April to attend NABshow with two co-workers from Mind's Eye.  This event has been going on for over 20 years now and It's the place to be to learn about the new technology that will be available in the future whether its on set or in an edit suite.

That and I'm pretty uber stoked that Colin is on good terms with the people at RED one.  After party anyone?


After Faces in the Crowd wraps up, I have a few projects lined up.  One is a personal little project involving a couple of cute bots.  This test render is a few days old - the helmet has since been modified (no ear wing flaps, eyes added, etc). 

Take a peek!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

3D Animation - Faces in the Crowd progress

Nearing the end of post production on the feature 'Faces in the Crowd' after about 5 months now.  Learned a ton of new things and continue to do so.

For example: Never thought I'd pick up another 3D program. I thought Maya would be the only one I would ever work with.  I learned C4D in less than a week which surprised me... It's still no Maya, but some of the options it has are pretty bad ass.

Here are some screen shots from the work so far.  We have Milla Jovovichs' character getting pushed off a bridge.  So a model with a similar coat is needed to replicate her silhouette.  Cloth simulation goodness.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Concept Art - "Ari"

Finally got around to completing my first piece of the year, taking longer than I had hoped. Honestly I didn't know if I was going to finish this one - it was started near the end of last year and I revisited it earlier in January. I was getting very discouraged with trying to pose her properly (in my eyes).

Up until about last week I finally got her to the pose I wanted but had no idea what I was going to put her on (the reason why she was on a rainbow in the previous post).

Needless to say I finally figured it out. I'm very happy with how she turned out. Also happy with forcing myself to use the rotate canvas tool in PS5 more to my advantage and I fucking love it.

I posted a few older versions of how she came to be, plus a few images of the 3D portion. Hope you enjoy.

The completed piece.

Progress stage.