BREAKDOWN (updated April 2, 2020)
Ghost horses: This show was my first big challenge at The Molecule, and the ghost horses were the toughest part. I picked a freelance Houdini artist I had worked with to be the main artist on the horses, and together with the VFX supervisor we went through many iterations of look and feel until we arrived at this solution. It is a particle effect driven by a smoke simulation. I supervised the animation of the horses and the cloth and rigid body simulation of the harness as well. I also developed additional lighting passes that we needed to integrate the effects into the shots.
Trains: I was on-set for the train sequence, which includes the shots in the station. The two other shots were based on stock footage. For the train approaching camera we covered a real train with our period-specific train, and for the aerial we used a combination of matte painting and a 3D train and smoke
Flies: This season had many fly shots and some of them were pretty interesting. I supervised the animation, lighting and rendering of the fly on the window and the fly going up the nose. I did the swarming shot myself, using Houdini to create, light and render the fly swarm elements.
Balloon: I oversaw the look development of the balloon, the simulation of the tassles, as well as the lighting and rendering.
Robots: I supervised everything in this sequence, from the design and modeling of the robots from concept art, to the animation, lighting and rendering. I was on-set for the sequence and captured grey and chrome balls, color charts, set measurements, and HDRIs. This made re-creating the lighting very straightforward. My lead artist did an excellent job of translating concept art into the models of these robots, and also of doing look development of both, which I supervised. This was the first work for Billions that The Molecule had ever done, and after it's completion more work for Billions came through.
Backhoe/Destruction: This sequence is all about the backhoe and the destruction of the building on screen left. I supervised the look dev, animation and lighting of the backhoe, the modeling of the building section to be demolished, as well as picking and supervising a Houdini artist to do the destruction.
Rock: This sequence is all about a giant rock. The problem was the rock they shot wasn't giant enough. We extended and enhanced the rock itself, as well as doing a lot of enhancements to the environment, including adding leaves to trees, creating grass and ground. We also animated an ant, and enhanced some practical explosions with 3D explosions.
Shark: I did all the FX work for these shots, using Houdini's ocean spectrum and flat tank to create ripples and splash from the shark fin. I supervised the rigger/animator who did the shark animation. I lit and rendered the shark and water elements using Houdini/Mantra.
Magic cube: I did all the work for the cube, including selling through a styleframe to the client, and completing these five shots in a week. I used Houdini to create the FX as well as Mantra to light and render the cube and all FX elements for these shots.
Cigarette smoke: We added cigarette smoke to unlit cigarettes for many shots in this show. I created a cigarette smoke tool in Houdini (using particles advected by smoke) and we used a combination 2D/3D tracking approach to get the spatial location of the tip of the cigarette. This made the process of tracking faster, cheaper and easier than full 3D tracks.
Sequins: I was happy to create the sequins effect for this shot of Michelle Williams. Basic spinning particles in Houdini.
All this work was created at The Molecule in NYC 2018-2019 and my role was Head of CG/CG Supervisor. Please note that 3 large completed projects that have not yet aired are not represented on this reel.
Soundtrack: "Green Sugar" by Kikagaku Moyo