Greg Gangemi Episodic VFX Showreel

VFX BREAKDOWN (updated June 28, 2024)

American Horror Stories
We designed the larva and the tapeworm, and replaced their prop versions which were used in production.

American Horror Story
This project was fun, to rapidly age and disintegrate Kim Kardashian's face. We built on some existing Folks tech to develop a great technique of retargeting face tracking data from Keen Tools onto a bespoke face rig. All the face roto-animation for 4 shots took around 2-3 days with cleanup. We had scans of Kim K's face in different poses and we built them into the rig as blendshape targets. Again we worked hand in hand with our Folks brethren.

The Changeling
This project was my first big challenge at Fuse, a full-CG, minute long ocean sequence which would introduce the season of The Changeling, an Apple+ series based on the book by Victor LaValle. We had a brand new team of artists who had never worked together before, who I had just hired. This was the first project we did in the new Pitch Black pipeline which was totally new to all of us. It was the first time Fuse NY, or I, had ever done ocean work on this scale. I did previs at the start of the process, some of which made it into the cut. We approached it in Houdini, and got some crucial help from our new cohorts at Folks in Toronto and Montreal. The Toronto Dev team wrote a bespoke Arnold Ocean shader. The creative on the project changed a lot and the going got extremely tough. But the team persevered and made something that I am very proud of. I supervised up to around 15-20 artists between the different Pitch Black locations, on asset work for the boat, animation, shading and lighting, and ocean and atmospheric FX, and although the lead time was around 9 months, due to creative challenges we did most of the heavy lifting in the last 3.

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.

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.

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.

Soundtrack: "Orb" by Glass Beams