I worked for MPC Vancouver for more than 8 years, 7 of them as head of the 3DDMP / Environments department.
As far as I can tell, I hired 154 people into the department during my time there, around 40 for their first ever role in VFX.
The studio closed it’s doors for good in December 2019
Ad Astra – 2019
A large part of MPC’s work on the show was creating planetary views from space. Terragen is an ideal tool for this, and we made heavy use of it throughout the show.
This shot is a Terragen base by me, with further matte painting by Tadaomi Kawasaki.
This shot, like a lot of shots on the project, was touched by a great many people. I believe it was finished in MPC London, based on a Terragen setup created by myself and the environment lead, Scott Russell.
The Dark Tower – 2018
I created a library of textures for the titular ‘Dark Tower’ which were used in a ‘texturebombing’ shader by Tim Crowson. The background sky is a matte painting by Matt Ellis, based on photos I took in the South Pacific.
The landscape was a ‘2am’ shot, created in less than 24hrs alongside Michael Gardiner and Eduardo Lopez. It never made the final cut…
At last count, there were 29 different tools in use within the department, but these are the ones I was instrumental in bringing into the company, or integrating into the pipeline.
Sully – 2016
I came in at the end of this show to create only a few paintings – the biggest an aerial shot of New Mexico. The base is a Digital Elevation Model (DEM) rendered in Terragen, with significant paintwork over the top.
The Finest Hours – 2015
I was again lead artist on this show, as well a HoD of the whole of the Vancouver environments department. I created several coastline matte paintings for this show, as well as some skydomes. This is one that I worked on at a rate of about 1hr/week for the duration of the show – a fully digital grass bank, blowing in the wind.
This was the one matte painting I did for ‘American Sniper’ at the very end of the show, along with Laurie Kindiak. The base render was the same city model created for the aerial shots, and the MRAP and wall were rendered by the lighting department.
American Sniper – 2015
I didn’t lead this show, but (along with Scott Eade, the head of layout), I supervised the construction of Sadr City, Baghdad as a fully digital environment. The 9km² that was required for this sequence was laid out using Modo replicators, and rendered using Modo’s native renderer.
Monster Trucks – 2015
I didn’t have a lot of involvement with this show until the very end. As is often the case for a HoD, I got involved with some of the ‘stragglers’ – the problematic shots that hang around at the end of the show, or the shots that have large, last minute notes.
300: Rise of an Empire – 2014
I was lead artist on this fast-turnaround sequence, the sacking of Athens. I created two panoramas of the city – one during the day, and one at night.
Two quick matte paintings for ‘Fast and Furious 6’ (2014) – a tunnel set extension, and replacement of the road and lights at Wembley Stadium.
Another of the few shots I completed myself for ‘Jersey Boys’ – a Matte painting / set extension of Coney Island amusement park. Wheel and roller coaster were rendered in Modo, with models and textures by Corey Sewell and Aline Nordmark.
Jersey Boys – 2013
This was my first show as CG supervisor, working with Greg Butler as VFX supe. I oversaw the creation of around 120 shots, which wasn’t a large number – but were split across around 20 sequences, with only a handful of shots in each. This is one of the few shots I worked on personally – the bowling alley sign which gives the band it’s name.
Seventh Son – 2013
The first project I lead from the beginning. The bulk of the shot work I did on the show was a single 800 frame shot – a 50 year timelapse of the Alberta Badlands. I created the timelapse clouds in Terragen, texture variants for the landscape, and also rendered HDRI spheres for the lighting department to use.
Elysium – 2012
While Image Engine and WhiskeyTree did the bulk of the work on this show, MPC was awarded the shuttle crash sequence. This is the most substantial matte painting, based on a Vue render. Around this time I was made HoD of 3DDMP and Environments as MPC Vancouver.
Jack the Giant Slayer – 2012
I created the FG forest in ‘Vue’, as well as projected matte paintings of Jack’s farmhouse.
Dark Shadows – 2011
I was made lead artist for the first time mid-way through this show, when the existing lead left. I set up the WPP (world position pass) projection templates for the cliffs, as well as the Liverpool docks skyline. I also created the cliff-top as a matte painting, and used a script to re-create a Vue forest ecosystem as a card setup in Nuke.