Houdini 19 Hive

The Lineup
00:00:00 – Intro
00:00:18 – Using Vellum Fluids to create a Mojito | Tim Van Helsdingen | Freelance
00:48:37– Vellum Grains in Houdini 19 | Bishoy Khalifa | Trend VFX
01:02:11 – Karma XPU and MaterialX | Adam Swaab | Freelance
01:43:31 – Shockwaves Tool in Houdini 19 | Miguel Perez Senent | Megalis VFX
02:10:40 – Fire Tornado in Houdini 19 | Joshua Rizzo | SideFX
02:27:22 – Sexy Pyro | Attila Torok | SideFX
03:31:35 – Houdini 19 Crowds | Shiny New Layers and Meta Power | Mikael Pettersén | MPC Episodic
03:57:51– KineFX Secondary Motion Tools | Mihnea Stoica | SideFX
05:07:03 – SideFX Labs PolySlice | Richard C. Thomas | Jellyfish Pictures
05:30:20 – Asset Workflow and File Caching | Attila Torok | SideFX
06:14:05 – Real-Time Pyro Workflows – Chasing Photorealism | Mai Ao | SideFX
06:43:29 – Layout LOP & Layout Asset Gallery | Fianna Wong | SideFX

Cowboy Bebop – Trailer

COWBOY BEBOP is an action-packed space Western about three bounty hunters, aka “cowboys,” all trying to outrun the past. As different as they are deadly, Spike Spiegel (John Cho), Jet Black (Mustafa Shakir), and Faye Valentine (Daniella Pineda) form a scrappy, snarky crew ready to hunt down the solar system’s most dangerous criminals — for the right price. But they can only kick and quip their way out of so many scuffles before their pasts finally catch up with them.

Based on the beloved anime series, COWBOY BEBOP is executive produced by André Nemec, Jeff Pinkner, Josh Appelbaum and Scott Rosenberg of Midnight Radio, Marty Adelstein and Becky Clements of Tomorrow Studios, Makoto Asanuma, Shin Sasaki and Masayuki Ozaki of Sunrise Inc., Tim Coddington, Tetsu Fujimura, Michael Katleman, Matthew Weinberg, and Christopher Yost. Nemec serves as showrunner. Original anime series director Shinichirō Watanabe is a consultant on the series, and original composer Yoko Kanno returns for the live-action adaptation. The series also stars Alex Hassell and Elena Satine.

Watch Cowboy Bebop, a live-action series, only on Netflix Nov. 19.

MPC Episodic Take 2 – Pipeline TD with Lizzie

Lizzie Shiers is our Software/Technical Director and has been at MPC Episodic for over a year. After graduating from Physics, with first-class honours, Lizzie studied and worked in Korea for over 3 years before returning to the UK to work as a TD at DNEG. Thanks for being first up for our new talent series, Lizzie! We hope you all enjoy learning more about Lizzie and life at MPC Episodic.

The King’s Man – Rouges – Trailer

It’s time for the Oxfords to become rogues. See #TheKingsMan in Two Months.

As a collection of history’s worst tyrants and criminal masterminds gather to plot a war to wipe out millions, one man must race against time to stop them. Discover the origins of the very first independent intelligence agency in The King’s Man

Wrath of Man – Film Titles

Director Guy Ritchie asked us to explore Old Testament biblical imagery on vengeance, thievery, justice… and of course Wrath. Early drafts also included O. T. quotes but we simplified the elements to more abstract gestures as the sequence would be way too long!

And, as in many of his film titles (like The Gentlemen: vimeo.com/momoco/tg) we feature the cast in a stylized way.

This sequence opens the film, setting the mood for a classy Statham thriller.

Free Guy – Digital Domain

For Twentieth Century Studios’ Free Guy, Digital Domain Visual Effects Supervisor Nikos Kalaitzidis led a team of about 254 artists, creating 347 VFX shots for the film. From replacing actors with digidoubles to creating entire CG cities, Digital Domain was also responsible for the 87 gameplay shots that take place inside of Free City, along with the exciting, action-packed opening sequence we call “The Oner,” which truly sets the tone for the film.

Here is only a small glimpse at the awesome VFX work created by the team at Digital Domain.

Ambulance – Trailer

In this breakneck thriller from director-producer Michael Bay, decorated veteran Will Sharp (Emmy winner Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Candyman, The Matrix Resurrections), desperate for money to cover his wife’s medical bills, asks for help from the one person he knows he shouldn’t – his adoptive brother Danny (Oscar nominee Jake Gyllenhaal, Zodiac, Spider-Man: Far From Home). A charismatic career criminal, Danny instead offers him a score: the biggest bank heist in Los Angeles history: $32 million. With his wife’s survival on the line, Will can’t say no.

But when their getaway goes spectacularly wrong, the desperate brothers hijack an ambulance with a wounded cop clinging to life and ace EMT Cam Thompson (Eiza González, Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw, Baby Driver) onboard. In a high-speed pursuit that never stops, Will and Danny must evade a massive, city-wide law enforcement response, keep their hostages alive, and somehow try not to kill each other, all while executing the most insane escape L.A. has ever seen.

The film is produced by Michael Bay, Bradley J. Fischer, James Vanderbilt, William Sherak, and Ian Bryce. The screenplay is by Chris Fedak, based on the original story and screenplay for the 2005 Danish film Ambulancen by Laurits Munch-Petersen and Lars Andreas Pedersen.

Ambulance, directed by Michael Bay, arrives in theaters on February 18, 2022.

Red Notice – Trailer

It’s the PRO vs. the CONS

An Interpol-issued Red Notice is a global alert to hunt and capture the world’s most wanted. But when a daring heist brings together the FBI’s top profiler (Johnson) and two rival criminals (Gadot, Reynolds), there’s no telling what will happen.

Cowboy Bebop – Lost Session – Teaser

COWBOY BEBOP is an action-packed space Western about three bounty hunters, aka “cowboys,” all trying to outrun the past. As different as they are deadly, Spike Spiegel (John Cho), Jet Black (Mustafa Shakir), and Faye Valentine (Daniella Pineda) form a scrappy, snarky crew ready to hunt down the solar system’s most dangerous criminals — for the right price. But they can only kick and quip their way out of so many scuffles before their pasts finally catch up with them.

Dune – Baron Harkonnen – Behind the Scenes

The Path to Dune continues with this exclusive look at bringing the grotesque Baron Harkonnen to life. Dune director Denis Villeneuve, Makeup & Hair Dept. Head and Prosthetic Designer Donald Mowat, and cast members Stellan Skarsgård, David Dastmalchian, and Josh Brolin talk about the film’s various makeup designs.

Ghostbusters – Afterlife – Trailer

From director Jason Reitman and producer Ivan Reitman, comes the next chapter in the original Ghostbusters universe. In Ghostbusters: Afterlife, when a single mum and her two kids arrive in a small town, they begin to discover their connection to the original Ghostbusters and the secret legacy their grandfather left behind. The film is written by Gil Kenan & Jason Reitman.

Scream – Trailer

Do you like scary movies? Watch the NEW trailer for #ScreamMovie – In cinemas January 13, 2022.

Twenty-five years after a streak of brutal murders shocked the quiet town of Woodsboro, a new killer has donned the Ghostface mask and begins targeting a group of teenagers to resurrect secrets from the town’s deadly past. Neve Campbell (“Sidney Prescott”), Courteney Cox (“Gale Weathers”) and David Arquette (“Dewey Riley”) return to their iconic roles in Scream alongside Melissa Barrera, Kyle Gallner, Mason Gooding, Mikey Madison, Dylan Minnette, Jenna Ortega, Jack Quaid, Marley Shelton, Jasmin Savoy Brown, and Sonia Ammar.

Compositing Workstation Build 2 – $1900 (September 2020)

Acer Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop

I am in the group of people who believe that a mid range gaming laptop is good enough for VFX Work. This is because gaming laptops have the same features an average vfx artist would need.

The Acer Helios 300 is probably one of the best deals you can get. The laptop’s PCIe SSD storage is one of the fastest in the market today making it a great choice for working locally in nuke.

It does have cons, like having speakers on the bottom then again, most students I know always listen to music with their headphones.

Notable Specs

  • 10th Generation Intel Core i7-10750H 6-Core Processor (Up to 5.0GHz)
  • Overclockable NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 with 6 GB of dedicated GDDR6 VRAM
  • 15.6″ Full HD (1920 x 1080) LED-backlit IPS Display with 144Hz Refresh Rate (16:9 aspect ratio, 3ms Overdrive Response Time, 300nit Brightness & 72% NTSC)
  • 16GB DDR4 2933MHz Memory & 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD (1 – PCIe M.2 Slot Available & 1 – Available Hard Drive Bay)
  • Killer Double Shot Pro Wireless-AX 1650i 802.11ax WiFi 6 featuring 2×2 MU-MIMO technology (Dual-Band 2.4GHz and 5GHz) & Killer Ethernet E2600 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet LAN

Ask for Criticism

Nobody wants to get slap in the face. Asking for critisim especially about the work you created, is asking for a slap in the face. The more brutal the feedback, the more opportunities for you to grow. In the long run, a slap in the face is going to have a lot more mileage than a pat on the back.

If you show your work to others and ask them their opinion, they would most likely say nice things to you.

Next time, ask them what’s wrong with it.

They might not say what you want to hear but the odds are, they are going to go with their gut and tell you how they feel about it.

The truth hurts. But you shouldn’t get your ego get in the way. If it doesn’t look photo-real then it doesn’t.

You now know which parts of your work aren’t reading as photo-real.

Villeneuve & Deakins on Visual Storytelling using Lighting, Composition, and Framing

Denis Villeneuve and Roger Deakins have collaborated on some of the most visually stunning movies in recent years. In this video, Villeneuve and Deakins discuss their approach to visual storytelling in films like Sicario and Prisoners. Specifically, how cinematic lighting was used in their favorite scene from Sicario, how “cutting the frame” in composition focuses the audience, and how framing characters in wide shots can be just as effective as cutting in with close-ups.

In the first chapter, Deakins describes the technique of “cutting the frame,” in which shooting through a doorway or using the architecture of the set helps simplify the image. This effectively reduces the visual information and allows the viewer to focus where you want them to. In certain contexts or genres, this film composition technique can also create tension, as if these characters are unknowingly being watched.

In a scene that concludes Kate’s (Emily Blunt) character arc in Sicario, she is threatened by Alejandro (Benicio Del Toro) who holds a gun to her head to sign a document. As Deakins and Villeneuve point out, it’s such a simple scene in terms of cinematography techniques and film composition — two people sitting at a table talking. But the real visual storytelling is carried by the cinematic lighting. Kate is more evenly lit and exposed, while Alejandro is backlit, lurking and dangerous in the shadows.

For the final chapter, Villeneuve and Deakins talk about the director’s preference for holding shots or even entire scenes in wide shots. The example they point to comes in Sicario after the extraction/border shootout. As the rest of the team heads into the building, the camera stays wide to capture a tense argument between Kate and Matt (Josh Brolin) in the distance. Instead of cutting in with standard coverage, Kate is left alone, isolated in a wide shot. This type of visual storytelling challenges the viewer by breaking the rules of film composition.

As you approach visual storytelling in your next project, remember these tips. Use cinematic lighting to enhance the power of a simple dialogue scene; shoot through doors or around corners to focus the audience’s attention and/or create tension; and experiment with wide shots when showing a character in context as a more effective way to communicate their mental state.

Compositing Workstation Build 1 – $3000 (August 2020)


Total Amount with Taxes in Canadian Dollars as of August 24 2020

I have been asked by many students over the years what specs they should get for a home workstation PC. I usually answer this question based on their budget.

This is my build for a $3000 budget. I usually invest a little more in things like Monitors, Keyboard, Mouse & Tablet as these things tend to outlive the workstation itself.

AMD Ryzen 7 3700X 8-Core, 16-Thread Unlocked Desktop Processor with Wraith Prism LED Cooler

Price – $429.99

MSI ProSeries AMD Ryzen 2ND and 3rd Gen AM4 M.2 USB 3 DDR4 D-Sub DVI HDMI Micro-ATX Motherboard (B450M PRO-VDH Max)

Price – $150.55

Corsair Vengeance RGB PRO 32GB (4x8GB) DDR4 3200MHz C16 LED Desktop Memory, Black

Price – $257.99

Storage 1 – Nuke Localize
/Cache Drive
WD Blue 3D NAND 500GB Internal PC SSD – SATA III 6 Gb/s, M.2 2280, Up to 560 MB/s – WDS500G2B0B

Price – $79.99

MSI Gaming GeForce GTX 1650 128-Bit HDMI/DP 4GB GDRR6 HDCP Support DirectX 12 Dual Fan VR Ready OC Graphics Card (GTX 1650 D6 Gaming X)

Price – $144.99

NZXT H510 Compact Atx Mid-Tower PC Gaming Case, Front I/O USB Type-C Port, Tempered Glass Side Panel,Cable Management System

Price – $99.99

Storage 2 – OS / Data Drive
WD Blue 3D NAND 1TB Internal PC SSD – SATA III 6 Gb/s, 2.5″/7mm, Up to 560 MB/s – WDS100T2B0A

Price – $139.99

Thermal Paste
ARCTIC MX-4 2019 Edition – Thermal Compound Paste – Carbon Based High Performance – Heatsink Paste

Price – $11.81

BenQ 27″ 2560×1440 QHD IPS Designer Monitor (PD2700Q), 100% Rec. 709 and sRGB, CAD/CAM, Animation, Darkroom, Low Blue Light, Flicker-Free , 60Hz refresh rate, Black

Price – $399.99

Das Keyboard 4 Root Soft Tactile Cherry MX Brown Mechanical Keyboard

Price – $209 + $25.08
Import Fees Deposit

Logitech MX Master 3 Advanced Wireless Mouse – Graphite

Price – $123.35

Wacom Intuos Wireless Graphics Drawing Tablet with Bonus Software Included, 10.4″ X 7.8″, Black (CTL6100WLK0)

Price – $279.95

Windows 10 Home

Price – $189

How to Hold a Graphics Tablet Pen Correctly

If you want to know more about Tablets! Check out this Great Blog : https://tabletfeast.com/

Summary points of a good tablet pen grip:

1. Keep the pen VERTICAL (perpendicular) to the drawing tablet surface.

2. Keep your fingers as LOOSE as possible while still maintaining control of the pen. This requires a LOT less tension than you’d expect.

3. Draw with your ARM. Move your fingers and wrist only to adjust to your arm’s motion. Fight the urge to draw like you write (with your fingers and wrists in short motions).

4. Use the WEIGHT of your hand to apply pressure, NOT the muscle power of your fingers or wrist. Trust me, no matter how much you arm wrestle, your fingers and wrist aren’t strong enough to sustain hours of drawing without getting carpal tunnel.

5. Practice. Practice holding the pen vertically, loosely, drawing with your arm, and using the weight of your hand for pressure as needed. Practicing your grip and pressure is JUST AS IMPORTANT as practicing lines, curves, ellipses, cross-hatching, value drawing… You get the idea.

Suicide Squad – Kill the Justice League – Trailer

Join Task Force X and become an official member of the Suicide Squad in the latest story trailer for Rocksteady’s Suicide: Squad: Kill the Justice League. The trailer was shown off at DC FanDome 2021 and confirms the 2022 release window. Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League is coming to PC, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X|S.


G.SKILL Ripjaws V Series DDR4 3600MHz 32GB(16GBx2) Memory Kit

I am going to save you some time, and get straight to the point.

If you are on a Budget – get 16 GB DDR4 RAM
If you are building a home PC for compositing – get 32 GB DDR 4 RaM
If you want to build large 3D scenes, browse the web with 50 tabs open, have nuke open – get 64 GB DDR4 RAM.

There was a time when Ram was obscenly expensive and everyone I knew got the most they could afford. These days, thanks to all the competition, RAM has become fairly affordable. Always buy the newest RAM since they are more likely to be compatible with your new motherboard.

Frankly speaking, the more the better but you don’t want to spend all that money if you don’t need it.

Memory Requirement for Compositing
1080p Composites – 16 GB Minimum
4K Composites – 32 GB Minimum
6K-8K Composites – 64 GB Minimum

Of course, the more plates and elements you read in, the resolution of your plates and elements, the number of layers in your Exr sequences, the bit depth of your plates, elements and renders, and the presence of deep data will dramatically increase the amount of RAM required to process all these data.

And that is why is some studios, comper get like 300 GB of ram.

I got 64 GB of Ram and never looked back. Also my motherboard only supports up to 64GB.

Price – $783.98 (4 x 16 GB) 08 Feb 2017

The Flash – Teaser

Here’s our first look at the Scarlet Speedster’s solo film starring Ezra Miller as Barry Allen, Ben Affleck as Batman, and in his long-awaited return to the cape and cowl, Michael Keaton as Bruce Wayne/Batman. Andy Muschietti (It, It: Chapter Two, Mama) directs this big-screen variation on the classic DC Comics storyline Flashpoint, which will introduce the multiverse to the DCEU.

Le Yang – Alumni Visit

Le Yang, a former student of mine, who graduated in September 2017, came to speak to our Compositing students about her experiences in the VFX industry in Vancouver, Montreal, and Sydney, Australia early last year.

Le has previously worked at Animal Logic, Atomic Fiction, Stargate Studios, MPC and Method Studios.

She has worked on Justice League, A Wrinkle in Time, The Happytime Murders, The First, Love Death + Robots: Ice Age, Men in Black: International, and Peter Rabbit 2.

Houdini 19 – Sneak Peak

We are excited to share with you some of the things that have been keeping us busy this year. Click to see some of the new and upcoming developments and enhancements to the next version of Houdini.

Along with the release of Houdini 19, SideFX is pleased to host an H19 Houdini HIVE, featuring the Launch Reveal Presentation, plus two days of educational workshops by artists and developers with training on many of the new features.

These presentations will be available on Oct 18, 19, 21 at The View Conference’s online portal and then on Oct 18/28/29 via Youtube LIVE.

Learn more here: https://www.sidefx.com/houdini-hive/h…

How to Become a Nuke Technical Director

Considering a career as technical director, or just want to find out more? Join four of the industry’s top Nuke TDs as they offer exclusive insight into their role – what it took to get there, challenges they faced along the way, and advice on how to overcome these. Hosted by Christy Anzelmo, Foundry’s Director of Product – Compositing & Finishing, this roundtable will dive into what the daily life of a TD and technical artist looks like, and how they optimize their pipelines to help fulfil their creative vision.

Channel Mixer – Nuke Gizmo – Andrew Zeller

Download as Gizmo
(You need to have an account with Nukepedia to download from the Site)

Download as Group
(Just Copy all the text and paste it into Nuke’s Node Graph)

In this video, Andrew explains the different features of this gizmo and how you can use it to get better luma keys, tracks, and more options for desaturation quickly and easily in Nuke.

Tilta Camera Cage – Advanced Kit

Tilta Camera Cage for BMPCC 4K/6K Advanced Kit

One of the first things I bought with my Pocket 4K was this camera cage from Tilta. I will admit, it looked cool and seemed to do everything I wanted from a camera cage. It is completely customizable and I love the fact it has a modular design. One of my favorite things about this cage is the handle; makes it so much easier to hold the camera. Another thing I love is their mounting solution for the SSD.

One caveat is, the cage doesn’t quite fit snuggly on the camera. There are a few areas where there were small gaps between the cage and the camera causing the cage to slide a little. It is not a big concern as the locking mechanism is pretty tight, just wished that the cage was a tighter fit given how expensive this cage is.

Still, I haven’t seen a better and more sexier cage for the Pocket 4k than the one from Tilta.

Packing List

  1. Full Camera Cage for BMPCC 4K
  2. SSD Drive Holder for Samsung T5
  3. Quick Release Top Handle
  4. Rubber Side Handle
  5. 90-Degree USB-C Cable (20cm)
  6. 15mm LWS Baseplate
  7. (2) 15x200mm Rods – Black
  8. Partial Sunhood for BMPCC 4K

What is Frame Rate?

Frame rate matters and anyone who tells you otherwise isn’t paying attention. From the creative aspects like slow motion, to the practical considerations like being able to mix frame rates in the edit — the amount of frames per second you shoot matters. In this video, we’ll answer the following questions: What is frame rate? Does frame rate matter? And what frame rate should I use for video? This is the Ultimate Guide to Frame Rate Explained.

FPS Explained: Frame rate is measured as frames per second (fps), or the number of still images captured by the camera or presented by the projector every second. For decades, the standard frame rate (what some call the cinematic frame rate) has been 24 fps. Since digital cameras came into the picture the frame rates commonly run at 30 fps, 60 fps, or even 120 fps. Since the number of frames per second has a direct relationship with the “smoothness” of the motion, you might assume that a high frame rate is always better. But it all depends on the look you’re going for.

They call 24 fps the cinematic frame rate because it “looks” like movies do. The amount of motion blur associated with that particular frame rate can be achieved in digital formats, which is an aesthetic choice many videographers make. With The Hobbit, director Peter Jackson chose to shoot and present the films at 48 fps to create a more immersive 3D experience. More recently, director Ang Lee topped that with films like Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk and Gemini Man at a whopping 120 fps.

Some filmmakers have gone the other direction, away from “smooth and perfect” motion to something noticeably jagged and smeared. Directors like Wong Kar Wai, Tony Scott, and Quentin Tarantino have used a process called step printing, in which they shoot as low as 6 fps and “copy/paste” each frame 4 times to create 24 fps. Along with an open shutter, we get a normal rate of motion but with the look and feel of slow motion.

No matter if you’re working in cinematography or videography, frame rate matters. As you build your shot list and storyboard, remember these considerations and how frame rate works. Frame rate, like every other creative decision, has a direct impact on the finished product. What is frame rate? An opportunity to use the tools at your disposal to tell more immersive and

Your Honor – Recommended Watch

Bryan Cranston stars as a New Orleans judge who is forced to confront his own deepest convictions when his son is involved in a hit and run that embroils an organized crime family. As a storm of vengeance, lies and deceit threatens to engulf the entire city, Michael Desiato faces a series of increasingly impossible choices and discovers just how far an honest man will go to save his son’s life. From the producers of The Good Wife and The Night Of.

Jedi Academy Graduate Program

3 of my Students got selected for the Jedi Academy Graduate Program in July! They have since completed the program and Javier and Pamela got hired as compositors at ILM! How Freaking AWESOME is that! Nilson is on a break and most likely will be joining them in January.

After accomplishing all my goals for Lost Boys, I made a new 5 year goal earlier this year. To train one student so well that they can work at ILM as compositor right out of school. I guess I am going to have to set a new goal now.

Usually It took an artist 5 years working in the industry before they are even considered. And now I have 3 that got hired at ILM almost right out of my program.

Fun Fact! In total 5% of all the students I have thought are working at ILM at the moment!

The Art of Virtual Production with Weta Digital

Earlier in the year, Executive Producer David Conley and VFX Supervisors, Erik Winquist and Stephen Unterfranz, joined Shadow in the Cloud director Rosanne Liang on a panel for the DGA Virtual Production event. They had an open conversation about modern virtual production technology, including two projects with different LED workflows, and discussed in detail the learnings and challenges they experienced with some of WETA Digital’s earlier LED virtual production projects.

MSI X370 XPower Gaming Titanium Motherboard

MSI X370 XPower Gaming Titanium Motherboard

Keep in mind, I built my main workstation in 2017. Don’t go out and buy the same components I purchased. This is just a guide as to what you need to be looking for when you are building your own PC.

I have always told everyone, if you are not into computer hardware, buy pre-made high-end gaming pc.

You also don’t need to buy those expensive workstation-grade PCs, which use the same parts you can buy off the shelf for a much lower price. Companies like BOXX, buy those parts, put them into their own cases, customize the hardware, and charge you a premium. These services are for people who don’t want to deal with the internal machinations of a computer. Also, companies like BOXX have a smaller customer base, and if you have a question about your computer and even why software is sluggish on your BOXX workstation, they will answer and help you out. Good Luck getting dell to respond to you.

If you are building your own computer, although you are saving money, unfortunately, you will not be saving time. A few of my friends built their own pcs only to realize that their computer did not boot up and kept crashing every 15mins. If you don’t have a tech bench and spare parts, it is troublesome to figure out what is wrong with your machine. If you brought a pre-made computer, it has a warranty; you bring it in; they fix it up for you. Or you can bring it to a decent computer shop, where they have all the tools to diagnose your computer.

Personally I have fixed all the computer issues I faced at the studio and at home by myself or by getting some help from Mark (owner of Lost Boys). Between the two of us, there is very little we can’t fix. Hence why Lost Boys has never had an IT guy!

On to today’s topic, then. Motherboards. I got the MSI X370 XPOWER Gaming Titanium Motherboard.

I got this one for 4 Reasons.

1. It was an AMD arm Motherboard that supported the Ryzen 7 series from AMD (there is a new firmware update that lets you use Ryzen 9 chips)

2. One of the few motherboards that let you have an Nvidia SLI setup. (you can have two Nvidia graphics cards for GPU Rendering!)

3. Supported 64GB Max Ram

4. Had 2 NVM Express M.2 PCI-E slots

5. Looks super cool.

One thing you might not know about MSI’s premium lineup is that they have the double ESD protection around the motherboard mounting holes. These prevent electrostatic discharge surges (ESD) from damaging the motherboard.

Personally, MSI has always been my go-to brand for motherboards. All the components they use on their boards are of premium quality and have had very little issues with their boards.

Price – $446.88 (21 July 2017)

Dune – Final Trailer

A mythic and emotionally charged hero’s journey, “Dune” tells the story of Paul Atreides, a brilliant and gifted young man born into a great destiny beyond his understanding, who must travel to the most dangerous planet in the universe to ensure the future of his family and his people. As malevolent forces explode into conflict over the planet’s exclusive supply of the most precious resource in existence – a commodity capable of unlocking humanity’s greatest potential – only those who can conquer their fear will survive.

Resident Evil – Welcome to Raccoon City – Trailer

Returning to the origins of the massively popular RESIDENT EVIL franchise, fan and filmmaker Johannes Roberts brings the games to life for a whole new generation of fans. In RESIDENT EVIL: WELCOME TO RACCOON CITY, once the booming home of pharmaceutical giant Umbrella Corporation, Raccoon City is now a dying Midwestern town. The company’s exodus left the city a wasteland…with great evil brewing below the surface. When that evil is unleashed, a group of survivors must work together to uncover the truth behind Umbrella and make it through the night.

The Last Duel – Official Opening Scene Clip

The Last Duel is a tale of betrayal and vengeance set against the brutality of 14th century France. The drama is set in the midst of the Hundred Years War and explores the ubiquitous power of men, the frailty of justice, and the strength and courage of one woman willing to stand alone in the service of truth.

Based on actual events, the film unravels long-held assumptions about France’s last sanctioned duel between Jean de Carrouges and Jacques Le Gris, two friends turned bitter rivals.

The film stars Matt Damon, Adam Driver, Jodie Comer, Ben Affleck, and Harriet Walter.

The Last Duel, directed by Ridley Scott, arrives in theaters on October 15, 2021.

Lost in Space – Season 3 – Teaser Trailer

In the third and final season of Lost in Space, the stakes are higher than ever and the Robinson family’s survival instincts will be put to the ultimate test. After a year of being trapped on a mysterious planet, Judy, Penny, Will, and the Robot must lead the 97 young Colonists in a harrowing evacuation — but not before secrets are unearthed that will change their lives forever. Meanwhile, John and Maureen — with Don at their side — must battle overwhelming odds as they try to reunite with their kids. The Robinsons will have to grapple with the emotional challenge of not just being lost — but being separated from the ones they love… as they face the greatest alien threat yet. Lost in Space Season 3 premieres Wednesday, December 1, only on Netflix.

Finish the Day

Do as much as you can. When the day comes to an end, look back at it and marvel at how much you did and then get to bed. If you get to wake up tomorrow, do it all over again

Not every day is going to be great. Most days are going to be ordinary and some days are just plain terrible. But whatever kind of day you have had, end it. Be done with it!

Stop feeling like you didn’t do much and forgive yourself. A little kindness to yourself goes a long way as a creative. That is why instead of having a to-do list, I have an accomplishment list. Every time I finish something, I write it down in Notion. Just before bed, when I look at my Notion Accomplishment List, I feel satisfied that I did all that I could.

If there is something I couldn’t get to, well it wasn’t really a priority. I have learned to let things go.

Ever Onwards I always say. Another day another chance at accomplishing new and exciting things.

95Wh V-Mount Battery & D-Tap Charger Bundle

The main issue with the pocket 4k is power. It lasts only for 22 minutes.

Cinema cameras are meant to be modular, and the Pocket 4K is no exception. People who shoot cinema need a rig that needs to work in different situations. They need a rig that has to be highly customizable. Therefore, all the cinema cameras you see from Sony, Canon, Red, Arri are modular.

The Pocket 4k has an unfortunate problem of looking too much like a standard DSLR camera which makes it a target for its perceived shortcomings. The Pocket 4k’s battery wasn’t meant to power the camera for shoots. It was meant to power the camera while you are swapping batteries.

And that is exactly why if you are getting a Pocket 4K, you need to find an alternative way to power the camera. I went with a V-Mount Battery solution.

I bought the Comer 95Wh V-Mount Battery & D-Tap Charger Bundle. A Single V-Mount battery can power the Pocket 4K for about 8 hours. Problem solved. Well not quite. Now that I have an expensive battery, the next thing I had to get was a way to mount it.

This is the part where everyone is going to have to find a solution that works for them. Out of the box, you cannot mount the V-Mount Battery to the Pocket 4K. I had to accessorize my camera with cage and V-Mount Battery Plates.

Price – $290.39 + 35.21 Import Tax (May 30, 2019)

Portable Monitors

AZMIOR 15.6 4k Portable Monitor

One of the common questions I get from my students about computers is, should I get a full workstation (Desktop PC) or a laptop.

I recommend international students to get a laptop. Buy the best one they can afford from global brands like MSI or Dell. For portability and also international warranties.

They will also quickly realize that they need a second monitor. Some of my students go out and buy a cheap monitor and sell it right before they move. But there is a new alternative; Portable Monitors.

I recently purchased an AZMIOR 4K 15.6 Portable Monitor. I was sick of changing the input of my 4K monitor to play my PS4 at my desk. Also, when I change inputs on my monitor, Windows reshuffles some of my program windows to accommodate the change in overall resolution.

Even though I got it for gaming, it is something I am planning to bring along with me once it is safe to travel.

If you are a student or a junior artist, I recommend picking a portable monitor to use as your second screen in your room. And when you have to move, you can just bring it along wherever you go. There several models out there with options like 4K, HD, with Touch Screen, HDR, FreeSync, etc. If you are a stickler for colour accuracy and HDR implantation, you will not find it among portable monitors.

For compositing students, and fresh graduates, these monitors can be used to expand your nuke workspace or to watch a tutorial.

The cool thing about some of these monitors is they have hdmi and usb-c inputs. You can connect your PS4, XBOX, Switch, and even your phones to these monitors.

There is one thing you need to know, even though they are called portable monitors, they do need power. Some of them can draw power from the device they are plugged into thru the USB-C but if you are using hdmi for video, you need to power your portable monitors. Some people have tried to power them through those portable chargers and they do work but you have to figure if those chargers produce enough amp to power your monitors.

Frankly, I am only ever going to use this device if I have a power source nearby. I am also not one of those people who go to a coffee shop to work, occupy an entire table, and hog all the power outlets. These monitors are meant to be used in your own personal space.

I highly recommend looking into one, if you need a second monitor and are planning to move where ever the wind takes you.

Be Quiet! Dark Base Pro 900

Dark Base Pro 900 rev.2

It’s time to talk about all the parts I got for my main workstation. This workstation wasn’t necessarily built for compositing. Even though most people know me as a compositing instructor, I do lots of 3D on the side.

Before teaching compositing, I used to teach the Visual Effects program at Lost Boys. This was a generalist program covering every area of Visual Effects. Unfortunately, once we specialized in compositing, we lost the ability to generate high-quality 3D assets from our student population.

And so, that burden fell on me. I had to generate all the necessary 3D assets for my students and also well as for our lighting students.

Let’s start with the case. I got the be Quiet! Dark Base Pro 900.

I have had and used my cases before, and the number one thing I hate about cases is sharp corners. I hate getting scratched in the arms whenever I am assembling my computers. The general rule of thumb is, the cheaper the case, the more you will hate it. This case has rounded corners all around. A case made for humans!

The second thing is cable management. The more expensive the case, the better options you will have for cable management. This matters a lot when you have a tempered glass side panel letting everyone see the guts of your pc.

The third was the size. I needed to put an ATX motherboard in there, two 120mm CPU cooler fans, and it to be big enough to fit two full-sized GPUs.

The fourth thing is raised legs. The entire case is raised off the ground, which makes it easier to move it as you can reach under the case, without needing to lift the case and squashing your hands.

The fifth thing is, there is a charging bay right on top of the case. I love this feature as I don’t want my phone distracting me when it is on my table. So I leave my phone on the charging bay while I work.

The last thing is, well, it is quiet. It lives up to its namesake.

You probably won’t be able to get this case anymore as be Quiet! has a newer revised model. I recommend getting that. It is superior in every way!

Price – $347.19 (July 21, 2017)

Uncanny Valley

In the slums of the future, virtual reality junkies satisfy their violent impulses in online entertainment. An expert player discovers that the line between games and reality is starting to fade away.

Jungle Cruise – DNEG

Step into the cave and learn more about DNEG’s work on Disney’s Jungle Cruise!

Enjoy this peek behind-the-scenes with DNEG VFX Supervisor Chris Downs as he details the creative process behind constructing the ‘moon roof’ that helps ignite the magic behind the show’s climactic ‘tree of life’.

Quit Perfection

No one is paying you to be perfect. Close enough is, good enough. If perfection is demanded, then charge them for it. You will see how many clients suddenly become okay with close enough.

Too many artist spend too much time trying to perfect a piece of their work before they actually finish it.

Quit prefection, run with what you’ve got and fix it as you go

Blade 2 – Recommended Watch

Four years after scoring a box-office touchdown with Blade (1998), actor Wesley Snipes returns to portray the Marvel Comics character again in this sequel that teams him with Mexican horror director Guillermo del Toro.

A half-vampire, half-human hybrid, Blade (Snipes) is a merciless vampire hunter bent on destroying the bloodsuckers that feed on humanity. The keys to Blade’s success are a serum that allows him to resist the urge for blood and an array of inventive, deadly weapons, both of which were once supplied by his mentor, Whistler (Kris Kristofferson). Since Whistler’s death, Blade has relocated to Prague and recruited the pot-smoking slacker Scud (Norman Reedus) to take the place of his father figure, but then he discovers that Whistler’s not dead after all: He’s been infected with the vampire virus.

Reunited with Whistler, Blade is dealt an even bigger surprise: His greatest enemy, vampire leader Damaskinos (Thomas Kretschmann), wants to make peace with him. It seems that the vampires are facing a greater threat than Blade and hope to persuade him to fight the Reapers, a mutated super-race of vampires on a rampage of murder, indiscriminately killing both humans and their fellow bloodsuckers while sucking their victims dry. Blade agrees to a truce and joins the Bloodpack, an elite squad of commandos originally formed to fight Blade himself.

Soon, the vampire soldiers discover that the virus responsible for creating their enemies is spreading rapidly and can be traced back to a mysterious “Patient Zero.” Blade 2 (2002) co-stars Ron Perlman, Leonor Varela, Donnie Yen, and Matt Schulze.


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