Thursday, December 24, 2009

Holiday card 2009

The Robot Rumpus holiday card, featuring a digital still-life of IG-88 and a candy cane! Happy whatever it is you celebrate!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

VFX reel 2009

Robot Rumpus reel 2009 from Jason Dunn on Vimeo.

New exciting reel for 2009! Now mostly explosions!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Destruction of Kandor

From the Smallville episode, Kandor, in which we flash back its destruction on planet Krypton.

The matte painting was built as a still in photoshop, and I used the warp tools in Nuke to animate it. I then comped it in After Effects with footage of an LA firestorm to get the smoke to billow.The destruction of the city is a cocktail of particles, breaking glass elements, gas explosion elements, dust, and exploding Styrofoam.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Halloween still life

Digital still life of Halloween stuff, lit by a glow stick and a candle.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Portrait of Mike Nusbaum

This was a commission I got from the University of Pennsylvania, to paint a portrait of the head of the neuroscience graduate program, on the occasion of his retirement. He is an expert on the crab nervous system, and an enthusiast of all things crab.

They have a centuries-long tradition of portraiture at the university, although it seems to have lost some steam in the last few decades. My brother and I decided to try to revive it. We wanted to emulate the classical style of a lot of the older portraits, but this one was done digitally in Photoshop.

It was meant to be a surprise for his retirement party, so I went to his lectures covertly to study his face and mannerisms. Along with that, and random snapshots and a mirror, I built this image.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

art nouveau-themed portrait

Three hour digital sketch from a costumed model (Sara Streeter) at Bob Kato's drawing club.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Terminator submarine sequence

Here's a sequence we did for Terminator:The Sarah Connor Chronicles at Entity FX. A bunch of stuff happens in a submarine, so we needed a series of establishing shots of the exterior, as well as the climax shot when the submarine *spoiler alert* blows up at the end.

I started with a series of concept sketches based on the storyboards for color and composition...

The sub was modeled and animated in Maya by Pharoah Barrett, and the chrome terminator eel was animated by Andrew Lema. I comped the shot in After Effects, and used several layers of fire elements, spherized and color-corrected green, as the underwater explosion. I also layered in several time-warped dust-explosion elements to simulate underwater bubble clouds at a large scale.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Scanning aperture three dimensional display device

These are the first in a series of patents filed a couple of years ago by me and my business partner, David Hartkop, for a three-dimensional flat-screen display. It would work without glasses and allow for a wide viewing range. Essentially, you could display a 3D object on the screen and view it from different angles, relative to your viewing position. It would have been great, except our funding for the second prototype fell through when the majority of our claims were rejected by the patent office, because it was found they infringed on a similar patent by a Japanese company who had thought of it first.
Our original prototype resides in an unmarked crate in a secret warehouse, but you can read the patents here.

David has since started a coffee company around a solar coffee roaster he designed and built.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Zombie Ostrich

Sketch of a plastinated, zombified ostrich from a museum exhibit.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Great Buck Howard

My rough poster design for the new movie with John Malkovich, in which he plays a hypnotist. I thought it would be fun to make a straightforward magic show poster, and really not even acknowledge it as a movie.

Spirit background designs

Concept backgrounds for "The Spirit," painted in Photoshop at EntityFX. Each of these panels was a green screen element, which I had to key and integrate into a full environmental sketch. We then comped them into each shot, and edited it all together. Beware of potential spoilers.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

"The Spirit" matte paintings + concept

Here was a fun thing to do... two epic explosion shots for The Spirit which I got to take from sketch to final comp.

concept art

matte painting in final comp

We started with sketches, which sat as placeholders in the edit, while framing, composition, and design issues were all addressed in editorial context. When Frank Miller was finally satisfied with these things, they were next fleshed-out into detailed matte paintings.

Matching the angle of my sketch, matte painter Roger Kupelian rendered an overhead view of the city in 3D. I took his renders and painted over them in Photoshop, basically to tweak, re-light and modulate detail. I layered in clouds from various stock photo sources, and translated the smoke tentacles into 3d particles.

The final comp was done in After Effects, using warpers on the clouds to make them billow.

concept art

matte painting in final comp

Sunday, January 18, 2009

X-files waterfall sequence

Here are some early environment concept images I did in preparation for a sequence which was ultimately cut from X-Files: I want to Believe, in which Mulder investigates by a frozen waterfall.

These are preliminary designs for what would have been the waterfall matte painting.