Garrett Fry is a Matte Painter and Concept Artist for Feature films. Garrett has filled such roles as Senior Matte Painter, Matte Painting Sequence Lead and Matte Painting Technical Lead on such films as "The Great Gatsby", "The Hunger Games", "X Men First Class", "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" and "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button". Garrett has been recognized for his work in creating new, innovative Matte Painting techniques and his work has appeared in Cinefex Magazine.


More recently Garrett has worked with MPC to create a 3DDMP Academy Curriculum and has taught Matte Painting and Environment TD MPC Academy Courses.

Nuke Tree Tool Gadget for Randomizing Tree Cards

LEVEL: ADVANCED

Here is a very useful gadget I created for making tree cards in Nuke. I adapted something similar to this to use on “X-Men: First Class”. I love the idea of tree cards in Nuke so I just created this gadget from the bottom up with a lot of really cool features. It works well but it is what I would call “beta” because I have not used it on a actual show yet. So I guess you could say it is not “production tested”. Download the gadget and tell me what you think.

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Basic Nuke Multi Projection Setup for Matte Painting

LEVEL: BASIC

This is a basic multi projection matte painting setup for Nuke. There are 4 projections that make up this animated camera move of this column. I added a animated spec pass for some moving shine just for fun.

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Basic Maya Multi Projection Setup for Matte Painting

LEVEL: BASIC

There have been a lot of requests for a tutorial of a basic Maya multi projection setup for matte painting. This is not a glamorous example of projections but I was going for simple and clear in order to teach the setup. I put this setup together a while ago and you can see a little of my frustration coming out with the way Maya does projections. The biggest problem with Maya projections is the complexity of the set up and Maya not giving good feedback if something is set up wrong. A lot of times if something is broken Maya does not give any ques of what is wrong--I guess that describes how Maya works in a lot of ways (arg!).

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Overtime in the VFX Industry

LEVEL: BASIC

Every show that I have worked on has had overtime--it is a reality of VFX post production. Working 80 hours a week for over a month or two is typical. I have done a 120 hour week one time--boy that was crazy.

This is how the overtime typically works. Early in a production there will be no overtime. When things start picking up they will usually tell you that you can work up to a certain amount of hours, like 60 or something, but they leave it up to you. Then the 60 will be mandatory, then 70, then 80 and so on. You will go to a 6 day work week (working Saturdays) and then if things are really crazy you will go to a full 7 day work week. However, I have only worked a couple of Sundays, preferring to get my time in throughout the week.

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Nuke/MARI Bridge: Multi UDIM Gadget

LEVEL: ADVANCED

[dropcap cap="N"]uke does not natively recognise more then one UDIM or in other words, any UV groupings outside of 0 to 1. This is kind of a limitation of the Nuke Mari work flow since MARI’s power comes from using multiple UDIMs. This tool I created enables Nuke to recognise and map an obj with more then one UDIM correctly. I have limited the tool to 10 UDIMs (1-10). Not sure why you would want more then that. You can specify the size of your textures and you can toggle to see all of your textures at once . I would assume that at some point The Foundry will make this work natively without the workaround.[/dropcap]

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Nuke/MARI Bridge for Matte Painting Demo

ADVANCED

This demo shows how to integrate what comes out of MARI into your nuke projections. The Nuke/MARI Bridge is still kind of new and I think people are not sure really how to utilize it yet. To my knowledge, there is nothing like this article out there that explains how to integrate MARI into Nuke from a matte painting point of view. All that I have posted here are things that I have explored and developed myself--I think this is cutting edge of matte painting right now.

In the below image, on the left, is a pillar that is comprised of 4 projections setup in Nuke. On the right is the MARI paint (not the best example of what MARI can do--you can take it a lot farther and do a lot trickier stuff but it was fast to do).

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Maya Multi UDIM Shader to View MARI Models

LEVEL: ADVANCED

To accompany the Nuke UDIM Gadget is this a Maya shader that will allow you to see all the textures on your multi UDIM geo from MARI. Just read in the images to the corresponding nodes in the hypershade and you are good to go. I have only allowed for 10 UDIMS (that is from 1-10) but you can add more if you dig around the shader to see how it was constructed. I am not giving a lot of explanation about how this shader is put together because I figure you can figure it out if you dig through it.

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Location Shooting 4: Camera Equipment

LEVEL: BASIC

I own a basic SLR Cannon Rebel. It takes 4k images which is probably the minimum you need. I have a zoom lens that goes from 18 mm to 250 mm. I like the versatility of of being able to shoot wide and then be able to zoom into something really tight. There are some compromises to a long lenses like needing longer exposure times but I think it is worth it. A Tripod is nice, one that you can fit on your back for hiking around is great. I mostly would use a tripod for low light photography or sky domes. Like I said I am kind of wanting a more souped-up camera—those canons that can shoot video look very cool.

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Location Shooting 3: Reflector Vest

LEVEL: BASIC

Ok, this is kind of a kooky one but I think is a great tip. It came to me when I was on a night shoot with Chris Evens. We had a tripod and people were looking at us wondering what we were doing. After a while, because we where shooting in the road, Chris put on a reflector vest so that the cars would not hit him. He chuckled as he put it on but I actually thought it was quite sensible. What happened after that was amazing. People actually stopped looking at us. It was like we were invisible. Somehow the reflector vest changed us into some kind of “official survey team” and no one payed any attention to us. We just dropped into the background.

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Location Shooting 2: The Way You Shoot

LEVEL: BASIC

You kind of have to go through the process of shooting and putting them in matte paintings over and over to get a sense of the kind of shooting that is good for matte painting. There are several different styles of shooting, most of which are not good for matte painting: the typical VFX team on location shooting (not sure why but always bad), texture artist shooting, vacationer shooting, professional photographer shooting, etc.

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Location Shooting 1: The Power of Transparencies

LEVEL: BASIC

[dropcap cap="L"]ocation shooting is great--gets you out in the open and away from squinting at that computer all day. I think it gives balance and verity to the job. It’s kind of funny to say but I am able to engage more in the world with a camera in my hand.

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I put some ideas together about location photography for matte painters. Some ideas would be considered “basic”. Others, I think, are cool tips industry people might be interested in. This was getting to be kind of a long post so I am breaking it up into sections. Here is the first of four tips so far.

 

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How to Make 2D Tree Cards Work in 3D Films

LEVEL: ADVANCED

 

 2D Tree cards have been a long time solution for trees in prelaxing matte shots. When stereo (3D) films came around it seemed that the 2D card gag would not hold up because 2D cards have no demention. It is true that you cannot use them totally like they used to be used but they still can be used in 3D films. Let me show you how.

treeIntro

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How to Create Animated Signs in Nuke for Matte Painting

Here is a little trick for doing Animated signs in Nuke for city matte paintings at night. It is very easy. You can bash out a bunch of different signs and get them animated in Nuke very quickly.

signOpenGL

This is what your animated sign cards look like in Nuke after you are all done.

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Getting Multi Patch OBJs Working in Nuke for MARI

I made a post named "Nuke/MARI Bridge Multi Patch Gadget" a while ago. In that post I did not give a real indepth explanation how the multi patches or the gadget works and how to use it. So I wanted to make this follow up post and video more fully cover the subject. I often use multi patch (or UDIMS) in Nuke for Matte Painting. It is also the workflow I use when working with MARI. I believe that the Foundry

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EMI Generator: Amazing Photoshop Brush Tool

LEVEL: BASIC

So I wanted to share this because I am so impressed with the results. I was looking around the Internet because I wanted some Photoshop brushes that looked like night lights being cast onto buildings. I found this "IES Creator". It looks like it is used by lighting designers to see the pattern of different lights when cast on a wall. But it just so happens that if makes fantastic Photoshop brushes. You can download different .ies files in a bunch of places that emulate specific lights which is pretty cool.[/dropcap]

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Animated Cars in Nuke for Matte Paintings

LEVEL: ADVANCED

This is just a neat trick to bring a little life into urban night matte paintings. I think this highlights how things can be way over thought and often the more simple solution is often the more elegant one. So if it ever comes up "how are we going to do cars." and their solution is "let's get our high res cars in there and light them, and do a overnight render." You can say "there is a better way!"

carMayaFront

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