Double Negative

Gavin Graham, Co-Head, VFX; The Visual Effects of 3D: Rush

DNEG History

Started 1998

Team of 30 Pitch Black

Works mainly in film, but, has also worked in TV Department.

Gavin Graham, FX –

  • Rigid Body Dynamics
  • Natural Phenomena
  • Move by Physics
  • Computer Science, Trinity College in Dublin
  • Master in Computer Animation
  • Lucky Break: Night Manager, DNEG
  • FX Technical Director
  • FX Supervision/Supervisor

Research: Tracks, cars, stand-ins, Visual Effects: danger, cost, schedule, recreate places, events or character

Previs Animation

  • On Set: What can we film – the foreground
  • Reference: take photographs of environment, taking/ capture reference, cars (building of car, how many cars to build, 1976 cars, People volunteered cars) and lighting
  • Build Process
  • All of detail needs to be made; lots of detail needs to be created
  • Texture, painting, details, render details
  • Geometary detail approval
  • Vibre glass, Vibre strands
  • If breaking something apart what kind of shading is involved
  • 23 CGI cars

Paint shader – physically, plausible, rendering (Renderman and Arnold) – higher render time.

Lighting – image based light, be on set capture light where it was

Car animation – tyres, interact with ground, effects rig, render rigs, stick to reality, panted on residual, detail, texture generation

Driving simulator – used to do a lot of the actual animation of the cars

Adding danger – green screens, cockpit shots are hard

CG wing mirrior, CG advisor

The Grid – create extra cars, people, how to achieve/ what should be wet/ what should be CG

Stands and crowds – 70’s flags, modelling job, crowds were filmed 3d for placement, photographing setup

Photo booth – high resolution hero character 3D angle reconstruct a mesh later on

Track flavour – secret weapon

Dressing – signage/ stadium/ tracks/ intrigation bunch of trees

1976, Nurburgrings, climax of film, digital, has to look belivable, real Events, pivot to the story, crash FX rigging, damage to car – interactive lighting, fire – simulating fire, create to real rules, FX – real velocities, divide and conquer

Post crash planning – comp. – putting all together Reddit Thread.

Tips Team Work

  • Small things and big things
  • Ability work in team
  • Have an opinion
  • Ask for help
  • Communicate effectively
  • Follow lead
  • Ability to present
  • Asking somebody to review your work
  • critics don’t take it personally
  • present exactly the information you want to put across
  •  try to work at everything togethr at the same time
  • work in parallel

University of Ulster Arts Festival

Very interesting talk tonight. I have learned how it is important to understand your business. Ask the right questions. Listen to the right answers.
He even gave a good list of twelve rules of quality design research.
Really good talk, looking forward to Sandra Scott’s tomorrow night.


Sandra Scott

Excellent talk from Sandra Scott. I always get excited hearing from others their own experiences of their work/job.
I have learned so much – I did not know Image Movers Digital has closed… Shocker! I really like their A Christmas Carol, it is one of those films that has sparked my interest in Mocap. I have never heard of Atomic Fiction: and from their show reel they look awesome. I think I would enjoy animating an explosion, someday. Explosions = Awesome! Also something that has been drilling in my mind is: STORY! STORY! STORY! A very important topic and one that is taken….VERY SERIOUSLY!
One thing I have really like the most about Brian McMahon and Sandra Scott’s talks has been how they present themselves and explain what they do to an audience. Three Cs: (always be) Calm, Cool and Collective.


Collin Williams

Colin Williams’ talk was a very inspiring one; it has given me motivation. I particularly admired the length and depth of their photo references and research. I also found theDriftWood Bay cartoon very charming and delightful; I can see this cartoon being watched by both children and their parents.


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