Avengers: Age of Ultron

May 13th, 2015 . 0 comments

Avengers: Age of Ultron is now out in the cinemas, including a sequence that a small team of us at Animal Logic worked on for about nine months. We were responsible for the ‘Birth of Ultron’ sequence, creating the Jarvis and Ultron characters’ hologram representations in Tony Stark’s lab, and also the ‘cyberspace’ sequence where Ultron becomes self-aware while searching the internet. The process of creating these was highly creative and interesting, and I’m happy to have had the chance to take responsibility for so much of what was shown on screen, from the months of design development through to the final animated imagery. There’s a bit more info in this article on fxGuide and this interview with SideFX.

Jarvis&  Ultron


Laplacian Growth

February 4th, 2015 . 1 comment

The two above pieces are some sculptural objects I’ve produced for an exhibition a friend of mine runs every year. They’re the result of some ongoing work and research I’ve been doing into generative techniques for modelling and growing organic objects – in this case, coral. The objects were designed using a directed laplacian growth process, then 3d printed and cast in brass.

The video below shows the progression preceding the final forms.

They’re currently on exhibition and available for purchase until Feb 23 at Art By Design 10, Wedge Gallery, near Books Kinokuniya, L2, The Galeries, 500 George St, Sydney.

Jurassic Park Terrarium

December 22nd, 2013 . 0 comments

I just finished making a terrarium for Kat’s birthday. It’s an homage to her favourite scene in Jurassic Park when the lawyer gets eaten on the toilet. I was able to pick up a plastic dinosaur from the Australian museum, and some architectural model making supplies for the destroyed toilet structure, but I wanted to make it accurate, so used 3d printing for the lawyer on the toilet. I’m not a great modeller/sculptor, but at the size it was printed, I could get away with a pretty rough digital sculpt to generate the STL for printing. It’s a repurposed version of this toilet combined with a modified old human base mesh I made years ago.

Once again I used Rapid Prototyping Services in Sydney for the print – the level of fine detail and quality was impeccable, unfortunately a bit masked by my dodgy paint job with too many layers of undercoat. You can check how well it fares against the reference.

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digital sculpt

The Lego Movie

December 4th, 2013 . 2 comments

Last week I wrapped on The Lego Movie, produced at Animal Logic in Sydney. It was tons of fun to work on with lots of unique challenges for us in the fx department. It’s also really surprised me, becoming a much better film than I initially imagined. I’m looking forward to seeing it when it comes out next year, until then here’s the trailer:

Tile necklace

December 28th, 2011 . 4 comments

I made another piece of jewelry for Kat‘s birthday last week – I thought I’d experiment with making a necklace rather than a ring like last time. It’s 3D printed and cast in sterling silver, and sits in three parts. Originally the idea was to have the arrangement customisable so they could be re-positioned along the chain, but in the end only a few combinations hang well in practice. Doing it this way, as opposed to a pendant, is much more complicated than I imagined and will require a bit more experimentation and prototyping if I attempt it again in the future.

The design is inspired by an islamic tile pattern that we saw recently while travelling in Turkey. I modelled it in Houdini by first procedurally re-creating the tiling pattern, then randomly breaking it up and distorting the pieces with some final detailing and bevelling. The final form was chosen by spending a while experimenting with different random seeds and noise offsets to find something that worked aesthetically. I then brought it into Blender for final tweaks, cleaned up the geometry to be watertight, added sprues for ease of casting, and exported the STL file for the print service.

procedural jewellery

December 23rd, 2010 . 1 comment

It was K’s birthday recently, and this year I wanted to do something a bit different for a present. I’ve been getting more familiar with Houdini lately, and thought it would be a good exercise to use it to design a ring, to be rapid prototyped and cast in sterling silver. I was aiming for something geometric with a hint of art deco (which she likes), and I also involved random elements in the production, so the end product would be something quite unique.

Houdini was great for this, I tried to keep it as procedural as possible, giving lots of room for experimentation. The final model was brought into Blender for some more detailing, and export to STL. The printers (rapidprototype.com.au) did a great job, the cast ended up looking great with very well resolved detail in what is a very small piece. I made a little video below showing some of the sop network in Houdini.

exhibition, kinokuniya sydney

October 19th, 2010 . 2 comments

For the last 6 years or so, a friend of mine from uni has organised ‘Art by Design’, an annual exhibition in Kinokuniya Sydney’s Wedge Gallery. This year I thought it would be fun to enter something in as a good motivation to take a break and produce something outside of commercial work.

I entered an illustration – a bit of fun, looking at the excitement of the early era of flight. It was produced with 3D renders mixed with a bit of digital painting over the top, and was actually more of a challenge than I thought, having to get back into doing the entire process (character modelling/posing) rather than just the lighting/shading as I’ve been doing mostly exclusively for the last few years.

The show is on until Nov 13 at Kinokuniya in The Galeries, 500 George St, Sydney.

quick gecko tvcs

June 8th, 2010 . 5 comments

Recent jobs – quick lighting/setup on a couple more Bridgestone Gecko TVCs in blender 2.5:

first (little) 2.5 project

December 10th, 2009 . 1 comment

Last night I finished my first artwork project in Blender 2.5 start to finish, though of course it’s a lot smaller than most other things I’ve done lately 🙂 Went surprisingly smoothly in this case, only discovered one new bug, which I’ve subsequently fixed. Slowly but steadily, we get more and more ready for production!

The result itself was a christmas card illustration for Kat to send to her clients and contacts.

gecko on fxguide

November 4th, 2009 . 0 comments

Just came across a ‘quick take’ article about our Bridgestone Gecko work on fxguide: Bridgestone by RedCartel.

Klaas Vaak

October 10th, 2009 . 6 comments

We recently finished a cg sequence for ‘Klaas Vaak’, a European children’s TV show. The show’s about the Sand Man (Klaas Vaak), who tells stories and illustrates them with sand drawings, and it looks really fun. We did a 30 second intro sequence and 10 second end credits sequence. The character’s owned by a large theme park, Efteling, and as I understand, some of this stuff will be constructed in real life at the theme park – very cool.

As usual, I did lighting/shading/comp, and some modelling and fur work too. Jeremy Davidson did most of everything else – animation, rigging, particles, etc. In general it went pretty smoothly, although some of the bigger shots full of trees and houses caused some headaches with the amount of geometry. Especially since at the start of the project we were using 32bit systems to render, though we ended up moving to 64bit midway. Only the first few visible ‘layers’ of trees are geometry (well even still, geometry with branch alpha mapped image textures), but after that, much of them are either image planes with baked colour/normal/alpha maps. All in all though, I’m pretty happy with how it turned out.

available for freelance

September 15th, 2009 . 1 comment

Today I moved to a contract position at Red Cartel, so I’m now available for freelance projects. I’ll continue to work with them as needed, but this means I’ll also have down-time available to work on other things on a contractual basis, such as 3d artwork/animation, scripting, or blender development.

If you’re interested in hiring me for freelance work, please don’t hesitate to contact me at . Thanks!


August 12th, 2009 . 1 comment

In the last month our studio ProMotion (now RedCartel) has had a few nice magazine writeups. We’ve got multiple page articles in both the September issue of 3D World magazine and August issue of Desktop magazine, so go check it out!

gecko tvcs

May 27th, 2009 . 1 comment

Some recent Bridgestone Gecko TVCs @ ProMotion. I did shading/lighting/comp.

lighthouse / tornado

January 24th, 2009 . 2 comments

Last week I went to see a few sessions of the 2009 Sydney festival called films afloat, a free outdoor film screening on a massive screen floating out in the middle of Darling Harbour. Before the main feature (each night a different movie, with a soundtrack played by an improvising live band!) they showed the finalists of the animation competition, which our short ‘Lighthouse’ was included in. We ended up coming second in the competition, which was nice, but even better just to have it shown outdoors in front of a few thousand people in such a great atmosphere.

At work we also published a project we finished late last year, which was our first production use of the volume rendering tools I’ve been working on. It’s just a couple of shots, produced for an internal corporate video involving a hallucination sequence where a worker gets ripped out of his cubicle by a tornado. It’s a bit silly, and may not be the greatest vfx shot known to man, but it was fun to do, and good to give the rendering tools a good hammering in a practical context. There’s a bit more info about the process in this blenderartists thread.

Radiohead / point density

January 11th, 2009 . 9 comments

I’d heard before about Radiohead’s House of Cards video, made entirely from 3D laser scan data. Yesterday I found out that some of the point cloud data files were made available to download from Google under a creative commons license.

So I did a little test reading it into Blender with a quickie Python script, and rendered it as a volume, using the ‘point density’ texture, in the sim_physics branch. You can

download the .blend file including the script.

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