Light.LookDev.FX /TD.Environment.Model Layout

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Light.LookDev.FX /TD.Environment.Model.Layout // CG Generalist Artist

My bread and butter. Over the past decade I have worked at studios of all sizes, both in the US and internationally. I have worked in features, television, games, commercials, architecture, fine art, on interactive, and experiential projects.

This means that I’m ready to tackle anything you throw at me. To me, a senior artist is someone who not only draws from the solutions acquired over time, but also actively finds problems and addresses them.

I am proficient in most 3D software, and familiar Nuke and After Effects. I'm a quick learner - when I don’t know something I will figure it out. While I am comfortable at almost any part of the pipeline, my strengths lie in lighting, look-dev, and technical problem solving across platforms.

Outside the studio I practice my love for photography, which helps to develop my understanding of light, lenses and composition. Lighting digitally I try to bring a naturalist style to my images, suggesting a world off-camera larger than what we see in the frame.

When look-developing objects, I seek to understand the history of a given surface – layers of paint that have chipped off and been painted over, or dust that over time sticks with oily residue on a wooden plank. Though I am a big fan of crafting shaders procedurally, I have learned from the great Jesper Bardhamre that on the computer there is no natural surface without art direction

Selected Lighting & Generalist work:

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Uncut Gems

Generalist (all cg)

Uncut Gems truly provided the ideal creative circumstances for me: Vast creative freedom, plenty of time, and a final piece I am proud to associate with.

Pre-production & RnD was unusually extensive, and Houdini’s procedural flexibility proved invaluable for the rapid prototyping necessary to present the directors with a glance of what I had in mind for the ‘Journey through the Gem’.

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Tight lenses, and hand-animated floaty camera motion helped to obscure geography and scale. Our journey should feel cosmic and microscopic at the same time.

The ‘cave’ environment was blocked out in Maya for crude camera animation. In Houdini the geometry was ‘molten’ for a more organic shape. Then, particles scattered across the surface were blended into one smooth vdb that could be converted back into polygon geometry. Back in Maya, subsurface scattering helped to emphasize the variations in thickness and structure.

Wonder Wheel

(Lighting, Look-dev, Model)

2017’s “Wonder Wheel” features Coney Island’s Lunar Park in the 1950s as a digital set extension visible throughout most of the film. To strike the historic accuracy with art-direction we recreated iconic structures like the long-gone staunch baths, and the still operating wonder wheel, but also needed countless ‘filler’ booths and buildings that could be used to set-dress the background.

We created a library of procedural shaders that could be adapted and mixed easily into a vast array of unique surfaces. For mid- and background buildings, we created modules (roofs, floors, decorations, etc), that could again be assembled into unique structures we scattered to lend life to the bustling amusement park.

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Overkill's: The Walking Dead (Cinematic Trailer)

While not exactly adored by critics, or players, or even the publisher, Overkill’s The Walking Dead spared no expense when they commissioned powerhouse Goodbye Kansas Studios to produce a series of cinematic trailers for the game’s release.

The Swedish VFX house is renowned for their character work, and with a proper schedule, everything – from model to material to animation – is on point. Most shots started out already ‘photoreal’ with the default HDRI, so my work was to bring out the detail that all the talented artists before me had put into the characters and the world around.

The ‘dead’ were created with such love and devotion it felt gratuitous to hide them in smoke and out of focus. Rather than sticking with the overcast daylight setup, I decided to light each zombie individually and move the rig with them. As the protagonist Aidan is only seen from the back here, I wanted to make sure to let his trademark backpack, and the spiked baseball bat shine

The transition shot transports us through time from a pre-apocalypse lunch-break into the zombie-infested wasteland the game takes place in. To accomplish this, the camera pushes close up into Aidan’s face while he kicks back to rest his eyes for a second.

The light then shifts away from a sunny spring day, and gradually our protagonist’s face shows residue of dried sweat, dirt and blood. For this we created two unique light rigs, skin textures and grooms that could be blended later in compositing. To suggest the passing of time, both rigs were rotated as mimicking a change in the sun’s position.

Contact

Brooklyn, NY
Phone: +1.646.706.2212
Email: office@manuelriedl.com
instagram: @bratengeyer
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