Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Check out our graduation project

I uploaded our Thesis project to the following page so you can download it and give it a try, it's available for PC/Mac and also for Oculus Rift (DK1). If you want the Oculus version you can check it out at Oculus Share.

Some screenshots:

Monday, April 14, 2014

Update on Thesis

Here are a few concepts that my thesis partner, Alberto Carrillo, and I have done. During the course of next month we will be moving from Preproduction into Production. I'll keep you guys updated.

I'm responsible for the artwork unless otherwise noted.

Our Thesis consists of a Virtual Reality (Oculus Rift) game based on the poem Ozymandias by Percy B. Shelley, which explores the concept of "Transience" as portrayed by S. Freud on his essay of the same name. The setting and look of the game is somewhat Journey-esque and Skyrim-ish.

(This last image consisting of prop design was made by my Thesis partner Alberto Carrillo. All credit to him).

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Bonfire forest night & breakdown

Maya, Mental Ray, Photoshop, Nuke and After Effecs. No FG / GI.

Breakdown Youtube:

Breakdown Vimeo:

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Dear Child Short Film selected Best Narrative by Adobe!!

Along with another short film I participated in, more than US $3000 were raised for charity and a ton of new hardware and software was earned along with the recognition. Thanks to everyone who participated and to those who supported us! And thanks to Adobe and it's partners!

If you haven't seen it, here it is: http://youthvoices.adobe.com/awards/winners/

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Simple reinterpretation of a popular image: Lego Uncle Sam Gallery

This simple lego project is for a class, took about 2 days on and off. It is mainly inspired from american neoclassicism, Bioshock Infinite, Uncle Sam and Columbia iconic concepts and political propaganda, even though the final result is quite simplified.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Dear Child short film released!

New live action short film released! This is part of a voluntary work in which we encourage the participation of young students (10-14 years old) in short film or animation projects sponsored by Adobe. I participated in almost all aspects with two other students from my university and I composed the original soundtrack.

UPDATE: The short film has been awarded the first place for Adobe Aspire Awards as Best Narrative. See more info here: http://youthvoices.adobe.com/awards/winners/5101c7bb8d53621bda000004/gold

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Cinematic composition in relationship to Music Theory - Part I

Please note: In this article I will be using a very "unusual" way of comparing Music Composition Theory concepts and guidelines in relationship to those of the visual arts (specially visual composition). Throughout my years at college I have found that from a very general point of view, most music theory and harmony concepts can be translated in some way to visual arts. Everything from consonance and dissonance, rhythm, harmonic function, melody, form, to dynamics and articulation can be in some way translated into the visual arts. This article does not intend in any way to cover all the aspects associated to music theory or visual arts, as they are very broad and specific fields that cannot be fully covered under the scope of this article.

First of all, we need to understand that neither light nor color by themselves are going to make a shot look good; in order to achieve a very "cinematic" shot (one which conveys a sense for mood while supporting the story) we need to take all the variables such as composition, camera movement, on-screen movement (actors, objects, environments, etc..) and create a harmony with light and color that tells us the story by itself. To put it simply: all the elements that compose a shot must be in tune with the story and complement it, not lead us away from it.

Here we can make a relationship between the basic music concept of harmonic function and the elements of the shot, since we can take all the elements (from big to small) and direct them towards the story (diatonic key), while taking in consideration the proportion between the relationships of the elements. We may change the key of the shot (as in key of A, Em, F, etc..) or even a variation of it (melodic minor, natural minor), but the elements always respond to it, and cannot be isolated. Also, the story establishes the scale, the space in which we can move, and all the elements must move within this space in order to define it properly, but this rule as any other rule can be broken (it's best to understand it as a guide, and not rules!).

In the case of consonance, it can be simply defined as a harmony whose tones complement and increase each other's resonance (pleasant sound that "grows" with each other), think of it in the visual arts when the different elements push towards the same concept or idea and make it even more evident (or even give it an "accent").  On the other side, we have another very interesting concept in music which is dissonance: when harmonies push towards another sound because they feel "unresolved" or unbalanced. This generates a feeling of "push and pull" which in the end generates movement within a section. Visually, this can be understood as when some elements diversify and complement the main ones in ways different from the original, giving a sense of increased scope and understanding of the created world. A shadow of a villain which appears on the side of a shot (incomplete, we can't see him)  it is not the main focus of the shot, but it increases our perception of the space and since it's not fully visually represented, and we want to move towards it to complete our understanding of it.

When it comes to rhythm, it is already a filmmaking concept for editors, which can help generate a resonance with the mood of a given part of the story (rhythm of shots in sequence), but it can also be internally considered on a shot. Just as advanced gesture drawings consider the visual rhythm of a body pose or object, this can be applied to our shots to add dynamics and articulations that enhance the qualities that are already there and brings to light what wasn't so evident (it might be good or bad depending on the desired intention).

Melody and form work together as a the concept on which everything revolves around and we work around this, it's structured in a way that generates motion, progression and evolution of the main parts. Our story moves in time, it evolves towards the grand finale, a final resolution which in the end is just a broad superior dissonance (remember when I mentioned that we have a feeling of "unresolved", unbalanced, "incompleteness" that moves towards a resting position); the story settles after an uneven turn of events.

As a side note, it is very interesting that the works of composers such as John Williams and Richard Wagner before him, incorporate the concept of leitmotif (a theme or concept which is associated to a character, situation, place, object, etc... in terms of semiotics: a sign or symbol). This leitmotif can be slightly modified or varied and still be associated to its end subject. This opens a world of possibilities since we can now generate ideas and relationships within the mind of the listener (or viewer) and give new meaning and dimension to our works. It also can generate identification, which if used properly could create a very powerful link with the viewers emotions. But more on that later (on part II).

In Part II I won't just be covering more specific aspects of many of what has been mentioned here, but also give more insight at the last concept mentioned, and perhaps one of the most thrilling: the leitmotif as well as chord progressions and cadence.

(I will post Part II of this article when it's ready)

Music for a friend's short film

Here's another song I wrote, but this time for a friend's live-action short film.

Forbes Short Film Soundtrack

Here is a closer-to-finished version of the score I composed for an animated short film.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Find the Way now available on the App Store!


Find the Way is now available on the App Store! Here is the description:

** Special launch price, 50% OFF! Limited time offer **

Can you find the way out a maze as a ticking clock marks your fate? Find the Way is an experimental game in which you must flow through a space and be on the right path at the right moment in order to get out.

A Universal game that runs on iPod Touch 3rd Gen+, iPhone 3GS+ and iPad 1st Gen+. Retina Display support.

• Simple "one button" controls, you can choose to play with the Accelerometer Tilt sensor or with a Swipe to move around.
• 12 hand-designed levels across 4 worlds and a Time Challenge Mode with Leaderboards.• Each level is designed so that you learn the right patterns progressively.
• Secret Artifacts hidden in each level, try to collect them all as you go through.
• Geometric yet organic visual style that runs smoothly even on older devices.
• Orchestral against electronic soundtrack that will immerse you in each maze.
• GameCenter support: Achievements and Leaderboards.

More levels coming soon!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Find the Way will be available soon!

My most recent game, Find the Way will be available on the App Store soon! I'm expecting it to be published next week and it will be released with a special launch price. This first release includes 12 hand-designed levels + a Time Challenge mode with GameCenter Achievements and Leaderboards support. In the next updates I'll be adding more levels and features.

Here's the Twitter page: https://twitter.com/FindtheWayGame

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

DreamWorks Animation tour!

Had a great time visiting the studio with some friends from SIGGRAPH and students from several other universities.


Just came back home from this year's SIGGRAPH at LA. It was great, can't wait for Anaheim next year!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Lighting Demo Reel 2012

Hey everyone! what's up, here's my Lighting / Compositing Demo Reel as a Junior student for July 2012.

Shotlist / Breakdown: http://goo.gl/v5NNJ

Recent Personal Work

Here is a scene I've been working on my free time. Responsible for all aspects. Maya, Vray, Nuke.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Light-O-Matic :  lightOmatic.py (right clic & save as to download)

Initially created for personal use to automate some light setups that I use for my manual lighting method(key light, bounce lights, environment light). Enables a very similar way to light to how Jeremy Vickery  (Pixar Lighting TD) lit the scenes on his masterclass. Also includes a simple integrated scene lights manager.