Highpoint Animation - Our Vision Sydney by David Mackenzie

Highpoint Hurstville
Highpoint Hurstville

Last year Our Vision complete an animation for Highpoint project in Hurstville. This animation was turned around pretty quickly and came together without much trouble at all. Along with the film, Our Vision also produced a number high res still images. The project was created with 3dsmax and rendered in V-Ray as usual.

You can check out the film below:

Moving the camera - Van Damme Style by David Mackenzie

Jean Claud Van Damme Mullet
Jean Claud Van Damme Mullet

Anyone who has ever had to shoot some video knows that moving the camera is true skill and normally to get a good result you need good camera operators and some good grips to bust gear to make it all happen. Well here is a look at moving the camera with Van Damme, it's worth watching for the cool camera tech and the 80s hair cut.

Ocean Water Test - HOT4MAX by David Mackenzie

Hot4Max Render Test

So a little while ago I wrote a quick article about a plugin I purchased called HOT4MAX . Long story short, this a very short render test of the plugin. I put the test together in about an hour, as you can no doubt tell by the camera animation. I can report, that the plugin really does work well. I have been very impressed with it. For the record I rendered the shot with V-Ray and comped it in Fusion.

If I get a chance in the next few weeks I will do another test with water spray and some interaction with the surface. I am interested to see how far I can push it as I have a couple shots in mind that I would like to put together.

If you need to do some ocean shots or renders then I highly recommend HOT4MAX. You can get the plugin here.

100 Bloody Acres by David Mackenzie

100 Bloody Acres Shot Gun
100 Bloody Acres Shot Gun

Occasionally I feel the need to watch a horror flick and it just so happened I had recently read about a film called 100 Bloody Acres so I decided to check it out. After watching I was VERY happy that I did, a great blend of horror and comedy that was executed really well.

Check out the trailer below


Heads up, there's a rant below!

When I was doing some Googling for this post I found a very disheartening article on Sydney Morning Herald which really hit home on a number of thoughts I have about both the content industry and the software industry. The article highlights how piracy does actually hurt people. The usual excuse of "Its made by some XYZ Hollywood studio so who cares" does not fly in this case.This small independent film was being downloaded (illegally) ~2000 times a day. I really fear that films like this will not be made in the future. I also share the same thoughts on software, in any case people still have to sit down and write code or shoot a film and it all costs money and creators should be paid for efforts. I only mention it because in my experience 3d artists are prolific pirates even though we are generally employed in some way to create content.. Go figure. It's one thing to pirate 3d software when you are a starving student artist but when you start working, you should pay for your tools the same way a mechanic does, this goes for studios as well. How many studios are under licensed? Which is immensely frustrating to studios that are trying to do everything by the book.

End rant now.

I encourage you to go buy the film as it really is a great little film, plus you get to support small independent film makers. You can check it out here on iTunes. I think this review on rotten tomatoes sums it up:

A highly amusing little horror movie, elevated by uncommonly layered performances, not to mention the voluminous amount of fake blood spewed, limbs torn apart, oddball sex scenes, and one particularly amusing drug trip.

Simon Miraudo


Scorsese's New York - From House of Nod by David Mackenzie


New York is probably the most photographed city in the world. There is something unique about it, a viewer can immediately identify that a photograph or film is from New York. Scorsese has filmed this city in all its glory for many years and this short clip below highlights that so well. Put together by the guys at House of Nod. Check it out, its well worth it, I highly recommend watching full screen with sound.

Wolf of Wall Street, my Scorsese obsession by David Mackenzie


So, I recently went to see The Wolf of Wall Street and thoroughly enjoyed the 3 hours of debauchery that took place. I thought both Leonardo Dicaprio and Jonah Hill's performance were outstanding but for me it was Martin Scorsese's effort as director that stood out for me.  It was at this point I had the idea to watch all of Scorsese's films that he has directed in chronological order as a bit of master class in storytelling but really just an excuse to watch a bunch of great films. So below is the list I compiled after quick trip to wikipedia. 

Who's That Knocking at My Door


Boxcar Bertha


Mean Streets


Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore


Taxi Driver


New York, New York


Raging Bull


The King of Comedy


After Hours


The Color of Money


The Last Temptation of Christ




Cape Fear


The Age of Innocence






Bringing Out the Dead


Gangs of New York


The Aviator


The Departed


Shutter Island




The Wolf of Wall Street


As you can imagine I have seen quite a few of these films already, many of which I count amongst my favorite films (Hugo, Goodfellas, Casino, Departed, Shutter Island).  I think it will be interesting to watch an entire body of work in the order it was created, who knows what, if anything it will reveal. I will report back here about progress and how I get on.

Shifting gears slightly. Below are some great VFX breakdowns from the film. I really like the first breakdown as it showcases mainly invisible effects. I always find it amazing how many effects shots there are these days in films that are "not" effects films.


And some not so invisible effects from Scanline. Who as usual, smashed it out.

I also really wanted to single out two shots from the film which I thought were amazing. Both shots are from the bachelor party sequence . The first one which is set on the plane out to Vegas is a great shot and not strictly because of the all the naked women and sex going on (although that does not hurt). I really love the moment when the turbulence light comes on and we get that great slo mo shot of the coke in the air. I am assuming it was shot on a Phantom with a lot of light, great stuff in any case. The very next shot I love is the tracking shot along the ceiling in the hotel room in the aftermath of the party. I love the light and the movement. Such a nice shot. I did find them on the Youtube below but bewarned they are probably not safe for work.

If you have not seen the film or have a chance to go see it I highly recommend it.