RYAN DOWLINGSOKA – UI TECHNICAL ARTIST – THE COALITION / MICROSOFT – BC, CANADA
With over 7 years of experience as a technical artist Ryan has most recently been working for Microsoft since 2012 and The Coalition since 2014. His jack-of-all-trades role is mainly focused on the rendering and campaign of the Gears of War license.
RYAN DOWLINGSOKA’s FINAL ENTRY FOR “THE GREAT TRANSMUTATOR” VFX CONTEST
3rd PLACE WINNER PRIZES
PopcornFX Pro License and Steam Voucher, 1 year license Houdini Indie, 6 months license subscription Substance Live, Nvidia Quadro M4000 card, Wacom Intuos 3D Medium
- Why did you like The Great Transmutator VFX Contest ?
I really enjoyed how the contest was laid out with specific pieces, but also was very open to interpretation. I had a lot of fun thinking through different concepts that all could possibly fit inside the contest guidelines, but were thematically very different. It was a contest that had great prizes, but also let the participants take on concept, design, and implementation roles for the whole feature.
I also have a hard time working on my own side projects without external motivation, so this competition was a great framework to get me to create something new and unique on a timeline.
I think the broad (yet still specific) focus of the contest got some great results from a lot of different contestants.
- What was the biggest challenges in this contest ?
When I was working on this VFX contest, I used it to stretch out my skills in a couple of new areas that i hadn’t spent that much time in before. I had done fluid dynamics work briefly in the past but I had never pulled the results into a realtime engine. I also spent a lot of time on the transition from the hard surface objects to the fluid and back. I wanted the impact of the droid and the resultant fluid to match up very closely, so I had to take fine grained control of the droid’s dissolve and make sure it timed up perfectly with the shell.
(Big shout out to my buddy Clinton Crumpler who provided the droid and washing machine models.)
As a bonus I spent some time on sound design, which wasn’t part of the competition, but it was great to try out something so different from what I’ve mostly worked on.
- Tell us what VFX mean to you ?
I think Visual Effects are the layer of polish that takes a strong idea and makes it resonate with an audience. Without a great visual narrative effects won’t have a lasting impact, but without consistent effects even the most dramatic of visuals will often feel lifeless and dead.
- Why would you recommend to use PopcornFX in production ?
I haven’t yet used PopcornFX much so I can’t really recommend it either way. Some of the other great contestants do swear by it though !
- Would you participate to another VFX contest ?
Absolutely, these contests are great opportunities to learn and to see fantastic results by other great artists and programmers.