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Howdy folks. Oh look, it is December already. It felt like aeons ago after finishing up my contract on the last Hobbit film at Weta Digital in Wellington, New Zealand. I’ve only worked at Weta Digital for 3 months, but it does felt like as if I’ve been there for a year or so what with all the things I’ve seen and done there! I’ve finally fulfilled my wish to see the spectacularly scenic South Island, besides becoming part of the Middle Earth legacy, of course.

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies has been completed (the theatrical version, mind you), and unleashed on the public in some countries. The reviews are mostly favourable at this stage (79% on Rottentomatoes.com at the time of writing), so I hope you will enjoy the movie when it comes out soon, if not already.

Please let me share with you a clip from The Hobbit: The Battle of The Five Armies that contains a few of my Matte Painting works below:

By the way, if you have been wondering what I’ve been working on at Anima Point in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia before going to work in New Zealand. Please wonder no longer. Rovio has released the first season of Angry Birds Stella in an episodic format on their ToonsTV internet channel.  What a change of style indeed from what I usually do. It is interesting to try something new now and then to refresh the way you think and work. Please click on the poster below to visit the ToonsTV channel for your and your young ones’ watching pleasure!
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When all is said and done, what is next for me? If the title has not hinted at it yet for you, I’ve returned to Industrial Light & Magic in Singapore, the very studio that started it all for me, for a short term contract as a Senior Generalist.

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As usual, please wish me all the best. Thank you very much!

Hi All, sorry for being a little bit late with this news (still better late than never): Here’s a glimpse of what I’ve been slaving away on at Weta Digital for the past few months. The latest and greatest trailer to the conclusion of the Hobbit trilogy is now out. It was a very exhaustive but fun ride wrapping up the Middle Earth Saga of one particular Hobbit named Bilbo Baggin and his ‘merry’ band of dwarves.

I’m feeling really blessed to have finally become part of the whole Lord of the Rings production and experience, especially since watching the Production Diaries of the original Lord of the Rings that got me excited to start on this Visual Effects path (one of the few major inspirations, to be fair 🙂 )

Oh, please don’t let me dwindle on. Enjoy the trailer and all of Weta Digital’s hard work, folks!

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

WDlogo_flat_1Just a little bit of news to share: Next Sunday, I’ll be flying off to New Zealand – The Land of Strong Winds And Earthquake or more famously known as The Land of the Hobbits. I’ll be joining Weta Digital‘s Environment Team to help finish off the last Hobbit movie, The Hobbit: The Battle of The Five Armies. Have I just said the word “Hobbit” one too many times? Please wish me all the best!

Another Year, Another Studio

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In a week’s time, I’ll be returning to the local workforce in my homeland. I’ve taken up the full time offer to work at Anima Point, a joint venture between award-winning animation studio Anima Vitae at Finland, and Creative Media Point in Malaysia. I am curious to find out how the smaller local studio compare to the international powerhouses like ILM and Animal Logic. On the other hand, I’ll get to spend a bit more time with my family and my little nephew after spending many years abroad. Please wish me all the best!

1395183_541707029261061_665877273_nIt is currently 99% on Rottentomatoes.com (To the only critic that brought the perfect score down by 1%, you are a spoilsport!). Does that convince you enough to go and see it? 😀 Don’t forget to bring your whole family! Wheee!

UPDATE: The latest accumulated rating on Rottentomatoes is sitting comfortably at 97%. A solid score! And its sequel will be upon us in 2017. Hopefully the writing and story can bring us the same kind of awesomeness that the original did.

Warner Bros keeps on giving! Not long after they released a special featurette called Behind The Bricks (see previous post), they generously threw in eight new clips from the movie itself. Please head on to the ComicBookMovie.com website to view them all.

I want to single out and embed this clip here as it contains one of my biggest environment asset work in the movie (3D environment asset modeling on about 85% of the Wild West Canyon. Proper credits to Kim Taylor for his wonderful and very effective sky cyclorama and Dudley Birch, my lead on this show, for his kickass Lego material shader recipe). Thanks for watching!

With that said, I can’t believe how much plot points Warner Bros is practically giving away for free!

With the worldwide release date set around the 7th of February (poor Australians, they have to wait until April to watch it), Warner Bros has recently released a special featurette for their latest animated outing that I am fortunate to be part of. Please click on the embedded video below to watch “Behind The Bricks”, an especially unique and hilarious behind the scenes interaction with the animated cast and crew of the project instead of their real life representatives. Word of warning, if you are expecting proper in-depth documentary about the making of the movie or even a Visual Effects breakdown, turn away or you’ll be disappointed!

Please enjoy!

 

UPDATE: For those of you still adamant about watching a proper behind the scenes video from this movie, you are in luck! Below is the video to satisfy your nerdy cravings!

Making of The Lego Movie by CGMeetup

Smash! Travelling Artbook 2013

Last Year during my employment at Animal Logic in Sydney, I contributed an entry to the Smash! Travelling Artbook to be auctioned off for the purpose of charity (The Fred Hollows Foundation). I chose to do a fan art piece on The Secret World of Arriety as it is my one of my favourite Studio Ghibli animated films. I have always been a fan of miniatures and painterly landscapes/environments, so Arriety’s premise really resonated with me to this day.

You can view the impressive list of other contributors of the charity artbook on Smash!’s website here. Now I am wondering if they did manage to break the auction record of AUD$1000 from the previous year (2012).

What an interesting year 2013 had been!

I have finished up my work on The Great Gatsby in February and The Lego Movie in October at Animal Logic, Sydney. My contract with them ended in October and I have returned home to Malaysia to spend the year end break, Christmas and New Year with my family.

Some good things to say about my Australian experience thus far (dating back to 2012 when I first went to Sydney):

  • Picked up watercolours again after not touching them for about 12 years (since high school). In college, I used Designer Gouache so that doesn’t count :-P. I traveled around Australia (mostly in Sydney and Brisbane) to do some plein air (outdoor) painting, solo and with friends. Needless to say, I found a new hobby! You can view my Plein Air paintings here.
  • Started on my personal Sketchbook project called “Mers” for future publishing. “Mers” are human and marine creature hybrid, much like the fabled Mermaid. But instead of the usual cliche: human torso with tail of a fish, I wanted to explore all the endless and imaginative design possibilities incorporating every marine life that exist. Please check them out at my Concept Portfolio page or at my Behance page instead.
  • And of course, I made many new friends over the course of my nearly two years in Australia (and to a small extent, New Zealand as well). To them I say, it was a great pleasure to know you and hope we will cross path again.

So 2014 is now here. Happy New Year!!! Here’s to a really productive year ahead for all of us.

I am happy and proud to present to you the second official trailer of our latest work on The Lego Movie at Animal Logic, Sydney.

As a big fan of Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s previous animated feature hit Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs , I am secretly honored to have become part of their next animated feature project. I am hoping that this movie will really resonate with people of all ages, the kids and the young-at-heart.

I only had one Lego playset when I was much younger, these things are expensive! However, I also had another Lego kit with various, but sadly limited, bricks with which I had so much fun building all kinds of things for hours and hours on end. Then only a few years ago, someone commissioned me to create a tattoo design incorporating a Koi fish and Lego bricks together. I had to download the Lego Digital Designer software (its free, you can download and try it out) to research on the many forms and shapes of Lego bricks and studied many Lego creations on the internet to come up with the designs for my client. Little did I know that I have been preparing myself for this very project; ‘building’ massive environments with digital Lego bricks!

Please don’t let me keep you from checking out the embedded trailer below. Please enjoy! 🙂