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Steven Chitwood

USA,  Sunnyvale Cogswell Polytechnical College,  Digital Arts and Engineering,  May 16, 2015
Hello Everyone,

I am 22 years old student that will obtain a Bachelors of Science in Digital Arts and Engineering this May. I'm happy with the choices I've made here at Cogswell College. I aim to become an FX Artist/ FX TD for film and animation. During my time here at Cogswell, I worked on two short films and many animation projects as the sole FX guy with over 100 shots completed. I self taught myself learning Houdini. When I first started working on my first short film, that's where I fell in love with effects. I love what of what I do, I can't get enough of it. And that's my favorite part.

I hope you guys enjoy.
  • Animation
  • Compositing
  • FX/Simulations
  • Lighting
  • Houdini
  • Maya
  • Photoshop
  • V-Ray
  • Zbrush
  • Student of the Year
  • 2814 Page Views
  • 6 Images
  • May 13, 2015
Trouble Brewing - Mill Collapse (Houdini, Vray, Maya, Nuke)
Responsible for effects, lighting, compositing.
Many pin, cone, and glue constraints were used to construct the RBD simulation. The front door stay intact to add a little humor.
Multiple pyroFX and particle effects were used. Everything but the fx was rendered in Vray for Maya while the dust and particles were rendered from Mantra

Trouble Brewing - Pickle Barrels (Houdini, Vray, Maya, Nuke)
Responsible for effects, lighting, and compositing.
The RBD simulation used the bullet solver. Various constraints are used for stability and realistic bending and
fracturing. Such constraints are: glue and cone. The pickles are packed geometry being instanced every frame. They
are solving before the barrels fall, this is done to fill up the barrels with pickles. FLIP was used for the pickle water.
Used source collision volumes generated by using OpenVDB for the water’s collisions. Vorticity and velocity maps
were used. Environment was rendered in Vray, Maya; pickle water was rendered in Mantra, Houdini.

Personal Project - When the Levee Breaks (Houdini, Fusion)
Responsible for effects and compositing
Created the main RBD simulation. Then I went on to create the explosion and smoke effects while simultaneously
working on the water. The pyro effects were separated into multiple containers: main plume, ground blast,
shockwave, smoke trails, and two more smoke layers for the water to move using the water’s velocity. The two smoke
layers used the upres node to add even more detail. A wet map was generated to darken and add more secularity.
Vorticity and velocity maps was generated to add a whiter tone in comp. Foam and mist was added after the FLIP
simulation was done.

MediaWorks - Robot Logo (Houdini)
Responsible for effects
Created the beam, steam, sparks, window shatter, and EMP. All FX were done in Houdini, except for sparks, those were
created in Maya using particles. Used POP’s and VOP SOP’s for the beam. Used VDB pre-fracture method for the
window shatter, simulated it with the RBD solver, and used a fan force to push out the window fragments. Advected
the EMP particles with the EMP’s smoke. Sparks and window glass was rendered in Maya using Mental Ray.

Trouble Brewing - River (Houdini, Vray, Maya, Nuke)
Responsible for effects, lighting, compositing.
Consisted of first doing the FLIP simulation then the foam using the whitewater solver. We
might use mist but for right now it isn’t since it isn’t really needed. Many passes were made including: indirect and
direct reflections, indirect refractions, indirect diffuse, velocity and vorticity maps, and foam. The film has many river
shots, I plan to use the same river cache in different sections of the cache for those shots.

Trouble Brewing - Goat riding the rockslide (Houdini)
Responsible for effects.
Did rigid body simulation and dust effects. For the RBD simulation, bullet packed geometry was used for the large
rocks, POPs with instanced packed geometry was used for the debris. The PyroFX solver was used for the dust. I used
the simulated rocks as the sources. Still WIP, I intend to place 3D clouds made from Houdini.

Trouble Brewing - Tea (Houdini)
Responsible for effects.
Did tea with the FLIP. Used VDB to generate collisions. Steam emitting from tea particles.

Driven - Slow-Mo Fire (Maya, Mental Ray, Fusion)
Responsible for effects.
Multiple maya fluid containers were used for the fire and dust. Maya particles were used for the Afterburner.

Driven - Up close crater shot (Maya, Mental Ray, Fusion)
Responsible for effects.
The shot is comprised of two smoke Maya fluid containers and a particle system for the sparks. The fire in the
background is generated through Maya fluid’s textures, having noise animated upwards. The shoulder smoke proved
to be challenging since it couldn’t have more presence than the character. It was a thin margin to achieve. All FX were
rendered in Mental Ray and composited in Fusion

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