Dark Side of the Sun

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Interview for CICE's blog


A few weeks ago, a request to do an interview came from Miguel Gómez, a good friend and great blogger for CG/Animation/VFX, who is now editor for the blogs at CICE (the school in Madrid where I studied CG & film directing).

The interview is now published at the following location (it's in Spanish, but from some people's comments, I understand that google translate might do a decent job of making it accessible to everyone):

http://cice.es/noticia/mayec-rancel-fx-td-double-negative/

It's been a pleasure and great fun for me to discuss my career until now, and to think and share my thoughts about the path that has led me to where I am. I hope that you enjoy the read as much as I enjoyed doing it!


Friday, June 28, 2013

Houdini Stack Exchange needs your support!

A bunch of us Houdini TDs are trying to get started a Houdini Stack Exchange Q&A site. To get the proposal approved, it needs as many followers as possible, and a good number of example questions added. So if you are a Houdini user, whether an expert or complete beginner, you can support it by simply clicking the "Follow" button (you don't even have to register at all on the website) and add the kind of Houdini questions which you would like to see on the site. It doesn't matter whether you already know the answer to the question or not, since for now it is just to gauge the kind of interest this might generate.

Stack Exchange Q&A sites are the best way to get quality answers to your questions about any topic. If anyone reading this doesn't know about this kind of site, and the advantages over a classic forum, just say so in the comments below and I will give a more extensive explanation and comparison.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Praise for Skyfall VFX work

After their very positive feedback on the Prometheus sandstorm FX work, The VFX Show podcast surprises me again with some smashingly positive praise for the helicopter attack/crash scene in the latest James Bond film, Skyfall (min 49:30 of the podcast).

Thanks to Mike Seymour and co-hosts for their kind words, and congratulations to everyone involved in making those shots look brilliant.


As Lead FX TD for that film at MPC, I was almost exclusively involved in that sequence. Namely:

- Atmospheric effects (blown dust and grass/debris particles) from interaction with CG helicopter throughout that sequence.
- Laying out the crash shot, and RnD to define and test best approaches and strategies for Kali destruction in crash shots. FX TD James Rustad briefly joined in to do the excellent kali destruction work on the shot itself. - Some additional FX for that destruction shot.
- Bubbles for one underwater shot, beneath the frozen lake.

And here's the fxguide article about all the VFX work done for the film: http://www.fxguide.com/featured/skyfall/

Friday, November 30, 2012

Oscar shortlist for Best Visual Effects

The shortlist for the 85th Academy Awards (Oscars) for Best Visual Effects was announced this week. I have the good fortune to have worked on 3 out of the 10 titles:

  • John Carter
  • Prometheus
  • Skyfall
You can find the full shortlist, and details about each film's VFX, at this post on fxguide.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Mention in interview about Prometheus VFX

3d Artist Online published an interview with Matt Middleton, CG Supervisor at MPC, discussing the VFX work on Ridley Scott's Prometheus. It was nice to see that Matt was kind enough to credit me with the simulation work for the sandstorm, especially since I worked closely with him, and other artists (especially Miguel-Ángel Pérez Tejerina's team in the lighting department) during many months to define the look of the sandstorm, and to create some very challenging and spectacular shots.

The interview is full of very precise information about the making of many of the film's VFX. Well worth a read for anyone curious about how these were made.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

fxguide praise for Prometheus sandstorm

It was very nice and heart-warming to find some praise for the sandstorm simulations I did on Prometheus, coming from professional peers. It's in episode #149 of the fxguide vfx show (@ time 01:01:15):

"I thought a really great sim was the big shot where they're racing to get back to the ship, and they're on the little go-karts and that huge wall of sand, I thought, scale-wise as well as the threat of that, I thought was really well executed, and a really nice-looking simulation."

In general the whole podcast, like so many other podcasts and articles, presents very positive opinions and feedback for all the VFX work that everyone did on this film. So I'll grab this chance to give big congratulations to everyone, in all companies involved, who worked on it!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Binary Flare is born

This blog will now be know as Binary Flare. The reason is that I feel like starting a personal blog again, full of random thoughts and ramblings, mostly unrelated to my professional activities in VFX or film-making. "Strange High House in the Mist" seemed like a better fitting name for such a personal blog (and that's how it started, back in 2007). So:

Binary Flare: will be my professional blog, to talk somewhat exclusively about my projects, and about VFX and Film-making in general.

Strange High House in the Mist: will pop back up in some other strange misty corner of the interstreams, and will be my personal blog full of random blurbs about everything and anything.  Probably will discuss some music, philosophy, art... not sure yet what it will be, so we will make that discovery together, if you care to follow me there.

I am not yet sure about what will happen with older posts in this blog. Many old ones would find a better home in the Strange High House, but I am not sure of how much trouble the move would be.

Let your thoughts be read in the comments below. Do you like the new name? What do you think should be done with older random posts? Should they be kept here even if a copy is placed in the new Strange High House? Should they be completely moved? Any other ideas?