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Okay, I know what you're thinking, "What the hell is up with the dead fish theme going on here". Years ago when I worked for Digital Extremes we were eating lunch outside by a good sized pond next to the building. On the shore was this half eaten dead goldfish that was some racoon's breakfast. I thought it was cool so Matt Tremblay took a shot of it for me. That's it...a cool dead fish...with a face...and now it's part of this incarnation of my site.

Holy shit, I've finally updated my site after 6 years! So much has happened since I left Toronto in 2002 to work in San Francisco, but I haven't done any of my own 3D artwork, outside of work of course, but I have been doing more photography. I've included a new section on this site for some of my recents photos and a link to my old site with my older 3D work. For fun, I've included two sections showing some quick doodles and some fractal renders that I've been collecting over the years.

Old site | Photography | Doodles | Abstracts | email

(Humm...my email is martin@martinmurphy.ca if you're having trouble)

Since moving to the USA I've worked at Lucasfilm’s Industrial Light and Magic for about 4 years as a digital creature modeler and digital matte painter working on some really fun and ground breaking productions. I was on the creature modeling crew for Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest which won the 2007 Academy Award for visual effects. After two and a bit years working at Lucasfilm's Animation division I'm back at ILM...and lovin' it.

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Aug.21.08

Just a quick update. Here are some images created with the landscape software Vue 6 that I've been working with over the last 2 months...while NOT working on my animated short. *sigh*

...but seriously...back to work I go.

 

vue thumbnails

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ILM Halloween Contest

Did someone say Halloween? For the record I love spending too much time and money building Halloween costumes. I've been doing it for years. Here are a couple of pics from the Industrial Light and Magic Annual Halloween Costume Contest.

One year my friend Rob and I were shark attack victims complete with huge bite marks and a 7 foot shark attached to my butt which I dragged around all night. We won second prize that year. One year Rob and I were an 18 foot T-Rex and we won first prize.

Most recent was my version of Icarus. I made these huge wings one feather at a time along with some real ones mixed in. I think I had more fun making the costume than actually going to the party.

Icarus costume

 

Hangin' with C3P0  
Me and Oscar

Here I am in the Lucasfilm Archives at Skywalker Ranch. My mind was on geek overload looking at all the film props and costumes from some of the greatest films ever made. Here I am hangin’ with C3PO.

  Holding the 2007 Visual Effects Oscar for our work on Dead Man’s Chest.

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Here are the films I’ve worked on at Industrial Light and Magic. I would include images of the creatures and shots I've worked on but I don't want to risk copyright infringement so I'll link you to images already posted on the net from other people! Ha ha! When you see this little square CLICKyou'll know to click on it to open a window to another site on the World Wide Web that shows something I've worked on.

Enjoy!

 

Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl

Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl

This was my first show as a digital creature modeler at ILM. I had the opportunity to model 4 skeleton pirates (including Jack the monkey!) as well as some assorted props, set pieces, and sculpting facial blend shape libraries for some of the characters.
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The modeling crew was very faithful to real life anatomy. Each skeleton character had a full anatomically correct skeleton, facial and body muscles, teeth, eyeballs, you name it, modeled to resemble their respective actor. The texture department did a kick ass job making the geometry look like layers of dried rotting skin. I remember seeing an early high resolution image of Barbosa’s face one morning at work and saying, “Holy shit, that looks amazing”. I think I spent about 8 months working on that show. I had to learn the Unix operating system and all of ILM's proprietary software. It was very exciting but a lot of work for a film newbie. None of us knew if the film was even going to be good (let’s face it, a film derived from a theme park ride?) so imagine our surprise when it became a huge hit!

 

 

 

Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events

 

 

Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events

Now this was a crazy film to work on. I actually had to build a photo-real baby that not only had to look like the 2 little girls who played the one baby in the film but the digital baby had to be inches from the camera...and talk! We were a small crew but we pulled it off! Four of us were even nominated for a Visual Effects Society award for Best Digital Character in a Live Action Film (we lost out to the amazing Hippogryph from Harry Potter).

click!The pressure to pull off this digital character was intense. I think I lost it about once a month during the year and a half on this film which is not cool when you are the model lead. I think I learned just as much about myself and team work as I did technically/artistically.

Even with all my crankiness, ILM gave me the opportunity to do some matte painting for 2 scenes (thank you Geoff Olson/Wilson Tang!). I painted the sky/clouds outside the big round window as Meryl Streep pulls the blinds open and I was thrilled to be able to paint the rock cliffs and sky as kids ride in the car on the water towards their Aunt Josephine’s town.

click!This image of the baby model seems to pop up everywhere. It’s on the DVD as well as Google Images if you search for ‘digital baby’. The strange thing is that not only are her toes torqued up in some odd strange pose but her slippers are missing their textures. They are supposed to be an almost black color but in this render they are the base geometry’s original color...pink. Actually, I think her hands might be missing their color textures as well! A little trivia for you.

Here are a couple of Lemony Snicket online articles here and here.

Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith

Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

Working on Star Wars was a dream come true. What artist would not want to contribute in some way to the Star Wars legacy. No creatures for me in this one as I was a digital matte painter. Because of the Lemony Snicket schedule I came in for the last 5 or 6 months of Revenge of the Sith. I did a small handful of 3D environments, some just quick sky/mountain replacements and 2 more involved shots. The great thing about a digital matte painter is that you get to do everything...model, texture, composite, and render the the shot. This Mustafar shot was a combination of the plate photography of the massive model built at ILM, digital models of the station (I didn’t do those) and my surrounding rocks and lava to fill in the top, side, and bottom of the plate.

I think I was most proud of the last shot I did of a watery cave on Utapau. It’s the shot where Obi-Wan is climbing out of the water after falling down the sink hole. I built and painted the rock walls and even created the CG water to match the water around Obi-Wan. It’s a quick shot, but I was thrilled.

 

 

 

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest

When I was shown walls of concept art for Dead Man’s Chest I gasped. I said to my model supervisor Geoff Campbell, “This is going to win the Oscar”. And it did. The designs for this film were stunning. Every inch of every character and set piece was mapped out in full loving detail.
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I built 4 full crusty crew members and their facial blend shape libraries (Koleniko, Quittance, Jimmy Legs, Angler) as well as an assortment of sea creatures that lived in, on, or around everything! I also modeled and animated the hairy spot on Jack’s hand. As you can see from the dead fish on each page of this site I seem to have an affinity to things aquatic. Needless to say, I was in my element on this film. A year and a half building sea creatures...for me things don’t get any better than that. During the work on the film I started collecting sponges and coral from Ebay and putting them around my monitors on my desk. I think the smell of the dead sea life around my desk got to my brain because I went to the extreme of ordering a 5 foot mounted (fiberglass) salmon (I didn’t hang that one up). I was so into this fish/sea life thing my inner pack rat was out of control. The salmon now stands up along the wall of my bedroom. I don’t have the heart to get rid of it. Somehow I found places around my apartment for most of the other pieces.
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The ILM crew did months of painstaking work on these creatures. Every inch was detailed out, every muscle flexed, every tentacle moved. The Davy Jones character was a true seamless mix of artistry and technology. Bravo to Steve Walton, Jung-Seung Hong, Geoff Cambell, Marc Chu, and James Tooley.

Dead Man’s Chest was my last film at ILM. I’m currently working at LucasFilm Animation as a Lead Model and Texture artist on a ‘secret project’. As the months roll on I’m sure LucasFilm will sneak out more hints as to what we’re up up over there but for now all I can say is that it’s a unique opportunity to create some fantastic imagery.

I was thrilled to watch Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End and see my models from the previous film doing their thing. My eel even got a quick cameo popping out of a character’s neck!

 

 

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