Josh Goble Creates Winning VFX TV Ad in CGSociety MODO Time Travel Challenge

VFX Artist Josh Goble recently took top honors in the CGSociety MODO Time Travel Challenge sponsored by CG Society and The Foundry.

This is the brief contestants received:

The year is 2055 and the impossible just became possible.

Galaxy-wide technology giant, The Foundry, called a press conference last night to announce a universe-changing product innovation due for release in 2 months time.

The new product, codenamed ‘TIME’, manipulates the spatial continuum and enables users to travel back and forth from one era to another, without any restrictions.

You are part of an inner circle that has been trusted by The Foundry with restricted additional information about this top secret project. You have exclusive knowledge of how this new invention works, what it looks like and what it’s capable of.

Your mission, is to convince the public that TIME will change their lives and that The Foundry is the only company that should be trusted with this type of significant leap in technology, before the competition attempts to counter strike.

You must use MODO 801 to visualize the product ‘TIME’ and/or create a consumer friendly advertisement to sell this groundbreaking technology to the masses.

The challengers could compete in one of three categories:

– Product Design 
– Print Advertising 
– TV Advertising

Josh took on the TV Ad challenge: to create a :60, broadcast-style spot that makes use of The Foundry’s tools, yet followed a specific creative mission — one that playfully looks at a future product from the manufacturer: a time machine.

Josh went to school for advertising and design, and also studied 3D, enrolling in Maya classes. One of his first jobs in the post industry was working at animation studio Bandelier EFX.

“I learned a ton,” he says of the experience, noting the opportunity to work on commercials for the local market in New Mexico and even South America. When the studio’s owner Allan Stevens retired, he joined his son, Tim Stevens, at Stevens Animation.

Josh would later work as a freelancer, and today works at Reelz Channel in Albuquerque. He is skilled in the Adobe Creative Suite, Maya, Cinema 4D, Modo and Nuke. While he uses a Mac at Reelz — creating show graphics and sizzle reels — his home studio is Windows based and includes a 50-core render farm.

His experience working on a number of film competitions inspired him to give the CG Society contest a whirl. “I found it on the Web through sheer dumb luck,” he recalls. “A friend of mine worked at Sony and was always talking about Modo. I worked on a few 48-hour film projects and saw him use it, and it looked cool. It looked like how a modeling package should work.”

The competition, he felt, would be a perfect opportunity to get more acquainted with Modo without the pressure of having a paying client looking over his shoulder. He teamed up with director/writer/producer David Ferry Jr. for the production and assembled a small team of additional local talent.

The team came up with an original concept. The spot features a young man, out on a date. He proposes to his girlfriend, but when things don’t go as planned, he uses a time machine to give it a second try. The machine has its flaws and the date goes from bad to worse, dragging up other bad dates from the past.

The solution, the spot suggests, would be to use The Foundry’s new and technologically-sound time machine.

“Our main goal was to treat it like it was a real job,” Josh recalls. They spent approximately one month planning and boarding the spot, and shot it all in one day. Ariel Rakes served as DP, shooting in 4K with a Sony FS-700, and capturing footage to an Odyssey 7Q external recorder.

“The footage looked amazing. It was extremely clean,” Josh notes.

Since the spot had been well storyboarded, he knew exactly where the VFX and graphics would go. David cut the project in Adobe Premiere and Josh later applied the VFX transitions. He worked at 2K making the assets and motion graphics, knowing it would ultimately be delivered in the 720p high definition format.

“I went with 2K,” he explains, “knowing it would be good enough and not kill render times.” He secured a beta license of V-Ray for Modo to handle the rendering.

Marc Leonard applied color correction and Ferry laid in the audio. Tim Stevens of Stevens Animation helped in providing sound effects. He also contributed valuable feedback, adds Goble.

As the winner of the contest, Josh received free copies of The Foundry’s Modo, Nuke, Mari and Hiero.

“There’s no way I would have been able to get it to look as nice without all my friends’ help on it,” he adds.

But for Josh, another competition is just around the corner. Just announced this week, Josh has been selected as a challenger in FACEOFF: The After Effects Challenge – an annual competition that takes place Saturday evening, June 13, 2015 in Santa Fe as part of motion 2015.

FACEOFFFACEOFF is a unique After Effects exhibition that takes place in front of a live audience. Three motion design pros take the stage. When the clock starts, the challengers have 60 minutes to create a 5-15 second motion graphic. The project? They won’t know. Just seconds before FACEOFF, the creative brief will be announced. And then the excitement begins.

Play-by-play and color commentary is provided by industry experts Chris and Trish Meyer from Crish Design and Elaine Montoya from motion.tvDJ Cruze from Los Angeles performs live on stage throughout the evening, adding to the excitement of this epic event. DJ Cruze isn’t just any DJ – as a broadcast animator with credits like Bufu (Starz), Spacecats (Starz), Slacker Cats (ABC Family), and many more – he’s one of our own! FACEOFFThe After Effects Challenge is event like none other.

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