I am a FX Generalist with over 20 years of 3d Studio experience (yes from DOS days). Currently I'm learning SideFX Houdini along with refreshing my game FX experience learning Unity and Unreal Engine with Houdini's game toolset. I have over 15 years experience of working in the games, entertainment and advertising industries. My varied skill set includes building/texturing models, 3D and 2D animation, Rigging, concept art and of course particle and fluid FX. This means that when a client gives me a project I can go above and beyond their expectations by offering more than just FX. Having knowledge of different disciplines means I’m able to foresee any issues before they arise, which makes me a very efficient worker.

Starting out as a games tester at Bullfrog In 2000, I soon left to further my career at Kuju Ent in Godalming, as a Junior Artist, creating 3D environments and vehicle production for Playstation, XBox and PC games using 3D Studio Max, Lightwave and Photoshop. I progressed to the London office not long after, working on Reign Of Fire and creating player-controlled vehicles for the pre-visualisation of Battalion Wars. Amongst other things, I was a supervisor for a team fixing models on Train Simulator 2. During this time at Kuju I attended evening classes for Life Drawing to improve my concept art skills. At Kuju I worked on Lotus Challenge (PS2), Reign Of Fire (PS2 & XBOX), Warhammer 40,000: Fire Warrior (FPS) (On-line, PS2), Fireblade (XBOX), Battalion Wars (Pre Viz) (Gamecube), Microsoft Train Sim (PC), Microsoft Train Sim 2 (PC), not to mention a few other games that were never released.

I got my first taste of FX back in 2005 when I was working as a Technical Director on Gerry Anderson's New Captain Scarlet based at Pinewood Studios. I was asked to do some explosions and this opportunity gave me the inspiration to further pursue this line of work. Meeting Gerry Anderson was the icing on the cake as I had been a fan since a child growing up with his shows Thunderbirds, and Stingray to name a few. I then went to work for C.H.A.S.E Ltd (County Hall Animation Studio Enterprise) a UK MANGA studio in London as a concept artist in 2006. I worked on various different projects in different roles and gained invaluable experience. Originally I was employed as a concept artist but as new projects came along I got to expand my Special FX repertoire as one project required fluid-dynamics. So I taught myself RealFlow in my own time to ensure the project did not fall behind schedule. My skills significantly developed when I needed to create the monsters chasing Peter Petrelli in the BBC2 advertisment for Heroes using 3D Studio Max’s Particle Flow and Afterburn. Simultaneously I managed other projects, including one called Tank in which I built and texture mapped the environment, built, rigged and animated a tank and then rendered the scenes. Two other animations called Kid Samurai and Cine Aqua, (an aquarium/cinema in Paris) I was also doing 3D Modelleing/Animator/Special FX for. I helped to create menu animations and episode selection screens using AfterEffects for the DVD of The I.T Crowd Series 2 (I appear as a Policeman in one of them!

In my spare time at CHASE I did some freelance work creating complex lighting concepts for stage shows for music artists including Sting Phil Collins and Bob Dylan.
In 2008 I was given the chance to work in San Francisco for an animation company called Cinematico for 3 months working on a show called Xavier: Renegade Angel & some cut scenes to the game Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2. It was a life changeing experience I'll never forget. Since San Francisco, I have been freelancing with many companies including Prime Focus London, Pipe Dreams 3D & SpaceAge Films I've also won an award for Best W.I.P. and Best FX in an online competition on CGTalk called FX Wars! I worked with Glowfrog Studio's on Seconds From Disaster: Season 5, I also worked a few times with then, an up & coming online games studio based in San Francisco called Kabam lately known for the Clash of Clans mobile series.

In 2012 - 2013 I worked with Kabam some more and a new client called NewAngle on a new 5 HD camera projection technique totaling a resolution of 8064x1200 per
frame. This work was managed and achieved by me and had such elements as Tornado's, a Hurricane, an Under water Volcano, two Tidle waves and another volcano eruption resulting in one of the biggest FX projects handle alone by me!

In 2015 I worked with my previous Art Director from C.H.A.S.E. Animation who created his own company called Planet Jump Productions. Working at Planet Jump as a freelancer I worked on many smaller projects including background screen animations for a few artist including the band Negramaro.

With some VR work under my belt from an architectual job, in 2016 I was able to persue a job at Figment Productions who specialise in VR rollercoasters and other amusments. While being employed as a senior FX artist Figment required an Environment Concept Designer at short notice and asked me to step in. The FX mostly consisted of smoke plumes, Bubbles, Mist & volcanic explosions underwater. I took control of all the FX on the City collapse scene where a quake lifts up plates with buildings crumbling on top of them, involving debris, dust, timing crumbling of the buildings and impacts of the Kraken this was alongside the other smaller FX jobs being done for the rest of the project.

I’m always learning new skills and software to keep up to date with the industry and so that my work can be the best it can possibly be so I'll be developing my ever growing 3d skills along side my concept design skills while helping to raise my new baby daughter!

I am looking for a permanent FX role but in the meantime I am available for freelance work so if you need any concept design, modelling, animation or any FX then please get in touch via the email link below. One of my greatest strengths is the fast speed at which I work, so if you have a deadline looming then I can help you meet it. I’m proud to say that I’ve never missed a deadline!

© 2019 Stephen Macfarlane. All Rights Reserved.