Jeff Budsberg Dreamworks

Jeff Budsberg FX Lead DreamWorks Reel

Jeff Budsberg, FX Lead / Developer at DreamWorks Animation presents his latest reel featuring breakdowns from The Croods


Jeff Budsberg Dreamworks

Jeff Budsberg Dreamworks

Jeff Budsberg Dreamworks

Jeff Budsberg Dreamworks

Jeff Budsberg Dreamworks



1. Pyroclastic Flow
* Simulation, lighting, and compositing of all FX. DreamWorks (DWA) gas & Bullet solvers, Houdini POPs, Mantra, Nuke.
* Outstanding FX and Simulation in an Animated Feature Motion Picture. VES Awards nomination, 2014.
* Outstanding Achievement, FX in an Animated Production. Annie Awards nomination 2014.

2. Water
* Shot 1: FX Lead. Shots 2 & 3: Simulation & compositing of all FX, lighting of volumetrics. Naiad, Houdini, OpenVDB level set operations/meshing, DWA gas & shallow-water solvers, render time displacement, Mantra, Nuke. FX Lead.
* Liquids in ‘The Croods’. ACM DigiPro Short Paper, 2013.

3. Fire & Embers
* Simulation, lighting, and compositing of all FX. Choreographed 1300+ frame shot with ~100 hand-animated embers, Maya Particles, Fluids, burn maps, DWA filament gas solver, PBGI & art-directed point lights, DWA REYES & volume renderers, Nuke. FX Lead.
* Developed studio-wide Nuke gizmos: fire glow, adding light flicker in post. Many others, including channel lighting, color lookup, contact sheet, and default FX element gizmo.

4. World ripping apart
* Simulation, lighting, and compositing of all FX tearing elements. Houdini geometry preparation, POPs, SOP solvers, COPs, Maya Particles, complex shaders, DWA REYES renderer, Mantra, Nuke. FX Lead.
* Outstanding FX in an Animated Feature Motion Picture. VES Awards nomination, 2011.

5. River development
* Simulation of all FX. Houdini FLIP (customized), POPs, SOP solvers, OpenVDB meshing, simulation analysis tools (per spawning secondary elements), collaborated with R+D to guide level set toolset development, wrote simulation profiling tool (Python).

6. Hourglass
* Simulation, lighting, and compositing of FX hourglass and glass. +60 shots, ~10 hero, automated setup with MEL/Python. Maya Particles, Fluids, NCloth. DWA REYES-based and Particle renderers. Wrote tools to perform glass lighting and refraction interactively in the comp. FX Lead.

7. Dust wall
* Simulation, lighting, and compositing of all FX. DWA gas solver, Houdini POPs, Mantra, Nuke. Built systems for artists to quickly execute 40+ full-screen volumes shots: large library of simulations, tools for placement & instancing, re-simulating & deforming existing volumes, art-directable shaders & lighting. FX Lead.

8. Volume tools
* Developed numerous OpenVDB tools & SOPs (HDK, C++) for cloud explosion sequence. These include instancing, point sampling, simulation retiming, geometric volume deformers. FX Lead.
* OpenVDB: An Open-Source Data Structure and Toolkit for High-Resolution Volumes. SIGGRAPH Course, 2013.

9. Debris tool
* Wrote tool to facilitate seamless handoff from Maya Particles (or hand-animated debris) to DWA’ Bullet solver (MEL, Python). Alleviates RBD setup time & asset management; utilized in multiple departments (including set dressing).
* Shot 2: Simulation of all FX. Lighting, and compositing of volume & particle elements. Maya Particles, Fluids, debris tool, hand-animation, Mantra, Nuke.

10. Plant deformation
* Simulation of all FX. Soft-body dynamics rig art-directed by various methods: Maya fields, bend deformers, or hand animated; automated setup with MEL/Python. Wrote tool for easily selecting and promoting instanced assets to hero.

11. Flower field
* Spearheaded workflow and developed multi-department flower field (shaders, C++). Density & height maps drive fur placement; each fur drives deformer that grabs a random asset in the correct height range. Render time wind, plant dynamics via curve deformation, debris tool for flower petals/grass, easy LOD control for Lighting. FX Lead.

12. Destruction geometry generator
* Geometry procedural for rendering Houdini Bullet data in the DWA REYES renderer (C++) and Houdini exporter (Python). Multiple orders of magnitude disk savings over studio’s previous RBD caching/rendering technique.

13. Bonsai foliage modeling software and supporting pipeline
* Developed DWA’s next generation procedural foliage tools/libraries/pipeline (C++, Python, PyQT, MEL, Maya API, HDK). Clients include Maya/Houdini authoring tools & visualization, asset configuration/installation, and geometry generators & deformation across multiple renderers.
* Technical Achievement Award. DreamWorks Animation, 2012.
* Beyond procedurally modeled foliage in ‘Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa’. SIGGRAPH Talk, August 2008.

14. Wind deformer
* Wrote divergence-free noise procedural and interactive flow field visualizer (C++). Facilitated artists to quickly art-direct wind in foliage, fur, hair, etc.

15. Foliage level of detail
* Built LOD system for foliage & crowds yielded +10X render time savings for Lighting (C++, Python, Shaders). Replaces high-resolution asset with camera-tracking card with pre-computed renders per viewing angle. Performs light-tracking for accurate shadows.

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