Alex Susanto | Lighting Demo Reel

Alex Susanto | Lighting Demo Reel

Alex Susanto
by alexsusanto on 27 May 2021 for Rookie Awards 2021

Hello! This is my Demo Reel comprised of my final pieces from my time at Gnomon School of VFX. Special thanks to all of my teachers and friends who supported me as I created these pieces and helped me push past my limits!

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Finding concept art to create from is generally a daunting process for me. It comprises of hours of indecisive scrolling through Pinterest and Artstation; and it usually ends up with me finishing half a box of Oreos, and finding 1 and a half pieces that I -might- want to do, but nothing I'm really totally attached to. However, when I first came across this concept by Mingchen Shen (sans chocolate sandwich cookies), I completely fell in love with it at first sight; and I'm very happy that this piece was my final project that I got to create during my time at Gnomon.

For this shot, my focus was to create a piece that would match the lighting from concept art, while also using color to help direct the viewer's eye across the scene. The software I used to create this piece included: Maya, Zbrush, Marvelous Designer, Speedtree, Xgen, Substance Painter, Mari, Vray, and Nuke.

A Near Miss

Heavily inspired by the Fast and Furious series, this piece began as a study of RBDs and fluid simulation in Maya. Once I understood the dynamics workflow, I re-approached this shot with a focus on effects lighting; using the explosions as the key light to shape the scene. To help my workflow, I used a Subaru BRZ model that I found on CG Trader, and the background city is Neo Tokyo 2 from Kitbash 3D. Admittedly, this shot required more lights than I've ever used before. Each modeled light bulb in the garage had it's own VRay light material  on it, as well as 2 rec lights : 1 for diffuse, and 1 for reflection (which I used a light texture to get the light geo to reflect against the car as it moved by). There are also a multitude of low intensity lights in the city. This shot was created using Maya, Substance Painter, Fracture FX, Phoenix FD, VRay, and Nuke. I also used an iPhone app called VirtuCamera to help give the camera movement a bit of irregularity to it.

P.S. If you look closely enough you'll spot an "Akira" and "A Silent Voice" billboard in the background city =]

Spirits of Change

I've always been a sucker for a good Disney film. So, when one of my good friends, Michelle Sharp (who's also a huge Disney fan), asked me to collaborate on a piece together, we knew a piece inspired by one of their movies would be within the cards. Michelle is an FX artist, and my focus is in lighting and look development. So, to showcase our abilities, we decided on a shot that was inspired by a transformation scene from "Brother Bear". On my end, this was a piece in exploring lighting and shading VFX for animation, and experimenting with magical / "staged" lighting. Michelle created the particle, FLIP, smoke, and growth FX for this shot.  I was responsible for modeling, lookdev, lighting, and compositing. To accomplish this piece we used Houdini, Zbrush, Substance Painter, Redshift, and Nuke.  

Thanks for checking out my page! I had a blast making these pieces, and I can't wait to show more work in the future! Special thanks to all my teachers and friends who helped me with these pieces and for helping me push past my limits!

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