`Meet Mat` is Back - The 3D Digital Painting Contest
Jordan McBarnett -  2023 Work

Jordan McBarnett - 2023 Work

Jordan McBarnett
by jordanmcbarnett on 3 May 2023 for Rookie Awards 2023

All my motion and 3D work since learning at Ringling College of Art and Design.

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What's up! I'm Jordan, 😝 another badass graduate from Ringling College of Art and Design with a BFA in Motion Design.

Im going to keep this very fun and casual, hop in on the ride! πŸ€™πŸΏπŸŽ’

Growing up with Caribbean parents, I learned the hustle-and-grind mentality and the importance of being the absolute best at what I do. Check out some of my most epic work that still makes me feel hella proud to this day!


Oh man, let me tell you about my senior thesis at Ringling! It was a wild ride, let me tell ya. The whole concept was all about representing intense emotions through visual art. And I had some serious feels - despair, rage, and peace were just the tip of the iceberg.

I've been on a crazy journey over the past few years, especially with COVID thrown into the mix. But despite all the chaos, I've grown so much, and my thesis was a reflection of that. It was a passion project that I poured my heart and soul into.


Here are some of the juiciest frames from my thesis - these are my absolute faves! I put so much time and effort into art-directing these babies to give off the perfect vibe for each emotion.

For despair, we're talking stormy seas, foggy boats, and all kinds of dangerous vibes. Rage is all about explosive energy - think major BOOM moments. And for that chill, peaceful vibe, I went with a dreamy sunset, a comfy bed, and flowing fabrics.


Next, Let me tell you an example of how Houdini became my bread and butter for this boat stormy waves scene.

First, I snagged a dope boat model online and imported it into Houdini in alembic format.

Then, I created a fluid tank with the perfect parameters for a natural flow. I made sure to set up a collision object to represent the boat within the simulation and get it interacting just right.

But that's not all - I added some killer effects like white foam and splashes to make it even more realistic. After tweaking everything just right, I ran the simulation and watched my boat float like a boss.

It was all thanks to taking a deep dive into Houdini, a free model, and a whole lot of passion.

Windows OS Wallpapers

FUTURE DELUXE came at us seniors at Ringling College of Art and Design with a sick challenge - create some dope static wallpapers that'll be used in the next Windows OS update.

So what did I do? I busted out my trusty Houdini and Cinema 4D and rendered everything out in Redshift for some fun visuals.


The concept was all about CLOUD SPACE. You feel me? πŸ˜Microsoft isn't just a tech company - they're all about that cloud-based lifestyle, making their software accessible anytime, anywhere. So I took that idea and ran with it, creating an evolving cloud in a physical, abstract space that really captures that essence. It's all about defining the space where users can get lost in the awesomeness of Windows products.

Check it out, these are some past attempts at nailing the perfect design for this cloud space concept:

The first one was on point, but not fresh enough for FUTURE DELUXE.

The second and third ones got experimental with the cloud formation and added pixelation to represent Microsoft Cloud's data.

The last one incorporated lit-up lines showing information moving in and out of the cloud.


 My next fav piece is the NATIONAL AD COUNCIL: SMOKING AD PSA - it was a real challenge! πŸ”₯πŸ”₯

The goal was to bring a new perspective to serious social issues, so I went with "Clear Skies, Clear Lungs" and used a stop-motion clay animation of a forest burning down to represent the impact of smoking on our lungs. According to the national institute on Drug Abuse, cigarette smoking kills over 480,000 people a year in the United States, so I wanted to make sure this message hit hard!

With the scene layout complete, I moved on to creating the bear and adding a pose morph effect to the grass, trees, and bushes. Next, I created a stop-motion texture loop using Normal, Rough, and Bump maps of Octane materials to animate a fingerprint image, making it loop every second. To enhance the tactile feel of the animation, I added a slight displacement effect to the objects. Finally, I edited and composited everything in After Effects, using Ringling's "Action VFX" Fire/Smoke assets and tracking the individual fires to the nulls of the burning grass elements in the animation.

Brainy Quote 2023

This project was to bring a quote to life through animation. So, I picked Jordan Peterson's quote β€œDon't compare yourself with other people; compare yourself with who you were yesterday.” 

To visualize this, I came up with the concept of Doors. Imagine everyone has a story behind them, and each time you meet someone, it's like entering through a new door to see what they hold inside. Just like doors, people may present themselves differently on the outside, but it's what's on the inside that counts. So, let's not compare ourselves with others, but with who we were yesterday, and keep exploring those exciting doors!

Yo, it's been a wild ride.

Honestly, I never thought I had it in me to make some dope stuff, but Motion Design is just wild like that - endless creative ventures! And even though there are so many specialties within this field, we all share that same drive to make rad things and have a blast doing it. πŸ˜†

As a fresh grad, I'm super stoked to be entering a field that lets me flex my creativity in so many different ways. I'm all about giving voice to underrepresented stories and perspectives, and I'm ready to keep pushing for more diversity in this industry. 

Big ups for peeping at my portfolio! And hey, if you want more, hit up my website - got plenty more designs, dev, and works for ya to check out.


 Peace out! ✌🏿🫑

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