Dear Angelica Released

For most of 2016 I was working at Oculus Story Studio on their recently released VR short film, Dear Angelica. It was a really cool experience and a chance to expand my skills into the real-time realm using Unreal Engine 4. VR is a exciting new medium and I’m hoping to keep working in it moving forwards.

Explosion V2

WIP Explosion from James Littlejohn on Vimeo.

I haven’t had much time to work on personal projects recently, but I found a bit of time to work on my artillery shell explosion.

Explosion WIP

WIP Explosion from James Littlejohn on Vimeo.

Work in progress.

TableTop-FX Graphics Polish

TabletopFX_2-18-15

So I spent a good bit of time polishing the graphics on my Tabletop-FX project. I improved the magic spell effects, adding branching to the lightning and an animated trail to the magic missiles. The new magic missile trail is actually a large particle simulation in houdini that I turned into an animated sprite. I also modeled some chess pieces (in Houdini!) to replace my old models. To go with the new theme I also made a chessboard texture for the board. Anyway, let me know in the comments if you have any ideas or suggestions. ( I could use some comments on my blog that aren’t from spammers!)

Goodbye Dreamworks

I guess I’ve been neglecting this blog for the last 3 years. During that time I was working at Dreamworks Animation creating cool FX for a bunch of fun movies. I had a great time and met many people who I will never forget. However, now that I’m starting a new chapter in my life I think it is time to dust off this blog and do something cool with it.

Studio 2 WIP

Invasion from Kai Wang on Vimeo.

This is video of my studio 2 group project. Steven Genova – Acting, Set design, modeling, texturing (city) and Matte painting. James Littlejohn – Houdini Effects Kai Wang – Directing, Match moving, texturing (office), lighting and compositing. Drew Krehel – Steadicam operator Tom Sanders – Steadicam operator and stage Lighting Casey Smith – Stage Lighting

Studio 2 Project

I’ve started working on My studio 2 project. Since its a group project I decided to put the information about it up on a collective blog instead of this one. You can find it at http://studio2futurecity.blogspot.com/. Expect lots of tall buildings, explosions, and a pretty flower.

Genesis Stars and Point Clouds


Basically the stars are a particle system that is rendered out into a point cloud to be used to light the smoke. Previously I was trying to accomplish this by instancing lights on each point. The point clouds are a little bit more complicated to set up( I had to write some VEX code) but they render much faster. Also since I can use the point clouds as the star geometry they have no real downside to my project size for the renderfarm.

The image above is composited from four passes, Nebual, Nebula Pointcloud, Background, and Stars. Later I might post a explanation of my compositing since there are some cool things going on like RGB lighting.

Fractal Flames Project

I’m currently working on a project for my MEL scripting class to create 3d fractal flames in Houdini using a python SOP. I know it is strange that my MEL scripting project involves no actual MEL scripting but I got the okay from my teacher. Since I already have a fair amount of MEL scripting knowledge and I’m more interested in Houdini than Maya I thought it would be better for me to do a project in Houdini. If your not familiar with fractal flames they are a system to create fractal images based on mathematical functions. Fractal Flames were designed as a 2D system so it has taken me a bit of thinking to convert it to something that is 3D. However after working at it I now have a working prototype of the system. My biggest problem right now is speed. Python isn’t the fastest language and I haven’t figured out how to multi thread it or if that is even possible in Houdini. I’ve been thinking about rewriting the main engine in vex but I would need to figure out how to get vex to output points to a point cloud. But I’m hopeful that I have enough time to make this a really smooth system by the end of the quarter.

Here is a Image produced by the current version of my Fractal Flame system.

Launch of JamesLittlejohn.com

Hi this is my new website. I intend this website to be place to feature my work as well as a repository of helpful posts related to computer graphics.