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Eddie Smith — Visual Effects Artist, Digital Domain

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Eddie Smith is a MacGyver of the VFX industry. Over his career, he’s figured out how to unveil the president as the bad guy for G.I. Joe: Retaliation, explode characters into cubes for Tron: Legacy, destroy planets in Ender’s Game, all the way up to some spoiler-ific effects for Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore.

Eddie’s weapon of choice for VFX is Houdini, SideFX’s versatile node-based effects software. Eddie breaks down some of his favorite work and reveals how he’s often charged with figuring out the best way to tackle complex scenes. He also talks about how effects software has changed in his 14 years at Digital Domain, and the future for the industrious effects studio.

Links:

Eddie Smith on LinkedIn >

G.I. Joe: Retaliation VFX Breakdown >

Ender's Game VFX Breakdown >

Terminator: Dark Fate VFX Breakdown >


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3:38 Eddie’s background

9:28 Starting at Digital Domain with “The Mummy 3”

13:46 Is Houdini becoming more mainstream?

20:15 What makes Houdini different?

25:05 Getting creative with effects

29:58 Houdini and “Fantastic Beasts” (spoiler!)

34:11 Node-based software

38:07 Favorite projects: “Ender’s Game,” “Terminator,” “Ready Player One”

43:55 Technology and industry changes

48:07 The effects of COVID

53:22 Going forward with Digital Domain

58:24 The guy who figures stuff out

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About the author

Christopher Nichols

Chris is a CG industry veteran and Director of Chaos Labs. He can also be heard regularly as the host of the CG Garage podcast which attracts 20,000 weekly listeners. With a background in both VFX and Design, Chris has worked for Gensler, Digital Domain, Imageworks and Method Studios. His credits include Maleficent, Oblivion and Tron: Legacy.

Originally published: June 27, 2022.
© Škoda Design

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