Meet the Artist: Grant Freckelton, Animal Logic

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  03 March 2007
Meet the Artist: Grant Freckelton, Animal Logic

CGTalk – Meet the Artist

Grant Freckelton
Visual Effects Art Director
Animal Logic

When Grant Freckelton had joined Animal Logic in 1997, he’d already done time in the West as a university student at Curtin University in Perth.

At school, he had majored in film and screenwriting, with a minor in illustration. He was winning art prizes, but while living in Perth, there wasn’t much call for visual effects. His is another ‘web site saved my career’ story.

His first job was drawing bug creatures for a game developer in Perth creating a role-playing game based on ideas in ‘Starship Troopers.’ Freckelton put the creatures on his website and emailed the URL to places he wanted to work. Two months later, Animal Logic contacted him.

At Animal, his work has ranged from redesigning the network ID for the Cartoon Network to working as a visual effects art director for ‘The Matrix Reloaded.’ He was a matte painter for ‘Rabbit-Proof Fence,’ a concept artist and matte painter for ‘Moulin Rouge!’, and a visual effects designer for ‘Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,’ among other films.

When filming for ‘300’ moved from Australia to Canada, the producers tried but failed to replace Freckelton but couldn’t, so he stayed in North America for the next 18 months. “They kept me on and on,” he says. “Animal Logic loaned me out to production. Even though they were working on only one battle sequence out of the 1,500 shots, I was overseeing the design of all the visual effects.”

CGSociety has posted a feature story about Grant's work on '300'. Click on the image below to go there and read the story if you havent already. And remember, his career is more than one feature, so gather your questions ready and post them, as he is available to reply through this week, until Wednesday of next.

So please make Grant Freckelton welcome to this month's CGTalk Meet the Artist.
Fmr Editor and features writer, CGSociety; Global Artist Liaison, Ballistic Publishing. Freelance writer, media consultant & digital producer.

Last edited by PaulHellard : 03 March 2007 at 01:07 AM. Reason: Feature posted on CGSociety
  03 March 2007
Great to see an ex-colleague move on to such big things, congrats Grant!
I'm hanging out to see the film.

-Greg Petchkovsky
  03 March 2007
Hey Grant amazing work on 300 , I just watched it two nights ago.

I was wondering if you had any advise for someone like me who is getting their Matte Painting portfolio together. What will get me noticed and stand out in the crowd? whats the best way to find a job? Is freelance a better ruit to start off? What will impress a future employer? Right now I am working at a gas station while getting my portfolio together so this advise would be huge for me

Thanks a million for taking the time to share your experience with all of us.

  03 March 2007
Hi Grant, thank you for taking the time to answer these questions.

Great flick. I loved every minute of it. Visually captivating and you should be proud.

This question comes from my fiancé more than me. She was asking me how the eyes of the characters in some scenes looked so glossy, almost as if they were drawn comic book eyes. I had speculated about ways it could have been done but couldn't give her a solid answer. Would you please explain the technique that was used?

  03 March 2007
Great to have you here....

I cant wait to see the movie....and to share your experience working on it!
Wacom practice

  03 March 2007
iev just seen the trailer and i must say it us simply amazing. keep up the gr8 work!

no questions though!
  03 March 2007
Thanks for coming to our forums, great movie and I cant wait to see it again.

I have a question about the size relation between Xerxes and Leonidas. I'm guessing Xerxes wasnt actually that big and he was somehow scaled up to seem larger than life. Did the actors perform their scenes together or seperate and how was the size relation kept consistant in post? could you please speak a little bit about that effect?
  03 March 2007
Grant, the visual effects in 300 were nothing short of stunning! The movie itself was shit, but it was enjoyable to watch just for the visual effects. You could take almost any individual frame out of this movie and it would stand as a good still photograph.

My question to you, is how did you guys achieve that unique look and feel consistently throughout the flick?
  03 March 2007

Wow, Grant I gotta hand it to you, the movie 300 is amazing. Could you tell me how you delt with the workload of this film? There seemed to be a lot of different effects, like blood in battle scenes etc. Was this movie a challenge compared to anything you've worked on befor?
For my animations, art and tutorials goto:
CG Lot Blog or my youtube channel...

  03 March 2007
Hiya Grant,

Welcome and thank you for taking the time to share some things. Your insights will be much appreciated!

I need time to think up a grass roots, theory question, but in the meantime, what post video editing software was used mostly in 300? After Effects?

I'm looking forward to your feature story and good call on 300's colour palette!

take care
Circumstances do not make the man, they reveal him."
James Allen
  03 March 2007
Wow I've been waiting for this CGtalk featured artist since the day the movie came out (Which isnt long ago I gotta admit)

My question is, in the slow motion/ fast forward scene where we see king leonidas charge, how was that done? Parts filmed and other parts where leonidas is replaced by a CG character? Or is it All CG / no CG at all?

Also, how much work time did it require to make the very impressive shot of the boats stuck in the huge storm? The effects in that particular shot really blew my mind for their realism and their visual style. Although I always hear water effects are really hard to accomplish, they seem to get better and better every time I see them used in movies. Do you have any thoughts about that?

Thanks a lot for your time and congratulations for this very impressive piece of art. I havent enjoyed a movie so much in a damn while!
  03 March 2007
Originally Posted by DanVL: My question is, in the slow motion/ fast forward scene where we see king leonidas charge, how was that done? Parts filmed and other parts where leonidas is replaced by a CG character? Or is it All CG / no CG at all?

I am also asking about that shot. At WonderCon, if I remember correctly, Gerard Butler said he trained a lot for that shot (I guess because of how it was choreographed) and it was filmed a whole day. I'm assuming that shot is all Gerard in front of a blue screen and no digital-replacement, is that true? I too would like to know exactly how much of that long shot is CG or not. And is it true the only real sets were built for the Queen's scenes?

I was very impressed with how the movie translated from the graphic novel. In terms of colors and composition, it very much felt like the book to me. If something wasn't in the book, what decisions were made to "fill-in" any missing details, for example the Oracle's dance? It seems like you had the book with you the whole time.

BTW someone posted up a nice comic-to-screen comparison:
  03 March 2007
you guys need to check your sources. As far as I know, and I'm pretty sure I'm far from being wrong, the whole movie is TOTALLY based on the comic book "300" from Frank Miller. It's a comic book, so it's normal that it doesn't represent the real story, it wasn't the goal.

This is simply a movie about action and lengendary stuff, so I guess he just did his job and made into special effects what was drawing in a cartoon. And he made an awesome job for that!
  03 March 2007
hi there

Hello, i wanted to say that you and all the crew involved on the film did a wonderfull job. The movie is almost perfect, i only have a few questions that would be great to if you could answer.
Why you guys added too some monters to the story? Was that Franks idea? i dont remenber giants and ogres in the comic ( and i dont really think it worked well, remenbers too much of LOTR )? Why have you guys decided to make the fight with the wolf with an adult man instead of the child ( any legal thing involved ? )? What was the most difficult shot you worked on, and why?
Amazing job you guys did in post production, every frame of the movie is a pice of art... i liked the end result better than sin city ( and sin city was amazing ). Amazing job, congrats.
Andre Kling David
  03 March 2007
sigh..I really hope this thread doesn't spiral out of control like every other thread on any site regarding "300". Back to the issue. For the Oracle scene was the actress filmed in a tank or was that dry for wet? Dry for wet never managed to get hair right (at least to me). Thank you again for taking the time to come to the forum.

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