FIDM Grad and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Title Designer Justin Hamilton Talks VFX and Design

Located in Culver City, CA, Greenhaus GFX is a boutique motion design and VFX studio catering to the film and television industries that also employs FIDM Digital Media Alumni Kyle Brosius (Art Director), Kyle Thorsen (Lead Designer/New Media), Justin Hamilton (Lead VFX Designer) and Ryan Sommerville (Freelance Motion Graphics Designer). Headed by Founder, President, and Executive Creative Director Helen Greene, Greenhaus GFX offers a diverse range of skills including design, animation, visual effects, 3D modeling, stereoscopic 3D, typography, storyboarding, and concept design.


Justin Hamilton - Lead VFX Designer at Greenhaus GFX

Justin Hamilton – Lead VFX Designer at Greenhaus GFX


Greenhaus GFX recently released its latest project, the end title sequence for Jonathan Liebesman’s “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” which we highly recommend checking out. The sequence has a beautifully simplistic comic book illustration style that focuses heavily on dark outlines and watercolor-like seamless transitions.  The FIDM Digital Arts team was fortunate enough to catch up with FIDM Digital Media Grad Justin Hamilton, a designer on this project. Hamilton also worked on the main title sequences for Guardians of the Galaxy and Maleficent. Scroll down to get some insight into the mind of a Lead VFX Designer

Tell us about your role as Lead VFX Designer.

That means that anytime we have to be on set to supervise a shoot involving VFX I’ll be there. I’ll also coordinate and complete any work that must be done in post. When we aren’t working on a job with VFX I’m always excited to jump in on the design phase of any campaign we work on. In my case, this usually involves creating a healthy amount of 2D and 3D elements that I can use to create some initial style frames. Some recent highlights are designing the Guardians of the Galaxy and Maleficent main titles.

We hear you recently worked on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles titles as well.

For the animated title sequence at the end of TMNT, I designed the initial style frames and animation that were approved by Director Jonathan Liebesman, Michael Bay, and the rest of the crew behind the film. I couldn’t have done it without my team here at Greenhaus and the beautiful illustrations based on the film done by Rudi Liden. I was about to get married, so fellow FIDM Grad and Art Director Kyle Brosius took the reigns from there to see the project through to completion. I was beyond impressed with the final piece when I returned!

What do you enjoy about this type of work?

For design work I love coming up with looks, concepts, and ideas that can work to help push a project artistically or from a marketing standpoint. In our field, we are always creating the most beautiful imagery possible in an artistic and technical sense and it’s a blast to find that look that marries perfectly with the project. In the case of TMNT, I was stoked to nail down a look and animation style for the team so that they could use that as a guide to create the rest of the piece while I was away.

For VFX work, the joy is usually creating something that blends so perfectly with footage that the viewer cannot tell that it was added in post. I have a side that is creative/artistic and another side that is more technical/scientific and this type of work allows me to bring those together.

Note: This post was originally published on the FIDM Blog.


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Author: James Peacock

James Peacock is a Digital Marketing Specialist at FIDM in Los Angeles, California. He received his A.A. in Graphic Design from FIDM and was hired as Social Media Assistant in 2013 by his alma mater in order to help grow the institution’s social media marketing efforts. James now combines two of his passions, telling stories and solving problems by managing data-driven marketing campaigns across multiple channels that ultimately result in a positive return on investment.

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