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  • Writer's pictureRoss Shain

Goodbye 2023

If you've stumbled across my site, Happy New Year! This is a short recap of what I was up to in the last year. But first, I can't write light heartedly about this past year without acknowledging that globally, the year was frankly another dumpster fire. So, upfront, I share a heartfelt wish for stability and peace in the world. ❤️

For Christmas, I was the lucky recipient of my family's annual re-gifting prank. We've been trading this little rubber devil back and forth between unsuspecting recipients for almost 20 years. While I did not celebrate this holiday growing up, it is the joyful, and more importantly, non-traditional family rituals (like unique ornaments!) that I've grown to love sharing. I hope you and yours had happy and restful holidays.


New things

About 1 year ago, I decided to shake things up professionally and left my full-time position at Boris FX to explore new horizons and new technologies. At the end of 2022, I threw my name into the VES hat and was elected to the board of the Visual Effects Society's New York chapter. Its been a rewarding experience to interact with new faces in the VFX community and I've been working my industry connections to participate in sponsorships and events. The best part has been having more reasons to get into NYC and meet people at the pub nights and go to events like our Intro to Virtual Production workshop held at Final Pixel.

M&A - SynthEyes

Having been tasked with a freelance challenge, throughout 2023, I spent time meeting with various companies developing VFX software to see if there was a fit for acquisition. It was fantastic to see my work come to fruition in August when Boris FX announced it was acquiring SynthEyes 3D tracking software & longtime industry staple.


Having spent the last 15 years evangelizing Mocha and other VFX tools, I originally planned to spend 2023 researching and collaborating on a new venture using gen AI -- however my interest waned. I got sidetracked with a few new opportunities and simply decided to run with it. For the last year, I've been consulting as a part-time contractor for some cool startups, which include: Time in Pixels, Louper, and Atlux (formerly MetaShoot). I'm genuinely interested in each product and its been a fun challenge to work closely with each founder on marketing, creative direction, and business dev.

One of my goals for 2023 was to get a handle on Unreal Engine and Atlux is a plugin designed to do just that. This tool simplifies the lighting and animation process and helps artists use Unreal for more than just game dev. Early adopters really love it. It will be exciting to officially launch the new website/webshop outside of Epic's marketplace.

Time in Pixels' main product is Nobe OmniScope, which in my opinion is simply the best video signal software available for colorists and DITs. In my early career I worked as as finishing artist on commercials, so its great to interact with the Resolve community and reconnect with many old acquaintances.

And finally Louper is a really interesting tool that fulfills a much needed service in the film & video industry. This is a browser based platform designed to livestream from editing or VFX apps - improving remote collaboration for post-production. If you have tried to use Zoom for this purpose, you should appreciate Louper!


More to chew on

As I mentioned at the top, while it has been a positive year professionally, global events and the political landscape have been extremely challenging, to say the least. I'm a non-practicing American Jew, married to an atheist. We raised our daughter without much mention of God, but with the basic foundations of ethical humanism. It is difficult to describe my deep sadness and inner turmoil regarding the events in Israel and Palestine.

Feeling overwhelmed in the fall, I channeled some energy into this short experimental video project - using AI generated animation and original music to meditate on the basic concept of peace.

Is this art or even worth sharing? Probably not... but redirecting some energy into a project oriented goal can be a cathartic outlet. And hey - If you've gotten this far, I encourage you to join me in donating to the Doctors without Borders humanitarian organization. What else can we do?

Again, happy new year and better things for all.


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