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July 09
2017

ISSUE

Summer 2017

TYRUBEN ELLINGSON

TyRuben Ellingson

V-Art showcases the talents of worldwide VFX professionals as they create original illustrations, creatures, models and worlds. If you would like to contribute to V-Art, send images and captions to [email protected]

Concept designer and artist TyRuben Ellingson began his career as a visual effects art director at Industrial Light & Magic, making significant contributions to Jurassic Park, Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (Special Edition) and Disclosure. He then went on to collaborate with directors including Guillermo Del Toro and James Cameron. Ellingson is currently Chair and Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication Arts at Virginia Commonwealth University.

View of Scorpion aircraft twin-rotor-attack vehicle for James Cameron’s Avatar. “This was fairly early in production,” says Ellingson, “and these renderings were about the actual scale, functionality, and silhouette of the vehicles – as opposed to surface detail and paint schema.”


An exploded view of the AMP suit shoulder construction as seen in Avatar. The design was built and rendered in SketchUp


Ellingson’s first assignment from director Guillermo del Toro on Pacific Rim was to design these massive landing gear for an incredibly large helicopter and a fold-down set of stairs. “The landing gear was going to crush cars, and then all these dudes from the Pacific Rim group were going to stream down the stairs,” the artist explains. “The entire scene was cut, but I always liked the way the landing gear came out.”

A comparison of Ellingson’s initial study sketch for the excavator that appears in the opening of Avatar (seen when Jake is flying down to the surface in a shuttle) and the final SketchUp version that was used in the film.

Design for chain weapon appearing at the beginning of the David S. Goyer film Blade: Trinity


Electronic pistol design as used by Hannibal King in Blade: Trinity. “At the time, it was really outlandish that it had a little disc drive in it – little did we know,” notes Ellingson



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