Artist Profile: VFX Artist Josh Johnson

Josh Johnson is a freelance VFX artist, a 3D generalist, a compositor & creator of, a blog where he shares tutorials along with his work. After graduating in 2006 with a degree in Digital Cinema Arts, he decided to learn visual effects and computer animation. He bought the equipment he needed and taught himself how to use Adobe After Effects and Cinema 4D. In 2009, he began to use mocha which has become an indispensable part of his every day VFX workflow. “Even when I’m bidding on a project or helping with a concept I know I have mocha as a tool that can help bring a project to life,” says Johnson.  “I use it with NUKE and After Effects. It integrates seamlessly.”

Recently Johnson acted as VFX Supervisor on the feature film One & Two starring Kiernan Shipka (Mad Men) & Timothee Chalamet (Interstellar). The film had 56 VFX shots, 25 of which Johnson tackled himself. “It’s an indie film so I needed to be able to handle a lot of tasks in an efficient way,” notes Johnson. “mocha was very helpful. There were many shots where I used the planar motion tracking along with roto.”

The film, which revolves around a pair of siblings (played by Shipka & Chalamet) who can teleport, presented a few challenges and mocha Pro was quite the saviour. “We didn’t have a motion control camera on set,” says Johnson. “So when the camera moved at all, it required me to enhance the clean plate we shot on set to fit into the scenes seamlessly.”

Johnson relies heavily on mocha Pro for much of his VFX work. “It’s hard to say how many shots I typically track but I use it a ton. Its planar tracker is unbeatable,” ends Johnson. “And I almost always do my roto in mocha and just export that to my compositing package. One of the really great things about mocha is that I can further tweak my mocha roto shape inside NUKE or AE, which is a huge time-saver. It’s that kind of flexibility and efficiency that will keep me using mocha forever!”

Other projects that Johnson has used mocha on include fashion designer Derek Lam 10 Crosby’s short film Looking Glass and on the 2014 Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury prize winning documentary Rich Hill.


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