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ABOUT THE ARTIST

I've been in the animation industry for nineteen years, and have produced character and environment work for numerous feature films. My experience covers early character development and environment sculpting/modeling, and clean asset creation for production.
 

Over the years I've worked very differently from project to project, with varied levels of responsibility.  I've found myself operating as everything from a team leader (encouraging a large crew of artists), to an early development sculptor (toiling with a small team of production designers).

The most enjoyable aspect of my work is breaking down show style with designers and visual development artists. I love collaborating, receiving feedback and riffing to make the best work possible.


WORK EXPERIENCE

CHARACTER and ENVIRONMENT MODELING, Netflix Feature Animation 2021-2023
• Worked closely with production designer, Animation leads and director to create fully realized character sculpts, poses and expression tests.
• Responsible for generating presentation imagery/turntables, and an organized work archive for future vendors.
• Prepared and shared clean model assets with Design, Animation, Previs, Layout, and Rigging for a variety of show testing.
• Collaborated with environment production designer to build full sets, vehicles and props for show look development.

MODELER, Blue Sky Studios 2004-2021
LEAD/SENIOR MODELER (2008-2021) Character Lead
• Worked with Animation, Rigging, Design and directors to create fully realized character sculpts.
• Assisted with production of new maquettes and maintained old maquettes.
• Produced polished ZBrush imagery for department sharing/director presentations.
• Spearheaded new topology layouts to enhance lead character performance and look.
• Created show-based character generator meshes capable of producing a wide variety of useful on-style characters.
• Managed a crew of rotating modelers, while taking time to reinforce show style, ensure that notes were understood/resolved, and that final meshes met rig requirements.
• Provided character bids and assisted with casting and team selections.
• Oversaw tool preferences, and encouraged sharing of productive workflows.
• Ensured that artists understood director notes, and that all technical notes impacting design were vetted by Animation before implementation.
• Smartly and artfully implemented major topology changes and form adjustments on demand.
• Coordinated with Sculpting during character asset overlap, staying abreast of incoming notes while continuing ZBrush or Maya cleanup of the same character asset.
• Established logical asset names and intuitive directory structures.
• Held Zbrush and Maya cross training classes, and produced internal educational video content to help ambitious artists grow.

Environment Lead (2008-2016)
• Collaborated with production designers to build rough scout sets and characters, for early visual development.
• Built and oversaw creation of all assets (cars, rocks, trees, buildings etc.) and organized models and their components for all departments.
• Filtered scout sets before casting, ensuring logical set breakup, while also keeping tabs on complexity.
• Managed up to 10 set artists simultaneously, while attending all relevant meetings to support the crew and their work.
• Helped set leaders guide their team(s), and assisted with troubleshooting (design/technical).
• Collaborated with Fur, Materials, and Comp to hit show style and prevent wasted time.
• Ensured that all final sequence models were technically clean and aesthetically well finished.
• Assisted teams with resolving shot fixes

MODELER (2005-2008)
• Created clean 3D character models based on hero sketches, sculpture scans, and designer/director feedback.
• Executed Rigging technical topology fix requests imperative for clean character performance (face, mouth, eyes and hand functionality/cleanup).
• Constructed on-style backlot vegetation, land formations, vehicles and props.
• Mastered useful components for Modeling reuse, and Fur and Assembly set dressing.
• Performed sequence set building based on approved designs, and filled in gaps for robust shot coverage while maintaining show style.

MODELING TA (2004)
• Worked with Modeling and Rigging leads to quickly resolve character and environment shot fixes.
• Executed sequence modeling, set dressing, and prop building.
• Conceptualized and developed quality control tools with Production Engineering.

MODELING INSTRUCTOR, Anim School 2010-2012, 2015
• Revised curriculum for Character Modeling
• Established Introduction to Maya Modeling
• Held two to three classes per week (three to five hour-long sessions) for two to three months
• Held live modeling demos, worked directly over student character files to relay topology theory
• Assessed student work and encouraged dedication

GALLERY SCULPTOR, Mike Lee 2019- 2021
• Produced 3D sculpt data based on oil paintings by Mike Lee
• Worked with fabricators/contractors/galleries to resolve balance and print issues while preserving intent

FREELANCE DESIGNER/ANIMATOR, Virtual Worlds Group (Microsoft Network) 1996-1997
• Produced character concept artwork.
• Traditionally animated approved character designs (expressions and cycles).
• Performed weekly cleanup, coloring, formatting and delivery of original and digital media.
• Developed world concepts and made recommendations to improve end-user experience.


EDUCATION

RINGLING SCHOOL OF ART AND DESIGN 2000-2004
BFA COMPUTER ANIMATION
Graduated with honors


SKILLS

• Familiar with: rigging techniques, fur techniques, surfacing, lighting and compositing
• Work-related software experience: Maya, Mudbox, ZBrush, Photoshop, Nuke, Keyshot, Illustrator, Blender
• Also familiar with: After Effects, Premiere, audio cleanup/engineering, HD video rendering
• Figure sculpting and painting, illustration, story boarding, mold-making/casting, thermoforming, painting, airbrush

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