Character/Creature TD

In the world of visual effects I specialize mainly in rigging, simulation, animation tools, and pipeline development. For many years I worked as both staff and freelance for Blizzard Entertainment, as well as previously for Paramount and CafeFX. See below for a sample of my work.

 
 
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Rigging

For Blizzard Cinematics I developed, with several others, a fully scripted rigging pipeline. All rigs were generated using object oriented Python scripts to be flexible and consistent, with the ability to work in realtime cinematics as well as heavy, pre-rendered shows. Separate deformation and simulation rigs could be created in parallel and attached when needed or run in independant scenes. This system rigged virtually every character for many years, and tied into an automated caching system that saved thousands of hours of artist time.

The spiritual successor to this rigging pipeline, rewritten from scratch, is available with an open source license on my github, and is an active work in progress.

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Crowds

Swarms of bugs, armies of demons. To tackle these issues I developed a procedural bridge between Maya/Houdini and PRman that could support the choreography and variation needed for several cinematics. Agents’ data could be adjusted individually or in groups, and supported full shader overrides and level of detail with all geometry loading deferred until render time.

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Plugins

These waving tentacles and snakelike bodies required special deformers. For these rigs I developed several custom deformers that could create noise or waves in surface space or object space, allowing animators to easily send waves of motion down the bodies of the characters.

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Simulation

The hair on Arthas required delicate motion that, at the time, wasn’t possible with Maya hair dynamics. A custom force using curling noise provided the right motion. FX artists used the same plugin to drive the motion of the snow. Built-in OpenGL visualization made tweaking the 3D noise field intuitive.