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Character/Concept Designer, Modeler/Animator

I'm looking for work in a shop where my 2D and 3D animation experience can be applied to the solution of creative problems; where character and concept design, modeling, animation, art direction and story are all essential to the creation of compelling entertainment. I develop, design and create characters, in a wide range of styles.

Working in pencil animation taught me how make characters act by transforming them in a volume through time. As a Key in 2D animation, I'd virtually re-model the character on Key poses, correcting proportions and enforcing a given style from which other animators had strayed. While that experience strengthens my 2D and 3D character animation, I'm drawn more to modeling and rigging than to building up motion sets. I've always worked with specialists in shading, lighting, particle effects, rendering, and the building of environments, so I have only the broadest generalist's contributions to make in those disciplines.

As for applications at which I'm proficient, I'm finding most everything I need in Maya and Photoshop, apart from whatever tools are developed in house. I've worked with NURBS and patch models, rigging and animating in Prisms, Alias PowerAnimator, and Softimage. Once subdivision surfaces made low poly meshes a high detail tool, I was able to get back to my Symbolics low poly mesh roots, using Mirai. I somehow managed to skip 3D Studio Max. Photoshop (and Maya's 3D Paint) is more than adequate for my modest texturing abilities. I'm currently learning ZBrush, in order to make my meshes and rigs even more efficient by shifting from vertex-slinging to normals-mapping. I've edited character models in the '80s Unix text editor VI, and animated sprites in today's XML editor. Fortunately, the learning curve never ends.


2003-2005: Backbone Entertainment, CA
Artist, Death Jr. for PSP

Contributed to design phase (in pencils and 3D) for various enemies I modelled and rigged; animated sophisticated particle effects in XML on proprietary FX engine for soon-to-be-published Death Jr. for PSP. For unpublished Mucha Lucha PS2 title, modeled, rigged, mapped and textured 3D characters signed off on by Warner Bros. with no revision requests. Generated development art for pitches.

1999-2002: Academy of Art College, San Francisco, CA
Animation Instruction
Taught courses in traditional 2D assistant animation, game development, character set-up and animation, polygonal and subdivision surface modeling.

Curriculum Development
Worked with Patricia Johnson and Kevin Cain to create a course in character design, modeling and set-up. I taught polygonal and subdivision surface modeling techniques for the first time at the school using Mirai and Maya. Students, previously familiar only with NURBS, overcame their objections to polygons when they were taught the versatility of polygonal modeling, texturing, and UV editing using Maya.

Thesis Preparation
Prepared students for the proposal of their thesis projects and reviewed them; students wrote, designed, storyboarded and prepared an animatic for their short films.

Art Experience
Introduced polygonal and subdivision surface modeling techniques to high school students using freeware modeling tools and Maya.

1997-2003: Independent Contractor, Sausalito, CA
• Character modeling for Mythica at Liquid Development
• Character and environment design for Ultima Online at Liquid Development
• Modeled characters from Zap Comix and L. Frank Baum’s Wizard of Oz books
• Modeled for Xaos Inc. shot for Small Soldiers trailer
• Modeled and animated lethally-armed rubber-hose pig for Red Sky Interactive’s
1998 Demo CD (winner, Gold Pencil Award)
• Animated CG dream sequence for award-winning short film Modern Life
• Modeled Protozoa’s prototype of Doonesbury character Duke.
• Authored foreword and modeling/animation tutorials for Doug Kelly’s top-selling
book, Character Animation In Depth, published by Coriolis.
• Techical reviewer on Softimage|XSI Character Animation f/x & Design, for author
Chris Maraffi and Coriolis.
• Panelist at SIGGRAPH ’97 debating merits of performance capture

1996-1997: GameTek Inc., Sausalito, CA
Character Animator
• Created real-time, Anime-style talking heads with lip-synch and game-driven
emotions for Robotek 64, an N64 cartridge game
• Modeled and rigged weighted shape blended parameterized targets.
• Provided character voices.
• Trained animators in procedures and workflow using Softimage.
• Coordinated content creation strategies with programmers.

1995-1996: Acclaim Coin-Op, Mountain View, CA
Character Animator
• Prototyped character development for Magic, The Gathering arcade game, using
Photoshop and Painter on the Macintosh for character design and texture
• Designed, modeled, lit, and animated player and non-player character sprites
using Alias 6.0 on SGI. Set up constraint-based IK for looping and branching

1992-1994: Walt Disney Imagineering, Glendale, CA
Character Animator
Modeled, textured and animated characters for prototype Virtual Reality attraction Aladdin’s Magic Carpet Ride, premiering in EPCOT at SIGGRAPH. Using Side Effects Prisms, in a joint development project with SGI, animated Iago the Parrot, the Magic Carpet, and Rasoul the palace guard.

1992: Wild Side Theater, North Hollywood, CA
Improvisational Radio Comedy
Performed multiple character voices with a well-rehearsed, tight improvisational ensemble for LA radio station KIEV’s satirical series SimulTrek, simulcast live with Star Trek TV show, in 26 midnight episodes over 6 months.

1991-1992: Magic Seven Productions, Santa Monica, CA
Character Designer, Modeler
Designed and modeled characters for 3D animated children’s film.

1990-1991: Walt Disney Feature Animation, Glendale, CA
Key Assistant, Character Animator
Keyed animation supervised by Andreas Deja in Beauty and the Beast and The Prince and the Pauper. Supervised and trained novice assistants.

1989-1990: DeGraf/Wahrman, West Hollywood, CA
Lead Modeler
• Modeled environments for first 3D computer animated ride film, Universal Studios’
Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera
using Symbolics (the ancestor of today’s Mirai).
• Modeled blend shapes for various performance-captured talking heads based on
original “Mike the Talking Head” demo for SGI, including the face of Cain in
Robocop II.
• Modeled environments, faces and monsters for the ride film Journey to the Fourth
, including work that became the cover image for Beyond the Mind’s Eye.

1978-1989: Various animation studios, Los Angeles, CA
Assistant Animator, Key Assistant, Animator
• Trained on the job in traditional apprenticeships with pencil animators such as
Don Bluth, Ralph Bakshi, John Kricfalusi, Cornelius Cole and Tom Sito, on various
syndicated animated TV series, pilots, animated feature films, commercials and
music videos.
• After working on Secret of NIMH, supervised artists at Filmation on series including
He-Man and She-Ra. For Bravestarr, created 3D models and paper-plot animation