I’m a skilled animation director, with many years involvement in commercial animation. My broad, cross-cultural experience and large body of varied work means I have a unique perspective on producing character-driven campaigns. This positions me very strongly as a layout TD and previsualisation artist as I have a broad and relevant skill set and a strong cinematic aesthetic to draw on.
WORK HISTORY OVERVIEW
From 1991 to 2001, I owned and operated two highly innovative and successful 3D animation companies in New Zealand.
I then worked as a freelance 3D generalist in London returning to Wellington, New Zealand, in 2004 to work for Weta.
In 2006, I moved to Auckland, New Zealand to direct TVCs for the internationally renowned production house – Cirkus, on the long running global campaign for Unilever’s Comfort Cloth World through Ogilvy & Mather, Singapore and London.
In 2008 I moved to New York where I continued to work remotely for Cirkus in my own studio in Manhattan whilst marketing Cirkus work to agencies in the States.
In 2014 I left for the United Kingdom to work as a cinematics previsualisation artist for Traveller’s Tales (aka TT Games). The company is famous for producing Lego console titles.
Currently I’m working in layout for film projects at DNEG in Vancouver, Canada. To date I’ve worked on Bladerunner 2049, Pacific Rim 2: Uprising, The Meg, Godzilla: King Of Monsters, Deadpool 2 and First Man.
KEY ACHIEVEMENTS & SKILLS
I’ve been fortunate to work on some very important and creatively inspiring titles since joining DNEG, Vancouver.
My responsibilities as a Layout TD include:
● Incorporating live footage camera and body track elements into digital environments with real world dimensions for convincing realism.
● Building shot “blueprints” that bring all scene assets together and ready them in a pipe friendly manner for downstream departments (animation, lighting etc.). This includes set dressing large environments with many instances of a particular prop e.g. cars driving in the street, buildings in a cityscape.
● Creative camera animation involving re-times, re-racks, projection (or two) camera setups, float and noise that push the dynamics of a shot whilst retaining the integrity of the original footage and it’s subsequent camera / body tracks.
● Visually matching client supplied previs, that may be completely contrived in 3D space to portray a narrative idea only, with real world dimensions that allow for correct particle simulation and convincing real world lighting. This involves rigorous research into accurate speeds and dimensions for any given scenario.
● Previs animation of characters and prop elements to effectively time out and prepare shots for animation.
Shows worked on so far:
● Set dressing / building placement for key city flyover sequences. Technical fixes for the shots comprising the city wall fight sequence.
Pacific Rim 2
● Many full CG shots that may have included only a small live footage element. This involved accurate layout animation to prepare robot fight / destruction sequences etc. in a timely fashion.
● One of two unofficial leads on this strongly layout driven project, I had the privilege of working up the X Force skydiving sequence over central Vancouver.
The learning curve at DNEG has been steep and satisfying. In addition to working in Maya 2017, I’m now conversant in many aspects of DNEG’s Linux based pipeline including Shotgun (project management tool), Tractor (render distributor), Nuke, and Clarisse.
Additional layout tasks for The Meg, Godzilla: King Of Monsters and First Man.
During my time working at Tt Games in the UK I was fortunate to work on Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens including several sequences that required level art previs in addition to camera and staging. This I find especially gratifying as it allows me to have full control over the camera frame composition and how the action plays out in relation to environment. The game was phenomenally successful, staying on top of the games charts for weeks after it’s June 2016 release.
I’ve had my name credited on the hugely successful Jurassic World Lego game released in June 2015 to tie in with Universal’s summer blockbuster.
I was fortunate enough to previs some key iconic sequences from the original movies balancing homage with Lego’s fun and irreverent sense of parody.
Since then I’ve worked on additional content for Lego’s dynamic “toys to game” property – Dimensions, prevising sequences for such acclaimed IPs as Doctor Who, Ghostbusters, Back to the Future, The Simpsons and Portal.
As animation director for the Asia/Pacific region of the Comfort “Cloth World” campaign for Ogilvy & Mather, Singapore, I designed the cloth family characters “The Comfees”, who appear in TVCs worldwide. As well as working directly with creatives from Ogilvy & Mather (in both London and Singapore), I directed the 3d team at Cirkus, New Zealand and an international team of animation freelancers from Rio De Janeiro, Paris, Barcelona and Sydney. My broader roles have also included motion boarding and 3D previs, character design, concept art, animation and final compositing in After Effects. I’m fluent in Maya, After Effects, and Photoshop and have finely tuned drawing skills from visualizing and story boarding many varied projects.
I have directed many unique 30 and 15 second spots as well as lip synced in eight different languages – including Vietnamese, Thai, Bahasa and Mandarin. As a result of this large body of work I have a unique perspective on creating a cost effective character driven campaign in long form as well as a deep understanding of working with a wide range of budgets and cultures.